T.J. Guyer’s office, located at 1646 South Market Boulevard in Chehalis, is photographed in July, 2023.
T.J. Guyer, Inc., Meets The Challenges of Dual Roles:
Balancing Diligence to the Owners and Those of the Tenants
By Emily Fitzgerald
A property management company is, in many ways, exactly what the name conveys: a company that manages the day-to-day operations of a rental property for a property owner.
For T.J. Guyer Inc., a Chehalis-based property management company that oversees rental properties in Lewis, Thurston, Pierce, Grays Harbor and Clark counties, property management is about helping ensure renters have safe, quality places to live and work.
“There’s two key pieces to property management,” T.J. Guyer owner and president Fred Lofgren explained, stating that the first piece is due diligence to the owner for how they want their property to be managed, and the second piece is due diligence to the tenant.
“My job, honestly, is to make sure we protect the home and provide a nice, safe place for the tenant to call home,” Lofgren said.
Lofgren has been employed with T.J. Guyer since 2010, purchasing the company from founders and former owners Thomas and Jude Guyer in 2013.
The Guyers started the company in 1984.
In the 10 years he has owned T.J. Guyer, Lofgen has prioritized community engagement for the company in addition to building good relationships with both property owners and tenants.
Of the approximately 2,100 properties T.J. Guyer manages, roughly 1,700 are single family or multi family housing and the remaining 400 are commercial properties rented by businesses.
Commercial properties typically involve a “significant negotiation because it depends on what type of business they have (and) what their needs are,” Lofgren said, adding that business leases are often long-term, ranging from as little as 2 years up to 10 or more.
“You’re looking into the future with that tenant for a very long period of time,” Lofgren said.
Residential rentals, on the other hand, are typically 6- to 12-month leases.
Both types of rentals have been negatively affected by the current economic climate, Lofgren said, with both property owners and tenants seeing significant cost increases.
“I think it’s safe to say that, owners and tenants, this has been a difficult time for them all,” he said.
On the owner’s side, recent cost increases include property tax insurance, utilities, labor and repair, as supply chain issues have made buying equipment such as a new stove to replace a broken one more expensive.
“At the end of the day, the tenant, they’ve seen their rents go up significantly,” Lofgen said.
While some tenants may see the rent increases as a “money grab,” Lofgren said, “The reality is it isn’t really a money grab. It’s the fact that the costs have gone up so much.”
It’s impossible to pass along all of the cost increases to the tenant, Lofgren said, adding that property owners end up “eating a lot of these costs.”
“The landlord, a lot of the time, they get beat up on. I think they need to be commended for the willingness to put themselves at risk,” Lofgren said.
For more information about T.J. Guyer, visit tjguyer.com.
Fred Lofgren – T.J. Guyer owner and president