Property Management: Part II
Potential emergencies in buildings, like fires and flooding, keep property managers up at night. FEMA acting assistant administrator Katie Fox says her agency has been doing more outreach recently, advising owners and property managers on how to prepare, providing training and setting up drills. She says FEMA has funding to provide these services to the private sector; companies just need to ask for it.
CBRE's Drew Genova says his company has set up an emergency operating control center in Dallas with 10 TVs, satellite connectivity, and weather and climate alerts. Emergency trailers are nearby to bring immediate support to areas. Property managers have had to think more about protesters lately, and Drew says the best way to handle that type of emergency is to overcommunicate with tenants about what’s going on.
But getting building tenants to pay attention to emergency preparedness isn't always easy, says Lerner managing director Scott Mead. Scott’s strategy to get more participation has been to move away from the standard fire drill to active shooter drills. After the 2011 earthquake, the company invested in a notification system to get instant messages to tenants. The company is also rolling out plans that tenants can access on mobile.
Creating "experiences" for building users is another big change in property management. JLL regional director Meredith Roark says it’s about the entire experience from the parking attendants to the feel of the the gym towels. The property manager’s role now is to work with tenant brokers and landlords to make sure people can be creative and find the workplace inspiring.
The building experience is one way property management can help clients with the recruiting of new employees, says Transwestern EVP Eric Mockler. Prospective employees envision themselves not only working for the company but in that particular building and in the surrounding community. So he says it’s the role of the property managers to ensure the building environment is one people would be excited to come to.
Tower Cos VP Debbie Webb says because her company owns buildings, property managers have more flexibility in trying new things. She’s also leaned on BIDs where Tower buildings are located to help improve the client experience. She’s even taken clients to BID events to help acclimate them to the neighborhood. (This put a smile on Golden Triangle BID executive director Leona Agouridis.)
The Mayflower corridor leading to our event was seasonally appropriate, in its twinkly glory.