Owning a property isn’t always a walk in a park, especially if you own and look after any kind of commercial property.
Unlike renting out a house or apartment, commercial property often comes with caveats which can be hidden in plain sight. Understanding whether a specific property has to meet regulations, if there is anything you as an owner have to do to ensure safety, and if there are limitations for prospective tenants you wouldn’t even know about, can lead to a confusing situation as a commercial property owner.
Sometimes it helps to have professional commercial property management at hand to help with everything from correspondence with tenants to making sure rent gets paid on time. In this short article, I want to highlight some examples of what to look for in a commercial property manager or management company. Hopefully, this advice will come in handy for anyone currently thinking about taking on help for the property.
Look in the local area
Some of the more prominent name management companies in your area may work on a national scale. While that can usually see you having to pay less for their services, a good deal won’t necessarily mean fewer headaches. For example, you may own two commercial properties in different neighbourhoods at the same time. For all intent’s purposes, they could be exactly the same property in terms of design and features, but would you know if they had to follow different building standards and safety regulations based entirely on location?
I recommend doing some research on property managers in the area to see if going for a local/smaller company is a better investment. One easy way of doing this is by phoning them and asking specific questions about your commercial building type or the area it is in and seeing if they can provide any information highlighting their knowledge or expertise.
Never get woken up
Would you rather find yourself being woken up at night by a tenant with a problem they need immediate help with or find out about it the next day from a manager who is taking care of the situation? I’m not suggesting that you should find a property manager who will leave you be all the time, but I think it helps if you’re paying for their services and know that you are getting round the clock coverage.
Ask potential managers what their usual plan of action is when emergencies happen, which services in the area they use (i.e. are there plumbers or repair workers they prefer), and what their protocol usually is when tenants get in touch with emergencies.
It’s the difference between having free time on your hands or having to be in touch over trivial details continually.
Ask for online tools
Just like most things that are online these days, you may prefer to use a commercial property manager which provides an online portal or tools which help you to check and manage your properties. Being able to go online quickly and check if rent is paid on time or if inspections have been carried out is the difference between a few clicks on a website and having to make several phone calls. Again, it’s all about saving you time which can be better spent on other projects.
Ask about tiered pricing
Paying rent on an apartment, restaurant, and a warehouse are entirely different. It would help if you thought the same way when choosing a property manager. If they say they offer a flat fee, then it may not be in your best interests as they may not dedicate enough resources towards your property. If they work on a variable rate based on property size and type, it’s more likely they know what they are talking about and will indeed provide an adequate level of service
Find the ideal property manager
A lot of the information in this article was, in part, thanks to the help of Ross & Liddell. As one of the leading commercial factors in Glasgow, they know a thing or two about looking after properties. I recommend visiting their site if you have a property in Scotland you feel could be better served by reliable managers.
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