Effective building owners and managers often look for best practice tools and leadership advice from other industries, and Major League Baseball is no exception. In honor of tonight’s World Series Playoff game (Go Sox!), here are five tips to success that property management teams can take from America’s favorite pastime.
1. Collect data and measure performance.
Baseball is a numbers game with coaches, players and fans able to track performance through statistics (they even got Brad Pitt to star in Moneyball – a movie entirely dedicated to data-driven baseball). Over the last few decades, teams have used data analysis to improve player development, weigh risks associated with free agent signings, and even make predictions.
Property management teams can vastly improve their decision-making processes by capturing operational data and tracking trends within their building(s). Data analysis work order response times, tenant satisfaction, equipment performance and more allows property managers to quickly make smart, informed, and most importantly, predictive decisions.
2. Always be ready for a curve ball.
Baseball players know they have to be ready for anything when they’re on the field. The only thing they can count on is that no game is ever the same as the last. Being able to hit a fastball doesn’t mean a whole lot if the player can’t handle a curveball or change-up. Preparation and practice builds a strong foundation for a better player.
When it comes to commercial real estate, property managers have to be ready for anything as well. They need to have an effective risk management plan in place that includes visitor access records, certificates of insurance, incident reports and resolution, fire and life safety programs, standards of operation, and all supporting documentation. Should an emergency arise, everyone in a facility, from occupant to first responder, needs to have the right information to adequately respond to and manage the situation.
3. Develop people skills.
Baseball players are always meeting new people, being interviewed, and often playing on new teams. It’s important for them to be comfortable in new situations and be able to engage with unfamiliar people.
Tenant satisfaction is an important element in maintaining low turnover and meeting revenue goals. This makes customer service a vital part of a property manager’s job. Regularly assessing relationships with occupants (no, once a year doesn’t cut it) helps building owners and managers deliver better services by identifying areas that need to be improved. Provide multiple channels (online through a service request system, e-mail, phone, etc.) for tenants to provide regular feedback and communicate with management.
4. Be knowledgeable of the competition.
In baseball, every team has scouts to act as their eyes into the competition. They study players from opposing teams to learn their strengths and their weaknesses. This information gives the players an advantage and a way to take control of the game.
Whether competing with the building across the street to lease space to a premier tenant or trying to land a new plumb management engagement from a leading institutional owner, property management teams are in a battle to stand out and create competitive differentiation. How real estate companies operate and innovate is a major factor in attracting prospective clients. Knowing your competition means knowing how to outpace them.
5. Always have a great general manager.
Great general managers in baseball are organizational masterminds who set the vision and values of the team. They are essential in developing and maintaining a cohesive and successful group of players.
CRE managers are incredibly busy and their jobs continue to get more complex. Great managers are innovative industry leaders, and know they need partners (i.e. software providers, systems and vendors) who know their business and the challenges they face.