It is a fact that commercial and retail property managers are extremely busy on most working days just finding the time to do ordinary things with properties, clients, landlords and tenants. It is easy to get ‘swamped’ with distractions and diversions in property management.
Most property managers will know exactly what I am saying here about being busy almost all the time. Under normal business pressure, they must stay organized and on top of client and property performance issues.
All these things below happen daily in property management, and that is why there is such a problem for most property managers in workload. They must carefully work with and through all current issues; control is essential. Can you add to this list?
- Vacancies to resolve
- Tenants to talk to
- Lease documents to review
- Disputes to fix or monitor
- Rents to collect
- Arrears to reduce
- Contractors to talk to
- Maintenance to organize
- Risks to mitigate and or manage
- Landlords to talk to and update
Somewhere through all that chaos, the real estate business and property management activities go on. So, there must be a few strategies at an individual level to get some leverage and growth in the property management portfolio. Today I want to share a few ideas around that concept.
Create Proven Property Management Systems
A successful property management division or team is operating within or driven to a system of activities and benchmarks. Each week they know what they must do, and they ‘hone-in’ on that set of priorities. So, a process of ‘sticking to the rules’ is a good idea in both commercial and retail property management.
What are those key issues and pressures? Those activities are directed at controlling the managed properties, the tenants, and the results for their landlord clients. You could also say that risk minimization and improvement of property performance feeds into that set of priorities.
Indicators and Actions
Let us go to the indicators here below. Given your clients and your properties to manage, there are things here that you can do and optimize.
These are some good indicators and strategies to work to:
- Low or lower vacancy factors – a group of managed properties will have a churn factor of tenants, and consequently, vacancy factors will come and go under management. Some vacancies lease quickly while others do not. Having a comprehensive list of local businesses is a good thing when it comes to renting local property and filling managed buildings.
- Tenant retention plans – this is a good strategy, and it works well with the business planning of the managed assets. Tenants can be retained, and leases can be renegotiated based on market circumstances for your location and the building types. Every high-quality, managed building should have a tenant retention plan that is forward-looking and comprehensive across the entire tenant mix. Retain your good tenants. Set your targets towards that and have the landlord for the property agree to some attractive leasing packages to retain quality occupants in managed buildings.
- Grading landlord clients for reporting and feedback – some properties and clients require controls and comprehensive landlord reports. That is where a grading process can help you apply particular property managers to clients, precincts, and properties. You can also review your reporting and computer-generated financial reports to support the landlord cash flow reporting needs.
- Creating property management business from sales and leasing activity – there is plenty of property management new business to be found from sales and leasing transactions across most real estate businesses. Have your brokers and agents get property managers involved in the closing of any investment type property where the new owners may want some assistance in the ongoing property management.
The message here is that you can take your property management activities and priorities and shape them to your location, the clients that you service, and the pressures of the property market. Are you up to the challenge?