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What is Property Management – And Why You Need It

Colliers REview Singapore blog - REMS what is property management and why you need it

Most things, if left unattended to and uncared for fall into disrepair. The same goes for real estate as well, be it commercial or residential properties.

Why do commercial landlords and strata management clients hire a facilities and property management company to manage their projects?

Buildings that are poorly maintained will affect rentability and impact the value of the property negatively. Given the recent push into gentrification measures by the Singapore Government, a deteriorating building is not only an eyesore in the urban landscape, but potentially dangerous to inhabitants.


What is property management?

In general, property management is the process and practice of maintaining a building – be it commercial or residential – and ensuring its occupants' needs are well-met. Property managers would thus oversee the daily operations of the property, as well as help manage and respond to any enquiries or concerns from the building's occupants. 

In the case of Colliers' real estate management services, the team of experienced real estate property managers and on-site staff work tirelessly to ensure the buildings we manage are in the best possible condition. A full support structure is placed around each asset, including a functioning accounting team, procurement and contracts specialists and HQ support from Customer Service to leasing professionals.

As a combination, this holistic approach ensure correct asset management of any property we manage.


Why appoint a property management company?

#1 Maintain or enhance value of the property

Regular checks and timely response to any repair or maintenance issues in the property will improve the building’s condition, thereby helping to support its value. Improving underlying value is important in an up-cycle market, whilst protection of value is equally important during a down-cycle market.

#2 Lower maintenance and repair costs

A property management firm will be able to identify any maintenance issues and recommend solutions to address them before they become larger, more costly problems down the road.

#3 Help in tenant/occupier attraction and retention

No one wants to live or work in a building that is falling apart. Commercial landlords would struggle to attract companies to take up space at the development, let alone require improved rents. Similarly, it would be challenging for apartment owners to lease their units in a rundown apartment block.

Depending on the strategy, it will be important that the managing agent and Landlord operate together to ensure delivery.

#4 Safety

A building that has fallen into disrepair is unsafe. For example, leaking pipes or poorly maintained plumbing can cause flooding and pose electrical risks. Lift mechanisms and major plant machinery needs a proper maintenance programme in place. Long-term water exposure may even result in mould and structural damage.

#5 Peace of mind for owners

Having a property manager to look after the common facilities in the development means the landlord or home owner would not have to personally deal with vendors or contractors, oversee repair works or fret over whether the building is well-maintained. This provides a peace of mind and gives them more time to focus on other matters in their business, or spend time in a more productive manner.

#6 Sustainability

With increasing focus on sustainability, a property manager – supported by other consulting functions within the firm – will be able to suggest ways that would help to improve the comfort of occupants in the building, conserve energy and optimise space use. This will typically also result in lowering operating costs of the assets to the benefits of both owner and occupier.


In recent months however, it has become apparent that the needs of building occupants evolve quickly and the rise of new technologies will reshape the property management industry.

To this end, Colliers – tapping on the firm’s enterprising culture – continues to drive innovation and find new approaches to help clients better manage their real estate in line with their business or personal goals.

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated for relevance.


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Related Experts

Stephen Bruce

Executive Director & Head

Real Estate Management Services


As Head of REMS Singapore my role is to develop and drive the REMS business and team for wider success. My passion in real estate started young with a focus on asset management and later into consultancy. I have over 17 years of experience working for an on behalf of landlords throughout the Asia region. I have worked closely across portfolio landlords and single-strata landlords alike. A core focus has been how to improve the productivity, efficiency and service delivery for assets to ensure we can acheive the best possible outcome.

I have worked across several disciplines across real estate - a focus has been on asset management and property management for and behalf of Landlords. A great passion is how we can alter the industry towards adoption of ESG policies, methods and deliverables in tandem with management operations. With new technology now a major focus in real estate, the industry has become more exciting than ever before.”

I am a passionate believer of real collaboration and encourage cross department learning as much as possible. A win for one team should always create a strong and positive opportunity for another.

As a father of 2 young girls I am constantly on the look-out for new and exciting adventures to expose them to. A keen tennis and hockey player, I can often be found hitting a ball somewhere.

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Kow-Tze Voo

Senior Director, Operations

Real Estate Management Services


Voo has been in the real estate industry for over 20 years. He has been overseeing the Strata Management Business Line in Real Estate Management Services which comprise of more than 70 developments, which spans across commercial, industrial, residential and mixed-developments asset types. 

Voo is currently the Head of Operations, looking after the entire operation of all the various Business Lines in Real Estate Management Services. He leads the various Business Lines together with their leaders, associate directors and team managers, including approximately 150 on-site managers, executives, officers, administrative and technical staff who handle the daily site operations.

Voo ensures contractual obligation with the clients is met by his operation teams. He ensures his operation teams liaise with auditors, solicitors and relevant authorities on all matters pertaining to the respective estate’s management councils. In addition to overseeing the smooth operations of the estates, he also ensures that proper corrective measures and preventive maintenance are implemented for all installations and facilities. 

When asked what motivates him in his work, he mentions that, "Strata Management is never a bed of roses, and it needs a lot of resilience. However, seeing the clients' satisfaction whenever my team manages to handle a challenging situation gives me a great sense of achievement." What sets us apart is not what we do, but how we do it. Voo is a passionate leader and takes personal responsibility to help accelerate the success for our clients. 

Voo is both a certified fire safety manager and a certified green mark manager.


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