city buildings at sunrise

In commercial property management you can easily get ‘swamped’ by daily issues and events.  Every day you can be busy day doing things that really don’t matter in the scheme of things.  Yes, I know that you have client and property issues to attend to, but the real focus here should be on selective control.  Move the less important things and administrative ‘stuff’ to a part of the day where time is less critical.  That’s what the experienced and skilled property managers do.

(NB – you can get plenty of property management tips and ideas here in our brokerage course)

An ’out of control’ property manager is not much good to anyone, least so the clients that they serve.  When a property manager is stressed and overloaded, they will make mistakes and overlook things.  That’s when the clients get upset and performance issues happen in the properties under management.

What are the issues that a manager needs to control?  Try some of these for starters:

  • Landlord responses and reports
  • Tenant activities
  • Reports of all types
  • Maintenance in the property
  • Risk and personal safety in properties
  • Budget and financial matters

The question here then is, ‘What is it that you should focus on in your business day?’.   Take control of your real estate business and the property portfolio.  Grow your property management portfolio through dedicated effort and some very good time management.

One fact should be put at the top of the list when it comes to this special segment of the industry.  The skills and dedication required to do things at a high level should be respected.  Good quality people are required to manage portfolios, and they have to get the experience and knowledge to back up their day to day activities.  The best people are those that can understand the property issues, control documentation, and service clients at a high level.  Reports, financial matters, lease documentation, and negotiation skills are all part of that high level service.

Here are some ideas to help you build your property management business in a positive and direct way:

  1. Key clients – some clients are better than others, particularly so when you look at investment portfolios and property activity. Your best people should be working with your best clients.  Separate your clients into property types and fee opportunities.  Your junior managers and those that are still learning the game should be put on the basic and ordinary properties for some time until skills are refined and gained.
  2. Better fees for service – you will find that many brokerages will cost their property management fees based on a percentage of passing income. Whilst that may sound logical, be very careful with that fee formula, as some properties and clients are a lot more work than others.  Assess the potential workload before you fix the fee.
  3. Better properties – quality properties should be supported by highly experienced managers. When you have a top class property, put your best manager on to it and implement the specialised strategies of financial performance, asset improvement, and leasing optimisation.  That is where you should be focussing as the extra fees from the higher level services will be valuable.
  4. Portfolio approach – look at the properties that you have now under management, and split the portfolio logically based on property types, zones, workload, skills required, and client focus. Some clients require skilled managers that can resolve problems at a higher level.
  5. Time and task priorities – given that property managers are so busy every day across many different things, it is wise to apply a rigid time and task management process to the division, the managers, the support staff, and the business overall. Professionalism will evolve from good property management systems.  Conversely, poor quality management practices occur when the business and the managers are out of control or overloaded.

So these rules are valuable and helpful when you consider the different ways you can optimise and grow your commercial real estate business.  Take the time to establish some good systems and employ good people as part of growing the portfolio.