INSIDE T o CAM or not to CAM? That is the question prop- erty managers face daily, especially since operating expenses are not typically viewed in a positive light. Owners, on one hand, look at the total gross rent the market can bear; every $1 in expense is $1 less of base rent that they could have captured. In a tenant market, where owners must compete to attract and retain every tenant, expenses are highly scrutinized. Managers want to please owners, and they work to keep expenses low and in line with budgets. Tenants obviously want to be in a building where they do not have to pay out of pocket any more than necessary. So how can we as managers drive value, and revenue, through operating expenses while keeping everyone happy? First, stop looking at operating expenses in a negative light. Without expenses the building and property would not be able to function and would quickly fall into disrepair. Each property also has its own unique needs and therefore unique expens- es. A three-story suburban office building has a very different set of needs than a 50-story downtown high-rise. What you do with said expenses is the important thing. Let’s look at an example: Say you are managing an office building that is large enough to have a full- time engineer. The engineer’s salary is a known and a relatively fixed expense for the year. As the man- ager, you have control over what the engineer does, outside normal property management, emergency or inspection duties. How much more can that person do in his day that would add value to the prop- erty without incurring additional expenses? What projects could be broken up, or started, then paused and restarted, without much trou- ble? These are the types of projects that are perfect for adding value without adding expense. So, instead The number one enemy of asphalt pavement and the subgrade is water. Asphalt 101 How to evaluate proposals and choose a reliable solar partner Solar partner PAGE 14 Preparing for the future of hiring new employees Hiring tips Please see CAM, Page 22 April 2023 PAGES 18-21 PAGE 12 David Myers Vice president of operations, Corum Real Estate Group Common area maintenance: The optics of operating expenses 5050 S. Syracuse is managed by Corum Real Estate Group