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May 12, 2017

In tight market, challenges multiply for commercial property managers

Portland Business Journal

Brandon Sawyer

The firms and in-house staff that specialize in managing office, retail, industrial and other commercial property in and around Portland must earn a big dose of trust from the owners and investors they represent. In return they absorb a fair share of headaches.

In the survey for The List of commercial property management firms, common obstacles cited by respondents included a lack of available land and rapidly rising costs to acquire it, a shortage of qualified employees and rising payroll costs, as well as local politics and regulations impeding new development and hiring. Tara Plat, vice president of property management at Specht Properties Inc. (No. 20), sees challenge in "adapting to the shift in the retail sector and lack of land supply for industrial development." Cini Apostol, Kidder Mathews' (No. 1) senior vice president for property management, identifies three daunting issues: clients seeking "instant gratification" without time to do the job; "increased demands... without increased fees;" and greater "reporting responsibilities that tie you to a desk so you can't be out on the properties."

And competition in the industry is stiff. Cap Berri, COO of NAI Elliott (No. 11), writes that "larger, more profitable properties are owned and managed by real estate investment trusts or company/family entities all using in-house property management, resulting in a limited supply of property owners seeking fee management services."

What could most improve the industry? Firms say that new office development and transportation infrastructure are key, followed by new industrial development and renovation of existing office properties.

For the full story, go to Portland Business Journal.

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