If you are reading this, you are likely to be a commercial property manager or you know one; either way the question has hit the spot and you understand what I am saying.
It is a fact, many if not all commercial property managers have very little time to spare in their average working day. They are the hardest working of most commercial real estate people because they have to control and produce the property performance for the landlord; it's the central part of their job. That takes time, effort and commitment.
Property management is not like selling or leasing a property where you can move across a number of projects and keep all of them moving in some form or another. In property management you have to stick with some very complex issues that can take days if not weeks to resolve. You can manage some really difficult properties with real challenges.
Add to this fact the tasks that each property presents every day with tenants, landlords, maintenance, and leasing, you have some real work to do. It is unrelenting and consistent. It does not go away. That is why you have no time to spare.
Given all of this observation, it should now be said that good commercial and retail property managers are some of the most qualified professionals in the industry. They generally know far more about property performance, tenant mix, and lease optimization than sales and leasing people. They know how to make a property work.
To give you some idea of what I am saying here, the role of a commercial or retail manager would typically involve many things including:
- Lease management
- Lease optimization
- Vacancy management
- Fit out approvals and controls
- Refurbishment and renovations
- Lease negotiations
- Tenant mix strategy and analysis
- Maintenance management and planning
- Building income and expenditure budgets
- Risk management
- Due Diligence practices and systems
- Energy management
- Retail trade analysis and customer sales strategy
- Landlord reporting and communications
So this list goes on. You can see why a property manager is really the central part of the property performance equation. A landlord needs a good property manager to help them with a complex property.
It is interesting to note that the inexperienced landlords of this world will consider outsourcing property management requirements to the cheapest real estate agency or property manager. Considering that these landlords are putting their income and expenditure in the hands of potentially one inexpensively person or group, and that person may have little real knowledge or relevance to the future of the property, the risk of damage to the property performance is very real.
So the message here is for all experienced and qualified property managers to ask for a reasonable and relevant fee for the services offered. Stay firm on your fees; those landlords seeking and taking discounts from other agents will soon realize the error of their ways and will likely come back to you when the property is financially derailed and the vacancies are rising.
When you are asked to fix a problem in a previously poorly managed property, charge a solid and fair fee for the issues involved. You are the professional and your services are worth good money. Professional commercial and retail property management is not an experiment for the feint hearted.