If you have a need for a new commercial property manager or perhaps a retail shopping center manager, is the training process of a junior person worth it or should you employ an experienced person for the required role? You can go either way but the strategy is different and your choice will have to do with the demands of the portfolio and your existing property management clients.
Here are some basic facts to be considered:
- Some clients require special attention and information. The property that they own may be very complex or demanding. A junior property manager will struggle and over time can threaten the stability of your agency appointment. They can also make costly mistakes and involve the agency or brokerage in a litigation claim.
- A complex and large property will have high workload demands; on that basis the fee for management should be suitably high to reflect the time and task input by the brokerage and property manager.
- The landlords that you serve will have special reporting and communication requirements. Every property manager should understand the financial reporting systems as well as the tenant and lease management systems to help with the reporting to clients. Each day the systems will need to be accessed to see if any critical dates or lease events are happening. Early implementation of critical dates will keep things under control.
In saying all of these things it is worthwhile noting that experienced property managers will ‘short circuit’ and ‘fast track’ any new property portfolio appointment; they will know what to do and how to get the job done. So there is a balance here between the salary costs of an experienced person for the role, versus training a new person.
The tasks controlled by a good property manager are complex; they are best described as including these bigger issues:
- Understanding the focus of the client is high on the list. When you understand the client you can adjust the strategies associated with income and expenditure. The same will apply with leasing and tenant management. The client will have needs of cash flow and plans for the property that should be understood. The reports that are prepared for your clients will be specialised to the property and the client.
- Strong and positive tenant relationships will help a property perform financially and physically. The property manager needs to stay in touch with all tenants in a positive and ongoing way. It is not an easy task and requires good communication skills on the part of the property manager.
- The leases for the property underpin the income and expenditure performance. For this reason the property manager must keep a close eye on the leases and the tenant mix. Stay ahead of critical dates with rent reviews, options, renovations, and other special lease terms.
- The maintenance of the property will have an impact on the tenants, vacancies, customers, and landlord cash flow. The property manager should monitor those things and make the right recommendations.
Should you employ an experienced property manager to your team? The answer is always ‘yes’, so you can get the professionalism into your management systems and client relationships. When you have a couple of highly qualified property managers you can consider training juniors to rise up through the ranks.
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