By Ken Pool, Senior Managing Director
During my 30-plus years in the commercial real estate industry, I had many opportunities to work with incredibly talented property management teams that consistently produced outstanding results for clients. I often reflect and wonder, “What was their secret sauce, and how can we replicate that again?” These property teams always served with a sense of purpose, with the glue being mutual respect for each other.
TLNT Management and HR has an insightful article by Laura Stark, The Productivity Pro®, on this specific topic where she identified fifteen characteristics of highly productive teams.
Based on my observations during my career, I have condensed this list to the top five, key traits:
- Proactive Approach – They anticipate issues and address them with a sense of urgency. They pay attention to details while keeping the bigger picture in perspective. Team members understand their roles and authority to make decisions. A great example of this is a proactive tenant visitation program with immediate follow-up action.
- Think Like an Owner – They have a great understanding of the owner’s goals, objectives and preferences. The relationship functions like a strong partnership built on trust and respect. These teams understand that it’s not all about cutting expenses. They appreciate the underlying goal to deliver a great value by running the asset most efficiently – and, for sure, at a higher performance level than their competition. They work in harmony with the project leasing team and routinely tour with brokers and prospective tenants.
- Measure Performance – They establish high standards, set goals and strive to exceed them. Many highly successful and productive property teams model the SWOT analysis. They stay on track by routinely reviewing progress throughout the year. They frequently survey their clients and tenants. Some engage tenants in focus-group sessions seeking feedback on how they can do better. Also, they create a culture that constantly seeks improvement, and ultimately it becomes a relentless discontent for the status quo.
- Regular Communication – They have set weekly team meetings involving all operational areas of the building. The meetings are forward thinking, and each team member contributes in the discussion, all in the spirit of working together towards improving customer service and efficiency. The meetings are kept to an hour, and the leader quickly identifies issues that may involve separate meetings for items needing more attention. I worked with an executive early in my career, and he used to say, “The real work gets done outside of the meeting. Meetings are just the celebration.”
- A Great Leader – A well-balanced individual who leads by example is task oriented and understands the power of delegation and employee engagement. They are good listeners, and know how to set a positive tone for the office. They have high standards, and they look for ways to genuinely recognize and reward team members for outstanding performance.
In our constant pursuit to assemble highly productive teams, these five traits highlight the power behind identifying strong leaders and collaborative team players. As President Ronald Regan stated, “Surround yourself with great people, delegate authority and get out of the way.”
Ken oversees asset management, property management and construction management for more than 10 million square feet of office, retail and industrial properties in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. His primary duty is to support the leasing team on lease transactions while overseeing the asset plan for each project that Cushman & Wakefield serves.