According to Strategic Market Research, the property management industry in the United States is estimated to be more than 90 billion dollars; with 310,000 property management companies. With this many vendors in the market, choosing the right manager for your commercial property can be a challenge. A good commercial property manager goes beyond offering general commercial property solutions. They’re mindful of the well-being of guests, tenants, and the community. A successful commercial property manager should:
1. Maintain HVAC Systems
Maintaining the property’s HVAC system is one of the commercial property solutions you can offer to ensure guests and tenants are comfortable. This component helps to promote indoor comfort by moderating humidity, controlling temperature, and enhancing indoor air quality. Commercial AC contractors recommend scheduling routine HVAC maintenance at least twice yearly to ensure the system works perfectly.
It can be tempting to settle for the first commercial HVAC company to offer a quick fix, especially when the system breaks down during winter or summer. However, working with a trustworthy contractor with a track record of delivering quality services is extremely important. This starts with employing the right techniques when looking for a contractor.
Getting referrals from friends or colleagues in the commercial property management industry is a great place to start. Based on their perspectives, you’ll get valuable information to help your selection process. You could also go through the reviews on the different company websites you visit to find out if clients were satisfied with the services they received.
2. Prevent Pests
Picture this; you’re showing a potential tenant some of the spaces you have for lease on a commercial property you manage. As you walk through one of the spaces, a rat sprints from one corner of the room to another. What impact do you think such an occurrence has on the decision of the potential tenant to lease the space? And what does that say about you, the property manager?
Pests are a turn-off for any potential client. Research indicates people tend to tolerate pests more in properties they own than in rented spaces because it’s human nature to try and get the most value for any money spent. It’s in your best interest to offer commercial property solutions that help to attract and retain tenants, such as putting in place measures to control and stop pest invasion.
Pests come in different shapes and sizes; some are easy to spot, like the rat that ran across the room, while others, like cockroaches, are notorious for hiding in cracks and crevices. You should therefore hire commercial pest control services to help eliminate all pests within the property. According to Statista, there are slightly more than 22451 pest control businesses to choose from as of 2023.
3. Oversee Installations
Certain installations are necessary for a commercial building to serve its tenants efficiently and effectively; it’s your responsibility as the property manager to liaise with the tenants to find out what installations or upgrades they may need to run their business and oversee the entire installation process. For example, you may have rented out a space to a tenant who needs a commerical glass installation for a display section of their boutique. In such a case, you’ll need to source the market for a reputable contractor who can get the job done without compromising the structure of the building.
Depending on each property, examples of a few other commercial installations may include; lighting, elevators, AC systems, and heavy-duty electrical wires. Any mistake during the installation process may create inconveniences for the property owner, tenants, and you, the property manager. Therefore, it is critical to create the right connections and work with local contractors who understand the law as to what installations are permitted and who can also implement durable commercial property solutions.
4. Maintain Landscaping
After ensuring all installations are done properly, don’t forget to step outside the building and look at the landscape. Remember, one of your responsibilities is to attract new tenants, and first impressions matter. You may have gotten a fresh coat of paint or installed new security light fixtures on the exterior of the building, but to create a memorable first impression, you may need to go the extra mile and ensure all trees, shrubs, and the lawn on the commercial property are taken care of.
If, for example, the grass on the property’s lawn is patchy and dry, contact a local commercial hydroseeding company that offers cost-effective commercial property solutions for your lawn compared to getting new turf. You may also need to seek the services of a professional arborist to help manage overgrown trees and shrubs on the property. Commercial landscaping will go a long way in improving the overall business.
A well-maintained landscape also helps raise the commercial property’s value. You’re in business, and if you have an opportunity to maximize profit, don’t hesitate to grab it. A well-maintained landscape will help drive up the demand for your spaces, giving you an upper hand.
5. Find Energy Solutions
Energy is one of the commercial buildings’ highest operational costs. According to Constellation, energy costs take up a third of the total recurrent expenses; commercial building owners spend about $2.14 on energy per square foot, which can amount to huge sums of money depending on the size of the building and climate. Energy uses in commercial buildings vary from one building to the other. However, most commercial buildings spend the most energy on heating their spaces.
Unfortunately, energy costs are forecasted to keep rising; therefore, as a property manager, you’ll need to devise measures to cut down on energy while maintaining efficiency. One of the ways to achieve this is by using renewable energy from natural sources such as wind, water, or sunlight. For example, you could install commercial solar power panels on your commercial building, one of the cheapest energy solutions in the market today.
Energy management is one of the commercial property solutions that help to minimize costs and preserve the environment in commercial buildings. Upgrading the appliances within the building to more energy-efficient appliances will also help to reduce the amount paid for utility bills. As the manager, you’ll need to sit down with the building owner to decide which renewable energy is ideal for the location of the building.
