Edwin H. Hess

Extensive Special Knowledge Required - Familiarity with Neighborhood - Repairs - Danger of Quibbling - Insurance - Selling and Appraising - Getting and Keeping Tenants

In the management of business buildings - commonly known as loft properties - the up-to-date broker has need for highly specialized knowledge in many fields. The mere ability to collect rents is not enough. For in the last twenty-five years the nature of loft property has so changed that the manager of to-day, in addition to being thoroughly posted on general real estate conditions, must have no little knowledge in mechanical and technical fields. A quarter of a century ago there was less competition, and tenants sought the agent. To-day there is the keenest competition in this field, and the agent must seek the tenant and be able to show that his building, in arrangement, appliances, service, light and air, is peculiarly adapted to that tenant's special line of business. Where stairs, coal stoves and the cheapest form of lavatory were satisfactory a few years ago, tenants to-day demand high-power elevators, steam heat, elaborate plumbing and service.

The property manager of to-day must be able to advise his clients in their buying and selling and moreover, if there is a proposal to erect a loft building, must be able to tell his client how to arrange that building at once to attract the class of tenants normal to that neighborhood, and also yield a fair return. Lastly, he must be able to keep his buildings in proper repair and see that they are operated from the point of view of the tenant, as well as with due consideration of the owner's bank account.