By Paul Krimm, CSM, MBA, Senior Vice President
During my 20 year career in real estate management, I noticed that most successful property managers and agency leasing brokers have a mutual understanding and respect for each other’s specific roles in the commercial real estate industry.
The successful management team is composed of the following strong, key members—a property manager, an assistant property manager, a property administrator, and a maintenance technician. A truly effective property manager will always engage the leasing team. Many mutual benefits develop from this relationship, especially in circumstances where assets do not allow for dedicated, on-site personnel.
The following crucial points are ways to develop engagement and positive relationships between property managers and leasing teams:
- Provide current rent rolls on a regular basis and highlight lease expirations. This simple step allows brokers to get ahead of renewals and interact with tenants before they begin considering other alternatives.
- Include agency leasing colleagues in property inspections and tours. The benefit of another set of eyes can never be underestimated. Each individual looks at different aspects of a building, and some of these items may impact showings or property tours. Also, brokers’ inclusion in this tour allows for the exchange of operational ideas on upcoming projects and an informal leasing update.
- Accompany the leasing team in important tenant meetings. Periodically, the property manager may be silent, but other times, the property manager may provide valuable insight and clarification to building-related questions during these meetings. In addition, it shows the tenant that we are approaching the overall management of the property as an inclusive team.
- Include brokers in budget discussions. The broker is ultimately responsible for completing deals. A skilled broker is familiar with market expense comps. Therefore, input from the broker can help the property manager determine whether cuts should be made or scopes should be adjusted. The inclusion of the broker in budget discussions allows the property manager to present the reasoning for major expenses and/or increases, thus preparing the broker with adequate information if he or she should be questioned by a potential tenant.
- Share a monthly executive summary. By sharing this report, the property manager is providing the broker with a brief overview of the important activities at the property throughout the month. Sharing the executive summary allows the opportunity for the broker to be well versed on all aspects of property operations in advance of speaking with the asset manager.
- Develop a rapport and relationship between agency leasing and property management teams. By stopping by for informal visits or going to lunch, we can better learn and understand the specific roles within our industry and successfully assist one another.
These essential points lead to one key element: communication. If brokers and property managers develop a positive relationship, this will leverage a wholesome, effective property management team that thrives with our clients in mind.
Paul is the Senior Vice President and City Leader in the Columbus Cushman & Wakefield office. He is responsible for the leadership, direction and growth of Columbus’ Asset Services Division. Paul spearheads new business pursuits across real estate disciplines and is charged with the development of all management associates.