Property owners, occupiers and to some extent the public, now demand a greater level of service from their property managers.
This includes establishing links with the wider community, a hotel-like front of house, modern technology to enhance user experience and reduce occupation costs, alongside full alignment with the ESG goals of all parties.
Of course, as the head of a property management team I’m biased, but I think it would be hard to argue against how influential a property manager is in delivering this level of service and just how indispensable a good property manager is. Indeed, a senior agency colleague returning from secondment at an institutional investor client, told me with a degree of amazement “I learnt very quickly the most important service to the client is property management – and by a significant margin.”
What has become abundantly clear over the last couple of years is that it is no longer good enough for property managers to merely provide the basics such as rent collection, service charge administration and maintenance. That isn’t going to cut it anymore. As a sector, we should be providing a service that is seamless, agile, and focussed on helping our clients prepare for the future.
The driving force behind this service shift over the last few years is complex. There are several significant issues that are accelerating the process such as the climate crisis, advances in technology, agile working post-pandemic, and total employment in the UK. All these issues have come to a head at the same time and has led to a change in mindset of the UK workforce.
Performing on ESG, technology and wellbeing
Staff now expect their employers to act responsibly by ensuring their workplaces are welcoming, provide good experiences, are equipped with modern technology, and have a minimal impact on the environment. When it comes to employing and retaining talent, the employers that provide these amenities are at an advantage to those that do not. Our occupiers tell us one of their greatest challenges is recruiting new talent (a consequence of total employment) and the workplace and its amenities has become vital to the success of their businesses.
With agile working seemingly set to remain, occupiers are assessing how much space they need, where they need it and the amenities/facilities they need to enable the efficient functionality of their workforce. Landlords who want to stay ahead need to understand this and adapt their strategies to meet modern workforce requirements, ensuring they have the right property managers in place to deliver on ESG, technology and wellbeing.
So, I ask, are property managers the most influential advisor in our industry today? Well, in this fast-changing world where the workforce is more influential than ever, property managers need to be agile and adapt their services quickly to meet modern workplace demands and protect landlords’ returns. So yes, the importance of those who can successfully deliver this has really never been greater.
About the author
Mark Jarrett is head of property management at Colliers, he has worked for the business for more than 20 years and his clients include British Land, Delancey Estates and SI Pension Trustees Ltd.
To contact Mark, email Mark.Jarrett@colliers.com