It is very easy in commercial property management to forget about performance standards as part of serving the clients that you work for. In any working week, the activities of the day can get away from you and the job just ‘gets done’. Any standards that you are working towards can easily be forgotten.
It is the larger and more sophisticated property owners that require careful attention and for that reason, performance standards are really important. You have to track the processes and systems that you provide for all owners; some of them will have special procedures and standards that must be respected.
It is up to the property manager to understand the property and the client in ways that allow them to provide the performance and portfolio outcomes required. If the client is not happy then the property will suffer and the income will slide. It is for this very reason that the top management agencies have well qualified people employed in the property management division.
Top property managers cost money from an employment perspective; however they should be attracting and managing the best properties in the local area as part of their employment. Each managed property should be charged a reasonable fee for service. If you skimp on fees, then you skimp on people, and that is a ‘downward slope’ when it comes to servicing demanding and specialised property management clients. Over time you will lose these clients if they are not well catered for.
Here are some benchmarks that should apply to performance standards in commercial and retail property management today. A property manager and management agency should be judged on these things quarterly and annually.
- Vacancy rates in the property will be of concern to the property owner. Track the vacancies and make every effort to remove them with a well-constructed lease.
- Tenant management and relations can improve a property and its performance. The property manager should be connecting will all tenants regularly to ensure that any problems are well responded to and actioned in keeping with the landlord’s requirements or instructions.
- Income control will help the landlord in many different ways. Keep on top of income collection and arrears management.
- Expenditure management is quite important throughout the property financial year. For this very reason it pays to have a budget that was set with the approval of the landlord. During the year the property can be tracked to the timed budget and any shifts in performance can be responded to early.
- Business planning will help the property in many different ways. Creating a business plan for the property at the start of the year is very wise when it comes to complex tenant retention and lease management. The plan can remove any unexpected events.
- Lease management will always be a key component of your property management service. As part of that process, seek to minimise the threat of vacancies by implementing your tenant retention plan efficiently and directly with the landlord.
- Monthly reports and landlord communication will help the property service remain on track. All monthly events and outcomes should be incorporated into the report as a tracking tool for issues and property control.
A property manager and the agency should be judged on these issues. You can add to the list as your location or property type demands. These factors become the performance standards by which your property management service can be judged.