Part one of a two part interview series with Linda Aronson, JLL’s Managing Directior, Tri-State Property Management. Stay tuned for the second part to learn more about this service line’s capabilities and impact.
PART ONE: HOW PROPERTY MANAGEMENT BRIDGES THE GAP BETWEEN OWNERS AND TENANTS
To a tenant and their employees, an office space can feel like a second home. When making the decision to acquire space in a property, consideration is given to factors that will make employees happy. From the interior design of the space to the proximity to transportation, to the optimal performance of HVAC systems, tenants have a checklist of items that are “must-haves” when seeking space. Similarly, property owners and investors also have checklists and “must-haves” when considering a property for investment, whether purchasing the property or improving upon it. Owners assess tenants’ possible needs and building performance to come up with cost effective solutions or improvements that will lead to long-term tenant occupancy, and long-term tenant happiness.
Your building’s property management team handles issues and responsibilities that are necessary for the building to function daily. At JLL, the tri-state property management team includes approximately 161 employees led by Managing Director Linda Aronson. In 2014, the group was responsible for managing approximately 31 million square feet of office and industrial properties across the tri-state region. As a commercial real estate industry veteran of more than 30 years, Ms. Aronson offers her insight on how someone can launch a successful career in property management and how this service adds value for owners and their tenants.
- As a property manager, how would you describe your typical day?
The great thing about this field is that each property is unique, so each day can be completely different from the previous day. Having an accounting/financial background is beneficial to someone in this role as they will be asked to produce monthly and annual reports and review financial statements. They will also coordinate tenant move-ins, coordinate property inspections, manage tenant files and inform tenants of various building policies and procedures. Part of being a property manager is being the ‘face’ of the building, which means interfacing with vendors for quotes on projects, sending out the engineers to handle tenant requests or building maintenance. Let’s not forget about addressing the unscheduled vendor and tenant visits to the property management office, requested tours from brokers and potential clients and building emergencies. There are also careers in engineering and building operations. For these roles, technical skills, as well as customer service skills are essential, as tenant relations come into play every day. Engineers spend the majority of the day in the buildings interfacing with tenants. In fact, engineers are often working within tenants’ space, so their ability to work efficiently and unobtrusively within that space is paramount. Engineers need training in building mechanical systems, HVAC, electrical systems and code laws and regulations as they relate to running buildings. Engineering and the operations staff of most buildings function as a team, so this creates a great opportunity for a more junior engineer to work alongside a chief engineer to learn, while working on the systems. Engineers play a big role in building maintenance and improvement, so being able to interact with all types of people is important.
2. How does JLL’s property management team help clients with their sustainability initiatives? Being responsible about sustainability is at the heart of our business. We know how to use green leases, incentives, conservation education for employees and tenants, energy retrofits and procurement relationships with eco-friendly vendors to achieve our clients’ goals. We help our clients reduce their portfolio energy costs by 15 to 50 percent. Our teams implement a “Tenants Go Green” program in our properties. The mission of this program is “to formulate and share ideas and develop programs geared toward environmentally friendly practices and energy saving initiatives developed by a committee of tenants, employees and building management staff. This program’s initiatives include:
For more information about JLL’s property management services and professional leadership read here.
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