So you’re ready to start a commercial property management company, but aren’t sure if the timing is right? Here’s a tip: Check the cement industry growth projections.

One indicator that signals stronger construction spending (and a growing need for property managers) is on the horizon is supply industry growth. Think steel, concrete, and heavy equipment operations. Portland Cement Association’s (PCA) Chief economist and Group VP Edward Sullivan reports the US cement market will see growth top 8 percent in 2015 and 2016.

Indicators suggest the timing is right for entering the commercial property management field. While single family housing increases are slipping slightly, commercial construction looks promising for 2015.

If you want to become a commercial property manager, it’s time to develop a strategy for success.

Building a Game Plan for Success

Define Your Operations

Commercial property managers set fees based on the scope of services and property types. Some professionals factor in the complexity of each property – whether the building is dedicated only to residential tenants, only retail operations or a combination of both. There isn’t a one-size fits all approach to property management.

Defining your scope of operations is critical.

If you want to manage a multifamily housing project you’ll need a full range of skills and education. You need a thorough understanding of portfolio properties’ positions in the marketplace, owners’ goals and effective negotiating skills to solidify relationships with credit reporting agencies, contractors and tenants.

If you want to manage retail or warehouse facilities, you’ll need the same skills, plus knowledge about security and risk insurance to protect building assets and contents under your care.

If you want to manage mixed-use properties, you’ll need to invest time learning about the complexities of merchant responsibilities to tenants and non-tenant customer issues, such as shared parking and entrance/egress regulations.

Build Credibility with Credentials

Before you contact potential clients, check with your state business license authority to verify requirements.

Even if your state doesn’t require a real estate license to operate a commercial property management firm, getting your real estate license is a requirement for some advanced certifications.

Proof of certification gives property owners confidence you have the knowledge and skills to handle daily operations responsibly and legally. Especially is you’re thinking about becoming an Asset Manager, a real estate professional who manages apartment complexes, mixed-use buildings, retail malls and other commercial properties, certification and advanced education are critical to launching your career from a solid foundation.

Master Marketing

Creating a competitive advantage is important. To get ahead of the competition, you’ll need to delve into research that identifies key demographics and emerging trends in your community. More important than gathering information is understanding how to translate that information into effective marketing plans.

If you live in a state that requires licensure or certification to offer property management services, it’s likely mandated programs will include basic marketing strategies.

You can also sign up for marketing courses at the local college or enroll in an online program. Join several trade associations and subscribe to online and/or print journals. Membership gives you access to valuable research and resources to help you leverage opportunities for success.

Entering the commercial property management field offers a promising future. Building a strong game plan for success is vital. Here’s your outline for strategy development:

  • Define your business model.
  • Invest in educational opportunities that strengthen credibility.
  • Spend time delving into current research about your community.