Knowledge and detail
Some property managers really do not have the attention to detail and extensive knowledge that commercial and retail property management requires. This is a common problem in the industry where property managers have been sourced from residential property management with little or no training for the new commercial and retail properties they are being asked to manage.
If they do not have the required knowledge for the tasks that they undertake, they then should be trained (and fast). There is a major difference between working on residential property and then moving the same person to take over and manage commercial or retail property.
Losing the landlords trust
When the landlord is getting to the point of not returning your calls and not taking your recommendations, you have in effect lost their trust. They may tolerate your poor management style for the immediate future but it is quite likely they will move property managers soon.
The situation can be reversed, and it will take effort and focus to do so. Understanding the landlord is part of the process to fix the problem.
So what is property management all about?
Successful property management is not just a matter of controlling tenants and cash flow; it is mainly about strategy and forward looking control processes that improve the landlord's property for the longer term. The landlord's targets should be respected and pursued.
To achieve this goal, know what you are doing and have reasonable knowledge about the industry, the tenants, and the property type. Local knowledge is essential here.
These are some of the critical factors that every property manager should totally understand and control as part of the services they provide to the landlord:
- Lease implementation and administration for the tenancies throughout the property is foundational to services you have provided. This will include the types and levels of rental that achieve the returns that the landlord requires. Add to this the methods of leasing in the current market, the lease incentives, and the terms and conditions of a competitive market lease package.
- The vacant tenancy marketing should occur to all local businesses so that any vacancy downtime is minimised. If any lease expiry is identified early, the vacancy downtime can be minimised.
- The income optimisation of the property asset is achieved through your efficient management of rent reviews, lease negotiations, rental adjustments, and the timely processing of all rental matters.
- Maintenance processes are to be controlled and budgeted; this is associated with good property performance including the obligations that stem from essential safety measures, risk management, environmental, and heritage. This includes the management of maintenance contracts and tendering where appropriate to achieve cost efficiencies with all your selected contractors in balance with correct levels of maintenance needed in the property.
- Lifecycle management is a special skill. It includes the impact of property maintenance on the current occupants, machinery maintenance including the older plant and machinery, refurbishment and renovation strategies to maintain the physical appearance of the property, and the optimisation of rental given the quality of the property presentation.
- Monitoring of the comparable properties in the local area will have to occur. This is so they have minimal impact and disruption on your tenancy mix, leasing strategies, and income stability.
- Management of not just the leases, but of the tenancy mix should occur in balance with the property business plan. This is so any relationships between the tenants can be shaped to improve the performance of the property. This is highly relative to retail tenants and shopping centres. The surrounding demographics of the community and businesses will need to be considered here as part of the process.
- Communication with the tenants in a comprehensive and detailed way will improve both the property performance and the property income. Good tenant communication allows you to minimise any difficulties of occupancy and potential future vacancies.
- A sound and detailed knowledge of legislation, rules, and all regulations that impact the property from an occupancy perspective is required of the property manager. Compliance with all of these factors will keep the property functional as an investment.
- Detailed reporting to the landlord should occur so they are kept appraised of all property strategies and events. This will include all budgets, forecasts, tenancy mix, and lease strategies.
- As a property manager you should be comfortable with technology and the concepts that involve technology in building operations and performance.
These are some of the major factors involved in professional commercial and retail property management. Failure to provide these services will jeopardise the relationships that you have as a property manager with the landlord that you represent.
You could say that the person to provide these services will need to be intelligent, articulate, confident, knowledgeable, and accurate in their job role; you would be correct. Good commercial and retail property managers are special people.