Property Management

Commercial Property Management – Working with Landlords the Right Way

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In commercial property management it is common for some frustration or disagreements to develop between a property manager and a landlord.  Sometimes it is a short term issue driven from a particular property problem and driven from individual lease or tenant circumstances; however it is the longer term and larger property performance issues that are of real concern.  They can impact the property income and occupancy.  All parties suffer when that happens.

If your brokerage is to supply professional property management services to landlords, then consider the skills of your people and choose your managers well.

What typically causes problems between a landlord and a property manager?  Try some of these:

  • Poor communication between the parties
  • Lack of understanding on key issues of property performance
  • Poor skills on the part of the property manager in servicing the property and tenants
  • Poor reporting skills on complex matters
  • A property that is under pressure when it comes to vacancies and tenant mix issues
  • Failure to understand methods of approval when it comes to maintenance and property control
  • Inadequate market knowledge and understanding on the part of the property manager or landlord

So the list can go on into many different challenges.   A productive and positive property management service is one where the manager and landlord are working together for the greater benefit of property performance.

The ‘waters get muddied’ when a property manager is overloaded with too many properties and tenants.  That in itself is a common problem driven from inadequate fees for service.  In this case it is essential to understand the services and time required to manage a property for every client.  Each property can have unique circumstances of reporting, tenant mix, lease management, and maintenance.  Understanding is required at the time of setting fees for service.

Over the years I have seen many property managers that have little understanding of the complexities of the job and how they must serve a client on a complex property.  I would go so far as to say that a service of this nature should only be provided by the best people and those that are experienced in all facets of property performance.  So what is involved in that?  Try some of these for starters:

  1. Lease and documentation understanding
  2. Tenant optimisation
  3. Vacancy minimisation
  4. Lease and rental negotiations
  5. Incentive and lease strategies
  6. Leasing strategies
  7. Tenant mix and tenant retention plans
  8. Risk management
  9. Maintenance systems and procedures
  10. Income optimisation
  11. Property performance plans and assessments
  12. Business planning for a property asset.
  13. Financial management in property activities
  14. Reporting systems in property management
  15. Good communication skills

So the list can go on depending on the size and type of a property. Perhaps you can add a few more issues to the list?

It is essential to understand the performance standards required of a property manager today and the interpersonal skills needed with that manager to service landlords and tenants.  When you select the right manager for the property and the task, servicing landlords will get a lot easier.  Remember that they have a lot of income and value sitting inside their property.  Help them achieve better property performance through top property management services.

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