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Conquering Chaos: Creating a Knowledge Management System for Your Commercial Building Or Property

Knowledge Management System for Your Commercial Property

Conquering Chaos: Creating a Knowledge Management System for Your Commercial Building Or Property

Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes

Knowledge Management System for Your Commercial Property Being a property owner is a rewarding experience, but it can also feel overwhelming at times. Leases, maintenance records, local regulations – the information mountain can grow quickly, and begins to multiply as your portfolio grows. Here’s where knowledge management comes in. 

Knowledge management (KM) is all about capturing, organizing, and sharing information effectively.

This could mean sharing and organizing information for others… but in many cases, it means managing information effectively for your future self. In the context of property ownership, this translates to having a system in place to easily access crucial details about your property, saving you time, money, and stress. 

Why should you care about knowledge management (KM)? 

• Save Time:

No more frantic searches for that elusive lease agreement or warranty information. A well-organized KM system puts everything at your fingertips, and ensures you always have access to critical documents.  

• Reduce Errors:

Having accurate, readily available information minimizes the risk of mistakes that could cost you money. 

• Streamline Decision-Making:

Informed decisions are better decisions. Easy access to historical data and maintenance records empowers you to make strategic choices about your property. When you can see the big picture, you can make big picture decisions.  

• Empower Tenants:

You might consider making some portion of your knowledge base accessible to tenants to answer common questions, reducing your workload and fostering a sense of self-sufficiency. 

How To Build Your Property Knowledge Base: 

1. Gather and Organize:

Start by collecting all relevant documents – leases, maintenance logs, repair records, warranties, and local regulations. Scan physical documents and categorize everything digitally. 

2. Create Your Central Source Of Truth (CST):

Ever have a pile of docs in a file, but you aren’t sure what you did with that file? Create a rule for yourself… everything goes in one spot, your central source of truth. (At Miller Diversified, our CST is a Sharepoint Site connected to OneDrive). Choose a simple system you’ll use consistently. Here are a few options: 

  • Digital Filing Cabinet: Cloud storage services like Google Drive, OneDrive Dropbox offer secure, accessible storage. Create clear folders for different document types (e.g., Leases, Maintenance, Permits). 
  • Spreadsheet Superstar: Spreadsheets can be surprisingly powerful. Create a spreadsheet with columns for document type, description, and a link to the digital file location (cloud storage or your computer).


3. Start Simple, Improve Over Time:

Focus on getting started, even if it’s not perfect. You’ll never have the time you need to dig through all of it in one sitting. Instead, aim to improve something every time you touch it. Once you have all your information together, you can begin to make it easier to use. Consider adding features like: 

  • Naming Conventions: Develop a consistent way to name your files for easy searching (e.g., property address_document type_date). 
  • Basic Tags: Use tags in your cloud storage or spreadsheet to categorize documents by type or tenant name. 

Knowledge Management is an Ongoing Process 

Here are some things we’ve learned managing our own knowledge at Miller Diversified: 

  • Regularly Update As You Go: Don’t let your knowledge base become outdated. Add new documents as they become available and update existing information as needed. Create the rule that if you receive something new, it should be filed in a final destination.  
  • Make It Search-Friendly: Whatever tool you use, make sure it has a good search feature, because over time, you’ll need it. At Miller Diversified, we make sure we put several key terms that might be used in each article so we can always find it later. For example, our article on how to make blog posts on our site contains the terms “blog post” “news post” and “portfolio item”, as we know those are the terms used by our internal team.  

By implementing a knowledge management system, you’ll transform the way you manage your property. You’ll be empowered with readily available information, saving time, and ensuring you’re making informed decisions. Remember, knowledge is power, and in the world of property ownership, a well-organized knowledge base can be your secret weapon for success. 

Feeling Overwhelmed By The Idea Of Knowledge Management? 

Miller Diversified already has a robust knowledge management system in place, and our team also supports property owners in managing knowledge and documentation related to their properties or commercial portfolio. Successfully managing knowledge and documentation is already integrated into our process, so don’t hestitate to reach out to our team if you’d like to learn more about how Miller Diversified Property Management can help you.