When you manage commercial and retail buildings you should expect things to go wrong from time to time. In any investment property there is always a long list of potential problems that could happen and evolve when you least expect it. You have to be prepared for difficult events and crisis challenges.
The message here is that you can and should create a ‘crisis management plan’ to keep your clients, tenants, and members of the public safe and secure in any emergency event. Risk management is a major part of property management today.
So what are the risks?
Here are some most common problems to help you see how important this process actually is:
- Tenants bringing unsafe materials onto a property (chemicals, environmental, biological, etc.)
- Degrading of onsite services thereby creating a threat to occupants (water, gas, electricity, data, communication systems)
- Members of the public injuring themselves
- Tenant injury or health issue
- Regional natural disaster
- Health and safety events
- Workplace design issues creating threat
- Fire, flooding, explosion, environmental, terrorist related event
- Tenant related threat (security, business, data, violence, protest, radiation, environmental etc.)
The larger the managed property, the more important the occupants or tenants, the greater the potential threat of a crisis event. The property manager and the landlord property owner are all part of the equation to establish and maintain an effective and relevant crisis management plan in any asset today.
Prevention is better than cure
Get things under control in your managed asset before they happen. Create your ‘Crisis Management Plan’.
Here are some rules to help you get this process started:
- Understand the asset – It is wise to do a ‘risk management assessment’ on a regular basis. The process will help you see how the risks are evolving across the tenant mix, the property, the structure, and the property precinct or zone. Look for the things that could happen, and then understand the impact of any response.
- Regional events – Your town or city may be located in zone that can be impacted by natural events such as flooding, fire, earthquake, cyclone, or environmental.
- Tenant mix challenges – Some tenants run businesses using hazardous materials. Those materials can impact or threaten others.
- Lease documentation – Every lease should be written with due risk regard for the tenant, the property, the location, and the landlord. If a tenant or property situation creates a risk or threat, then the lease clauses should be written to control the problem.
Given these facts, get your risk assessment done. You may need expert contractors and or the landlord’s insurance company to get involved in this process.