In June, Dan Berger was recognized as an Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 Greater Philadelphia Award Winner by Ernst & Young LLP.
Dan sat down to answer a few questions about the recognition and talk about why the future is bright for Berger Communities.
Q: What does this recognition mean to you?
It’s an honor to be recognized in this way by such a well-respected organization and among other notable entrepreneurs. While I am grateful for the acknowledgement of the work I’ve put into this company, this is really a company-wide recognition. My father and uncle started this business 50 years ago as a company managing a single building in Havertown, PA. Since that time, Berger Communities has grown into a highly recognizable property management company in the mid-Atlantic region. When I took over the company in 2006, I shifted the focus toward company culture, technology, innovation, customer satisfaction, and growth. In that time the company has grown from 1,200 apartments and 40 team members to now owning and managing 10,000 apartments and 300 team members.
More important than the growth, I’m focused on creating a company culture wherein employees understand their purpose and impact, resulting in a highly engaged team who is committed to customer satisfaction. Today, we’re rated #1 in customer satisfaction by SatisFacts, the leading resident survey platform focused on the multifamily space. That recognition, in addition to the EY recognition, is a testament to the entire Berger team.
Q: What does Berger Communities look like in 10 years?
We are planning for the company to more than double its size over the next decade. In anticipation of this growth, three years ago we created Berger Investments, which owns all company real estate and is designed to support the Berger family’s succession plans. Berger Investments will support and ensure the business’s success for decades to come.
Beyond growth, we are working toward Berger Communities consistently being ranked nationally as the #1 property management company to work for and the #1 property management company in providing superior customer service. We’re on our way to reaching this goal as we’ve been recognized with “Best of Living” and “Best Places to Work” awards already.
Q: What does ‘leading with purpose’ mean to you?
At Berger Communities, our purpose is a dedication to caring for one another, serving our customers, and delivering great results. This purpose is more than a statement written on our website, it’s intentional and part of our internal dialogue. It is a lived purpose through behaviors and a commitment of empathy and a servient mindset. Our purpose is visible in our company culture and in our focus on giving back to those less fortunate.
Q: How does Berger Communities give back?
In 2021, we launched a nonprofit organization called hope+door. Its mission is to help families that are in financial emergencies, as a result of unforeseen life events, avoid eviction by providing them with rental assistance. When a family is evicted from their apartment, it has a profound impact on them, particularly the children, and can ultimately lead to homelessness. In 2023, we anticipate assisting 100 facing eviction. I spend about 20% of my time on hope+door with the goal of ultimately helping tens of thousands of families throughout the country avoid eviction.
Q: Where do you go from here?
My legacy in life is completely tied to the level of impact I have on other people – impact on my family, employees, residents, and the greater community. With this intended legacy as my driver, I will continue to focus on the goals I and the entire Berger Communities team have set out to accomplish.