What is the true power of a busy property management division? Melissa Podolsky, principal and director of the property management division of Riverwoods, Illinois-based Podolsky|Circle CORFAC International, said that a strong property management division can help commercial real estate firms build long-lasting relationships with clients.
That’s largely because the relationship between a commercial real estate firm and a client involves plenty of touch points, moments at which the firm’s property management employees are connecting with the owners of commercial properties. Build up a steady number of these contact points, and a commercial real estate firm will also build a strengthening connection with its client.
“Property management is an extremely important service to offer,” Podolsky said. “You can never underestimate how important it is to have property management in place. You offer a service to clients in which you are protecting and prolonging the value of an asset. That’s a powerful service to offer.”
And while commercial real estate firms are building that relationship, they can also rely on their property management divisions for something else: A strong management division serves as a steady stream of income in both good and bad economic times, something that many commercial real estate firms learned during the most recent recession.
Podolsky said that there is no secret formula to attract and retain property management clients. It all comes down to old-fashioned customer service, she said.
It’s important, too, for property management pros to take the steps necessary to continually boost the value of the properties they are managing, Podolsky said.
“Customer service is our number-one priority,” Podolsky said. “Communication is so important, too. We make sure that we are available and communicating wih our owners and ownership representatives at all times. We manage the buildings as if we were the owners ourselves. We are owners and operators of real estate, so we get it. We not only focus on tenant retention and keeping tenants happy. We focus on protecting the value of every asset we manage. We try to be preventative and not reactive. We always do what is best for the asset.”