In Property Management Basics II: The Highest Standards, we highlighted the importance of retaining the showcase quality of our portfolio. While working to uphold this initiative, we also are mindful of common area costs and keeping those expenses low, which in turn leads to better tenant relationships and tenant retention. One way Weingarten Property Managers monitor expenses is through our Cost Efficiency Initiative.
The Cost Efficiency Initiative is tracked by every Manager with each empowered to manage their portfolios within their property budgets. We are continually challenged to ensure that the properties are operating as efficiently as possible. With Weingarten’s “boots on the ground” philosophy the managers are regularly at their properties and develop a good understanding of various contractors in their local markets. With this understanding, they are able to competitively bid their service contracts and projects to receive the best prices possible.
In many instances, we seek to “bundle” our projects or services to maximize economy of scale savings. For instance, if we have similar needs at multiple properties in a given year we will bid the services or projects out as a package to capture any volume discounts that might be available which in-turn reduce our overall expenses at the property. Our Waste Removal/Recycling program that we implemented with Talismark as detailed in an earlier blog is a great success story of our Cost Efficiency efforts.
Another way that Managers identify cost efficiencies is evaluating the needs of the individual properties. They may identify certain services that can be eliminated or have frequencies reduced without sacrificing any elements of property appearance or operation. Given that our centers are constantly evolving, parking lot sweeping/cleaning needs and landscape services are continually adjusted to ensure optimum service at the best possible pricing.
Our Sustainability efforts also at times lead to cost efficiencies. This has been evidenced in electrical savings in using more energy efficient lighting and management programs. Water savings have been realized with the installation of native landscaping and the use of smart irrigation technology.
The Property Managers track their savings, defined as actual savings from expenses actually saved and are not compared to budgeted expenses.
The Property Management department has been working on this initiative for over 9 years in the current form and the efficiencies continue to be found each and every year as the properties, managers, contractors and technology evolve.