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.