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Commercial Property Management Tips to Strengthen Your Agency

In a commercial property market like that which we have today, the factors of property ownership and control get pretty challenging.  For this reason, your commercial and retail property managers become a key point of difference in your business. 

With the right marketing effort, your property managers can be a business opportunity for you and the brokerage team overall.

All too often the property management side of commercial real estate agencies tends to be the ‘poor cousin’ when it comes to support.  The ‘grand’ aspects of commissions generated from the leasing and sales agency team tend to take the focus of the typical real estate business. 

All of that changes when the leasing and sales activity gets tougher or slower; the property management side of the business becomes more important for the stability of the agency. The fees from property management underpin the successful real estate agency.

You never know where the next level of business will come from.  The property managers can add a very different level of interaction and point of difference in any future sales or leasing listing opportunities.

Sell Your Property Management Services This Way

So how could you sell the advantages of your specialist property managers to the clients that you serve?  How can you be more relevant and professional for the clients that you serve? Here are some ideas:

  1. Lease optimization is a process of matching the tenant to the lease and the lease to the property.  When this is done well it helps drive a better property performance for the landlord or property owner. You can look at your leases and consider how they can be improved at the next tenant change or occupancy upgrade. You can also watch the critical dates in a lease so you are picking up the strategic factors well in advance for your clients.
  2. Vacancy factors in a property should always be under control.  That takes forward planning and effort on the part of the entire agency team.  A good way to do that is to have a ‘rolling’ spreadsheet of lease critical date matters across the tenant mix and property portfolio. Each month you can review the upcoming lease changes or negotiation factors in the leases. Also watch how the tenants may be conducting business and how things could be changing for them. The economy and business sentiment in your town or city could be shifting and that can have an impact on your tenants. Look at all the leases and develop some strategies to handle upcoming lease expires, options, rental changes, or tenant changes.  Keep close to your tenants so you can resolve vacancies faster.
  3. Income improvement can occur with better leases and rent strategies.  Even though the leasing market may be a bit of a challenge at the moment, it is in markets like this that we can show real solutions to the landlord with rent reviews and options that suit their investment plan. The rental income for a property will be a number of things and possibly not just a basic rent. Think about outgoings, rental types, rent reviews, and changes in occupancy or premises size.
  4. Expenditure budgeting is a normal part of property performance.  When the property market is difficult, the expenditure side of property performance will be under some pressure; that is where budgets are really helpful.  They can allow for the timed aspects of bigger accounts and costs that hit the building owner during the year. So what are the bigger costs to watch and work with? Typically they will be rates and taxes, capital expenditure items, and the regular maintenance programming of the essential plant and equipment. You can sometimes save some costs by retendering services, however the more important solution to develop is that of a budget control process and tracking system. Each month and each week you can look at how things are changing or tracking to expectations.
  5. Tenancy mix strategies can be applied to the entire property and the group of tenants.  Clustering is really important for your tenancy mix and tenant leasing strategy. So what are ‘clusters’? They are groups of tenants in a large property that are positioned near each other for the benefits of offering, service, or functionality. The suggestion here is that tenants placed together in groups or clusters can enhance the property in some way or form. The strategy is commonly used in larger retail or office properties where multiple tenants are located.
  6. Landlord reporting will vary from property to property and location to location.  The fact of the matter is that all property management reports should match the needs of the landlord and control the asset over time. Be special and comprehensive in the landlord reports you provide to your clients.  It is not a matter of sending out ‘generic’ financials at month-end without much strategic comment; go deeper with your reporting to help your clients see the pressures and changes underway in their property.  There is so much more you can do if you want to provide a top property management and leasing solution for the clients that you serve.
  7. Property compliance is a term that relates to the compliance of the building or property with correct and current building and safety codes.  It also includes the plant and equipment in the property that services the property overall. There can also be factors of the environment to think about and address in some properties as well.   Consider the essential services to optimize in property maintenance and use. Most property managers do not have sufficient experience or knowledge on these things so it is important to have other consultants and maintenance contractors helping you understand the complex issues at play with compliances, safety matters, and risk management.

So these are some of the bigger issues that can give your property management services a real boost in quality and service

Selecting Better Property Managers

Choose the right people to join your property management team and ensure that they know what they are doing with the property type and the location. 

Commercial, industrial, and retail property management in commercial real estate is not an experiment of services but a specific solution that adds value to the future investment aspects of the property

It is a very complex business process that is applied to a valuable property asset. Your services are valuable. Charge a fair fee for quality property management services, reporting, and controls.

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