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  • Clayton Hill, CCIM

Property Management: Adapting to remain competitive in changing times

Based on NAI Emory Hill’s experience as a commercial property manager of both portfolio and third party assets, we’re finally witnessing an economic shift from post-recession to recovery, as measured by our owners’ and investors’ all important “bottom line.” While this is great news for all, as a fiduciary agent and service provider to adapt and remain competitive we’re carrying forward lessons from the recession and continually seeking ways to protect and enhance our clients’ financial outcome.

Threats to the bottom line during the recession took many forms: vacancy, the creeping up of accounts receivables, delayed rental payments, cut rate lease renewal terms, contested CAM billings, difficulty refinancing, and the list goes on. During lean times NAI Emory Hill further enhanced and broadened its services to better meet these challenges and will continue this approach into the future.Our focus has increasingly been on embracing all the ways we can bring value to our clients.

Examples include: employing cutting edge technologies; sharpening our competitive bidding processes to reduce costs without sacrificing service; leveraging and passing through to clients our purchasing power with vendors, products and energy; offering asset management-level consultation; and, broadening our services to reflect changing market conditions.In greater detail, embracing technology has meant investing in state-of-the-art property management software, like Yardi Voyager and Workspeed, and employing their many tools to streamline business. The use of these tools to analyze and benchmark seemingly infinite data, increase communication, responsiveness, and accountability has helped us in tenant retention. Finally, their use has increased exposure to comprehensive and real time data for our clients so that collectively we can make better decisions.In terms of broadening our services, we responded to the increase in distressed assets resulting from the maturity of aggressive lending in the 2000’s by offering real estate owned (“REO”) and receivership services. Cutting edge firms like NAI Emory Hill that have adapted to offer such services have benefited from a changing line of business and a greater ability to meet their clients’ changing needs. Many economists have predicted that the number of distressed assets in need of such services will peak in 2019 as the last big wave of aggressive loans reach their maturity. Fortunately, we’ve seen improvement as historically low interest rates coupled with recently improved leasing conditions have allowed many borderline assets to reposition and finance out.Adaptation through changing times has allowed NAI Emory Hill to outpace its competition resulting in increased market share and the improved bottom line of our expanding client base.

Clayton Hill, CCIM, is the Director of Property Management for Emory Hill Real Estate Services, Inc. with clients in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.

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