One might expect that a company that has “management” as part of its name would be adept at managing its workforce.
That’s true of Latter & Blum Property Management Inc., which has climbed to the top of mid-market companies in The Times-Picayune’s “Top Workplaces 2022” competition, a barometer of worker popularity.
Founded in 1989 and headquartered in New Orleans, the company manages more than 900 multi-family, single-family and commercial properties in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. It bills itself as “the premier property management firm in the Gulf South.”
Latter & Blum managers say the company’s commitment to excellence is rooted in its employees, of which there are approximately 135 in the New Orleans area and 348 throughout the region. The company offers its greatest resource – its employees – a competitive benefits package.
HR director Dionne Schlorff said the company’s customers are property owners who want to avoid the headaches that come with managing their real estate portfolios on a day-to-day basis. They turn to Latter & Blum in large part because of its dedicated workforce, she said.
“We staff the property, make sure it stays leased, deal with any tenant issues that may arise, maintenance issues and the like,” Schlorff said. “So we basically do whatever it takes for them (owners) to keep their properties running. Our people make that possible.”
Latter & Blum manages around 100 residential complexes, 115 commercial properties and 700 single-family homes, Schlorff said.
This type of portfolio requires dedicated and motivated employees. Creating a pleasant working environment is an essential part of achieving this goal.
“One thing I hear a lot is that our employees feel like we have a family environment,” Schlorff said. “We have a lot of employees who have been here for a long time and that is important. Everyone is treated like we are one big family.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the company encouraged and organized potluck meals and other events to boost employee morale. While safety concerns have thwarted some of those events, Schlorff said the company hopes they can return. “We want to try and put some of the fun stuff back in place,” she said.
The company also hosts annual, outside management conferences, which are very popular and important for building camaraderie, Schlorff said.
Employees say management has created a friendly and supportive work environment that makes their jobs fulfilling and enjoyable.
Erin Wright said she joined Latter & Blum three years ago with no real estate management experience and some trepidation at venturing into an unfamiliar industry.
“I had no idea what to expect,” said Wright, who started out as a real estate manager in the French Quarter and has since become the company’s commercial real estate manager. “It turns out I couldn’t be prouder of myself for taking this opportunity. It exceeded all my expectations. It’s great to work here.”
Brittany Pellerin, a construction manager who has worked at Latter & Blum Property Management for six years, said the company encourages a good work-life balance, which is important.
“It’s like family,” Pellerin said. “You can communicate with anyone and everyone and I really appreciate that. Everyone is willing to help.”
Wright agreed, noting that teamwork is one of the keys to creating a good work environment.
“There’s always someone you can turn to if you have a question or stumble upon something,” Wright said. “They understand that there is a lot to take care of with a family. There is a lot of respect and trust. And that’s what really matters at the end of the day.”
Wright said she appreciates the friendly, supportive work environment and management’s recognition that employees have a life outside of the office.