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Commercial Property Management Skills and Strategies

When you manage a high-quality property for a top client, there are some things to consider in how to provide ongoing service and control. 

Ultimately you want to build a strong property performance for the client and the overall investment.  So, what is the plan?

The strategic part of property management takes a priority in new client service and professional reporting.  All of the property facts should be sourced and checked immediately, and the client’s instructions or requirements fully understood from the outset.

Of course, there are some differences of approach in managing a retail property compared to an office tower or an industrial site. Choices are made in the provision of services matched to the client’s situation and the property.  The fee for service should also be looked at given the intensity of the property to be managed.

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Fee for Professional Service?

So, where do you start?  Property management services can and should be optimised in some ways for the better properties and clients.  In saying all of this, the underlying fee for service should be balanced against the amount of work and skills applied.

You are about to win a good quality property to manage.  The planning and services can be considered.  What can you do?  Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Get a good understanding of the cash flow from the property as soon as possible. As part of that investigation, look at upcoming vacancies and rental changes to see where the known threats could be coming from.  Also, review the expenditure activity against the passing rental and existing budget.  Hopefully, the budget is roughly in line with the actual cash flow.  If that is not the case, then you have some immediate pressures to look into.  Alert the client to the cash flow pressures that you can see and identify in the upcoming 6 to 12 months.
  • Contact all tenants to create meetings and learn about current issues or concerns. The tenants in the property can share observations and concerns, from which you can investigate things comprehensively.
  • Tenant movements and requirements should be reviewed as early as possible. In saying that, some tenants will be more ‘stable’ than others when it comes to ongoing occupancy and business success, so look for the issues.  If your property is a retail property, then you should review the all the rental situations across the entire property and tenancy mix.
  • Is it possible to grow the income or resolve known vacancies? Those two issues are high on most ‘landlord’ agendas.  You can merge these priorities immediately into a business plan for the property.  After six months of getting things under control, the business plan can be refined and upgraded.
  • Identify arrears issues quickly and accurately. Some tenants will ‘stretch’ their rental payment dates when business pressures occur.  If you do not see the arrears issues evolving when they happen, then the matter can get out of hand.  The rule on arrears would normally be that the rent for any property is paid on time every time; stay ahead of the problem.
  • What about the current arrears in the property. Can you reduce your arrears?  Can you identify your distressed tenants and then help them get back on track with their rental payments?  Part of the process of property management involves tenant management and tenant optimisation.

Looking at all of these things, there are some ‘base issues’ to look at as soon as a quality property and client comes into the property portfolio.

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