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How to Make Commercial Property Management the Sharp End of Your Brokerage Business

Commercial property management is not just about collecting the rent.  It’s about looking for ‘issues’ and resolving them before they impact the property.  Every property will have ‘issues’ for identification and resolve.  That is where we ‘value add’.

Landlord focus?

Think about the landlords targets for just a moment.  They are your client.  What do they typically want from their investment?  How is their property portfolio positioned in today’s property market?  In most cases they would want a variation of any of the following matters, and then also some others:

  • A stable property that is controlled in every respect
  • Less risk and adversity for the investment
  • A compliant tenant mix
  • Lower vacancies now and in the future
  • Accurately structured lease documents
  • Improving rental in line with market conditions

So there are many things that you can do here for your clients and their property.  That is where the specialization in property management becomes a big thing in new business attraction and client service.  Behind the management specialization you should have experienced and focused managers that work to a plan with their clients and the portfolio.

A sharper view on property management

Here are some ideas to help you sharpen your focus for your clients in today’s challenging investment market:

  1. Look for upcoming issues – Every property is different so look for the differences; delve into the matters of pressure in the property. Every asset will have strengths and weaknesses for understanding and attention.  Typically, you are managing the asset physically and financially, and there are a lot of issues evolving from that throughout the year.  The more that you know about the property, the easier it is to find the important things needing attention.
  2. Review leases – Leases are complex documents. They require reading and interpretation.  Look at how each lease impacts the investment over time.  Assess the critical dates in each lease and then prepare the client for the changes or decisions that the critical dates require.
  3. Know the tenants – Some tenants are better than others, so create a list of tenants for each asset and then rank the tenants for long term or short term ‘relevance’ to the property and its investment performance. Merge your ‘tenant decisions’ into the business plan for the property.
  4. Resolve risk matters – Every property will have factors of risk, and those factors could impact rent, health and safety, maintenance, investment returns, and other matters for the client. Look for those elements of property pressure and act early before the property is adversely impacted.
  5. Keep the landlords targets top of mind – Ask your clients what they are looking for with their managed property. You will always get a different answer.  Some clients are looking at long term investment holdings, whilst others are wanting to move the property on through a sale at an early stage (perhaps inside 5 years or so).  The property market trends will shift the landlords targets and decisions.  You are at the center of that process.  Understand what the property market is doing, and make the recommendations accordingly.  Know the plan so you can make your recommendations for the client accordingly.

So the simple message here is that you should keep your focus ‘sharp’ and property specific for the clients that you manage for.  Treat every client with a unique perspective of service and communication.  Match your management services into what they are targeting and how their property is performing or being impacted by local issues.

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