Meet the Manager: Dede Scott of Colliers International

During the past 35 years, Dede Scott has had a direct impact on Nashville’s booming commercial growth and development. As assistant vice president at Colliers International in Nashville, she contributes to the company’s full range of services – real estate sales, leasing, facility management, property marketing, investing and everything in between.

Colliers International is one of the largest commercial real estate firms in Middle Tennessee with 41 brokers on staff, more than 100 properties currently for sale and 12 million square feet of commercial space to manage. And that’s only in Middle Tennessee! Globally, Colliers has 14,000 employees across 68 countries.

With all of that moving and shaking, Dede has seen a lot during her time in commercial real estate.

Today, she shares some of the things she has learned about necessary skills to work in this industry and how important it is to think on your feet. 

Get to Know Nashville Property Manager, Dede Scott

What is your role at Colliers International?

As assistant vice president, I provide assistance and backup to the executive vice president of property management for Colliers International in Nashville. I manage and supervise the day-to-day activities of various types of commercial real estate in the Nashville area. I am directly responsible for budgeting, rent collections, expense approvals, lease administration and service requests. I also create and maintains building policies and procedures manuals for tenants and owners.

How large is your facility (sq. ft.)? In other words, how much space do you manage?

I manage 310,000 sq. ft. That includes a variety of buildings and tenants — downtown offices, corporate headquarters, medical facilities, a car wash, a church and even the dreaded call centers!

How did you get involved with facility management?

I have worked for this same company for 35 years. I’m not sure I can remember that far back!

What is the biggest challenge you face in your current role?

Having to accept that “the customer” is correct even when they are not.

What has been your biggest success story in your current role?

I’ve been at the same company for 35 years, and we all still like and respect each other – most days!

What is your best piece of advice to others in your role?

Property management is all about customer service. You find out rather soon if you can or cannot do it. Those that can’t won’t last long. In most cases, it is a thankless job and you must be able to accept that.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

It’s never dull. Just when you think you have seen or done it all, someone will surprise you and do something you can’t believe.

What’s unique about your specific role with your company that may be different from another property manager’s role?

Our company is privately owned, and I have worked for the same family all these years. I always know who to ask for advice and their office is just down the hall. In most cases, I already know what the answer might be because we have worked together for so long.

Describe what a day in your role looks like.

I have learned that no matter what I plan on doing that day, it won’t get completed. Once my phone starts ringing and emails start coming in, my plan for the day changes.

How does having a clean building help your business?

Everyone is happier when your workplace is clean and neat. It shows you have pride in your building, and it prevents tenant complaints.

How does preventative maintenance create value for you, or your business?

It helps keep you one step ahead of what could become a problem.

How has DPM Care’s service impacted your business?

It means keeping my building’s and tenant’s carpet clean on a schedule.

What is the biggest facility management trend you are seeing right now?

Shared work space, where no one is assigned to a certain work area.

It has become popular due to the size of office space that must be leased. You can put in more workstations for “shared” workers, because not everyone is going to be in the office at the same time. This setup is possible because more and more employees are working from home or on the road. When older offices are reconfigured to a shared space, they can fit many more employees in the same size building. A lot of employees want a space to come and plug in for a short time, not the standard 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule.