The importance of managing a property in the owner’s best interest is paramount. Adhering to best practices makes it easy, efficient, and effective. It helps the asset operate smoothly and realize its highest value. In this first in a series of Best Practices articles, I highlight what I consider the most important best practices. In later articles, I will go into more detail of each practice and include more practical suggestions.
Do a complete management audit of the building
Prepare your own property management audit. A property audit should not only document the physical state of the building, it needs to document the financial state too. Review the rent roll, the operating budget and the lease abstracts. Best practices include taking into consideration the leasing, the budgets and the future of the asset.
Put a plan in place and set priorities
Upon completion of the property audit, you will have a clear understanding of the areas of the property that are deficient and causing the property to lose value. A plan is required, starting with a clear understanding of the owner’s short term and long term objectives. Priorities are set according to cost and return on that cost, and the value added. Set regularly scheduled and consistent inspections of the property with proper reporting systems enabling you to keep the audit always current. Regular meetings to review and discuss leasing rents and large expeditures also need to be held. The Property Audit should be updated on an annual basis.
Recognize tenants’ needs
The most important thing you can offer a tenant is service. A quick response to their request or complaint, ongoing communication, dates of action set and follow up make for great service. Tenants don’t complain unless there is something to complain about, and are usually content if they know their issue is being resolved.
Have a reliable network of trades
Have trades people and service providers that are reliable and quote accurately, both timing and budget. Know how long they have worked on the property and how much experience they have on the systems and machinery. The ones who are servicing your property know its history, problem areas and best solutions better than anyone.
Make it easy for leasing agents
Make it easy for them to earn their commission, give them all the details they need to sell your space. Prepare a standard offer. Give them access to the space as soon as possible to show their client. Do what it takes to make a quick turnaround. Deals are often lost when the process is prolonged. Remember it’s a building, and a building is a business.