4 Takeaways on the State of Chicago Property Management
Over 300 guests received a crash course in modern property management yesterday at Bisnow’s Chicago Property Management & Adaptive Re-Use event at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. Here are four notable items from our expert panel, who say their field is becoming increasingly demanding.
1. The Growing Amenities Race
Cushman & Wakefield managing director Amanda Coupe says the onus of maintaining work/life balance and keeping office workers happy has shifted from employers to landlords and management teams. Buildings are no longer utilitarian, and having amenities like WiFi cafés, delis and shared office spaces are essential to attracting better tenants to buildings.
2. Slowness to Adapt to Technology
Lincoln Properties VP Bob Quast says while the personal aspects of property management haven’t changed, how we process information has. Today, data is “all in silos” and he believes the real estate industry is always 20 years behind what corporate America is doing in making information more accessible. Bob hopes that with the workforce trending younger and being technologically savvy, companies are on the verge of integrating data across separate departments and improving workflow.
3. Better Use of Social Media
NAI Hiffman managing director Bob Assoian says the company’s YouTube channel has been a solid resource to market its buildings. NAI Hiffman employs a marketing drone to fly over properties, giving prospective tenants views of buildings they previously never had. NAI Hiffman also uses tenant testimonials on its YouTube channel, LinkedIn, and in email marketing blasts to attract new business.
4. Getting Serious About Sustainability
Sterling Bay director of property management Jack Houze says sustainability used to be a buzzword a decade ago. No longer. Property managers have a better understanding as to how sustainability and lower energy expenses are related, and incorporating sustainable practices has become part of a landlord’s daily practice. Jack says sustainability is a large part of Sterling Bay’s business, and he wishes for a day when there will be feasible wind and solar energy being implemented in buildings in the CBD.