New Priorities for Property Managers – Commercial Property Executive

Suzann D. Silverman, Editorial Director

The past two years have focused on property management. With users in all types of spaces concerned about air quality, clean surfaces, and how to stay 6 feet apart, what were once daily responsibilities have become perks. competitive, which had to be upgraded and reorganized to respond to a new reality. From installing air filters to developing access control processes to creating protocols for COVID-19 cases in the building, managers faced concerns for which there was little previous ones.

New challenges continue to require prioritization. More recently, office building managers have been tasked with modifying spaces to allow for more team-oriented uses and developing amenities and events that attract businesses and entice their employees to work in the office. Green additions serve the dual purpose of making spaces healthier and more enjoyable for tenants while providing sustainable functions like water absorption and recirculation.

The need for flexibility and innovation is equally important for industrial properties, as IvyLee Rosario notes in her article “What’s Driving Industrial Property Management Today”. With demand exceeding supply and building materials still plagued by higher costs and delays, managers are struggling to get spaces ready in the shorter turnaround times tenants are demanding. “It’s imperative that contractors be lined up before a tenant moves out with locked-in prices to maximize value,” Shelly Drakes, executive vice president of Dalfen Industrial, told Rosario.

There is no doubt that property managers have more to do, pushing them to new levels of success. For market leaders, however, that translates to more business, if our annual ranking of the best property management companies is any indication. This year’s top 30 reported a combined area under management for 2021 that was a 20% increase over 2020. This compares to an increase of just 7% from 2019 to 2020, the vast majority of companies making this year’s list the same over the past year and almost all providing at least some amount of third-party management services. Seventy percent reported more area under management last year than in 2020, in most cases with portfolios diversified across property types and geographies.

And after? Office buildings may need more tenants, taking smaller spaces on shorter leases, and property managers may need to work with them to accommodate a hybrid mix of space use at long term and short term. For industrial managers, considerations may include offsite storage and support for maintenance services previously performed by tenants. Other concerns are also likely to emerge as managers continue to juggle multiple tasks, keep up with changing tenant and landlord needs, and balance operating costs against return on investment.

That’s a lot to follow. If you’re a property manager, I’d love to hear about your latest initiatives and solutions to today’s challenges.