6. Maintain the Structure
A commercial building is an investment like any other business. Therefore, building owners and managers must ensure the building is well maintained to secure the investment. It’s your job to ensure the structure of the building is in the best condition. Lubosh recommends scheduling preventative building maintenance at least twice a year.
The structure of a building is susceptible to wear and tear after prolonged exposure to harsh weather conditions; a downpour may cause the soil around the building to shift, threatening the stability of the structure, or strong winds may blow away a few shingles from the roof. That’s why it’s a good idea to draft a comprehensive checklist. It’ll ensure you cover all areas of the building. If you notice a few missing shingles, you should immediately contact a commercial roofer for commercial property solutions for your damaged roof before the problem escalates.
7. Take Care of Lots
The parking lot is often overlooked in property management. However, commercial buildings require well-maintained parking lot spaces to cater to their tenants’ needs. According to Upkeep, 90% of parking lots in the United States have asphalt; a paving material susceptible to wear and tear over some time. Damaged and ill-maintained lots will not only put off tenants, but they’re also unsafe.
Maintaining a parking lot should be among the commercial property solutions you outsource. If you notice potholes or the lines have started to fade, you should source for local companies offering commercial paving services to help restore your lot to its glory days. Rafael Cantillo says you should schedule routine parking lot maintenance at least every two to three years.
A well-maintained lot helps to maximize space. The more tenants move into your building, the more parking space you’ll need to accommodate everyone. As noted earlier, the parking spot lines will fade over time. This may result in tenants parking haphazardly, impeding traffic flow, or resulting in scrapes and scratches on motor vehicles.
8. Maintain Electrical Systems
Regardless of the type of business you run in your commercial building, you likely depend on electricity to perform everyday tasks such as ensuring the right temperatures within the building or moving around the different floors using the elevator. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were 1201 workplace fatalities involving electricity between 2011 and 2021. Unless you want to be liable for injuries or receive high electricity bills, it’s important to ensure the building’s electrical system is in optimum working condition and that there are no exposed live wires. Electrical maintenance requires hiring qualified personnel.
Zippia says there’s a wide spectrum of professionals to choose from since the U.S. has employed over 303823 commercial electricians. According to Forbes, the amount you can expect to pay ranges between $50 to $150 per hour depending on factors such as skill level, size of the commercial building, location, or the complexity of the specific project. Ignoring issues with your electrical system doesn’t make them go away, get the right commercial property solutions to resolve all electrical system errors.
9. Maintain Plumbing
Plumbing ensures a clean water supply throughout the building and disposal of wastewater from the building. As a commercial property manager, it’s important to note that plumbing issues are inevitable. However, some of the issues happen naturally due to the wear and tear of the different components of a plumbing system; others are due to negligence and improper use of the system. Most plumbers suggest you should have your plumbing system inspected at least once every year to ensure the system functions effectively and efficiently.
Plumbing issues are never fun to deal with. Imagine having clogged toilets in your building whose wastewater keeps backing up every time the toilet is flushed, the mess the wastewater leaves behind, and the stench that sweeps across the different rooms in the building. A disgusting nightmare. No one needs to tell you how much of an embarrassing situation it can put you in with friends or neighbors.
Luckily, you don’t have to deal with it alone. According to Ibis World, there are 126929 plumbing businesses as of 2023. Contact a local commercial plumbing company that offers commercial property solutions for your plumbing issues.
10. Prepare an Annual Budget on the Property
Managing a commercial property can be stressful. However, having a budget can make the process a lot easier. The two main focus areas in a budget are daily expenses and long-term goals. You’ll need to schedule a sit down with the property owner to establish what these are for the building. It’s also important to factor in other expenses, including loans, mortgages, insurance, and taxes.
An effective budget allows you to track the rental income and the expenses within the building. It is one of the key commercial property solutions as it helps identify shifts in the property market that can affect the property and cost-saving opportunities. Drafting a budget may take weeks, depending on the property and the homeowner requirements. When the drafting is complete, you must seek the property owner’s approval before implementing the budget.
One of the biggest mistakes that property managers make is hoping for the best. Going about your duties without a clear outline of the long-term goals is a recipe for disaster. It’s vital to have a proper budget in place so that you can plan better for any unforeseen events that may arise. Remember failing to plan is planning to fail.
Managing a commercial property requires a lot of time, effort, and skills; as a property owner, you may not be equipped to handle all the responsibilities of managing your commercial property. Your best alternative is to contract a professional property manager who can either work as an independent contractor or for a company. The bottom line is you can only do so much alone; it’s not a one-person show. A commercial property manager should ensure the property is financially stable and well maintained, ultimately ensuring the building is a profitable investment.