The key to being a great commercial property owner is taking care of your investment. You must keep your tenants happy in the company building, ensure everything is up to code, and maintain all areas. For that, you’ll need to know several things and hire a few services that’ll help keep everything in top shape. Let’s find out more.
Why Is Maintenance Important?
First, it’s important to know why you need to invest in proper maintenance for the company building. It’s one of the main aspects of property management and something anyone would expect from their landlord. You can be your own rental property manager or hire someone else to do the job. Either way, if that person doesn’t care for the building, fix what’s wrong, and keep it clean, your clients will leave quicker than you imagine. Retaining tenants is how you make money and the only way you’ll be able to pay back your investment loans.
No one wants an office where garbage accumulates and the AC or elevators don’t work. Some might even leave if the gardens are not trimmed or beautiful because many businesses need offices and headquarters that reflect on their brand. They also have to keep their employees happy. Maintenance will actually reduce your expenses instead of increasing them.
Your spaces will last longer if you keep them clear from debris, garbage, snow, etc. You won’t have to pay for expensive construction repairs. Scheduling regular gardening is cheaper than trying to fix months of overgrowth. Finally, part of maintenance includes security, one of the most critical parts of your business.
Your finances will only improve if you can protect your tenant’s rental space and whatever they have inside. Otherwise, you could be liable for losses. Therefore, you must learn several tips to upkeep the company building.
Check Everything Frequently
Taking care of your property means that you’ll have to conduct several checkups regularly to ensure that the company building is functioning correctly. The best way to do this is by making a checklist where you write down every aspect of the estate you must examine and go through it. This might take you several days. You don’t have to rush through this matter, especially if you want to be meticulous and safe.
You’ll need to determine how often you want to conduct these visits. It could be once every month, every trimester, or every semester. The point is to create a routine to help you learn all the aspects and quirks of the company building. That way, you’ll spot any minor issues quickly the next time you check.
Additionally, you should have routine inspections to keep things running even if they have yet to fail. For example, get HVAC and elevator maintenance specialists to conduct monthly or weekly services. This way, you’ll avoid major issues later.
You need to remember that this is your investment, your livelihood. Having any kind of commercial property is a considerable part of your net worth, and you want to avoid any problems that could bankrupt you. Therefore, you need to get insurance. The policy should cover all kinds of protections, such as personal injury liability, accidents, natural disasters, fires, etc.
You can’t trust any random insurance business with your property, or you might discover that your contract doesn’t pay for some things. Research several companies and try to find the best one possible. This is an area where you don’t want to spare any expense. It’s worth it in the long run. Insurance is something you have to consider even before buying the company building.
Being a commercial property owner is a challenging task, and you might be in over your head if you just jumped into this investment. You never know what could happen, and insurance is the only way to get out of trouble. Even millionaires and billionaires get insurance on everything they have because they know how vital it can be.
Add Alarm Systems and Cameras
Taking care of the company building and the tenant’s offices is vital. For that, you need alarm systems and cameras. Unfortunately, your property could be susceptible to theft, and you want an alarm system to detect break-ins immediately so the authorities can get on the case. If the burglars still manage to get in and steal things, your footage from the cameras will help with insurance and evidence.
You should also invest in security services, such as people monitoring everything 24-7. That protection will attract huge businesses interested in protections their assets, like computers, servers, etc. Furthermore, your building needs to have security protocols because many people will be in and out all the time. Sometimes, strangers visit as well.
Therefore, the security service you hire should have people in the reception area and outside. All employees of the different companies need identification badges, and visitors should leave their names in the entryway for safety. They can even have a ‘visitor’ badge to identify them. The badges could give them access to the building or turn them away. You can apply security protocols to the company building in many ways, but ensure that the personnel is trained and the systems are all up-to-date.
Repair All Damage Quickly and Find Prevention Methods
During inspections, you may find issues in certain parts of the building, such as the roof, basement, etc. You might even discover problems with paint, fences, and more. One expensive problem is water damage, which can destroy your business in ways you can’t even imagine. Therefore, you’ll need water damage restoration and solutions for whatever else you’ve found as soon as possible. Your insurance could cover some of these expenses.
However, it’s sometimes better to pay right away to ensure the safety of your tenants and let insurance reimburse you later. It’s a good idea to be in contact with a building supplier who can provide all the materials you’ll need for these repairs quickly. Some owners even have their own vans to conduct business, carry loads, etc., so it’s worth considering if you want to avoid paying for delivery trucks.
