Printer Friendly

The asset manager: more than a bureaucrat.

The increase in pension fund and institutional ownership has given rise to a new segment of the real estate industry-the asset manager. While this term is not new, it is often misunderstood.

Most people think of an institutional manager as a bureaucrat. ay asset manager" to this group, an blue suits, computer printouts, financial reports, and offices far removed from the daily operation of real estate.

In fact, today's asset manager is the antithesis of this unflattering image. A successful asset manager is a catalyst for change. He or she makes positive things happen, creating value and solving problems.

Be a catalyst

To be a proactive force in the management of real estate, the asset manager must assess the situation quickly, identify alternatives, and decide what action is appropriate. If the on-site management/leasing group is not a match with the property, the asset manager will change its composition. If leasing guidelines no longer correspond to the market, the asset manager will move quickly to identify the discrepancy and encourage senior management to act.

Understanding an owner's objectives increases client confidence and enhances the asset manager's ability to negotiate with tenants. If the asset manager can feel secure that the contract terms reflect the owner's concerns, the deal is more likely to be accepted.

Be informed

As important as change is to property success, it is only valuable if it is based on knowledge. Today's asset manager will have a thorough understanding of the owner's objectives and of the property and its market. Financial analysis alone is not enough.

The asset manager's ability to meet the needs of tenants in a decisive manner depends on the ability to see two perspectives at once. The best asset managers can perceive, express, and balance owners' and tenants' views.

Knowledge of the property, its staff, and its market also increases the asset manager's ability to respond decisively to management and leasing requests. "Management by walking around" may sound flippant, but the asset manager must develop first-hand knowledge of a property. This method provides the time required to anticipate changes and to build a consensus for change" with owners.

The asset manager's presence at a property also establishes an effective communications link to those working on site. Another excellent method for developing communication is through regular quarterly review meetings and the annual budgeting process. As allies, on-site managers are a valuable source of up-to-the-minute knowledge about the property and its competition.

Nor should the asset manager's knowledge stop with the property and its immediate market. To successfully guide the financial future of a building, the asset manager must have an understanding of world issues and of technical innovation. Environmental and governmental regulations, national and international financial policies, and consumer concerns are just a few of the influences on the prosperity of a real estate asset. Complete understanding of these concerns is essential.

Be connected

Of course, no one person can possess all the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to complete every job at a property. The asset manager must develop long-term relationships with consultants in legal, environmental, appraisal, and maintenance specialties, to name just a few. These specialists are essential to understanding the intricacies of various management assignments. At the same time, the asset manager should seek to become more knowledgeable in these areas so as to have a better grasp of the broad responsibilitie's of real estate management.

Long-term relationships also lay a foundation for sources of business development and new tenants. Creativity and personal involvement are required, but community involvement yields both business and human dividends. An effective asset manager will lead his or her company in being a strong and positive force in society.

There is a delicate balance between industry and community involvement and the practicality of everyday work to be done. The asset manager will balance these roles and give something back to the community and the industry that provide his or her livelihood.

Long-term relationships depend on integrity. In an industry where there is the potential for significant conflicts of interest, the asset manager must be constantly working to demonstrate honesty, integrity, and a commitment to fair play. Full disclosure and openness with owners creates a sense of trust and solves most concerns about integrity. Acting honestly will also encourage employees to do the same.

The characteristics described in this article are by no means an all-encompassing list. However, by following these few precepts, the asset manager will take a step towards excellence in his or her chosen profession. Chris Matthews, CPM[R] RPA, CSM, is vice president of asset management for Equitable Real Estate's Denver office, where he is responsible for the leasing and operations of a portfolio valued at approximately $950 million. He is currently a member of the international Board of Directors of BOMA and a member of the IREM national faculty a property. The asset manager must develop long-term relationships with consultants in legal, environmental, appraisal, and maintenance specialties, to name just a few. These specialists are essential to understanding the intricacies of various management assignments. At the same time, the asset manager should seek to become more knowledgeable in these areas so as to have a better grasp of the broad responsibilitie's of real estate management.

Long-term relationships also lay a foundation for sources of business development and new tenants. Creativity and personal involvement are required, but community involvement yields both business and human dividends. An effective asset manager will lead his or her company in being a strong and positive force in society.

There is a delicate balance between industry and community involvement and the practicality of everyday work to be done. The asset manager will balance these roles and give something back to the community and the industry that provide his or her livelihood.

Long-term relationships depend on integrity. In an industry where there is the potential for significant conflicts of interest, the asset manager must be constantly working to demonstrate honesty, integrity, and a commitment to fair play. Full disclosure and openness with owners creates a sense of trust and solves most concerns about integrity. Acting honestly will also encourage employees to do the same.

The characteristics described in this article are by no means an all-encompassing list. However, by following these few precepts, the asset manager will take a step towards excellence in his or her chosen profession.

Chris Matthews, CPM[R] RPA, CSM, is vice president of asset management for Equitable Real Estate's Denver office, where he is responsible for the leasing and operations of a portfolio valued at approximately $950 million. He is currently a member of the international Board of Directors of BOMA and a member of the IREM national faculty
COPYRIGHT 1990 National Association of Realtors
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Matthews, Chris
Publication:Journal of Property Management
Date:Jul 1, 1990
Words:1115
Previous Article:Easements are negotiable.
Next Article:How institutions monitor management effectiveness.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters