At Honest Buildings we're fortunate to spend time with lots of forward-thinking real estate owners. One of the most interesting trends that we’ve noticed firsthand is the evolution of the property manager role from being almost exclusively dependent on relationships to one that increasingly incorporates technology and innovation to add value.
It got us thinking - what characteristics make property managers most successful in today’s market?
THEY ARE ENTREPRENEURIAL.
The best property managers take their role as “CEO of the building” very seriously. They are intensely curious about how to leverage innovation and technology to maximize productivity and effectiveness. Best-in- class managers embrace ideas that are new to them, and take it upon themselves to assess the potential value and obstacles to implementation. Whether those ideas are decades old or cutting edge is not important. It is the motivation to take responsibility for continually improving the asset.
THEY BUILD SYSTEMS TO SUPPORT THEIR SUCCESSORS.
In most larger real estate companies, it’s common for a property manager to move from one building to another. As a result, valuable data and institutional insight “leave the building” along with that manager. Email communications with tenants and vendors are especially susceptible to being lost.
Thoughtful property managers create systems that address this problem by creating special folders in Outlook, storing information in shared space like Dropbox or managing data through a centralized collaboration platform. These property managers actively invest in the success of the company by taking a long-term view on the success of the entire team.
THEY SPEND THE MAJORITY OF THEIR TIME ON VALUE-ADD ACTIVITIES.
Administrative tasks are unavoidable, but premier property managers doggedly pursue ways to complete them faster and more efficiently so they can spend their time doing more important things. Not every property manager will warrant the nickname “The Innovator” or “The Entrepreneur,” and that’s fine. Outstanding managers also make a point to share their productivity tips and best practices with the rest of the asset team for everyone’s benefit.
“One of the quickest ways to uncover value in your portfolio is to equip your property managers with the right tools. If they’re more efficient and can focus on value-add activities rather than ad- ministrative tasks, productivity can be increased exponentially.”
Patrick Crosetto, COO, Kushner Companies
THEY REGULARLY PROPOSE NEW SOLUTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION.
Inviting suggestions might seem like opening the door to be inundated with requests. In reality, property managers rarely advocate for products they aren’t confident will improve performance. Plus, the market intelligence that proactive property managers gain from looking outward for new solutions ultimately leads to a larger competitive edge for their teams.
The best property managers in today’s market are curious about better ways to run their buildings, manage projects, streamline vendor management, and actively leverage technology. Equip them for success and free them up to focus on what really matters - adding value.