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Should Commercial Landlords Manage Their Own Property Portfolio?

Re-Leased 13 May 2019

It’s a popular wrinkle that’s steering conversations among the world’s best property investors – is it worth outsourcing property management of an owned portfolio? Traditionally, there wasn’t the tools available for landlords who wanted to manage their own portfolio. But it’s very different nowadays – there are many commercial property management tools available that are built for today’s professionals. Good commercial property management software should be built for both agencies and landlords – today's tools need to cater for how commercial property professionals run their businesses as modern operators.

Generally speaking, and this is true for a lot of the legacy property management systems in the market, property management software had been built purely for agencies, and this is where the issue for landlords has always been present: they have been historically left to using spreadsheets to manage multi-million dollar portfolios. This had led to huge inefficiency across the board and an elevated risk of data loss, and mismanagement of properties.

This has posed a number of risks in terms of levels of output, timing of decision making, and overall portfolio and financial oversight. It is dangerous to be using such systems that require constant manual work to keep up to date.

Today’s commercial property landlords are smarter, invest better and have a plethora of resources to their disposal to assist in doing business in a fast-paced commercial real estate world.

So the argument in favour of keeping the property management in house is now heard loudly, and in the same breath the perceived benefits of outsourcing these tasks is losing its pull among global investors. A big reason for this shift is just the fact that there are now systems available that allow landlords to manage their own portfolio.

But what is the best way to go about managing a commercial property portfolio for today’s commercial property landlords? Should you outsource, should you keep it in-house and invest in a world class team to manage the day-to-day?

We have outlined below the standout pros and cons of both methods, so commercial landlords can make an informed decision on whether to outsource or keep it in house:

OUTSOURCE

Pros:
  • Outsource the management of maintenance tasks, daily grind of property to-dos.

  • You can build professional property relationships with industry thought leaders.

  • Outsourcing allows you to solely focus on investing your capital.

  • The day-to-day managing of your portfolio is left at the hands of trained professionals.
Cons:
  • Forfeit control over when things get done, by who and how rapidly.

  • It can be difficult to find the right commercial agency who is a business ethos match. 
     
  • Quite often, the time is takes to find the right agency ends up chewing into precious revenue-driving time.  

  • You have no say how your portfolio is managed, on what platform, by whom, and you will have to pay a management fee. This is contingent on the size of your portfolio and can be arbitrary, and costly.

SELF-MANAGE

Pros:

  • You have full insight (and oversight) of the health of your portfolio.

  • You can dictate what property management software you use to manage your portfolio, giving self-managing landlords the ultimate freedom to pick a property management platform that aligns to their business model and portfolio objectives.

  • You can fully automate tasks by taking control of your portfolio entirely.

  • Landlords can operate on the move, untethered from their desks, to be the best modern business people they can be with all the mobile tools required to do business anywhere, anytime.

  • Landlords can standout from their competition by using technology that elevates their business.

Cons:

  • A portion of your day will have to be dedicated to managing daily portfolio tasks, as landlords assume the role of property manager by managing internally.

  • If landlords aren’t tech-savvy, it can be difficult to learn new systems.

  • A lack of a desire to innovate may limit landlords to work aligned with traditional values, which doesn’t require innovation and mobile technology innovation.

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