Q&A with a Professional – Property Management

We sat down with one of Shindico’s property managers, Kelly Smith, to find out how he started in the industry and to hear about the day in the life of a property manager.

1. How did you get started as a property manager?

I started my career in real estate as a leasing and sales representative with Shindico.  I envied the multi-faceted nature of property and asset management.  This field within the real estate industry allows exposure to a broad spectrum of disciplines including financial analysis, budgeting and accounting, construction and building system operations and marketing, sales and leasing.  I am very grateful to Shindico for their on-going support and for presenting me with the opportunity to pursue my interest in property management.  My previous experience in brokerage was easily transferrable and has been proven to be a powerful competitive advantage. 

2. What is the most important preventative maintenance a tenant can do?

Generally, in the retail and industrial property classes, net leases will most often set out that the tenant is responsible for the repair, maintenance and replacement of all heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment at its sole cost.  Many tenants only learn much too late that they should have completed regular maintenance and repairs to their equipment, leading to more costly repairs and early replacement obligations.  We strongly recommend that tenants enter into quarterly preventative maintenance contracts with a quality professional mechanical contractor.  We ensure our tenants are aware of their obligations and also carry out bi-annual inspection of all equipment in order to help tenants identify any repair or maintenance requirements. 

3. As a property manager, what is the most common phone call you receive from tenants?

As mentioned, the industry is very multi-faceted so the interaction with tenants can vary greatly, always resulting in an interesting day.  The most frequent calls however, typically deal with service requests when issues may arise on site.  In operations, issues can be reduced but often are a challenge to eliminate.  The key is in how quickly we are able to react in conjunction with our contractors and ensure aggressive follow up to completion in order to provide best in class service to our tenant customers and to maintain the physical condition of the landlord’s assets to the highest standards.

4. What is and isn’t included in a tenant’s Operating Costs or Common Area Maintenance (CAM)?  

Operating Costs and CAM are often used interchangeably in the industry to describe the costs that a landlord incurs in a net lease in operating the common areas of a property that are then charged back to all tenants within a property typically based on their proportionate share of the rentable area of their premises.  These costs can include items such as repairs, maintenance, utilities, and insurance.   In a net lease, the landlord will have no responsibility for any costs in carrying out its obligations and all costs will form part of operating costs.  In rare cases, tenants that are very desirable to the landlord, will be successful in negotiating exceptions to the net lease requesting that certain cost items be borne by the landlord or that a cap be set for such expenses.  This ultimately shifts the risk for potential costs to the landlord.  A landlord has to weigh out and determine if the tenant is desired enough and is offering to pay enough rent to accept this transfer of risk.


About Kelly Smith, Senior Vice President, Property Management

Kelly Smith is a Senior Property Manager with over 19 years of experience in the management and leasing of commercial and multi-residential properties. Kelly has achievements across several leadership roles in real estate, marketing and sales industries. He is a friendly, motivated, organized team player with a dedication toward determining innovative solutions to maintain and maximize asset values and thrives in a changing environment with creativity and a focus on highest level of service. Kelly currently manages a mixed portfolio with an emphasis on retail shopping centres. He also oversees the Property Administration department consisting of an experienced team providing crucial support to ensure the effectiveness of property management.

Kelly has earned both a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) (B.Comm.(Hons)) degrees from the University of Manitoba, where he was a founding board member of the Young Associates. Kelly has received the Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation from the Real Estate Institute of Canada (REIC) and has been licensed by the Winnipeg Real Estate Board.  

Kelly currently serves on the Board of the Ashdown Condominium Corporation and served for 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Professional Property Managers Association (PPMA).  


Learn more about the services Shindico offers and how we can help you succeed