The people that you put in your commercial property management team are the basis for its operations and success. The actions, skills and knowledge of the team will go a long way to helping you grow your client base and services.
Choose the best people for your property management team with care and consideration. The investment buildings of today and particularly those containing multiple tenants and complex cash flows require extensive knowledge and control across key factors.
Key Factors of Control
Some of the most important factors to control are:
- Rental types and negotiations
- Lease documentation creation and enforcement
- Tenant negotiations and controls
- Vacancy marketing and tenant mix optimisation
- Asset performance
- Improvement of net income
It directly follows that only experienced property professionals really understand how to make these things happen. Clients expect skills and services that will strengthen the performance of their asset and investment.
Team Performance Model
So how can you assemble and select the right people for your property management team? Here are some ideas:
- Top Quality Managers – In your team you will need at least one high quality property manager with real experience that understands the variations of property types and how to service buildings, tenants, and clients at a high level. Over time and as the portfolio grows that person can spread their skills across others in the team.
- Financial Controller – All properties will have factors of income and expenditure to model and track. A computer based property management accounting system will be required to help with that, and specialised training will help greatly with running that financial system. It is wise to have a person in your team dedicated specifically to entering data and running the financial modelling software for property management performance. That person is not a property manager as managers are best applied and focused on the clients that they serve and the property portfolios they control.
- Tenant Services Manager – In larger portfolios it is useful to have a tenant services manager interacting with tenants on a regular basis to understand any issues and problems with buildings and occupancy. The job of the tenant services manager is to solve occupancy problems early, and to flag any tenant issues to the property managers in a timely way.
- Maintenance Manager – When you have a larger number of buildings in a property portfolio, the issues of maintenance every day will be complex and frequent. A skilled maintenance manager can control the daily repair issues and advise the property manager on basic repairs, comprehensive maintenance, budgets, and building compliance.
- Lease Administrator – Given the complexities of property leases today, a specialised person watching the factors of lease administration will be of great value within the property management team. Those issues would include rent reviews, lease options, renovation requirements, property upgrades, tenant relocations, and lease expiry dates.
A quick review of the people in this team would indicate that they are skilled and on that basis should be well selected and paid. It is a fact that the fees of a property management portfolio should cover direct salary costs of the entire team as well as the operational costs of the division, and provide an acceptable profit margin.
The next time you price a new property for management, consider these staff choices and costs in a realistic way.