A Guide to Commercial Property Management

Posted by EdmontonRealEstate.ca Team on Monday, January 4th, 2021 at 8:42am.

Commercial Real Estate in Edmonton ABDue to the pandemic, renters in the commercial space market are requiring less space. Research by CBRE revealed a 200,000 sq ft dip in office space uptake during the last quarter of 2020.

Whether you want to manage it yourself or you have hired a commercial property management firm, ensuring that your property delivers an excellent business environment for your renters is a top priority.

Use this guide to deliver excellent service and the perfect premises for the renter. 

What makes Commercial Property Management so Different from Residential?

Is your forte managing residential properties? Would you like to delve into commercial properties? Understand that it’s a whole new ball game. Residential and Commercial property management is like day and night.

For starters, unlike commercial properties, there has been a surge in the residential property market in Edmonton. Check out our property listings for information on the best prices and rates. 

Other differences include:

  • It is harder to find renters for commercial spaces and keep them. 
  • Renters of commercial spaces are often more demanding and drive harder bargains. 
  • Commercial space management entails more detail in the paperwork and the handiwork. 

Doing it Yourself

Unless you are well-versed in property management and can commit to it full-time, avoid doing it yourself. It could take a toll on you and other investments you have. Nevertheless, if you are rearing to delve into commercial property management, here are tips to get you the highest return:

Understand your type of commercial property. Is it best suited for retail businesses, office setups, or is it an industrial property? Commercial spaces attract diverse renters who have unique needs and standards. With a grasp of the type of business space, you can deliver better services to your renters.

Be proactive about maintenance. Maintenance does not only keep the renters happy, but it also ensures that your investment gives excellent returns. It is easier to negotiate better leasing rates when your property is in mint condition. Also, the property will gain value in the long-run. 

Have an elaborate marketing process. Make it a priority to fill vacancies within your commercial space. Plan how to replace or fill any vacant spaces with the right kind of renters and within the shortest time. 

Be on top of your accounting, finances, and legal obligations. Keep up with the receipts, payments, rates, and taxes. Without an excellent financial management system, you could end up asset rich but cash strapped. Also, make sure the property meets all statutory and legal obligations. Errors are expensive.

Working with the Pros / Outsourcing to a Commercial Property Management Company

Many landlords who don’t have a property management background or the time prefer outsourcing to professional firms. Although these firms charge a fee, they are excellent alternatives. Some of the benefits of outsourcing include:

  • Commercial property management firms have well-trained personnel. They deal with routines like maintenance, dealing with renters, filling vacancies, and compliance with regulations.
  • They have in-house accountants and other specialists. These professionals ensure that your accounting, taxation, and legal requirements are in top form. They also help property owners make the most out of tax-breaks and other rebates. 
  • They have experience spanning different markets that translates to better rent rate negotiators and better judges of high-quality renters.

Hiring an experienced and reliable firm to manage your commercial property could relieve you of the stresses and give you excellent returns on your investment. But you must have the right managers and manage them accordingly. Here’s what you can do.

Perform extensive background checks of prospective firms and interview them thoroughly.

Check their responsiveness, ability to communicate, and some qualities such as dispute management, and track record with regulators.

When you have a commercial property manager on board:

  • Keep up with your investment by checking the income and expenditure reports.
  • Keep abreast with the property market in the area, and rent rates.
  • Conduct surprise checks of the property or hire an independent party to do it. 
  • Have regular discussions on the state of your property and renters.

These may seem like a lot to deal with, especially now that you have a property manager on the job. But technology can make it simpler. 

Make it Simpler: Use Commercial Property Management Software.

Whether you choose to outsource to an independent firm or DIY, commercial property management is complicated. 

But you don’t have to maintain elaborate filing systems (whether physical or digital) to do an excellent job. The solution lies in technology.

Platforms like Yardi Voyager and Yardi Breeze make it easy to manage commercial property. You will have access to crucial information such as renter turnover rates and income and expenditure reports. You will also get alerts for pending inspections or maintenance jobs. In some cases, you could access CRM systems and other cloud services that enhance communication and improve management.

Use these tips to stay on top of your investment. Consider using technology solutions. They make commercial property management simpler. Your property will be more attractive to renters. 

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