Know Your Competition


What you can learn from other property managers who lease space in their buildings? The answer is, a lot!

Trading Information

Getting to know your building colleagues can have benefits beyond learning the going rental rates. In spite of what you may think, in most cases your competition will be friendly. A fraternity/sorority of sorts results from sharing the same frustrations, the same gains and losses, the same pressures and rewards that you go through on a daily basis. People you have treated fairly will be more likely to pass on and trade information than people who feel that you have taken advantage of them.

Getting to know the managers, vendors, and leasing agents of other buildings and brokerage firms will help you plug into the information circuit. Here are some examples:
  • The real reason that your competition made a deal that you lost.
  • The possibility of a deal (which your competition could not salvage) with a tenant who plans to vacate your competitor’s building.
  • The concessions that your competition is actually making and not what is put out for public consumption.
  • The conditions in the building.
Gaining this knowledge is very valuable in helping your property and your career.

How to Set Your Property Apart

Create a rent grid! A rent grid is a basic analysis tool that compares your building to similar competing buildings in your micro-market. Collecting data for a micro-market rent analysis is usually something you have to do yourself. To do so, you will need to visit all the competing buildings in your micro-market or have gone to their website for a virtual tour. While you were in each building, you should have gotten the name of the manager or leasing agent and set up a meeting with them. During your visit, record the information you have gathered about the features, amenities, and expenses of competing buildings in a grid. When you have completed the grid, you will be able to compare the marketability of all the properties you have surveyed, including your own and share it with the property owner to see if anything needs to be adjusted.

These two areas of property management are very important to the overall health of your building and portfolio.

This article is adapted from BOMI International’s Leasing and Marketing for Property Managers course, part of the RPA® designation program. More information regarding this course is available by calling 1.800.235.2664. Visit BOMI International’s website, www.bomi.org.  

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