June 13, 2018
Biggest Challenges in Commercial Property Management
If you own or manage commercial properties, there can be many daily challenges. In this article we dig into some of the more common challenges in commercial property management and offer up some advice to help easily overcome them.
Attracting & Retaining Tenants
Long-term tenants are worth their weight in gold! Commercial vacancies take longer to fill, and it can take up to two years to replace a lost tenant. Happy tenants and lease renews are Job #1 in this sector. Tenant dissatisfaction usually boils down to a lack of communication or a lack of customer service. Make sure your lease holders understand the terms of their lease, are made aware of maintenance schedules and if there are issues, that they are responded to immediately. Schedule texts, emails and auto-dialer calls, follow-up with tenants for maintenance. Tenants appreciate a building and premises that are safe, and well-maintained.
Your current commercial occupants have the best perspective on how you’re doing at meeting their needs. Survey your tenants on your customer service and amenities to get critical insights into what matters to your ideal clients—and it may be something as simple as upgrading wifi. Use an online survey with the option to remain anonymous, as often tenants might feel more comfortable revealing something through a form rather than in-person to the building manager.
Underscore any cost-savings advantages of leasing in our building, for example the cost savings of leasing in an energy efficient building. This can represent meaningful, decision-making information for prospective tenants.
Hiring & Retaining Staff
Within the property business as a whole, ensuring that companies have the staff required to run their commercial property business is becoming increasingly an issue as the GenX crowd starts to retire.
One of the biggest factors contributing to job satisfaction (and subsequent retention) is the opportunity to use their skills and abilities. As an employer, modernize, automate and streamline your processes, and get rid of paper, so that employees are not knee-deep in repetitive “cut and paste” type work, like copying leasing information from one system to another. Implement programs for employee training and development. Your willingness to invest in your greatest asset – your people – will foster loyalty and employee satisfaction.
Lowering Operating Costs
So, you’ve been tasked with lowering operating costs? You’re not alone! It’s an item on every commercial property’s agenda. Itemize and review your expenses. Are you paying multiple different landscape companies to tend your properties, when perhaps one would offer a discount for maintaining the grass and snow removal at all of your properties. Owners and property managers with larger portfolios can leverage their buying power to cut costs through bulk purchasing and contracting initiatives.
Another way to reduce costs is to be as energy efficient as possible. As you acquire or upgrade buildings, consider solar panels and green roofs. While it may mean an initial upfront investment, the cost pays off in the long run in the form of reduced operating costs.
Vendor management is one of the primary roles of the commercial property manager. These typically include HVAC, construction, lawn care, snow removal, maintenance, pest control, and other. Many times, on-site building managers are responsible for procuring and managing supplier contracts. When this happens there can be an inconsistent approach to a portfolio of buildings, inconsistent vendor quality, and escalating costs. And, upper management can have a very limited view into the cost-effectiveness of its vendors.
Using a centralized web-based vendor management tool can help your commercial property business take control of its vendors with authorized vendor lists, purchase ordering systems and work order tracking. As well, you rid yourself of monolithic piles of paperwork, which can be logically broken down into easy-to-manage workflows that automatically generate the paperwork you need to get the job done.
How Property Vista Helps
Retaining tenants in commercial properties makes the location more attractive and the businesses more reputable — keep those tenants happy with efficient maintenance and repairs, reduce delinquencies with online payments and improved vendor relations with better order and invoice organization… all with Property Vista. Property Vista offers a suite of powerful commercial property management tools that reduce vacancies, cut risk and increase cash flow, and give you everything you need to build opportunities and accelerate growth. Check out our pricing and sign up for a demo here.