Commercial property management shouldn’t be confused with residential property management. While these two types of properties share similarities (e.g. tenants, maintenance, etc.), commercial properties come with certain challenges that only a professional property manager can handle.
For example, commercial property managers are in charge of maintaining communal areas (e.g. lounges, gardens, parking lots, etc.). This is something that a single-family property manager doesn’t have to deal with, with the exception of condominiums, of course.
So, how can you ensure the success of your commercial property, considering the challenges involved? Here are some pro tips from our property managers:
5 Commercial Property Management Tips
#1 Use Property Management Software
Managing multiple leases can seem like an impossible task. However, with property management software such as AppFolio and Stessa, you can consolidate your tasks in one platform. This software can also provide valuable insights that you can use to enhance your property management strategy.
Additionally, property management platforms allow you to organize data and details that would otherwise be impossible to maintain manually. For instance, you can store records of work orders and inspections that you can access at any time. You can also use the program to send rent reminders to tenants — this can come in handy especially if you have hundreds of tenants in your shopping center.
#2 Upgrade Your Amenities
Upgrades can be expensive, but they can attract more tenants in the long run. While you don’t have to provide your tenants with a decked-out unit, you should consider enhancing the common areas. For example, you could put smart plumbing fixtures in your office building’s bathroom. Your tenants will appreciate this, considering how companies around the country are trying to “coronavirus-proof” their offices.
Similarly, you should look into upgrades that let you save money. If you’re concerned about energy efficiency, you could replace old heating and cooling systems and conduct an energy audit. A commercial property management company can help you pinpoint “problematic” amenities in your multi-unit commercial property.
#3 Be Proactive With Property Maintenance
Commercial property maintenance should be of prime importance. It’s the best way to ensure that your commercial building stays in pristine condition for as long as possible. Preventive maintenance reduces the risk of unexpected expenses that could derail your investment goals.
Your proactive maintenance plan should cover the following aspects:
- Electrical systems
- Heating and cooling systems
- Ventilation systems
- Plumbing systems
- Pest control
- Replacements (e.g. appliances and equipment)
- Wear and tear (e.g. paint, tiles, etc.)
If you’ve ever self-managed a residential property before, you’ll understand that this can be a daunting task. Unfortunately, with commercial properties, the task can be much more difficult. Fortunately, however, a property management company can help. They can preemptively address potential issues before they can turn into serious problems.
#4 Balance the Types of Tenants
Your commercial property shouldn’t have tenants that sell the same goods or services. For example, you can’t have all sporting goods stores in your shopping center. If you do this, your tenants will have to compete for the same market. As a result, your tenants won’t be able to earn enough money.
When your tenants aren’t profiting, they won’t be able to pay their rent. Consequently, you’ll lose tenants. Hence, it’s important to choose your commercial property tenants carefully. You should also avoid putting similar stores next to one other, unless each of them has a specific target market.
#5 Make Your Tenants Happy
When you lose your renters, you lose your income. Sometimes, commercial property renters will relocate because they want to expand their business. Other times, they will leave because they’re unhappy with their lease. While there’s nothing you can do about the first situation, the second one can be prevented.
To ensure that your tenants stay for as long as possible, you need to make them happy. This means creating an environment that they’d never want to trade for anything else. For example, you should consider improving the menu of your on-site cafeteria or providing faster Wi-Fi.
While we’re on the topic of tenants, you should also make sure you know how to manage them. Here are some tenant management tips to keep in mind:
- Meet with your tenants. Schedule regular meetings with your tenants to discuss policy changes and other issues that could affect them. Encourage your tenants to voice out their concerns so that your property management company can address them accordingly.
- Conduct inspections. Are you sure that your tenants are staying true to the terms of the lease? If you don’t inspect your tenants’ units, they’ll likely do things that aren’t Don’t be lenient when it comes to your commercial property’s rules — the last thing you want is for a tenant to conduct illegal activities.
- Document tenant-related communications. Keep copies of tenant-landlord communications, as these can help you in case your tenant decides to sue. While thorough tenant screening can prevent this, it’s better to be prepared. If possible, put everything in writing (e.g. emails and letters).
- Take action immediately. Respond to repair requests from tenants immediately, especially when it involves essential services such as heating and cooling systems. Failure to do so may result in the tenant taking legal action against you.
- Keep your tenants in the know. By using property management software, your tenants can stay in the loop at all times. Doing this prevents tenants from claiming that they never knew about certain policy changes, or that they weren’t informed about repair works.
Need Help Managing Your Florida Commercial Property?
The tips above are some of the things you can do to efficiently manage your commercial property. Whether you own a shopping center, office building, or multi-unit property, Luxury Property Care can help secure your commercial property’s success. We’ll cover all of the bases so that your commercial building continues to meet your tenants’ needs, and that it stays profitable for as long as possible.