By Steve Lefkovits

I live in a 55 unit condo community, with seven separate buildings. Like many people in commercial real estate, I’ve ended up serving on the condo board by default. Our excellent manager recently questioned a 28% increase in our costs for the eight copper, analog telephone lines that run to our ancient building callboxes, from $63 monthly to $81 monthly. That’s eight total phone lines for the property.

Even by the standards of phone companies, this increase seemed egregious. So I called a company that RealtyCom works with and refers to its clients to evaluate the expense and find us some options. We don’t do this specialty work, but know its importance. Within two days we learned:

  • Without changing infrastructure, we could lower our paid telephone expense 66%.
  • That savings translates into $6,600 of annual savings on our small property
  • Our partner would do all of the paperwork and manage the cost for a 3-year period
  • The work that they did inside of a week is completely outside of the scope of anything that our manager, or me as a real estate professional understood.

We will save $120 per unit per year from a third-party audit.

In 2018-2019, this same telephone audit partner analyzed 298 multifamily communities. 257 showed available savings from auditing their paid telephone lines. 125 needed service improvements. The average savings amount per property was $6,575.

As we like to say “that’s free money.” If you’d like a warm referral to some friends that can help you save pennies that add up to asset value, please contact me at or one of the partners here at