When more than 600 of the nation’s top real estate managers convened in late November at a special session during the annual Education Conference of the Institute of Real Estate Management, the objective was to identify critical issues. The discussion focused on the challenges currently being faced by commercial and multi-family property managers. Stay abreast of cutting-edge and evolving technologies ranked as the No. 1 priority.
According to the Chicago-based Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), the following four strategic issues were identified:
- First, operational productivity and strengthening customer relationships through technology were among managers’ priorities. As business pressures rise, real estate managers are looking for ways to utilize technology to create a sustainable competitive advantage.
- Next, changing demographics and psychographics, as well as declining profit margins are causing managers to focus more on attracting, developing, rewarding, and retaining qualified staff. This requires finding and developing the right people for all jobs as well as retaining them in the face of higher labor costs and competing career options.
- Business competition also ranked as a high priority issue as real estate managers deal with shrinking margins, intensifying competition, and growing owner demands. As well, they must consistently demonstrate the worth of the value-added services they provide to their clients and employers.
- Finally, an increasingly critical issue is that of managing risk in a post-9/11 environment. Real estate managers must grapple with rising insurance costs, risk management, liability changes, and security concerns - both for the properties they manage and the businesses they run.
Findings from the session will be used by the organization to define a future agenda for the profession. Fred Prassas, IREM president, explains: “As we address these strategic priorities, IREM is committed to helping our members and our industry colleagues around the world enhance their performance on behalf of the owners and investors and other constituents they serve.”
To find out more, visit IREM's website (www.irem.org).