Are all Property Managers the same?

November 24, 2015

The first premise of every asset or building, new or existing, is that it requires management, whether it is a residence, office or building complex, all require operational administration that, at least, guarantees the proper development of the activities for which they were intended. The intensity and kind of use, the level of requirements and the number and profile of the tenants, dictates their operational needs.

The companies that offer Property Management services must be capable of analyzing and identifying the above for every asset and to propose an Action Plan based on their research, logistics structure, minimum requirements and methodology, justifying all to the owner in a clear, coherent and consistent manner.

The Property Manager hired assumes, by designation and in representation of the Owner or Co-proprietors Board of Directors, the responsibilities of managing and maintaining the asset for a definite period.
Do all companies that offer these services maintain high values as part of their services in a tangible manner?
Do the tenants perceive high-quality service?
Are accountability statements issued at a professional level?
Is the asset competitive in a constantly demanding market?
Does your asset appear to be of less age than it actually is?
Have you been able to raise your rental prices due to an increase in demand?

All of the previous questions should be answered with a “YES” when the Property Management contracted is adequate. Until the profession of Real Estate Administrator is legally regulated or normalized in Panama, the search for an Administrator must consider other criteria such as history, experience, recommendations, diplomas and training, professional education, business resources and a valid portfolio of properties as there are no qualifications or certifications to date.
To achieve those objectives and to obtain favorable results, the following are required:
 Work Team with a high level of applied knowledge and continuous training.
 Defined Operational Platform, up-to-date information technology and permanent search for improvements and efficiency.
 Proven work methodology, ability to render specific accountability, in full control of operational, administrative, labor, techniques, finance-accounting, taxes, esthetics, legal, environmental, banking and community aspects.
 Managing human working talent: Recruiting, selecting and hiring. Training plans and performance measurement.
 Integral Maintenance Plan that guarantees the best esthetic-operational condition and investment plans that the current budget allows.
 Command of sustainability subjects will be compulsive in the future constructive market vs. the current option.

You, as the owner, may choose to be self-administrative as a management alternative. However, not having successful experience previously or being the core of the principal businesses, incorporating investments, time and resources required for successfully developing this operational platform may exceed the time needed to plan, implement and execute with a minimum operational risk.

Tools such as programs for Property Management allow structuring administration according to the parameters that the administrator brings into the system. An initially high investment is required, as well as training of personnel who will handle the program and provide technical support. These are usually found in the English language as well as other languages.

Professional administration is another alternative: justify its value, precisely in experience and corporate resources, who will be in charge of the property with the best relationship of quality-cost-benefit, advising them on laws, regulations and real estate best practices to project a high perception of value, obtaining maximum life cycles of infrastructure, equipment and efficiency in expenses and to achieve full control and trust in the integral operation.

In conclusion, not all Property Managers are the same. Base your decision on the alternative that minimizes operational risks and improvisation, and increases trust, value, quality perception and accountability, and may your professional representative be someone who projects the image of your asset as you wish.

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