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A letter from IREM President Chip Watts, CPM, CCIM

A look inside this issue of JPM

By Chip Watts, CPM, CCIM
Chip Watts, CPM, CCIM, at IREM Advocacy Impact Day
Chip Watts, CPM, CCIM, at IREM Advocacy Impact Day

Location, location, location! That’s the timeless refrain when it comes to real estate, and it’s still true to this day. But there’s a deeper meaning in that maxim we can take to heart as property managers: Location matters when it’s where people want to be. The theme of this edition of JPM is the tenant and resident perspective. Our profession might very well not require the level of specialized skillsets that it currently does were it not for the numerous types of end users we serve. In fact, IREM is unique in the real estate management community in that we serve professionals in all asset classes!

One of the initiatives of my term as IREM president is partnerships. IREM was founded out of the recognition that skilled, educated, and certified professionals are needed to maintain relationships and satisfy the needs of tenants, residents, owners, and investors. What each of us as real estate professionals can do right now is take stock of our relationships with key stakeholders and ask ourselves: What more could we do to move from building relationships to cultivating partnerships—not only partnerships with those we serve, but also those across the broad spectrum of real estate?

We all know that tenant satisfaction is a key driver of managing a successful property, and it’s also an indication that we’re performing our jobs well as property managers. IREM Federal Housing Advisory Board Member Eileen Wirth explores how property managers can better apply a partnership approach to developing relationships with building occupants in this issue’s Government affairs column.

Across asset classes, we can observe the increasing demand for newer and better on-site amenities, and the ever-increasing array of innovative options being developed to satisfy those demands. For a closer look at the creature comforts tenants are looking for in 2021, check out the feature on amenities.

While these extra on-site conveniences are becoming increasingly indispensable to properties vying for best-use occupants, deft renters like those of Generation Z now entering the residential market remind us that fancy photos and flattering descriptions aren’t enough to fill units. Read “Next-gen appeal” to see what will get Gen Z residents signing and renewing leases.

Any effort spent attracting tenants and residents is for naught if they don’t feel like an integral and valued part of the properties they’re renting. We can easily understand the distinction between house and home, but we would be well served to extend that same care in seeing our buildings as communities for those who spend their lives (or careers) within them. In the second installment of IREM’s diversity, equity, & inclusion (DE&I) column, you can take a deeper look at what it means for property managers to create an environment that is truly inclusive.

Elaina Tattersdale dreamed of creating a better world by improving sustainability in the built environment. Sadly, Elaina passed away of cancer in 2019 at just 35 years old. Her parents, 2020 IREM President Cheryl Gray and her husband, Rick Gray, had an idea: The family would donate $50,000 to the IREM Foundation to seed a new fund that would support sustainability in Elaina’s name. Her passion for making a difference will live on through the new Elaina’s Sustainability Fund, and IREM is truly honored to steward her legacy. In the IREM Foundation column, you can get a closer look at the person behind the name, the initial class of grant recipients, and what this will mean for the larger IREM family moving forward, including how you can support the fund.

We’re nearly at the halfway mark of 2021. Time flies when you take it one day at a time. That’s how we made it through the last year and a half and through the most trying of times—and it’s how we’ll continue to come out on top of whatever obstacles lie ahead! Enjoy the arrival of summer wherever you are, and I eagerly await bringing y’all more great news from IREM in the next edition of JPM.

the Journal of Property Management staff

Chip Watts, CPM, CCIM, is 2021 IREM president as well as president and executive CPM for Watts Realty Co., Inc., AMO, in Birmingham, Alabama.

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