How to Start Your Career in Commercial Property Management

A career in commercial property management can be a very rewarding choice for you.   In saying that you should be prepared to learn and grow your skills for your entire career.  The complexity of property types and management styles requires that.

In an average working day, here are some of the things that a property manager would have to do:

  • Check arrears first thing every morning to see what tenants are behind in payment of rent and other charges.
  • Visit properties to ensure that all occupancy issues and matters of safety are controlled and functional.
  • Lease management is an ongoing process.  The leases in a property should be checked and monitored for occupancy control.
  • Fill vacancies as and when they arise.  That will involve finding tenants and negotiating lease terms and conditions.
  • Report to landlords regularly based on their informational requirements. That may mean a weekly report, monthly financial and physical report, quarterly budget reports, and an annual budget and end of year report.  All of the information has to be accurate and relevant to allow the landlord to make informed investment decisions.
  • Maximise income from leases and all the tenants in the property
  • Negotiate rent reviews and lease options with due regard for prevailing market rentals and conditions.
  • Control expenditure and maintenance so the property is safe for tenants and functional for all parties including customers, tenants, and the landlord and property management staff.
  • Meet with tenants regularly to ensure that any current issues are well controlled to the guidelines in their lease.
  • Negotiate leases with sitting tenants in the property.
  • Manage and optimise the tenant mix.
  • Control the outgoings from the property so they are reasonable and comparable to industry standards for the local area and the property type.

This list is quite special as are the tasks that are listed.  The longer that you stay in the industry, the greater information that you will gather and learn.  Your experience will grow.

As mentioned earlier, you never really stop learning.  If you can accept that as a basis of your career, then you can enjoy your work and will thrive on the diversity of the industry.  There are significant differences between office, industrial and retail property types; that is why you are always learning and to some degree specialising.

It is interesting to note that a good property manager can and will usually build strong relationships with the landlords that they serve.  Over time that relationship will lead to opportunities and fees in leasing and property management.  So there is a real and established relationship for new business between departments of a commercial real estate agency.

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