This post was written by Dan Jackson, a 2012 UST MBA graduate.
As I reflect on the many courses taken during my time at the University of St. Thomas, I wanted to use this post to reflect on one of my first experiences in the program. REAL 600: Real Estate Decision Making is a course within the MSRE program designed to introduce students to the key concepts related to the world of real estate. This was an important course for me as it laid the foundation for what I could expect in the remaining real estate courses that I would take here on campus. In the course, students learn the components that go into how to value a property, what legal issues should be considered when dealing with a property, the steps towards completing a market analysis, as well as the introductory components of the time value of money and its importance in real estate. Students also gain brief exposure into the world of property management.
The text that we used during the course, Real Estate Principles, A Value Approach, provided good insight into the key roles and responsibilities of a property manager. The book
explains that property managers are in charge of the day-to-day operations of a property. Typical functions include marketing the property to prospective tenants, selecting tenants, signing leases, collecting rent, maintaining the property, complying with all applicable landlord-tenant laws, maintaining tenant relations and communicating with the property owner. While this book definition provided great introductory knowledge, I find it very useful and enjoyable when I can apply textbook knowledge to a real world scenario. I was excited to learn more about companies here in the Twin Cities that perform these types of activities on a daily basis.
The Twin Cities Business Journal recently released the 2012 Book of Lists, highlighting the top companies within various industries (including real estate) in the Twin Cities metro area. The online version of the Business Journal featured the top 5 Property Management Companies – the full list of 25 Top Companies requires online membership.
The rankings of these companies were completed using the Gross Leasable Area of the properties that each company managed. While the list highlights these companies’ accomplishments with property management, many of these companies offer a broad and wide selection of real estate services. The following list below reveals the top 5 commercial property management companies and provides a brief overview of what they do (adapted from each of their websites). The list provides a good starting point for any student who wishes to further explore the world of property management.
BOOK OF LISTS – TOP PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANIES
#5 CSM Corporation (http://www.csmcorp.net/)
Led by CEO, Gary Holmes, CSM started after Holmes purchased his first real estate investment at the age of 14. He used that experience to later establish his own business, and then took the time to grow this business into Colonial Apartments, which later turned into Colonial Service and Management. This company’s name would eventually become known as CSM. The property portfolio of CSM varies widely from residential units to commercial spaces and serves a variety of purposes, from office and industrial, to retail, to residential, to hotels. Today, CSM provides knowledge in all areas of real estate, including acquiring, developing and managing properties.
#4 Cassidy Turley (http://www.cassidyturley.com/)
Cassidy Turley is a trusted real estate services provided that has a proven track record of success. Cassidy Turley works with owners, occupiers and investors of real estate, offering a variety of services which include: Tenant Representation, Project Leasing, Capital Markets, Corporate Services, Property Management, Project and Development Services and Research and Consulting. Cassidy Turley is a national company with more than 3700 employees located in over 60 offices across the nation.
#3 Colliers International (http://www.colliers.com/en-US/MinneapolisStPaul)
Colliers International is a global commercial and residential real estate services firm. Colliers operates out of three offices in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. These three offices cover the entire area of Minnesota as well as western Wisconsin. Globally, the company has 12,300 employees and operates out of 520 offices and 62 countries around the world. Colliers International was founded in 1898, but has had local presence in the Twin Cities for 35 years, having had ties with Welsh Companies.
#2 CBRE Group (http://www.cbre.com/EN/Pages/Home.aspx)
CBRE is a full-service, global real estate services firm. With its global presence, CBRE has the knowledge and tools to provide the necessary insight to help clients make informed business decisions. CBRE prides itself on its corporate values – the foundation on which it was built. These values; respect, integrity, service and excellence, have allowed CBRE to become a premier real estate services organization. CBRE offers a wealth of services including: Agency Brokerage, Occupier Brokerage, Asset Services, Capital Markets, Corporate Services, Development, Facilities Management, Project Management, Residential and Valuation and Advisory.
#1 Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq (http://www.cushwakenm.com/Pages/default.aspx)
NorthMarq traces its roots in the Twin Cities area back to 1916, and was originally known as United Properties. The Pohlad family purchased the company in 1998, and as the company grew and evolved, the name transitioned to the Marquette Real Estate Group, to reflect the four businesses that the company represented; commercial real estate services, real estate development and investment, commercial real estate financing and commercial real estate construction. NorthMarq Real Estate Services formed a joint venture with Cushman & Wakefield in 2011, and now are able to leverage the global platform of real estate services for corporate clients.