As a property manager looking after multi-occupied buildings my role is to ensure that the buildings are well maintained, meet health and safety regulations and that occupiers’ expectations are met.
I have been in New Zealand for 17 years, arriving from the UK in 2005 where I worked for the Government holding various roles including dealing with the British Grand Prix, Tour De France and spending five years working in ministerial offices. After a varied career, turning my hand to become a commercial property manager was a pivot on my career journey. When the opportunity was presented to work at DABS, I thought why not? I love a challenge and dealing with people, so I joined DABS when the company was established in 2015.
"I quickly realised that no two days are ever the same. I visit our sites regularly, speaking with our occupiers to understand their requirements and to find solutions to any building related matters. There are so many benefits from building a strong relationship with our occupiers and contractors. Gaining the trust of the occupiers is extremely important and can prove to be invaluable when negotiating lease renewals and rent reviews."
Meeting occupiers with the intention of resolving a building related matter can lead to a discussion about an early lease renewal or extension, which improves the performance of the building for the Limited Partnership.
Over the years I have formed strong working relationships with our suppliers and contractors, which is paramount when a contractor is urgently needed, especially out of hours. We also aim to ensure that all our contractors provide a quality service at competitive rates and are reliable.
Keeping our buildings maintained to a high standard is a very important part of my role. Ensuring that regular maintenance is carried out on all our onsite systems is an ongoing task, especially in preparation for the annual building WOFs. We ensure our buildings are well presented and, at a minimum, undertake an annual building wash which can be challenging. For one building, the contractor arranges for specialised paragliders to be flown up from Wellington to clean the back of the building as the space is too tight for a cherry picker!
I am the 24 hour/seven days a week contact for our occupiers. This means that I may receive phone calls at any point in the day or night from occupiers or emergency services about a range of issues. For example, one Friday evening, an occupier reported liquid pumping up through the drains into the basement carpark in one of our buildings. I called one of our trusted drainage companies, who met me on site the following morning. It’s not really the call-out you want to make, let alone at 6.30am on a Saturday morning. I expressed my appreciation to the team on site.
On another occasion, the power had failed in one of our restaurants on a Saturday evening and the occupier was unable to locate their meter. I hold the keys for the communal area including the switchboard room, so I drove to the restaurant. When I arrived on site the restaurant was packed with diners sitting in complete darkness and looking at me as though I was their saviour about to make it possible for them to receive their meals. I didn’t have property plans on me so I dropped the keys off, thinking that the occupier’s electrician who was on site would be able to resolve the issue. On Sunday morning at 7.30am I received a desperate call from the occupier explaining their electrician couldn’t find the meter, so they had to close. Our electrician quickly located the meter and resolved the problem, enabling the restaurant to open for lunch on Sunday.
I will never forget the call I had one Christmas Eve when we had just sat down as a family for dinner. A restaurant occupier called to say that the communal building lights had failed so it looked like their restaurant was closed for the evening. Again, I was able to call upon one of our reliable contractors, thanks to the many years taken to build trusted relationships. Fortunately, I wasn’t let down on Christmas Eve and the lights were restored. This led to a happy occupier who was still able to trade on a very busy night. Despite the odd hours, I know that if we can meet our occupier expectations and support them in successfully operating, then my job is making a difference.
"We are overseeing these buildings on behalf of our investors and my main goal is to ensure that they are well managed and maintained, enhancing their long-term performance."
Our Limited Partnerships are managed by a dedicated team, generate monthly distributions and have the potential for capital gains. If you are looking to invest in commercial property, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you. We are local after all, located conveniently in Milford.
For further information or to register your interest for the next syndicate, please contact us. You can also register your details via our website.