A Day in the Life: Dan Sermak, Senior Real Estate Manager

By Dan Sermak / 08.03.20 / 3 min read

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always liked real estate. Maybe it all started when I was a kid and played a lot of Monopoly. Whatever it was, I found my true calling early in life, and set out to get the education and experience I needed to build a rewarding career.

I’ve been with Martin Commercial Properties for 18 years now. As a real estate manager, I represent property owners and landlords—which means I’m entrusted to protect and enhance the value of their assets. Everything I do is focused on the best interest of my clients. I manage about a million square feet in 35 to 40 buildings—most in Greater Lansing—and an assortment of office, retail and industrial facilities. That’s a lot of space needing services, maintenance and everyday attention to detail!

With that said, my days are never typical, and most aren’t planned around any set schedule. A few things are predictable and routine. But most of the time, I know I have to be nimble, flexible, and able to respond quickly to most anything that comes up. That’s why having a great team like the one here at Martin is absolutely essential.

Our team manages work orders from tenants, and we oversee the work of vendors like plumbers, roofers, electricians, painters, landscapers, window washers, janitors and cleaners, heating, ventilating and air conditioning—you name it. Pretty much any service that relates to building upkeep, we handle it. We get competitive bids when services and equipment need extensive repair or replacement, and we’re on-call in case of emergencies—pulling together day or night to get things fixed and back-on-track. That keeps things exciting, for sure.

Among the more “routine” things on our plate are monthly financial reports and, of course, what people call “paperwork.” We prepare annual budgets for every property, and we oversee rent collection from tenants. We deal with leases—be they new, renewal or terminations—and we make sure any transitions including move-ins and move-outs go smoothly.

Insurance and risk management issues are also part of our mix, and we help make sure our clients have the coverage they need, and assist with claims if needed. Our team is also available to answer questions and represent clients in issues related to taxes and assessments.

Effective and timely communication is key to everything we do. We make ourselves available to answer questions, solve problems, and deal with the daily things involved in keeping spaces open. We regularly communicate by phone, email, text, video conferencing, old-fashioned correspondence, and, of course, through meetings. We make frequent “field visits” to ensure the property is up to Martin’s “clean and green” mantra—meaning everything from landscaping, exteriors, and interior spaces are well-tended, pristine and safe.

While COVID-19 has changed how people work, play and live, here at Martin, we’ve simply upped our standards even more. During the shut-down, we communicated more frequently about maintenance and health and safety issues. Since building maintenance was deemed an essential service, our Martin team was onsite as scheduled, making sure buildings were clean, locked and taken care of. We navigated lots of back-and-forth between clients and tenants, and helped coordinate sensitive situations related to rent and other expenses. For us, the public health crisis has strengthened our resolve to serve our clients to the highest standards, and to provide the extra TLC needed during these historic times.

All told, working in property management at Martin is fun and challenging. My immediate team is fantastic, and I can’t say enough about the quality of people I work with across departments—from accounting to maintenance to leasing. What’s more, I get to be part of the community of hardworking people, devoted to making Greater Lansing the best it can be through their business, nonprofit or enterprise. It’s safe to say, my career has exceeded anything I ever could have imagined from the first day I knew real estate was my future.

Want to learn more about property management at Martin Commercial Properties? Visit our web page here or contact Senior Real Estate Manager Dan Sermak, ACoM, ARM®, at 517-319-9254 or Daniel.Sermak@martincommercial.com.