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Challenging Times and the Need for a Third-Party Property Manager


The COVID-19 pandemic forced investors, business owners and tenants to quickly adapt to the economic disruption caused by a rapidly changing public health crisis. Commercial real estate owners and tenants faced difficult decisions about government assistance and rent relief requests, while also figuring out what to do operationally during this period of uncertainty. 

The pandemic shone a light on the important role property managers play, acting as a buffer between owners and tenants during tenuous times. Third-party property managers offer a steady hand, solving complex challenges and proactively managing risk. 

Here are 10 reasons why you should hire a third-party property manager:

1. Maximize Building Performance: A third-party manager can help maximize the performance and profitability of your assets by charging a percentage of the property's monthly rental income in exchange for services rather than a flat rate. Additionally, the salaries of the property management team are recoverable from the tenants through operating costs.

2. Partnership: Property management requires a large commitment of time and effort. A third-party manager frees up an owner’s time so that they can focus on their core business while creating environments that engage tenants and the community. 

3. Informed Decision-Making: In good times and bad, reliable market intelligence and analysis drives informed decision-making. To help our clients and tenants navigate the pandemic, Colliers performed a tenant risk analysis that tracked rent relief requests across our managed portfolio. We also provided clients with a database they could share with tenants listing the available federal, provincial, and municipal government assistance. Colliers worked closely with our clients and tenants, offering services, and negotiating special rental concessions and deferrals tailored to each situation. In Edmonton and Calgary alone, this resulted in a +95% tenant retention rate across office, retail, and industrial assets. 

4. Management of Risk and Complexity: Tenants and their guests, owners, and the wider community interact in different ways with office, retail and industrial assets and subsequently require managers with expertise in managing risk, insurance litigation, and complex tenant obligations and requirements. Management and oversight of our risk management program is controlled by Colliers’ in-house experts. Our annual property inspections include a thorough review of the property for occupational, health, safety and environmental hazards and code compliance.
Colliers is audited under CSAE 3416, a nationally recognized audit standard for service organizations. By using audited controls, owners and tenants have the comfort in knowing they are dealing with a manager who will always act in their best interests.

5. Tenant Retention and Responsiveness: The pandemic has shown us the importance of communication and accountability. Colliers’ 24-Hour Service Centre and maintenance management system allows us to quickly track, monitor and update property issues. The Service Centre also ensures tenants’ needs are addressed in a timely manner and provides immediate response for security or life safety concerns.

6. Quality Assurance and Cost Management: Cost and quality are primary concerns for owners and tenants. Colliers’ vendor management and procurement team ensure that all vendors carry the appropriate insurance and WCB coverage. Given the size and scalability of our platform, we know the best contractors and suppliers and obtain multiple quotes to ensure the best price and the highest service. 

7. Professional accounting services:
Accurate and timely financial reporting drives decision making. Colliers’ accounting controls are CSAE 3416 and SSAE 16 certified, in addition to being SOX compliant. Our accountants are fully versed in the accounting requirements associated with office, retail and industrial assets and our reporting is customized to both business and accounting needs. 

8. Preventative maintenance programs to extend the life of the building and its equipment: A successful maintenance strategy includes planning to avoid costly delays, downtime, and tenant inconvenience. Our service strategy incorporates a carefully crafted program of ongoing facility management and preventive and predictive maintenance.  

9. Sustainability: Sustainability is linked not only to the health of our planet, but also human and economic wellbeing. Our approach to sustainability is captured in our GreenSpace program. This program focuses on awareness and continuous improvement within our managed properties and includes resource management, innovation and technology, and wellness programs for tenants. 

10. A Team of Professionals Dedicated to Your Success: Our team consists of professionals with extensive experience in commercial property management, who hold industry recognized credentials such as RPA, CPM, and Masters’ Degrees in Real Estate Management, and who are licensed Associates with the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA).

Interested in learning more about our property management services in Edmonton? Contact Daryl Babb.