Property Management

Tips for Appointing a New Commercial Property Manager

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When you appoint a new commercial property manager to the team, there are things to cover and implement.  It’s almost like having an ‘induction program’ within the department or division.

Consider these facts:

  • The newly appointed person has to understand your property portfolio
  • The software system that controls income and expenditure for the properties will have an ‘education’ factor
  • Some clients will require different processes of control and reporting
  • Many properties will have unique methods of management
  • Some properties will require a lot more understanding than others

So where do you start?  The best way forward is to have an ‘induction plan’ to cover all of the key issues that the new person needs to understand.  The ‘plan’ can be improved and repeated over time so you can easily bring any new person into the team as situations require.

Here are some topics to help you structure this new plan for new property managers within the team:

  1. The experience within the existing team will be valuable.  Get the new person to ‘buddy’ up with an existing manager to learn how your business does things.  This process usually takes two weeks or up to four weeks.
  2. Introduce the new person to your properties with an in-depth inspection process.  Do this well before any client or tenant introductions occur.
  3. Understand the complexities of some of the properties to be managed.  Larger office properties and retail shopping centres can take weeks to understand, so detailed inspections will be required.
  4. As part of showing the new person a property, they will need to meet the tenants.  As to when that should occur is debateable as tenant relations in a property are quite important and sometimes difficult.  You don’t want to introduce the new manager to the tenants until the required property briefing and knowledge has been provided.
  5. Explain and if necessary provide training on the property management accounting system.  That will include income, rental, expenditure, lease details, tenancy schedules, arrears controls, and client report formats.
  6. Lease management in a property is a very big issue.  All leases will have challenges and a property with a lot of leases requires total review.  The critical dates, lease terms, and negotiation factors should be reviewed for each property.  The new property manager should sit down in a quiet room for a few days and go through all the lease documentation in the managed buildings.
  7. Every landlord client will have certain requirements with reporting and cash flow.  It may also be the case that a property has a business plan and budget to adhere to.  Get all the information ready for the new manager so they can see how they will be interacting with the landlord.

So there are many things to do here when a new property manager joins your team.  Each item is quite detailed and potentially large.  Control the induction process for the new person, and the clients and other team members will appreciate the results achieved.

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