Commercial property management has some similarities to residential property management, but there are some key differences, especially size. The property being managed can be much, much larger than a house, such as a warehouse or a production facility.
On the other hand, a commercial property could also be much, much smaller, like a storefront. But whether your property is a kiosk at the mall or the entire mall itself, there are certain rights and responsibilities required for owners and tenants, including who takes care of minor and major maintenance and whether the owner pops by now and then or contracts this service to others.
Commercial properties can be found in all parts of a community, depending on local zoning requirements, such as retail, industrial, manufacturing or multi-use. The property’s owners may be several states away, or even in another country, making local hands-on service a definite plus.
People involved in the upkeep and management of commercial property can take care of any maintenance needs themselves, or contract a general contractor service to handle all interior and exterior work that needs upkeep and maintenance.
When determining what to be aware of for successful commercial property management business, there are some areas to focus upon:
Image is vital to customers, and the public areas of a business should look like efforts have been made to make the place look appealing. This includes covering up scratches or scuffs quickly. At the same time, the smell of fresh paint can bother sensitive customers, as could surfaces that may still be wet. Property managers should try to schedule major painting when customers aren’t around, and use signage or plastic to separate customer areas from ‘wet paint’ zones.
Curb appeal is important as customers likely want to see well-maintained foliage. Shrubs that grow too high or too dense also could be security risks as places for animals or people to hide. A contract with a landscaping company can take care of regular upkeep like mowing and fertilizing.
Regular inspection is required for cracks, damage or vandalism. If you live in a community where graffiti is common, this also needs to be erased quickly as one “tag” often attracts others. Damage may come from natural causes like weather, from unhappy customers or random vandals.
Depending on the size of your facility, you may have plenty of plumbing or just the basics. Employees need sinks and bathrooms with running water. Depending on your operation, facilities may be provided for the public, or be prepared to offer employee accommodations in cases of emergencies. All this plumbing requires monitoring to prevent leaks or blockages.
There are always jokes about the luxury of the executive washroom, but the quality of all of a commercial businesses’ bathroom facilities say a great deal about how it views the world. If a customer bathroom is cleaned or at least checked on often, it’s going to look more appealing than something that isn’t cleaned as regularly. Likewise, replacing fixtures every few years goes a long way. Along with looking newer and shinier, modern appliances are energy-efficient, and a good way to show a commitment to quality.
Safety is where you start, and build from there. Make sure your building’s wiring remains to code. If it’s an older building, make sure there have been no unorthodox or unsafe ‘fixes’ over the years. Include electrical in regular inspections such as checking power to switches. Check utility bills to make sure there are no unusually high levels, which could indicate abuse or possible wiring problems.
If you have much of traffic, find surfaces that can withstand lots of feet and still look good. Carpet can match the décor well, and is easy to vacuum, but may not be good for busy areas. Wood also may look good but has a higher cost and needs regular maintenance. Rubber mats may also be handy for certain areas. Regular inspections can spot stains or gouges or potential hazards.
Artwork can be soothing and show off the talents of community members or employees. Plus, it looks more pleasing than bare walls. Paintings or similar wall hangings need to be dusted regularly and kept free of damage. Some companies partner with city or community art programs to make rotating displays.
We’ve already discussed to have water available for sinks, fountains and toilets. But the other side of this is to be prepared for things like a burst pipe or messy backups. Plans should be in place to handle spills quickly, including having a reliable contractor on standby. Depending on the type of business, lack of water can be everything from a minor inconvenience to a reason to close the doors for the day. A larger spill also needs to be mitigated quickly because of risks to sanitation.
This things could be deployed and you shall see how effective your property management business will be.