Once all the damage has been fixed, you need to think about preventing it from happening again. Talk to your contractors. Ask them why water got in and try to find a solution. Sometimes, they could say your pipes are too old and need replacing. That’s a huge investment, but it’s much better than dealing with constantly bursting pipes. At some point, one minor problem can turn into a colossal disaster.
Ask the construction manager what materials would be better to avoid facing the same issues later. Talk to the city if problems arise due to outside factors. You’ll also need emergency plans for all possible complications.
Hire Professional Services Where Needed
The only way to repair the damage is by having the best professional services on hand. Still, you’ll also need a few other companies to conduct your maintenance, ensure safety, and more. For example, you’ll need the help of arborists if the trees around the company building are getting too big or causing problems. Sometimes, trees could pose a danger to the people coming in and out of your property.
Additionally, you must hire a landscaping service, including a fertilizer spreader, to maintain your grounds in the best shape possible. Never underestimate the power of having a beautiful commercial property. Other services include an animal exterminator because pests and other creatures could enter the building, creating messes, damaging wires, and spreading diseases.
Many property managers also have a fence company on their contact list because it’s part of keeping everyone safe. Your hired security could also provide this service, but it’s always a good idea to have a relationship with fencers. You might get a deal on an upgrade later on.
Another extremely vital service you’ll require is cleaning. There’s nothing worse than a dirty and smelly building. Tenants won’t tolerate that. Some businesses in your property might prefer hiring their own service for their private area, but the company building still needs cleanup in reception, hallways, outside, etc.
Keep Your Tenants Happy
Keeping your tenants happy with the property is the only way to maintain your business. You must have open communication with the people that use those spaces. You must acknowledge their requests, complaints, and suggestions. They’ll usually spend more time in the company building than you, so they can see things you won’t notice during your inspections.
You don’t have to be close to them. They’re not your friends, but you need to listen and communicate with them honestly because you want them to keep renting. Remain professional even when they might be demanding or pushy. However, don’t shut them off. Let them know they can reach you and share their concerns. Otherwise, they’ll leave. Nowadays, there are many empty rental spaces for offices, and they could easily move.
Buy Software For Property Management
If you’re not hiring another service for property management specifically, you’ll have to buy and learn how to use the software. It’s rather complicated to keep track of everything you need to take care of and think about regarding your investment. The software lets you automate most of the processes and financial matters of the company building. Otherwise, you’ll juggle many responsibilities, and it’s easy to lose track of money that way.
Among the other benefits you get with these services, you’ll find tracking options, online leases, storage, a portal for tenants, and even online payment systems. It can total your monthly expenses, help with regulations, calculate your turnover and income rates, and handle your maintenance schedule. The best part is that many software caters to all kinds of property managers, including individuals or groups that own several buildings.
Try to Upgrade When You Can
Aside from maintaining, hiring services, and fixing things as soon as possible, you also have to consider the benefits of upgrading systems, materials, and more. For example, the security system in your building might be inefficient or even not work according to your needs. Upgrade that if you have the money because it’s something you won’t regret.
Some buildings might even have the first elevators installed when it was constructed. That’s another problem, especially if the entire building uses them constantly. They will break down quickly, so replacing them with new ones would be better. It’s a considerable investment but usually pays off in the long run. Tenants hate old elevators because they want quicker and better access to the offices. Upgrading could help get more business.
Furthermore, you must update your fixtures, such as smoke detectors, lighting, and wiring. Some upgrades could help you reduce electricity costs, as newer products are more efficient these days. Taking care of the company building is all about the safety and comfort of your tenants.
Be Aware of Your Duties as Property Manager
Caring for your commercial property doesn’t mean that you’re responsible for everything that happens or that you must bow down to your tenants on every little whim. You can’t guarantee everyone’s safety all the time. That’s not your duty, as there are so many things you won’t be able to control. Accidents happen all the time, even if you follow every tip available. Your role is not to be a hero, just an honest and responsible owner.
Your actions will usually be compared to what a reasonable person would do in your situation, typically another commercial property owner. You must be aware of safety, follow codes, and try to do your best for the people in the company building. You won’t be blamed or liable for everything in your land if you have followed the law and done your best. You just have to stay proactive with your maintenance, and there won’t be an issue.
If you follow these suggestions, you’ll have a successful business and will be able to run it for years without worrying. Caring for your property is watching out for other people and your interests. Don’t spare expenses or cut corners. Be careful, safe, and intelligent; the company building will secure you financially for the rest of your life.