A Sophisticated Profession
Today, professional commercial real estate development sometimes requires property managers to develop expertise in several specialized fields. The career of the successful Houston real estate magnate Haidar Barbouti illustrates this trend.
Why must a capable manager of commercial property possess a broad knowledge base? Working in one of the most sophisticated areas of real estate practice, these individuals must acquire the skills and knowledge to enable them to handle a wide array of complex issues on a daily basis.
Wearing Many Hats
For example, Haidar Barbouti came to national attention as a result of his successful management of Highland Shopping Center in Houston, Texas. Educated at Columbia University, he purchased the mall some two decades ago and soon assumed personal responsibility for developing a thriving commercial environment for the retailers locating there. Today media articles refer to the shopping center as “venerable” and “one of the most coveted retail centers in Houston”. What types of skills must a property manager demonstrate to achieve that high level of performance in promoting a commercial center?
He classifies his responsibilities as involving several fields: lease negotiations, daily operations, redevelopment and portfolio management. Each area appears vital to the future prospects of a shopping center.
The Nuts and Bolts of Success
By developing expertise in the real estate commercial rental process, Mr. Barbouti attracted key tenants to the shopping center, enterprises capable in turn of drawing significant numbers of visitors to their storefront. And shoppers who visits one retail establishment likely check out others in the vicinity, as well. This cascade of interest ultimately enhances the business opportunities available to Highland Shopping Center’s merchants.
Similarly, smooth day to day business operations in a mall greatly enhance customer satisfaction. As part of his effort to operate the Houston shopping center, Haidar Barbouti spent considerable time there, overseeing the administration of the facility.
He even went so far as to construct his own restaurant, Up, on a new upper level of the shopping center. His enterprise offers a venue for fine dining in Houston, a step exemplifying the importance of the third aspect of commercial property management, redevelopment.
Finally, Haidar Barbouti lists portfolio management as an important skill. He did not neglect this area.