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Commercial Property Managers – Tips for Managing Commercial Property Today

When you manage commercial or retail real estate, you really do need to know what’s going on with the property every day of the week. Regular inspections and meetings with tenants will be part of that. In larger properties under management, many things can happen daily, challenging your organization and business skills

The diversity of the tenancy mix can also create extra demands on your time when negotiating leases and managing occupancy issues.

In your managed properties, expect that some things you didn’t expect to happen will occur and others you did plan for will take a different direction. Property management is like that.

property management chart

Change Management

Property Management is full of change, and control systems will help you stay ahead of things and opportunities.

Your lease documents across the property, and each tenancy will be the foundation of occupancy control. Get to know the leases, the tenants, and the critical dates in those documents for every property you manage.

Things to Watch with Tenants

Create notes and keep good records as a property manager. Your notes from conversations and meetings will help protect you and the client when matters take a turn for the worse.

All property markets are different, so watch the indicators, your tenancy mix, the rents, the leases, the vacancies, and the maintenance. Factors of change like that will impact your property management processes. Stay ahead of the ‘curve’ as a property manager.

Monitoring Property Issues

The categories of activity that need to be monitored from a property management perspective include the following:

The marketing and leasing vacant space to the local business community and potential tenants is ongoing. Have a plan for targeting the best tenants in your location. You can then fill vacancies from time to time as they arise.

Market Rental Focus

The rental optimisation should apply to the existing leases and the tenancy mix. Rents and tenants change through the year.

An excellent way to handle that change is through a property financial and business plan. Know the differences between net and gross rents and how those matters can be handled in leasing your properties.

Tenant Relationships

Maintain good relationships with the tenants and the landlord to ensure the property’s performance remains on target. There are many interests to focus on with the various stakeholders.

Create meetings and follow-up systems to inform you about concerns, changes, and challenges in the tenancy mix and property performance.

money in piles

Budgets for Income and Expenditure

Budget the income and expenditure activities related to the property each financial year and then track that activity against the actual cash flow.

Everything tends to increase in cost for commercial and retail properties. Your budget is the way to watch what is happening.

Maintenance and Emgergencies

Ensuring that the maintenance of the property complies with the laws and regulations associated with the building codes and the occupancy approvals.

Emergencies and issues happen regularly when you manage property. What is your emergency response? Have plans for controlling major property events and personal injury or death.

Property Design and Function

In the case of retail property, the function of the property should be maintained to match the needs of the asset, the customers, and the tenants. 

This is more critical than in office or industrial property. The age and design of a property will also have an impact on your maintenance systems. Keep good records of all your maintenance events.

Marketing Locally

In the case of retail shopping centers, marketing the property to the local community will encourage extra trade for the tenants. This underpins the rental of the property and its overall success for the landlord. 

Everything is linked. You can have a marketing plan in the property business plan. Both documents can be balanced to improve property performance over time.

Bring Things Together

So these things are separately administered and managed daily. The property manager’s job is to oversee and take action on any events within these categories. 

sales plan on desk

Complex Property Challenges

A complex property will have further issues to consider in property management. In the case of very large properties, you will find that further specialised assistance will come from maintenance managers, lease managers, and administrative assistants.

Interestingly, the excellent experience, knowledge, and expertise required of a professional property manager will put them in high demand for complex and modern properties today.

In many cases, commercial and retail property managers have far more experience in the industry than sales and leasing people. 

Property managers understand how to optimise the performance of an existing property and then direct it to a new level of activity and success for the landlord. That’s how they can generate plenty of new managements and clients to service.

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