Planning Your Commercial Property Management Team

The successful management of a commercial or retail property is usually a reflection of quality people as members of the property management team.  In any large and complex property that team can comprise of quite a few people, each bringing specialization to the performance of the property.

In a larger shopping centre or office complex, that primary team can comprise of about 6 key people.  Each person would have a specific focus in property performance.  Here is a typical list of personnel in a team of that size:

  1. Property Manager or Centre Manager – this person is responsible for the performance of the property in every respect.  All other members of the team report to the Property Manager.  On a weekly and monthly basis the Property Manager will be tracking property performance in keeping with the property business plan and the instructions of the landlord.  They will also be responsible for all landlord reports, property strategies, financial outcomes, and overall tenant mix alignments within that business plan.
  2. Lease Administrator – this person has a specific focus on lease documentation as it applies to the tenant mix and tenants in occupation.  They have to watch all occupancy issues including all rent reviews, options, renewals, vacancies, make good provisions, and permitted use issues.  In a large property the role of a lease administrator is critical to keeping leases and occupancy issues under control.
  3. Leasing Executive – this person is applied to the property to address vacancies upcoming and current; they should be a top class negotiator.  They are to lease the property in keeping with the business plan and the tenant mix strategy.  They are to find tenants that suit the mix and that complement the other tenants in each occupancy cluster around the property.
  4. Financial Accounts person – this is a special role of financial control.  They integrate closely with the activities of the Lease Administrator and the Centre Manager or Property Manager.  The financial accounts person must track income and expenditure on a daily basis within the property to ensure that all financial transactions and lease matters are matched to the property business plan and instructions of the landlord.  As part of that process they should track all financial activity against the budget for the property.
  5. Maintenance Manager – this person is to monitor and implement maintenance work around the property and provide safe and compliant occupancy for tenants, customers, visitors, and the landlord.   Every property will have a maintenance budget.  The cost and expenditure codes for the property should be split into all categories of expected spending.  The maintenance manager also has a lot to do with the selection and management of maintenance contractors.  They will also have a lot to do with risk management in the day to day operations of the property.
  6. Tenant Liaison Manager – whist this persons role is discretionary, it is essential in larger properties under management.  The more tenants you have in a property, the greater the importance of the role.  The person that you choose here should have a solid awareness of lease occupancy documentation and compliances, but they should also be a good communicator to build property performances and tenant relationships.

So that gives you a good idea of just how a property management team can work efficiently on larger properties of quality and complexity.  Choose your people for the management team well.  They will help you strengthen landlord and tenant relationships.

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