The commercial property management industry is highly specialized in many different ways. It takes time to understand the elements of the industry and the requirements of professional services supplied to landlords and tenants. The same can be said as it applies to retail property leasing and shopping center management.
If you are considering a career in commercial or retail property management and or leasing, here are some tips to help you with establishing your skills and growing your professional services.
You will need to know about the current property market in many different ways. Typically you will need to understand the market rentals, vacancy factors, property types, new developments, and landlord investment requirements. All of these things will help you with lease negotiations and the services that you provide to your landlord clients.
The different property types require different levels of property management involvement. Industrial property is relatively simple and basic from the management perspective given that you usually have only one tenant to monitor within one lease and one property. When you move your property management skills to an office property or a retail shopping centre you will normally be dealing with multiple tenants and variable lease conditions. On that basis you will need to know the standards of lease occupancy, property legislation applying to leasing, and the physical attributes of the landlord and tenant negotiation.
From every lease occupancy there will be issues to monitor and optimize involving rental income, property expenditure, risk and liability, and tenancy placement. Each month it is normal to provide a landlord with a comprehensive property report relating to current investment performance, property maintenance, vacancy and leasing factors, together with projections from the prevailing market conditions.
Most landlord clients will have a number of specific targets relating to their investments. Those targets will be shaped by the age of the property, the tenancy mix, redevelopment requirements, and the local business community. To serve your clients well, take the time to understand their investment requirements and intentions relating to the asset.
With the larger properties, there will usually be a budget of relates to rental income recovery, and expenditure activity. That budget will be established prior to the beginning of a financial year and then loaded into the business plan for the property for the coming 12 months. Every month every quarter or budgeting process will be checked and changed depending on prevailing market conditions.
Professional property managers are specialists in many different ways. Some will specialize in a single property type in their town or city. In that way they can bring specific knowledge and information together with high levels of skills to the clients that they serve.
In commercial real estate you will need some technology tools to assist your progress in commercial property sales and leasing. When used fully and correctly they will drive more opportunity towards you and help you keep it under control.
At the bare minimum in today's commercial property market you should be able to work with all of the following:
- Mobile smartphone with your personal diary and database
- Computer for presentations and property information
- Database that is easy to use and comprehensively captures the inquiry
- Website that promotes your listings and your business
- SMS technology for sending messages to clients and prospects of new listings and updates
- Email contact and the use of attachments such as brochures and flyers
- PDF documentation and formatting of promotional material
- Creation of adverts and marketing material on your computer
- HTML email that updates all your contacts of recent listings
- Auto responders for automated contact via email
- Internet placement of advertised properties
- Use of word processing for reports and information memorandums
Some salespeople will have a PA to do this work for them and that is fine; It is the fact that you or someone working for you is doing it that really matters.
Presentational and communication tools today are part of business in commercial property. If you use the tools to their fullest capability then your market and the prospects around you will see it.
So let's add a few extra technology tools to the process now that you may not use. They have something to do with the internet and they are all critical to the online profile you would like to have.
- Start to grow your personal profile on the internet by establishing an online community of contacts. You can do this with something like LinkedIn or similar internet based community tool. Importantly you should separate your business life and personal friends to two different sites as they are looking at you from different angles. Most professional business people will have a profile on the web that is searchable and is likely to be looked at by business prospects before or as part of business contact. Establish your profile on the internet the way you want to be seen.
- Establish a blog in your name so you can write short informational grabs about property industry trends in your area on a regular basis. Everything you write should be linked back to your main office website and your listings. It is remarkable how this simple regular practice will help lift your personal profile on the World Wide Web as long as you do it regularly.
- Write short online articles about commercial real estate and publishing them to a recognized internet articles directory on a regular basis. There are some very good article directories on the web and many of them take articles on commercial real estate. That is where you need to go to write about things of interest in commercial investment property. Each article you write should be linked back to your website and personal profile. It is the link back to your site that is really critical to your branding and internet profile.
These extra 3 things will assist your profile on the largest and most important part of the promotional stage in commercial property; the internet. More than ever before the internet and your profile in it will be essential to your success and image in your market. Get ahead of your competition and start the 3 extra processes above before they do.