December 2016

Property Management and the Open Office

It might be a rare Property Manager who is unfamiliar with the concept of the open office. According to an article in The Sydney Morning Herald (Nov. 19) – and probably about twelve dozen other news outlets in the last year or so – co-working office spaces are swiftly becoming the norm and replacing the old cubicle-of-death office layout. The shift to open offices may be a regrettable development for those of you who liked to sleep under your desk à la George Costanza. However, it’s apparently great for improving productivity and collaboration while reducing costs. Why costs? Because traditional offices under-utilize up to 60% of space in a typical workday. For Property Managers, the transition to open offices presents a new paradigm.


The open office is a trend that began in start-ups and smaller offices, notably in the high-tech industry in California, whose workforce is by and large younger than other businesses. It moved quickly into other industries, though, and across geographical boundaries as its appeal became widespread. At this point, the open office concept is swiftly working its way across offices not just in Australia, where the article cited above comes from, but in Canada as well. In fact, a recent Globe and Mail article (Nov. 3) acknowledges that open offices or offices comprising both cubicles and open spaces are here to stay.

Property Management and the Open Office Layout – so what?

First of all, it’s arguable that some Property Managers don’t actually want their tenants moving to open office layouts, because the same number of employees need less space than in traditional, cubicle offices. This can mean downsizing when it comes to lease re-negotiation and that, of course, creates new space that must be filled.

Second, a shift to the open office can cause headaches for the building requirements. For example, the transition to open office spaces from traditional cubicles can mean that the heating and cooling system in place no longer works as efficiently. As such, costly changes might be needed to amend the H-VAC system. This is a cost that would fall on the tenant, of course, if they want to go forward with it. But messing with the H-VAC in any building can lead to more issues than any one person might want to deal with.

When it comes down to it, in most cases tenants can modify their office space as they see fit. They just have to make sure that their changes are within the bounds of their lease and they do not do irreversible damage to the property.

We must ask, however, what Property Managers can do about it or, to a certain extent, what it has to do with us at all. This is where one of the basic tenets of Property Management comes into play. Arguably the most important aspect of Property Management is to maximize income over the economic life of the property on behalf of the property owners. That income includes net income and capital gains, yes, but the concept of “income” also covers amenities and enjoyment of real property.  As such, while it is not up to us as Property Managers to implement change, it does fall on us to make the process of change as easy as possible.

That’s what

Enjoyment of property should ensure that tenants like their work space so much that it is in their best interest to re-sign leases when they are up for renegotiation.  It should also make the property appealing to new tenants who may have their own ideas of what makes an office theirs. New and old tenants should be able to grasp, quickly, what options are available to them when considering a lease or when they want to make physical changes. 

Perhaps the best way of doing that is to have, at the ready, straightforward construction rules and regulations as well as pre-approved lists of Contractors, such as those we offer in Calgary. Having such a list at the ready can greatly speed up the process of change. Similarly, the process of approval for any design changes to an office space should be swift and efficient. It is thus incumbent upon the Property Manager to have staff or contractors available to review any new submissions that will alter the built environment.

As property managers, we have to adapt to the changing trends driving office leasing. As such, let us embrace this new paradigm in order to stay relevant in this new changing era of a millennial workforce and business uncertainty. Let us welcome the open office with open arms.



April 2016

Tillyard Management Inc. has an iPad Air Winner!

tillyard ipad winner

Our winner, Desurae! Congrats!

Tillyard Management Inc. is happy to announce that Desurae from Vegreville, Alberta, is our lucky iPad Air contest winner!

Congratulations to Tillyard Management Inc.’s iPad Air winner, Desurae of Vegreville, Alberta! Desurae followed us on Twitter and Instagram and liked our Facebook post, boosting her chances of winning by entering three ways – well played, Desurae! She clearly knows how to use social media to her advantage, so we think the iPad has found a truly worthy home. No doubt Desurae will be using her new iPad Air while writing her blog.


You, too, still have a chance to win something wonderful from Tillyard Management Inc. in the upcoming days, weeks or months.

Keep following us to watch for our next contest – who knows what the prize will be – we sure don’t! But doesn’t that make it so much more exciting? Maybe a Tesla, a trip to someplace exotic, a puppy, or even another iPad – all these goodies are possible in the world wide webaway. Well, you can forget the puppy, if we’re going to be honest. Canada Post frowns at that.


Tillyard Management Inc. thanks everybody who participated and we wish you better luck with the next draw!

January 2016

Tillyard IPad Contest

Win a New IPad with Tillyard Management

Win a New IPad with Tillyard Management

Win a New iPad Air from Tillyard Management!

IPad Contest runs January 1, 2016 to February 14, 2016.


The Christmas tree is starting to shed its needles and the dreidel has stopped its spinning. The big ball has hit the ground and the cleaning crew is staring at Times Square and wondering where to start. We’re staring into the dead eyes of winter and wondering what we should do until Valentine’s Day. We at Tillyard Management Inc. have decided that we should throw a different sort of party – a social media party!


How can we get you all to come to our party? We should give you want you want, what you really really want… Ok, not a date for Valentine’s Day, we’re not working for Cupid over here.

How about an iPad Air instead!!??

In order to bolster our social media presence, Tillyard Management Inc. is giving away a brand new iPad Air valued at approximately $500 to a lucky Canadian resident (excluding Quebec) just for joining our party. You don’t have to buy anything, write a catchy jingle, or strain your Photoshop muscles by transferring Kim Kardashian’s head onto the body of a penguin.

