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Building a property management team with the right stuff

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Today's commercial property management firms are affected by a variety of challenges and trends.

Technology, for example, continues to change the way they conduct their business - both in the workplace and in the management of assets for their clients - and provides many benefits for firms and their clients.

Powerful software packages for HVAC, security and communications that track property performance and adjust building environments on a daily basis are among the state-of-the-art technology services property management firms can now offer their clients. Accounting and data processing software have also become much more advanced and sophisticated.

In addition to keeping up with the latest technology, commercial property managers must also have the flexibility to anticipate and adapt to changing market conditions.

To maintain a competitive edge in this evolving business environment, it's more important than ever for property management firms to cultivate teams of individuals who possess diverse skill sets.

"We try to hire people who are independent thinking, who are smart, who can communicate effectively and who can get the job done," said Jerry Jacquet, principal of Meissner Jacquet Investment Management Services, San Diego's largest privately-owned commercial property management firm. "In addition to having a strong understanding of the real estate management industry and real estate management policies and procedures, today's property management employees must also have expertise in various technologies, whether they're dealing with day-to-day client issues or handling complex financial matters."

To help employees hone their existing skills and develop new ones, Meissner Jacquet fosters an environment that encourages ongoing learning and professional growth.

Through its "Meissner Jacquet University," the firm provides regular training on a range of topics, including lease interpretation, analyzing monthly financial reports, and preparing and understanding common area maintenance reconciliations.

While taking courses, participants also receive monthly "blasts" via e-mail depicting real-life scenarios they're likely to encounter on the job. They must respond within a few hours and explain how they would handle the situation and why.

"The purpose of these exercises is not to see how well they can write and research," explained Jacquet. "They're intended to let property managers respond based on their instincts and to train them to think on their feet when they get that 2 a.m. call and there's no senior manager around to offer guidance."

Armed with their natural talents and the skills they gain through training, Meissner Jacquet's staff is well-equipped to handle the challenges that come their way and to keep pace with ever-changing technology.

As a result, they can provide today's increasingly sophisticated commercial property clients with the attention and services they need to maximize the value of their investments.


Submitted by Meissner Jacquet

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