It’s hard to plan for the future when your portfolio is in survival mode. CRE property managers spent most of 2020 responding to the upheaval caused by COVID-19. As a result, most property manager goals for the year went out the window.
But now that vaccines are making a return to normal life seem possible, it’s time to define and commit to your goals for the rest of 2021.
Wondering which initiatives top property managers are prioritizing for the rest of 2021?
Read on to find out.
1. Reopen and Re-occupy
Let’s start with the obvious: Your office buildings have likely sat empty for some time due to COVID-19. So, a major marker of your success in 2021 will be how effectively you can reopen your portfolio and drive lease renewals.
Since you can’t wave a magic wand to end the pandemic, reopening your portfolio will depend on how well you respond to tenant health and safety concerns.
Luckily, there are solutions that can help. Since air quality is now a tenant priority, HVAC management software can give you clear, transparent data to show tenants that your system is working properly.
Visitor access solutions can eliminate crowds in your lobbies and give you full visibility into who’s coming and going at all times.
Taking steps like these will show tenants that you’re going the extra mile to keep them healthy.
2. Maximize Your NOI
Now for an old favorite: Maximizing your NOI has always been a top property manager goal. But coming off the heels of a difficult year for the CRE industry, chances are you’re under even more pressure to increase your revenue and keep operating expenses lean.
Since the usual tactics for increasing revenue (raising rents, boosting occupancy rates, etc.) aren’t possible in this climate, it’s time to explore other options.
These tactics can boost NOI in any CRE climate and show your higher-ups that you’re thinking on your feet.
3. Master Flex Space
The pandemic has dramatically accelerated flexible space trends. To retain and attract tenants in 2021, property managers need to create the right mix of flex and traditional spaces.
With a space management solution, you can easily reconfigure units for more or less space (to accommodate social distancing or reduced headcounts) and show tenants or prospects the possibilities.
Mastering flex space could also include partnering with a company like FastOffice to incorporate changes to your existing space and be flexible with the right furniture.
Property managers should also add reservable spaces to their buildings so tenants have space to collaborate as needed (while ensuring that you don’t miss out on associated revenue).
Now that flex space is a hot commodity, adapting to this trend should be one of your top property manager goals for the year.
4. Remove Common Leasing Roadblocks
In 2021, even the best properties (and property managers) are dealing with high vacancy rates.
To recover, you need to make your leasing process as quick and smooth as possible.
For example, waiting on architects to modify floorplans can take weeks, since they tend to prioritize new construction projects. During this time, your prospects could choose another property.
Since leasing teams will need modified floorplans to accommodate tenant requests, remove this roadblock with a space management solution that lets you gather, access and edit floorplans on the fly, showing prospects their options fast and keeping your deals moving.
5. Promote Vendor Diversity
The spotlight on social injustice over the past few years has taught us that maintaining a diverse team is important – and this should extend to your service vendors and suppliers.
But when you stick with prior vendors or recommendations from friends in the industry, it can be difficult to find diverse options.
To help, find a bid management solution that lets you filter searches by business that are women-owned, minority-owned and more. As a bonus, bringing underrepresented groups into the bidding process results in more vendor choices and likely better value because of the increased competition.
6. Improve Tenant Communication
COVID-19 is a once-in-a-lifetime event. But it taught us the importance of having a solid communication plan in place during other disruptions that might occur (storms, fires, security breaches, etc.).
Our recent survey showed us that tenants who rated their building communications as “excellent” during COVID-19 were 46 percent more likely to renew their leases, illustrating the value they place on prompt communications.
If you don’t have building communications tools in place to keep your tenants in the loop (and keep them in your buildings), make this a top priority for 2021.
While 2020 was a year of ups and downs (to put things mildly!), 2021 is off to a more promising start. Now is the perfect time for property managers to commit to goals like re-occupying their portfolios, maximizing NOI, and creating a better tenant experience.
The easiest way to accomplish these top property manager goals is to use a modern building operations platform. With innovative modules that cover all areas of your building operations, Prism is the best choice if you want a platform that can do it all.
To learn more about how Prism can position you for success in 2021 and beyond, check out our Introducing Prism webinar series.