Q&A: JLL’s Unique Approach to Property Management

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JLL Property Management teams keep client properties running smoothly with a full suite of amenities, services and sustainability programs that create engaging environments aimed at attracting top talent and reducing operating costs through state-of-the-art technologies and efficiencies.  Anne Kupperman, JLL’s industrial Property Management market lead for Florida and a member of the Tampa Property Management team, which was recently ranked the top commercial property management firm in Tampa by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, talks about the company’s mission and strategies in this sector.

What differentiates JLL’s approach to property management from its competitors?

Our corporate culture is a big part of what sets us apart. It’s a culture of caring, with an emphasis on maintaining a work-life balance. And we’re committed to hiring the best in the market.

JLL was among the first to recognize the growing importance of the industrial business line in commercial real estate. When I joined JLL seven years ago, there was no industrial property management team in Florida. Now we have a team of 17 statewide managing about 15 million square feet of industrial space. Over the past 12 to 18 months, JLL has been fine-tuning a national platform that will unite all of our industrial management teams.

What kinds of industrial tenants do best in key Florida markets?

Markets with heavy concentrations of industrial parks, such as the Greater Tampa/Orlando market, tend to attract larger users such as big box tenants or distribution warehouses. The areas along the I-4 corridor especially sees a lot of industrial activity. Orlando, of course, also supports the entertainment industry. Pinellas County has a concentration of defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin. Smaller flex buildings in suburban submarkets, mostly in residential areas, draw home-building and renovation firms, gyms, churches and the like.

READ RELATED: What Tenants Want: The Secret to Negotiating Concessions

How can CRE owners maximize the value of their assets?

While office park owners have been adding tenant amenities such as gyms, lounges and conference areas, traditionally there hasn’t been much focus on user experience on the industrial side. A property owner might add an outdoor picnic table or additional parking for trucks. Recently, though, there’s been a lot more discussion about how to enhance services for industrial users.

For us, it comes down to customer service – meeting with warehouse managers and getting to know their business so we can serve them better. Knowing our tenants and understanding when and how to work with them is paramount in this industry.

Another value-add is sustainability. Reducing energy usage may not benefit owners directly, but it can be a draw for tenants. Most large property management groups have committed to environmental policies.

What impact is technology having on JLL’s property management strategies?

The rapid pace of technology touches every aspect of business, and property management is no different. To keep ahead of the market, JLL acquired Corrigo, a work-order and inspections platform for facilities management that make internal management more efficient. Corrigo tracks our costs for services, for example, and based on what other Corrigo users are paying for, say, landscaping, may suggest less costly options.

JLL Marketplace, our e-commerce platform for ordering and invoicing products, is available to all JLL employees and will soon be rolled out to clients. They’ll be able to leverage JLL’s buying power to order anything from ceiling tiles to paper towels, including overnight delivery. This could mean significant savings to smaller tenants in particular. It’s another service that sets JLL-managed properties apart.

What are some of the ways a property management team retains tenants?

The biggest thing we can do to keep tenants is to make their job easier. Our motto is, “We support you so you can support your clients.” If tenants did everything they’re supposed to, if vendors did everything in their contract perfectly every time, if owners fulfilled their obligations, we wouldn’t have a job. We resolve issues as quickly as possible so they can get back to business as usual. When everything is running smoothly, why would they want to leave?

 

o   An outstanding example of JLL’s culture of caring is the company’s response to Hurricane Irma last year. As the storm barreled up Florida’s west coast, Anne and other executives arranged to increase limits on company credit cards and provided cash to any employee who needed it. In the storm’s aftermath, JLL helped staff members with whatever was necessary to get back on their feet, from rental cars to temporary shelter to daycare services for their children.

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