Property managers do a great deal more than maintain and enhance commercial property: we’re partners in improving business for our clients and their tenants. To understand more about what property managers do and just how important they are, we spoke to two of our senior property managers, Jacqueline Camplisson and Maria J. Hatcher, about what they do and how they help.
Types of Property Management
There are two types of property management that we work in at Rappaport: office and retail. The former involves managing an office building with tenants often being various companies on each floor or sub-divided among one floor, while the latter involves managing eye-level storefront retail spaces that usually form a stand-alone shopping center.
When working in an office space, the landlord is responsible for pretty much everything – right down to ‘hot and cold’ calls where the tenants want temperatures changed.
In retail management, the retailers handle a lot of those items themselves and the management is more about the exterior of the shopping center.
Very different experiences can occur between retail and office property management; making it important for property managers to be adaptable and well connected to a network of people who can assist in different situations.
Why Are Property Managers Important For a Commercial Property
A professional property manager is invested in the success of landlords, investors, and tenants. A property manager’s job description involves maintaining and enhancing properties down to the smallest detail and advising our clients through landlord representation services in neighborhood shopping centers and urban and mixed-use developments.
We consult on floor plans, design challenges, leasing strategies, and merchandising plans. We also support leading retailers in launching new concepts and carrying out full market rollouts and delivering full-service consumer marketing strategies and executions.
Senior Property Manager Jacqueline Camplisson explains: “Property managers are the face of Rappaport for the tenants – both small and large. We are the go-to person for answers for the small mom and pops and the managers of the anchor tenants. After our construction and tenant coordination department has helped to usher tenants into their space; property managers are part of the original welcome team that helps the tenant with insurance, utilities, and getting signs designed and approved. When our tenants need help or answers they generally turn to their property manager first.”
The Responsibilities of a Property Manager
Commercial property managers are typically tasked with overseeing the maintenance and management of properties, including responding to and managing tenants and collecting rents. They manage day-to-day operations such as maintenance, security, and attending to tenants, as well as financial affairs such as collecting rent, negotiating leases, and facilitating evictions. Depending on the size and function of the real estate, one or two property managers may work from a central office, or an entire team may be deployed on-site.
We at Rappaport elevate property management to new heights, not only excelling at traditional property management services but also working to actually improve business for our stakeholders.
With our in-depth knowledge of the competitive landscape and opportunities across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region, Maryland and Virginia, we pinpoint client opportunities that others might overlook and advise on strategies to maximize these opportunities. Our expert teams grow and stabilize an asset’s competitive position to generate long-term growth for investors, lenders, receivers, and other owners.
The Rappaport Difference
With over 160 properties leased and managed, we offer standout specialization in retail properties.
Senior Property Manager Maria J. Hatcher says it all comes down to attention to detail. “At Rappaport, we look at every property as if we own it and strive to present it in the best light possible. We maintain the property to the highest standards and are proactive in our approach to maintenance,” she says.
We at Rappaport take pride in how we manage our properties, which has been proven by our achievements and recognition, including receiving awards such as Washington Business Journal’s Book of Lists as a Top Property Management company. Whether it be a retail property where the exterior is the focus or an office property where the interior is more often the focus, property management is all about customer service and maintaining spaces for our clients. We strive to never compromise on this effort and ensure that all our properties are managed in the most thorough ways possible.
Jacqueline adds that relationships are key to success. “Building solid relationships with our tenants and our vendors is one of Rappaport’s strongest assets. Having regular communications with our tenants and vendors allows us to funnel relevant information to our clients to the benefit of everyone concerned.”
Sarith Ercoline, Senior Vice President of Property Management, discusses the most rewarding part of the job being the impact the manager’s actions have on the clients, tenants, vendors, and customers. “Managers make sure that all parties adhere to the lease/ contract and will spend time explaining in detail the obligations to all parties. This communication and assistance promote good relations, customer service, and tenant retention, which makes a better shopping experience for our customers.”
The Role of Property Managers in Boosting Business
Maria says going the extra mile as a property management company means not only maintaining properties but actually improving business for clients and tenants.
“For example, curb appeal is very important. Presenting a property that has well-kept landscaping, vibrant entrances, and clear signage welcomes tenants and customers to the shopping centers and shows that we take pride in the assets we manage. These attributes can also attract more people who might not have been aware of some tenants within the center.”
She notes that communication is essential, and a good property manager will strive to keep lines of communication open. “Each tenant is unique and has different challenges. Being engaged with tenants and keeping lines of communication open helps us understand how we can best assist them when issues arise, whether those issues are operational or have to do with rents or reconciliations. We don’t want our tenants to think we contact them only when there is a problem. It’s amazing to see how just dropping by to see how things are going with a tenant can facilitate goodwill,” she says.
The Rappaport difference is what helped numerous tenants stay in business during the challenging early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Jacqueline.
“I think that the best example of fostering positive relationships between our tenants and our clients was during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the summer of 2020, all our focus was on helping our tenants survive.”
Working at Rappaport
Rappaport is among the Washington Business Journal’s 2021 largest tenant representation firms and largest commercial real estate developers, with a team of over 100 professionals committed to solving problems and providing best-in-class services for our landlords and tenants. Built on a foundation of hard work, integrity, and loyalty, Rappaport solves problems collaboratively and respectfully. Join our team, where we are as committed to the people we hire as we are to those we serve.