At South Florida’s premier property management company, AKAM On-Site, clients are people, not buildings.
By Robin Hodes
Life takes interesting turns. Who would have thought that a classically trained violist would go on to head one of South Florida’s most successful property management companies? Such is the case for Leslie Kaminoff, founder and CEO of AKAM On-Site.
As an undergraduate majoring in music, Kaminoff worked part time as a building clerk at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He eventually went on to become its director of real estate. In 1983, Kaminoff founded AKAM Living Services (the parent company for AKAM On-Site), which quickly grew into one of NYC’s premier real estate companies. “I went from being a professional musician to a professional listener,” Kaminoff jokes about his career shift.
Listening, in fact, is one of the secrets to AKAM’s success, and Kaminoff takes pride in his open-door policy. “If an owner isn’t able to talk to me, in my mind, that is a problem,” he says.
In 1998, when the company decided it was time to expand, Kaminoff and his team considered various markets. They found South Florida real estate had much to gain from AKAM’s expertise—and they were right. Today, AKAM manages some of South Florida’s most impressive residential properties. “We have an open-minded approach, a tendency to think outside the box and a willingness to change with the times,” says Kaminoff, citing that many competitors tend to be reluctant to reinvent the wheel, so to speak.
Kaminoff and his team are not just problem solvers. They anticipate potential challenges and avert them before they happen. This takes tremendous foresight. Before Hurricane Irma, for example, AKAM was thorough in gathering information about the needs of its properties’ residents. “We were blessed,” Kaminoff says, regarding the intensity of the storm. “But if it had been a true disaster, we were well prepared.”
Despite tremendous growth, Kaminoff has never lost sight of both the identity and needs of his clients. “If you ask 10 real estate CEOs who their clients are, they will all name buildings,” he says. “Our clients are not the buildings, they are the residents who live there. If 200 people live in a building, that’s 200 clients.”
Kaminoff also doesn’t take for granted the elevated standards his clients expect. “These are extremely smart people who have been successful in life, and they can be demanding,“ he says. “We understand this and provide them with a personalized level of service that anticipates their needs.”
Just like mastering the viola, Kaminoff believes in picking one thing and doing it well. “It’s unrealistic to think you can be all things to all people,” he acknowledges. For this reason, AKAM maintains its focus by only managing luxury high-rises with an on-site manager. “You are dealing with someone’s home, their oasis and, in many cases, their largest investment,” Kaminoff says. “To give anything less than personalized service just doesn’t work.”
AKAM On-Site, 954.843.2526; akam.com