We’re often asked by commercial brokers on behalf of their property owner clients, or, by potential clients, what they should look for when considering professional commercial property management. It’s a great question and whether you’re a property owner, or a professional advising property owners, it’s a good idea to know what to look for in a great property management company. Here are 7 key characteristics top-flight companies exhibit:
- Tenant retention is crucial. Great CPMCs (commercial property management companies) know the value of a tenant. Therefore, it’s simple and basic, but as a tenant myself, I’ve been surprised over the years, just how some CPMCs don’t get it. By actions, or lack of, a tenant can get the feeling they are not valued but are an inconvenience. Here at PNW, we are known for our fast and efficient responses to both tenant and Owner concerns. What does this mean to you, an Owner? Happy tenants equates to ideally long-term tenants, a stable property and maximized income.
- Great CPMCs recognize that there is a tremendous amount of trust required (which must be earned by demonstration) between the property owner and the CPMC, as well as between tenants, landlord/Owner, and the CPMC. Trust is an absolute required ingredient in any relationship which is to carry on for any length of time in a healthy manner. One way we regularly demonstrate trust is by doing what we say we will do, when we will do it. Simple, right? But so few stack up to this simple measure. Another and hugely important way PNW demonstrate this trust regularly is by delivering accurate and timely financial reports. Depending on the types of leases your property has, financial reporting can be incredibly complex (think CAM calculations, budgets, property taxes – to include property tax abatements for non-profits, and more). Accuracy and timeliness is crucial.
- Owning investment real estate is not unlike owning any investment asset class. It should be managed to perform at its highest level, maximizing returns and minimizing hassle. Here at PNW, we understand the business we’re in: Managing assets to their fullest potential for the benefit of their Owner. Your CPMC should have a similar thought process and philosophy and truly understand the business they are in. While it might be called or defined as “property management,” it’s truly about maximizing revenue from a given asset. And as the Owner of the asset, having as little runaround, hassle and friction as possible is obviously desirable. In fact, we strive for a frictionless Owner experience for our clients. Your CPMC should as well.
- Emergencies happen. And, in the current environment of protests and less-than-peaceful demonstrations, many property Owners have found themselves held hostage by a mob defacing and damaging their property or a local government that refuses to defend or protect the rights of property Owners or the tenants in those properties. Having a CPMC that responds to emergencies of all kinds – whether it’s property damage, a tenant emergency, a natural disaster, remediation or an event that requires urgent and immediate major repairs, your CPMC should have a response plan and team that handles it for you. A team that informs you and most importantly, solutions to the problems and executing those solutions. In addition to a 24-hour emergency response team, your CPMC should also have a Day Porter who regularly attends to a variety of onsite property issues – whether it’s a simple bathroom problem, picking up trash, cleaning parking lots and so on. There should be a high level of pride your CPMC takes in caring for your property to both maintain, enhance and protect it.
- Experience in property management matters. Your CPMC should have background and longevity/proof of success with the kind of properties you ask them to manage. If you own industrial, well, that’s a different management strategy than retail. An office building has different requirements than a ground lease and so on. Here at PNW, we have decades and decades of experience covering the entire range of property types, plus various property ownership structures to include trusts, large partnerships, legacy properties, out-of-state owners and more. This goes back to point #2, trust. Plus, your goals as an Owner matter. A CPMC should be considering your goals with the property in their strategy to manage the property.
- A simple Google search for a “Salem Oregon Property Management Company” reveals dozens of “property management companies.” In fact, 7.62 million results. The challenge here is that if you’re seeking a COMMERCIAL property management company, being specific in your search matters. If you want a company dedicated to commercial property management in your area, being specific changes the search results AND who you’ll end up contacting and potentially trusting with your asset. Example: A Google search for “Salem, Oregon Commercial Property Management Company” gives more specific and different results. This exhibits that who you search for and how, with specificity, matters. You wouldn’t hire a general practice physician to implant a pacemaker for your heart. You’d get an EP MD – a specialist – to perform the surgery. The same could be said for hiring a residential property management firm to handle commercial property. This goes back to #5 above. Hire experts. Hold them accountable. And, enjoy your investment; don’t detest or resent it!
- I’ve heard it said that you don’t have to like the people you work with. However, I think that’s misguided and wrong. In fact, a principle I’ve adhered to for decades is this: Life’s too short to be around, for any reason, people you do not like – those who are unpleasant, habitually angry, mean spirited, dishonest, unprincipled, or attract drama. One of my early mentors said to me – and he was a very demanding but fair client, too: “We only do business with people we like. If we don’t like you, we won’t do business with you.” I agree – if you’re tired of trying to push water uphill, find another course – aka different people, to help you achieve your goals. Firm, fair, honest, ethical and upfront. Your CPMC should elicit these “feelings” from you when you think about who’s managing your asset.
These are but 7 key traits great CPMCs exhibit. There are far more you’ll experience as a client of Pikes Northwest, LLC.
To learn more about Pikes Northwest Commercial Property Management and how we can help you manage your commercial property investment asset, reach out. You can learn more online at https://pikesnw.com or, by simply calling our office: 503-588-3586. Be sure to ask about our no-obligation, 27 Point Executive Property Analysis.