Just follow us on Twitter, follow us on Linked-In, follow us on Instagram, or like this post on Facebook (feel free to like our page, too ). You only have to follow or like us on ONE of these social media platforms to win the iPad Air. That said, If you like or follow us on ALL of them your chances of winning the iPad Air improve.


If you log in with multiple accounts on, say, Twitter, and “like” us as six different people and we figure it out, then you’re disqualified. And please be a real person: Diddly McWinklebutt might not be eligible. Click here to read all our official rules and regulations.

The contest starts as soon as you read this post. At some point in the week after Valentine’s Day, all the names of the participants will be dumped into a hat (an application) that picks a name at random. That lucky duck will get the brand new iPad Air. We will announce their name on all of our social media platforms and try to get in touch with the winner that way. If after 5 business days we don’t hear from them, we will pick another name.

Happy New Year and Valentine’s Day and all the days in-between from Tillyard Management Inc.


Good luck to you all!

The Tillyard Team!


Rules and Regulations

December 2015

Tillyard proudly supports the Calgary Poppy Fund


Tillyard Calgary Supports the Calgary Poppy Fund

Tillyard Calgary Supports the Calgary Poppy Fund

Tillyard proudly supports Calgary Poppy Fund

Tillyard Management Inc.’s Calgary office is proudly supporting the Calgary Poppy Fund, which is a service branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Veteran’s Food Bank. The food bank is a Poppy Fund project.

This Christmas season, we should be aware that there are many people struggling to make ends meet. While there are unfortunately fewer corporate donations to the Veteran’s Food Drive this year due to the economic downturn affecting many companies, individuals and many corporations are still doing their best to help make up the difference. Together, we can help surviving veterans from distant conflicts, such as World War II, as well as more recent peacekeepers from Kosovo, Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere. Sadly, many of these veterans live below the poverty line.

The Calgary Poppy Fund is doing important work. Their mandate is that no veteran, veteran’s spouse, widow, or their dependents be deprived of the necessities of life. They are instrumental in providing food, shelter, fuel, dental care and prescription medicine to any veteran family that might be struggling. The Food Bank sends out more than 1,000 hampers of food every year to veterans and their families who live in the Calgary area.

So far, we have raised 410.8 lbs of food as well as $900 in cash donations. Please join us to try and make a difference for the families of Canada’s veterans. Food and toiletries are welcome donations.

The food drive will be running until December 31. You can find food donation boxes in the main level lobby as well as the 15 lobby.

Cash donations will be used to purchase Calgary Co-Op grocery gift cards that will be included in the hampers. Cheques can be made out to the Calgary Poppy Fund and can be dropped off in the Tillyard Management Office, Suite 310.

Tillyard Calgary is also proudly supporting Make-A-Wish Canada and Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids.

It is our hope that everyone has a happy holiday.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone at Tillyard.

July 2015

Victoria BOMA BESt Level 2

Tillyard Victoria Achieves BOMA BESt Level 2

910 Government Street, boma best

910 Government Street

Tillyard Management Inc. is pleased to announce that we have achieved the BOMA BESt Level 2 designation at Harbour Centre, 910 Government Street. This is the result of an ongoing and concerted effort to go green and achieve management excellence in environmental and energy performance.  Since 2012, when we began upgrading our lighting and plumbing system, we have saved over $215,000 in electrical consumption and over $50,000 in water conservation (see previous post).

According to BOMA, Level 2 certified buildings meet all of the BOMA Go Green Best Practices, which is the requirement for BOMA BESt Level 1, but it also achieves a score of 70%-79% on BOMA’s Go Green Plus test. In order to meet this goal, our building managers supplied BOMA with extensive data on 910 Government Street’s consumption of energy over the period of one year to prove that it is meeting BOMA’s energy consumption benchmarks.

BOMA, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada is “the voice of the Canadian commercial real estate industry” (see BOMA Canada). It is a critical organisation for the promotion of best practices and is a major advocate for change on issues of national concern.

March 2015

Environmental Initiatives

Environmental Initiatives Lead to Economic Savings at 910 Government St., Victoria 

Environmental initiatives

Harbour Centre, 910 Government St.

Who says saving the planet is prohibitively expensive?

Tillyard Management Inc. is pleased to announce that the environmental initiatives that we have undertaken at 910 Government Street, Victoria, at Harbour Centre are hugely successful. After achieving BOMA BESt® Level 1 certification in 2011, we replaced the building’s lighting ballasts and tubes with lower wattage alternatives that are more energy efficient. Ballasts can be found in fluorescent and HID (high-intensity discharge) lighting systems and act as voltage boosters for fluorescent light tubes.

We estimated at the time that our yearly savings in electricity would be about $39,500.

We were wrong.

An energy and water audit conducted earlier this year shows that we have actually saved $50,000 in electricity per year since undertaking this initiative – that’s a total savings of $200,000 worth of electricity to date, and those savings will only increase as we move forward.

But that’s not all.

We also installed low-flush toilets and, since we put them in four years ago, they have saved Harbour Centre a total of $50,000 in water costs to date.

These saving show that there is an economic advantage to following sustainability initiatives. At Tillyard Management Inc., we are proud to say that we are not only doing the right thing for our environment, we are also saving money for our property investors while we’re at it.