At the risk of offending all other property managers, I am going to say that commercial and retail property managers work really hard. The complexity of what they have to do every day is broad and deep. They can (or should be) very smart people.
All of this being said, a manager chosen for the role of leasing and managing commercial or retail real estate (and any new property client), should have a solid awareness of many things. It is not an ordinary job. They must be competent in understanding some very big issues. Failure to have the required personal skills and controls, you can see errors occurring that impact the property for the long term.
Here are some facts that the person chosen for the role should have well under control. Experience in these elements of the industry just has to be there. Property management at the ‘top’ of the industry is not an experiment; it is a very special process. Think about these things:
- Lease awareness should be a comprehensive process; that is in understanding just what makes up a good lease and why. Every lease should be interpreted and optimised for the property, the tenants, and the landlord.
- Tenant communications will vary and be based on the property challenges at hand. When something goes wrong (or right) in the property, it is time to look at the lease to see what actions are required of the parties.
- Leasing strategies will depend on the status of the property today and just where it is headed. The strategies you adopt will include the rent type, lease term, and rental recoveries. Choices need to be made.
- Tenant mix and tenant retention is a planning process. You will have a group of good tenants, and then a group of others that are not as important. Know just who you want in the property for the long term.
- Business planning the property will involve income and expenditure planning. That will include rent reviews and option negotiations for the coming 12 months.
- Financial analysis will be part of reporting to the landlord on a weekly or monthly basis. The larger the property, the more frequent your reporting requirements and controls.
- Marketing of vacancies will be one thing to do, but you will also be involved with the marketing of the property to the customer base.
- Maintenance management and risk control are very special. The property has to be both legal and safe to occupy. Maintenance contractors will know what needs to be done. Work closely with your maintenance people.
So this is a special list that needs respect and skill. If your role is to manage a commercial or retail property, respect the knowledge requirements and strive to be the best in the industry in your area. The agency will benefit from your skills.