school, I realized that just like my children, Property Managers need a “back pack” full of items for their budget season.
What do Property Managers need in their “back packs” to prepare for a new year’s budget?
1. Wish list – A list of projects/upgrades and maintenance items required for the upcoming year. Don’t forget to review tenant surveys for ideas and also to get your Building Engineer involved, as they are a wealth of knowledge on the mechanical side of your building.
2. RFP’s/Bids – Once you have your wish list completed, send out your Request for Proposals. When you have the bids in hand, you can use these to plan your year at the property. You should also be obtaining pricing for any building operating and maintenance service contracts that are expiring or to ensure you continue to get great competitive pricing.
3. Prior Year Financials – Review prior year financials (both budget and actual) to determine budgeting amounts for the new year. As you review and reforecast for the remainder of your year, determine if you need to increase tenants CAM costs so they aren't surprised by a large billing at reconciliation time, or start scheduling those projects you were hoping to complete if you had funds that weren’t utilized this year (contingent costs, less snow removal than anticipated, etc…).
4. Time Management Skills –Effectively organize your time to both meet the owner’s budget deadlines and continue with your other regularly assigned duties like paperwork, financial reviews and face time with your tenants.
Whether your back packs are full of standard back to school items and a report card on the last day of school or a “back pack” for budget season allowed you to learn more about your tenants, your properties and yourself when you unpack your back pack is when you truly see what you have accomplished.