Kim Callicoat, Assistant Property Manager at Highwoods Properties, recently took home the grand prize in Building Engines’ 2018 Property Hero contest, winning top place in the category of Management Hero. This award recognizes strong commercial asset management and practices that improve the customer experience, asset value, performance and overall efficiency.


With multiple nominations from her peers, and hundreds of votes, Kim is a clear leader in Commercial Real Estate best practices. Her peers describe her as a property manager who is “dedicated,” “goes well above to get the job done” and someone who often “saves the day.”

We sat down with our winner to find out more.

1. Congratulations! Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

First and foremost I want to thank my team at Highwoods Properties. I support three property managers, and eight maintenance techs across 12 buildings. We all work as a team. My success is truly a reflection of all of us.

Our team’s success is due to the maintenance technician’s relationships with our customers and the guidance of the senior property managers that I work with. Teamwork is our biggest asset.

I’m very proud to be recognized in the 2018 Property Hero Awards from Building Engines, and I’d like to thank all who nominated me, especially Carol Dunn. Since I started with Highwoods Properties over four years ago, she advised me “don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We can fix it.” She’s always challenged me to make my own decisions with confidence.

2. Could you describe what it’s like in your role as property manager?

What I love most about property management is the opportunity to help a customer when a problem or issue arises. My favorite response, is “yes, we can do that”. If I’m not able to say yes, our team works together to find a solution that is agreeable to all parties.

No two days are alike in this role which brings new challenges and interesting new opportunities to exceed our customer’s expectations. For example, right now it’s chilly here in Tampa, FL. We’re working hard to quickly manage the comfort of our customers in these changing weather conditions. You can’t always plan ahead for every issue, and so it’s critical for us to work together as a team to do the best we can to take care of our customers.

While we use Building Engines to manage ongoing maintenance issues, when an issue arises, the customers we serve have the option of calling my direct cell number. I’m often the first person they speak to, and it’s important for them to know that I understand their problem, what’s going on, and how to take care of it quickly. Both myself, and our maintenance technicians in the field, have a great relationship with our customers.

3. What’s some advice you’d give to your property management peers related to customer experience?

Be sure to manage customer expectations to ensure a positive customer experience. If a customer submits a work order, or calls in, you’ve got to let them know you’ll take care of the issue without over-promising (for example, if your maintenance technician is tied up with another project.) It’s important to have visibility into what’s happening across your properties, and be highly responsive and proactive with customers to ensure their expectations are set appropriately.

4. How do you maximize the efficiency of the property managers you support?

I work hard to to anticipate the needs of the property managers I support, and work closely with them to continuously improve. For example, a few years ago we set a goal to “go paperless” in our day-to-day operations. It was a definite change, but eventually (and with the help of a tool like Building Engines) we were successful in moving our processes entirely online. I can manage most of my business day-to-day from my mobile device!

Related: High Performing property managers were found to be more proactive: 63% for Leaders, 55% for Competitors, 39% for Laggards. Read the full research.

5. In your nomination, you were recognized for helping your organization leverage technology to best serve your customers, and make efficient use of time. Can you describe the role of Building Engines in your success?

We use technology across our property operations to both save time, and prevent any frustrations and headaches for our customers. Building Engines is an important tool in that mission to deliver a positive customer experience.

We’ve used Building Engines in a number of ways:

– Resource scheduling – Our customers used to rely on a hardcover appointment/meeting book to secure conference room space and amenities. This wasn’t efficient, but today we leverage the easy-to-use online tool to allow our customers to check availability, and book resources themselves. Our customers love it, and we’ve rolled it out across multiple properties.

– Notifications – I can run pretty much my whole day from my mobile phone thanks to apps like Outlook for email management. But, it has some limitations. One day, we encountered a water main break at the entrance to one of our properties. There was no way I could email all of our customers from Outlook. Luckily, I had all their email addresses and cell numbers loaded into Building Engines. I quickly sent a broadcast notification message through both email and text to inform our customers of the situation, the procedure to follow, and how we were addressing the problem

– Work orders on-the-go – I was recently walking around a property conducting a janitorial inspection. I noticed a corner guard needing to be replaced in a hallway, and quickly took a picture using my phone. I submitted the photo and work order request through Building Engines. The customer who I was walking with, at the time, saw me do so effortlessly, and said “wow… that’s amazing!

– Customer portal – Being in the Tampa, FL area, it’s important for our customers to have access to materials like the latest hurricane manual for our buildings. With Building Engines, a customer can access all the information they need through our website, in a matter of clicks.

As one of Kim’s colleagues said when nominating her,
“Kim goes well above to get the job done. She’s awesome!”

We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations, Kim!

Learn more about the 2018 Property Hero Awards.

Want to become a property hero like Kim at your organization? Request a meeting and find out how Building Engines can increase your efficiency, reduce your risk, and improve your customer satisfaction.