Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tips for Interviewing and Employing a Commercial Property Manager

job interview between two business people
Ask the right direct questions in a job interview for a commercial property manager.

In commercial or retail real estate, the employment of a commercial property manager is quite special and detailed.  If any errors are made in the choice of person, it can directly impact the property portfolio for the agency and or the performance of properties for each landlord.

Given that a successful commercial or retail property portfolio is the source of significant new business and commissions for the agency, the choice of property manager is ever that more important.

There is no quick fix when it comes to the employment interview.  In many respects it comes down to the choices that you make as the office manager after you have reviewed all of the information provided by the candidates.  Importantly, you need to ask the right questions.

Commercial and Retail Property management is quite specialized in many different ways.  The skills required of the selected person are far more advanced than those that apply to residential property management.

Here are some of the critical categories that should be incorporated into the interview and questioning of a potential candidate in the role of property manager.

  • Lease documentation implementation and interpretation
  • Tenant communication skills and control processes
  • Maintenance routine awareness and essential services
  • Vacancy marketing given the potential upcoming vacancies and lease expiries
  • Income optimisation given the existing tenancy mix and lease profile
  • Lease negotiation with potential new tenants to the property
  • Rental strategies as they apply to the property type
  • Expenditure management given the property size and type
  • Landlord reporting processes on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis
  • Financial analysis and reporting from detailed property management records
  • Data entry and data interpretation relating to tenancy schedules, expenditure performance, and income analysis.
  • Tenancy mix management and business planning processes

All of these issues are quite detailed and special.  In retail property there can be others to add to the list; importantly the staff member that you choose for the property management role should be a good communicator, well organized, and proactive.

Landlords look to their property managers for both ideas, and control.  Those property managers need to follow the instructions and the targets of the landlord so that the property is ready for change or sale as the case may be.

So where do you find this person of great skill and quality?  They are out there, and they do command a reasonable income.  That being said, a good property manager will bring in significantly more fees to the agency over time from sensible property strategy and good landlord relationships.  A stable and well managed property will incur extra fees through rent reviews, lease options, and vacancy marketing.

It should be said that one experienced and good commercial property manager can nurture and train a new person into the role.  It all comes down to the right choice of people.  When you interview new staff for the role of commercial or retail property manager, take care and take the necessary time to formulate the correct decision.  Look for the levels of experience and diligence that the job requires.