CRE Midwest

Property management: The glue that holds the pieces together in commercial properties

prop-mgmt

And at Illinois Real Estate Journal’s 12th Annual Chicagoland Property Management Conference held Sept. 27., at the Drake Hotel, 2301 York Rd. in Oak Brook, Illinois, experts assured that it’s only getting stronger.

When it comes to commercial assets, property management is a critical in ensuring that the needs of tenants and residents are being met and that things are running smoothly.

And at Illinois Real Estate Journal’s 12th Annual Chicagoland Property Management Conference held Sept. 27., at the Drake Hotel, 2301 York Rd. in Oak Brook, Illinois, experts assured that it’s only getting stronger. More than 150 registered commercial real estate attendees got the latest scoop on new trends and issues impacting the industry.

Having a property management division is especially significant for a commercial real estate firm today. JoAnn McGuinness, executive vice president of Inland Real Estate Investment Corporation and conference panelist, said it’s extremely important as it not only directly impacts a company’s bottom line but it also acts as an additional outlet to garner feedback and insight on particular markets that can help drive future purchasing decisions.

“Taking an active and holistic approach to management can yield substantial benefits, adding value for tenants and increasing earnings for property owners and shareholders/investors,” she said.

Inland is unique, according to McGuinness, because it has in-house property management teams that it utilizes for its retail and residential properties so it doesn’t need to outsource, ensuring it is in-tune with the needs of its assets, tenants and residents. The teams participate in due diligence before assets are purchased, in addition to underwriting, operations, accounting, leasing, and marketing.

Inland’s marketing strategies--such as hosting events, offering promotional programs, and through technology-- have helped the firm increase foot traffic and sales at properties.

Nancy Roach, president of Strada Real Estate Services, Inc. and conference panelist, also believes that property management is crucial for firms, and said that it’s a stable business line that can provide a commercial real estate firm an advantage for cross-selling of its services, and providing owners a complete package for the real estate portfolios.

At Strada, property management works a bit differently. Roach said the firm’s core business line is a fleet base of self-performing mobile technicians that perform multi-maintenance services such as electrical, plumbing, lighting, and general repair and maintenance.

Today Strada typically services office, industrial, and some retail properties, though it recently added residential, which is used by Not-For-Profit organizations for their community integrated living arrangements.

Strada, Roach explained, works with the property management industry and professionals and offers a cost-effective alternative to how they approach and contract for all of the numerous repair and maintenance issues their properties require on a daily, weekly or monthly budget.

“Our goal is to work with PM firms to provide them premier managed multi-maintenance services so they have more time and freedom to address all of the other important issues they face managing properties on a day-to-day basis,” Roach said.

Suzanne Hendrick of MB Real Estate moderated the State of the Market Update panel at the 12th Annual Chicagoland Property Management Conference held Sept. 27. Panel speakers included: Melissa Podolsky, Podolsky|Circle CORFAC International; JoAnn McGuinness, Inland Real Estate Investment Corporation; Matthew Roberts, Duke Realty; and Derrick Johnson, Zeller Realty Group.

Brian Lozell of Seneca Real Estate Group moderated “In the Trenches” panel Sept. 27, alongside: Eric Hartmann, Tovar Snow Professionals; Tom Civitanova, First Industrial Realty Trust; Roger Clark, Bradford Allen; Micah Larmie, Transwestern; and Nancy Roach, Strada Real Estate Services.