#CRE Coffee Break: Q&A with Tina Olson RPA FMA

Grab your cuppa joe for our inaugural “CRE Coffee Break!” Join us for a quick chat to get to know Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR shareholder and property management division leader, Tina Olson. In addition to heading up the firm’s market-leading management team, Tina has been active in industry leadership with BOMA Tucson, BOMA International, and numerous community efforts through the PICOR Charitable Foundation, Greater Tucson Leadership and Educational Enrichment Foundation.

How did you get started in the business?

Actually by luck, I had just moved to Tucson from California and wanted to work for a local company and PICOR was hiring.  I was hired as backup to the receptionist in 1994 and moved up into several different roles over the years, becoming Shareholder in 2008 and Director of Property Management in 2014.

What is different about the role of the property manager now versus when you started in the business?

Property management has always been about protecting and adding value. That being said, the more we grow and standardize processes, we can use technology to track and share operating expense information, allowing our Managers to have more knowledge to share with our clients. Managers today are expected to have more financial acumen than ever before.

What are some of the ways property management creates asset value for commercial property owners? 

At C&W | PICOR, we create value by leveraging our market share into buying power on behalf of our clients. We can contract for quality services at a lower rate. These expense savings translate directly to capitalized investment value. Also, understanding each investor’s ownership horizon helps us think in terms of “ownership-term planning,” which may be short or long term.

You’re in a business of both people and numbers, where net operating income is key. Name some of the key metrics you monitor to ensure the highest building performance. 

Tina Olson C&W PICOR Property ManagementFirst, we monitor operating expenses against our entire portfolio and can benchmark against market and industry standards through our industry affiliations. We also closely track collections and delinquencies, and our managers are measured on this, as well as tenant satisfaction. At C&W | PICOR, we have also created a proprietary Dashboard tool for our Tucson property management clients, which gives a quick, graphical snapshot of property performance historically and against the Tucson market.

What are the trends in building operating costs in Tucson? 

Utilities remain steady, Tucson property taxes and insurance slightly higher than last 2014. With the cost of living adjustment to Tucson’s minimum wage, passthroughs are being seen in entry-level labor-intensive services such as janitorial and day porter.

What distinguishes the best in your field?

Firms with a deep bench offer more to Tucson property owners by offering a wealth of diverse expertise. Property management is a unique field which requires a generalist’s knowledge. From financial, operations to people skills, many hats are required. We can’t all be specialists in every discipline, but we can tap each other’s strengths and team people to assignments with the best fit.

Contact Tina Olson here.

Editor’s notes:

1) Tina Olson, the consummate professional, was photographed during March Madness, in full support of her team, the Arizona Wildcats!

2) If you’d like to join the #CRE conversation on Twitter, lift a mug remotely with our commercial real estate coffee-loving friends around the globe via the hashtag #crejavaclub. Join us any time – no hazing or dues required… ~ Barbi Reuter

Photo credits: Bigstockphoto; Mary Utermohlen

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