Meet the Manager: Jennifer Utesch of LawlerWood
When you look at Knoxville and the surrounding area, you see Jennifer Utesch’s work.
As an executive vice president with LawlerWood, Jennifer oversees the company’s property management and facility management services. LawlerWood’s real estate services include development, project management, property management, facility management and brokerage. The company’s 65 employees manage more than 2 million square feet of facilities.
A Tennessee transplant from California, Jennifer is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego and has been a Certified Property Manager® since 1998.
Today, she talks about how important building trust with clients is and what the future of property management looks like.
Get to Know Knoxville Property Manager, Jennifer Utesch
How did you get involved with property management?
My first “real” job out of college was an administrative assistant position at the historic Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California located just over the bay bridge from downtown San Diego. My boss was very supportive of my interest in helping with the property management and leasing of the hotel’s galleria of shops. After leasing a vacant space to the hotel’s first ever national tenant, I became Galleria Coordinator and my property management career began.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your current role?
There’s just not enough time in each day. With a diverse portfolio of properties with varied budget years, projects and goals, each day is very interesting but also very full.
What has been your biggest success story in your current role?
In property management, we need to meet our client’s goals for their properties. To do the best job, it takes time to build a relationship of trust and confidence. To me, earning that trust and confidence is the biggest success. Working to continually earn that trust from our clients is very rewarding.
What is your best piece of advice to others in your role?
Every day is different in property management. Have fun with that.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The great people I work with each day and the great vendors that work with us at each property.
Describe what a day in your role looks like.
Coordinating projects, working on budgets, annual reports, monthly reports, walking properties, meeting with vendors, meetings with staff, leasing, organizing, planning, meeting with property owners, spreadsheets, correspondence, invoices. Every day is different and that’s what makes it fun.
How does having a clean building help your business?
A clean building is what we’re hired to provide. It’s essential that we work with cleaning vendors that have excellent attention to detail.
How does preventative maintenance create value for you, or your business?
We pride ourselves on providing exceptional preventive maintenance services at our properties. We’ve clearly seen in properties that we’ve managed for many years how beneficial a detailed preventive maintenance plan is in maintaining equipment and saving the property a substantial amount of money and down time.
How has DPM Care’s service impacted your business?
I really like DPM’s carpet cleaning services. They do an excellent job and their customer service is great. Since using them at our properties, the owners/tenants have been very pleased.
What is the biggest facility management trend you are seeing right now?
Using technology to more easily access property information, project planning, and communication for improved customer service and efficiencies. Having information easily accessible wherever we are results in faster solutions and improved service.