NAI Hiffman’s Bob Assoian addresses State of Property Management at the 13th Annual Property Management Conference
Property Management today has never been busier. Those are the words experts used to describe the current state of property management at the 13th Annual Property Management Conference held Monday, September 19, at The Drake Hotel in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Bob Six, Principal and COO of Zeller Realty Group and moderator of the five-person State of Property Management panel, touched on the various topics industry professionals are wondering today: How has property management changed in the last 10 years?; How is technology utilized in the business?; What is the new trend with concierge services?; and what’s going on with the last mile?
NAI Hiffman Managing Director of Property Management Services and panelist, Bob Assoian, said one major thing that’s changed over the years is the rise in property management at industrial assets. At NAI Hiffman, property managers collaborate with the firm’s marketing team to come up with creative ways in which to raise tenant satisfaction at industrial buildings. Whatever asset type it may be -- whether industrial or office -- NAI Hiffman is changing up property management with its variety of tenant programs and events.
Another common trend is the addition of concierge services at suburban buildings. When asked if it’s becoming more common, Assoian said it depends on the size of the building and if owners can afford more staff.
“Due to the advanced security technology we use at our assets today, some of our suburban buildings are seeing a shift in guards being replaced with concierge services, which is also helpful when it comes to amenities,” he explained. “Tenants are able to contact the front desk to help them locate services nearby, for example.”
Similarly, the ever-changing technology in today’s world continues to keep everyone connected – including teams. Niall Byrne, panelist and president of property management at Inland Investment Real Estate Services, said his firm connects everyone with an iPad so they can easily connect back to the office at any time.
Assoian agreed and said that tech has great value for managers on the road that are managing industrial or other non-site office or retail assets, where being able to conduct business on the smart phones or tablets can be done. But as far as the one challenge with technology?
“It should not be the substitution for interaction with tenants,” he said. “It’s important to see the value in face-to-face interaction or over the phone, and we should continue to train the new millennials and professionals entering the business about the old-fashioned way of interacting, rather than always keeping it mobile.”
Following the panel discussion on the State of Property Management, an audience member directed a question to Assoian during the Q&A. In response to the question, which asked if Assoian could elaborate on how the marketing team works collectively with brokerage and property management, Assoian said it all comes down to being “one team.”
“Every service firm’s dream is to do both [brokerage and property management] services,” he said. “In a firm like ours, brokers are always there for property management. We have a great marketing team that is engaged throughout the entire process, whether it’s promoting the company on the proposal side or marketing the property. Marketing is a big piece and we are doing a lot of things differently than we used to. We’re constantly changing it up and that’s what you have to do in Property Management today.”
Assoian and Byrne were joined by fellow panelists Sam Delisi of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; Daniel Hanson of Mid-America Asset Management, Inc.; and Neil Pendleton of CBRE, on the State of Property Management panel.