It’s 6 a.m. on a Monday, and 6 inches of fresh snow cover the ground. Employees and customers will make their way into the businesses in your commercial building in a few hours.
You pour a cup of coffee and wonder who’ll clear the snow and ice from the sidewalks? How about the roof? Will snowmelt cause leaks or other issues? A knot forms in your stomach as you pull on your parka and snow boots and head out the door to deal with the problems that one overnight snowfall might cause.
Now imagine a different scenario. Snow falls as you enjoy your morning coffee. You know your commercial properties are going to open safely in a few hours, free of snowy, icy sidewalks. And just a few weeks ago, a scheduled roof inspection showed no signs of concern. A smile spreads across your face as you plan a day of powder skiing.
Hiring a commercial property manager is the key to ensuring commercial property investments are not only protected, but also stress-free. These professional problem solvers oversee the accounting, maintenance, management and tenant needs for commercial property owners.
“Planning for seasonal maintenance and inspections, making sure the properties are safe and looking good and handling tenant needs are all in a day’s work,” said Jami McLennan, a commercial property manager with the Bray & Co. Real Estate commercial property management division in Grand Junction.
“When it snows, I make sure all our snow removal crews are on it. It is the relationship between our in-house maintenance team and our highly vetted group of vendors that make the routine maintenance work smoothly,” she said.
Maintenance constitutes a big part of commercial property management, McLennan said. “We have an in-house maintenance lead assigned to each property and a licensed general contractor oversees our whole maintenance division. This ensures continuity of service by someone who knows the special characteristics of the property and the routine maintenance it needs.”
A commercial property management company with long-standing relationships with third-party vendors and a track record of payment ensures special projects get done right and on time, McLennan said. “When we call on a vendor for a project, large or small, we know they will prioritize the work. This is a huge value for our property owners.”
Working with an experienced commercial property manager from a reputable firm protects real estate assets by ensuring the properties are maintained, rent rates and collections are maximized and capital projects managed.
Commercial property managers work closely with accounting teams to ensure the financial aspects are handled as well, said Jane Reed, an accountant with the Bray commercial property management division. “Managing accounts receivable and payable, allocating expenses per leases as well as preparing for taxes and making insurance payments are all part of the service I bring to owners. Along with full accounting services, we provide more specialized services, such as annual triple net reconciliation and budgets for the coming year.”
While commercial property managers primarily serve owners, the managers also offer value to tenants. Keeping properties safe is essential to tenants whose employees and customers use the property to conduct business. Commercial property managers address problems as they arise and can mediate disputes, negotiate bids for special projects and provide such convenience as online lease payments. A commercial property manager helps attract and retain quality tenants, bringing additional value to owners.
“No two days are alike,” McLennan said. “I am on call for big catastrophes and there for the little things, too. Sometimes it seems like answering phone calls and emails are my main jobs, but I know that communication is the key to success in this business.”
Here are some attributes to look for in choosing a commercial property manager:
Knowledge and experience.
Strong negotiating skills.
Project management and budgeting skills.
The ability to balance the needs of owners and tenants.
Patience and grace.
Backed by a reputable firm with in-house maintenance and accounting services.