9 Important Skills for a Commercial Property Manager Today

In commercial property management today the demands on property performance require some real skills on the part of the property manager.  It is a difficult part of the industry for a person to enter and try to simply ‘pick up’ the skills from on the job experience, and when that is the case it is quite likely to be the source of errors and omissions.  You need others with experience to help ‘new comers’ learn the points of focus and the core skills.

For a real estate brokerage to provide higher quality property management services, care should be given to selecting the right people to employ and train.  That then allows buildings of complexity to be successfully managed and for property management fees to be expanded.  The larger the buildings under management, the greater the stresses on workload.

It should be said that the property management division of any commercial real estate brokerage will generally be a good source of commissions, fee activity and future listings stock.  That can be a good thing when it is carefully controlled and developed within the brokerage.

Here are some of the most important skills that apply to the role of the professional property manager today:

  1. Organization – It is very much the case that a typical property manager will be quite busy on a regular basis.  The diversity of the job will be ongoing as will the number of tasks handled in a given day.  So the person working in the role really does require workload and organizational skills.
  2. Negotiation – The daily issues with tenants and landlords will require a person that can negotiation with professionalism and knowledge.  Both tenants and landlords can put pressures on any negotiation relating to occupancy.
  3. Computer – Computers today are an important part of providing and controlling professional property management services.  Specialized software and database activity will underpin financial record keeping and reporting.
  4. Documentation – Lease documents today are quite specialized and they need to be read and understood for each tenancy.  From that point onward the leases should be interpreted and enforced for the landlord.
  5. Leasing – Within an asset planning process will be events surrounding the tenant mix, lease renewals, and lease expires.  Tenants will be coming and going from the building and associated issues will occur with relocation and renovation.  The object in most properties will be to minimize the vacancy factor and optimize rental income.  That is why a leasing strategy is very helpful.
  6. Financial controls – With some properties the financial factors to be controlled for the landlord will be large and diverse.  Rents, outgoings, new leases, and incentives are just some of the bigger issues to watch and understand.
  7. Reporting – Many landlords require reports of complexity across income, expenditure, budgeting, capital works, and end of year estimates.  Reports are prepared and designed accordingly by the property manager.
  8. Risk Control – With the daily operation of any property there will be risks to be identified and managed.  Those risks can be property, customer, or tenant related.  The lease document will help when it comes to controlling risks be they physical or financial.
  9. Maintenance – With any property daily breakages and building failure will occur.  Contractors can support the maintenance process, however the property manager should understand the basic issues of repair and maintenance; every landlord and property will have rules that apply to the maintenance process.

These are just the 9 main points of property control from a management and leasing perspective.  The complexity of the property and the requirements of the landlord will increase the variety and depth of issues to be watched.

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