By Marie Kastens
Associate Managing Director of Asset Services, CBRE
When I am talking to people about commercial real estate, I tell them it is the most exciting and varied career I have ever been exposed to. And property management may require the most diverse skillset within commercial real estate. People enter this field from a variety of paths including accounting, administrative support, marketing, and brokerage.
Being a property manager means essentially owning the role of CEO of an asset. We touch leasing, marketing, tenant relations, owner relations, maintenance, repair, and stay on top of the “next best things” in the office, industrial and retail worlds. Every hour of every day is different. Anyone who enjoys that sort of variety in a career typically thrives in asset management.
The beauty of the asset services/property management role is that, although not everyone has the same real estate interests, there are many skillsets relevant to successfully managing an asset. We wear many hats, and they’re all equally important. Asset management involves tactical tasks, tenant relations, problem solving, physical labor, marketing and much more. And it takes the whole team. You’re never alone.
The skillsets vary not only within the service, but also in Atlanta. With a city and metro as diverse as ours, we see a variety of property types and submarkets. The daily routine for someone managing an in-town office asset will attract a different type of professional than an industrial portfolio or retail or medical asset will. Each market and each property type demands its own set of skills and expertise.
One of my favorite parts of the business is meeting intriguing people every day and learning about other businesses. In the process of developing relationships with all kinds of tenants, we learn about IT companies, marketing, banking and so much more. The challenge lies in ensuring we are always evolving with those tenants and meeting their needs, which are changing dramatically with the introduction of millennial preferences and new software. But challenges aren’t a bad thing. Challenges are opportunities to constantly improve an asset.
Marie Kastens oversees the strategic property management responsibilities for CBRE’s Atlanta region, and has been involved in the real estate management, leaseing and marketing for more than 20 years. Prior to joining CBRE in 2012, she represented numerous local and regional real estate investors and institutional clients.
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