By Becky B. Hanner, CPM, RPA, BOMA Fellow, LEED Green Associate, Senior Vice President
Our vital role as an industry-leading commercial real estate firm is to ensure clients continue to understand our approach to managing their assets. Some clients often contemplate self-managing. It may be an attractive and possibly cost saving option, but there are many key components to consider.
- Depth of Personnel – One attraction to working with a global management company is the bench strength available to support the on-site staff when they take time off or to provide coverage should an employee leave. On a broader scale, our platform provides a network of knowledgeable professionals that can share input on property issues based on their own experience. Sharing these best practices can alleviate the pain of trial and error.
- Construction Management – Many management companies state they provide construction management services when, in fact, they only provide construction administration services. True construction management includes ensuring the tenant has a scope of work that will meet their needs but also fits within the parameters of the property owner’s budget. A good understanding of the municipality’s permitting and inspection processes is also a must.
- Professionalism and Clout – We’ve all heard the saying: “Deliver good news fast and bad news faster.” Communication is the key. The tenant with the pet python in their suite will more readily accept the news that they are not complying with the lease from a professional property manager that has extensive industry knowledge than one who does not.
- Building Operations – It is imperative our clients have an understanding of how their building operates. For example, good management indicates awareness of tenants’ operating hours, how many employees each tenant has, what type of guests they may have in the building, their floor load factor and types of lighting. The manager will keep up-to-date materials such as the snow plan, emergency plan and tenant contact lists.
- Fire and Life Safety – The last thing a client wants is for someone to get hurt on their property. Safety is a priority for tenants, guests, vendors and their employees. Each property should have a good system to track inspections and follow up on any infractions. After all, no one wants their building closed or elevators shut down!
- Contract Management – Developing the scope of work and determining the right service provider is paramount. Knowing which contractors are reputable, dependable and professional is as important as getting a competitive price for the work.
- Lease Provisions – Did your tenant request to change the name on their suite sign, and if so, what is the nature of the name change? Are they making alterations to their suites, and are they improvements? It is our responsibility to outline terms and conditions of the agreement regarding each party’s rights and responsibilities. It is important that clients understand every provision of the lease agreement, and having a thorough and accurate lease abstract is a valuable and useful management tool.
- Rent Increases and Operating Expense Reconciliations – CPI, stop, base year, exclusion, controllable/uncontrollable, fixed/variable, cap, cumulative, compounding cumulative, estimate, and quarterly billings? How would our clients handle operating expense calculations without the platforms we provide?
- Certificates of Insurance – Unfortunately, we hear too often of tenants with no insurance who have a fire on their property or experience bad publicity and can no longer pay rent. Certificates of Insurance are tracked to minimize liability to the client and to any current, ongoing project.
- Tenant Relations – Buildings house a small community. If the community is part of a business park, then it more like a small town. Each community has its own personality with different things that make it tick. The designated Property Management staff has its pulse on the community and coordinates different programs and events such as fitness centers, food trucks, service projects and other amenities so occupants enjoy their work setting. Relationships are the key to building this environment.
Do our potential clients have the time needed to manage their assets? Most likely not. These top 10 reasons highlight key components some clients are not aware of while considering self-managing their assets. Here at Cushman & Wakefield, we have the platforms, integrated delivery service model and top talent needed to successfully transition, sustain and eliminate wasteful expenditures for our clients’ assets while exceeding expectations. We thrive with our clients in mind.
As leader of the Asset Services team in Cushman & Wakefield’s Raleigh-Durham office, Becky draws on her 30 years of experience in the industry to develop new business, mentor her team, streamline processes, and increase the quality of service delivered to her clients. Becky’s BOMA involvement has included: Secretary/Treasurer of BOMA International, Chair of the Finance Committee, President of BOMA Southern Region and Chair of BOMA Standard Method Floor Measurement Committee.