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11 Tips For Prospective CRE Managers

Commercial real estate (CRE) management can be a professional nightmare when you’re just starting, as it can encompass a wealth of issues difficult to address. From contract negotiations to building upkeep and maintenance, each facet can have a thousand smaller tasks that serve as prerequisites to achieving the larger goal.

For new commercial real estate managers, the small details can be difficult, if not impossible, to figure out. Prospective professionals should prepare themselves for a long road when learning about the industry. Below, 11 experts from Forbes Real Estate Council share tips for CRE managers entering the industry.

1. Leverage Consistency And Transparency

Consistency, dependability and transparency are key for everyone involved! With tenants, be clear with the processes they will find important and make them as automated as possible, i.e., fast online applications, virtual tours, automated text communication around rent and maintenance. Create a strong community! For owners, be 100% transparent and send weekly reports with rental stats! – Sarah Sullivan, SuGo Capital LLC

2. Focus On Quality Customer Service

Especially for property managers of luxury apartment buildings, customer service is paramount. These residents are used to hospitality quality, white-glove customer service. Anything less will feel like the building is missing the mark. – Aaron Galvin, Luxury Living Chicago Realty


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3. Treat Tenants Like Clients

The two keys to success are treating tenants like they are your clients and routinely checking the maintenance of the property. A healthy and long-term relationship with tenants translates to lower vacancy, less headache during negotiations and repeat business from the tenant’s sphere. Routine maintenance checks help alleviate small maintenance issues that can spiral into much larger ones. – Deniz Kahramaner, Altasa

4. Communicate Regularly and Build Relationships

Consistently communicating and cultivating relationships with tenants is invaluable. Tenants can be great allies if there is mutual respect. They can help inform you of repair and maintenance issues in a timely manner so you avoid bigger problems due to deferred maintenance. They can also be a great referral source, helping fill any vacancies if they are happy with their space and the property. – Catherine Kuo, Elite Homes | Christie’s International Real Estate

5. Take A Empathetic Approach

Property management is above all a people business. You must create a trusting and caring relationship with your clients, vendors and tenants. This caring and empathetic approach will set the stage for long-term success. – David Welch, Robinson Weeks Partners

6. Conduct Thorough Research

Prepare prior to starting by doing your research on the best property management software companies, having a vendor list ready that has been vetted, having your forms ready and learning about your tenants. In great detail, discuss with the owner their concerns and past problems so you have no surprises and are prepared to handle them! – Galit Ventura-Rozen, Commercial Professionals, Inc

7. Embrace Automation Platform Solutions

Rather than point products, embrace platform solutions that automate operational tasks in order to gain a competitive advantage. Though much of your job is rooted in the physical world, don’t disregard technology. It’s critical in managing the day-to-day workflows and the information you need to reduce operational costs, helping evaluate performance toward tenant satisfaction and maximizing revenues. – Tim Curran, Building Engines

8. Shadow An Experienced Property Manager

Find an experienced property manager to shadow. The fastest way to gain experience is to work for another property manager. Nothing beats real field knowledge, and by partnering up with somebody that has been in battle before, you can shrink your learning curve in half. Ask them the horror stories, listen and take notes. Knowing how they dealt with the hardest problems is priceless. – Chris Ryan, Beyond Properties Group (eXp Realty)

9. Connect With Quality Contractors

Property managers and property owners managing apartments and single-family homes generally recognize that maintenance and renovations are key to attracting and keeping tenants. However, maintenance and tenant buildouts are just as important in industrial properties, office buildings and retail. Keep relationships with quality contractors. Manage work orders with the same software platform as leases. – Kristin Geenty, The Geenty Group, Realtors

10. Develop A Clear Process

Having a clear process to handle occupancy, marketing, leasing, collections, work orders, construction and upgrades is key. It impacts the experience of the tenants in the community. Just define your KPIs—look for them in weekly or biweekly reports, create a budget and identify the variance from the budget. It is important to know what you are measuring and how it impacts performance. – Chander Mishra, Accel Equity Group LLC

11. Know Local Real Estate Laws

It is extremely important to know the real estate laws governing the state you manage a property in. If you own/manage the property for long enough, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Consult with an experienced real estate attorney and other experienced managers on landmines they have uncovered. If you have a contingency plan for each of these scenarios, you should rest reasonably assured. – Saurabh Shah, InstaLend