Day-in and day-out, the majority of office workers around the world come and go from commercial office properties without ever lending consideration to what actually fuels the buildings they reside in on a weekly basis. The fuel I am referring to is the commercial property manager and associated supporting cast that keeps the lights on, the grass cut, the flowers blooming and the expectations of both the tenants and owners of the properties they serve in keen focus at all times.
A commercial property manager is more than just a building steward. The job requires a myriad of individual traits including strong financial acumen, sharp attention to detail, quick-thinking and an extraverted personality. A commercial property manager maintains a constant watch over the buildings in their portfolio at all times, and must be quick to respond to any emergency that arises such as fire, flood or burglary to name a few, while also maintaining both the knowledge and resources to adequately respond to each situation.
The job of a commercial property manager can be summed up in four primary capacities. In no particular order of importance, they are as follows:
- Public Relations – The commercial property manager is the face of their respective portfolio. In this role, it is their responsibility to keep their existing tenants happy and engaged and to assist their leasing teams in attracting new, prospective tenants, thus adding revenue and positively impacting NOI. Afterall, happy tenants tend to renew their leases, causing less churn and preservation of overall asset value.
- Bookkeeping – The commercial property manager is the enforcer of the lease and the primary party responsible for the overall financial health of their portfolio. It is the most basic task of a commercial property manager to pay bills and collect rent. Under this surface, lies the tedious job of preparing and implementing an annual budget, at times exceeding millions of dollars per year, in order to keep the buildings operating not only effectively, but also efficiently and at all times within defined, and market-competitive cost parameters.
- Maintenance and Repair – The commercial property manager is supported by and lends support and direction to an engineering staff that either conducts or coordinates repairs and maintenance to the property as required, or in accordance with an annual budget; again, maintaining and preserving the overall asset value.
- Reporting – The commercial property manager prepares and delivers to the ownership a comprehensive monthly financial report speaking to the financial and operational health of the asset, while also making recommendations for improved systems and processes based upon operational knowledge and boots-on-the-ground experience.
By successfully implementing and navigating these four equally important aspect of their daily job responsibilities, experienced commercial property managers have the ability to increase demand and overall occupancy within their portfolios, thereby driving greater values and returns for the property owners they represent.
A commercial property manager truly is a Jack of All Trades.