Property management has been rightly compared to the role of a circus ringmaster. Juggling a multitude of balls in the air, property management can involve putting out little and big fires – figuratively only – meeting with clients about an urgent request or checking that plumbers, electricians and caretakers are getting a project done on time and on budget.
And, that’s just what a property manager’s typical morning can look like.
In the world of real estate, property management is not a flashy or glamorous job, but it is a critical part of ensuring the long-term health and maintenance of buildings and people’s safety. Unforeseen events and breakdowns are all part of what they handle. But mitigating surprises involves being hyper-proactive with preventive maintenance, constantly checking on the current state of HVAC systems, a water treatment system or a roof that leaks after every heavy snowfall. Another day on the job can mean responding to a tenant’s request to string up or take down the Christmas lights or orchestrating an efficient cleanup of bags and bags of confetti following a concert at an auditorium.
Just one property management portfolio alone at Edon can involve overseeing more than 350,000 square metres and cover an assortment of buildings and facilities: airplane hangars, museums, institutional buildings, a conservation area, or an entertainment venue.
Let’s take a look at five obvious and not-so-obvious areas of responsibility in the job of property management:
How old is that HVAC system or roof?
A strong operations and maintenance program can transform a poorly designed or outdated building to outperform a well-designed building that is neglected. This is something any good property manager and their team knows. The day-to-day job of checking and evaluating a building’s critical assets – whether it be mechanical or electrical – is vital to a building’s longevity and optimal functioning. So is having a solid preventative maintenance program in place, something Edon’s property managers are responsible for implementing or improving when overseeing a portfolio.
Keeping tenants happy and safe
Edon’s Property Manager Martin Cote and his team in Edmonton were tasked with the job of replacing or refurbishing all critical assets of a 70,000m2, 10-storey, 36-year old building. It required a solid coordination effort with 2,000 tenants in the building, which also sees an average of 600 visitors a day. That role included setting the budget, reviewing and awarding tenders for contractors, and scheduling team members to avoid business disruptions as much as possible. That’s just one example of Total Property Management (TPM) offerings.
The show must always go on, says Property Manager Jason Kulak who has overseen entertainment venues in Alberta. He has fielded daily tenant and performer requests for everything from lighting, to room temperature and placement of furniture as well as making contingency plans for mechanical failures, all ensuring nothing got in the way of the enjoyment of a performance.
Ready for a snowstorm… or a pandemic
As sure as winter arrives early in Alberta, a Property Manager’s job can seem a bit like a weather prognosticator. Part of Edon’s worry-free customer solutions includes snow removal from parking lots and sidewalks so they are cleared and safe for people coming to or leaving work. It’s part of a property manager’s role to get in front of unforeseen or fast-moving events, like weather, and to pull a team together that is ready to efficiently remove ice and snow so Edon’s clients trust the job can be done in a timely manner. Edon’s property managers have also been at the forefront of helping clients in their efforts to manage COVID-19 through enhanced technology, cleaning measures and screening protocols.
On time, on budget and with the right team
Property managers know time is money and are involved in setting and overseeing large budgets, well into the millions of dollars. “Getting the right people to do the job is key,” says Senior Property Manager Rick Nielsen. When a client needs an important initiative implemented, Nielsen relies on the strength of his team, like all property managers must, to ensure it’s done right the first time.
Continual certification and learning
Working in property management, like many professions, requires one to become a life-time learner. Most property managers are equipped with facility management and real property administrator certifications, but their education does not end there. Because property management involves so many areas, people in the field need experience and knowledge in health and safety, handling of hazardous materials, mechanical and electrical, as well as environmental and regulatory knowledge.
But at the core, property management is all about keeping clients and tenants happy and safe – juggling all those balls with professionalism and skill. It’s all in a day’s work in the fast-paced world of property management.