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Back to Basics

By Benjamin A. Comm, Senior Managing Director

Collaboration_Metting3_shutterstock_226240819_MLAs an industry, commercial real estate is constantly evolving. Our demographics, culture, technology and work patterns have drastically progressed from previous decades. Property Management in particular has undergone profound changes during the past 20 years—green initiatives, budget and financial software improvements and advances in building comfort, to name a few.

Even though change is a variable, three key management principles will always remain static:

  1. Meet ownership objectives while keeping tenants happy. This simple concept is the key to successfully managing a third-party assignment. Sometimes you are navigating through some treacherous waters as tenant demands may collide with ownership goals or financial restrictions, but diplomacy usually solves these problems.
  2. Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal! Have a keen understanding of your building’s equipment, operations and appearance. It is vital you notice everything—whether it is when you are walking into the building in the morning or during a formal monthly inspection. It is always good to do at least one nightly inspection on a monthly basis. Also, this practice goes for record keeping and building files—an inspection a day keeps the auditor away!
  3. Maximizing revenue and minimizing expense. Use all the technology at your disposal to reach financial and operational goals. Hiring management and engineering staff with an ownership perspective and a dedication to the property is essential in meeting financial goals.

While we cannot predict the changes in store for the real estate industry, we can focus on refining our knowledge of property management basics. Once these skills come naturally, we can easily take whatever the future of commercial real estate holds in stride.


Ben Comm-RGBBen joined Cushman and Wakefield in January 2009. He is responsible for ensuring that the firm’s best practices are implemented and overseeing consistent delivery of property management services. Ben also manages the profit and loss for the firm’s +45 million SF Mid-Atlantic portfolio, which includes office, industrial, and retail properties. He brings more than 30 years of experience in real estate management.

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