NEWPORT BEACH, CA—The development of financial skill sets and keeping up with ever-changing technology will be key to separating the great property managers from the good ones, RiverRock Real Estate Group’s Shane Flanigan tells GlobeSt.com. The privately owned property- and asset-management firm recently hired Flanagan as regional VP to oversee all operational activity for the Southern California region with a primary focus on client service and expanding the firm’s offerings as it grows the portfolio. Currently the firm manages 12 million square feet an office, industrial and retail space in Southern California with a total management portfolio of more than 26 million square feet throughout the Western Region.

Flanigan previously served as VP of operation for PMRG in Southern California, where he was responsible for all property management and operational activities in Orange, Los Angeles, Inland Empire and San Diego counties as well as Arizona.

We spoke with Flanagan about his new role and where he sees untapped opportunities for property management to enhance ROI for owners.

GlobeSt.com: What are your goals in your new role with RiverRock?

Flanagan: First and foremost, my goal is to enhance and build on our culture and be an additional resource to our teams in the fields and our customers. We believe in high-level involvement and being accessible to all our team members and those they support and serve. Our high-touch approach is what sets up apart from our competition.   

GlobeSt.com: Please describe the process of evolution that property management has gone through in order to arrive where it is today.

Flanagan: The lines between asset manager and property manager have blurred. Today’s manager is expected to provide a much higher level of service and expertise, even more than just five years ago. Our managers are expected to make and qualify high-level recommendations that effect the value and performance of an investment versus just focusing on the daily operations.

GlobeSt.com: In what direction do you see property management heading in the future?

Flanagan: The customer-service focus has never been greater, and tenant retention is the key to financial performance. With tenant-improvement costs going up, concessions on the rise and additional product being introduced in some markets, the best offense is to keep your existing tenant. The development of financial skill sets and keeping up with the ever-changing technology will be key to separating the great managers from the good ones. Our core training classes are about customer service and financial skills.

GlobeSt.com: Where are there untapped opportunities for property management to enhance ROI for owners?

Flanagan: Off the top, the low-hanging fruit and quick areas to enhance ROI would be in the areas of energy efficiencies and monitoring programs, recycling programs, partnering with tenants on conservations, vendor partnering and working with utility providers to secure rebates for program offerings.

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