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5 steps to effective mixed-use property management

Throughout the 2000’s mixed use developments experienced tremendous growth. Even with the global pandemic and economic downturn, the trend continues. In fact, there is some indication that the health crisis has encouraged mixed use development as many of us worry about returning to the office, commuting, and being in crowded spaces.

Mixed use developments can bring new life to otherwise unused space, they use land efficiently, and promote a sense of community. Residents enjoy the convenience they offer, and business owners enjoy the density of people who live and work in these spaces. Property managers, however, are faced with the extraordinary challenge of managing what is essentially a community of residents, tenants that may include shops and restaurants, office space, and maybe even a hotel. Each of these elements alone calls for a unique skill set. Combined, the confluence of property uses can clash without proper guidance and management.

Successful mixed-use property management comes down to five things.

  1. Build a great team. The success of your property depends on the knowledge and experience your team members bring to the table, including:
    • Knowledge of tenant-landlord laws
    • Organizational skills
    • Client service experience, which is crucial
    • Finance and budgeting for mixed-use
  • Always take time to find the best people to support you and be there for tenants and residents - people with the right qualifications and backgrounds for the job. To help you get started, IREM offers a team-building course you can take at any time.
  1. Communication. Do not underestimate the importance of communication among all key stakeholders – residents, tenants, owners, vendors and staff. Effective and frequent communication builds trust, enhances community, and sustains the development. Open communication makes everyone feel more comfortable, as they are kept up-to-date on issues that concern them every day. This is especially important in mixed-use properties with so many unique stakeholders.
  • “Without regular communication and a good solid interactive relationship, areas of care can be missed, standard maintenance can turn into an irritant for an unexpecting tenant, or you can quickly alienate your fellow managers and create a contentious and difficult hurdle for yourself,” says Melissa Kreutner, CPM®, with Endeavor Real Estate Group in Austin, Texas­­­­­­­­­. “Over time, the work you put into developing these relationships helps you to grow and learn, and the managers and owners can become terrific resources in your career.”
  1. Use technology to your best advantage. Today, property managers must navigate the myriad technical products designed to protect the well-being of building occupants, while enhancing building health. Beyond that, mixed-use property managers are responsible for drafting lease agreements, tenant screening, building maintenance and repairs, finance and budgeting, landscaping, parking, garbage removal and a lot more. As all these disciplines are more complex in mixed-use properties, it’s important to avail yourself of technologies that help manage the scope of these responsibilities quicker, easier, and more efficiently. Explore them.
  1. Build your network. You’re not alone. And you’re going to need to rely on the experiences of other property managers from time to time when you find yourself in a new situation with few resources to help. Organizations like IREM are known for their vast networks of professionals and provide members with access to a global community of property managers who face the same challenges you do. Many of them are highly skilled mixed-use property managers, and they’re there to help.
  1. Enhance your people skills. Property management is a relationship-driven business. In mixed-use developments, you’ll need to work with a broad range of people with different needs and objectives. If relationship-building doesn’t come naturally to you, learn to relate to people, respect and understand them, respond to their problems, and build relationships based on trust. There will be conflicts – learn to resolve them gracefully. To improve these skills, consider taking an on-demand course focused on developing successful professional relationships and managing conflict.

If you develop these five skills, no mixed-use development will be too much to handle. But, just to ensure success, IREM offers a mixed use course that goes into great depth on the details of this practice. With the right skills and patience, you can confidently move ahead with any mixed-use property management role.


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