MANAGING YOUR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
Selecting The Right Property Management Team
As a commercial property owner, you are fully aware of the workload that comes with running the day to day operations for a piece of commercial property. From lease negotiations and lease preparation to service contract negotiations; From tenant screening, rent collection and invoicing to maintenance and repairs (and everything in between), owning and operating commercial property can be a huge undertaking – especially if you are the owner of multiple properties.
Selecting an ideal company that aligns with your values and can provide real property management solutions is vital to the success of your investment and is not a job any property owner should take lightly. As an investor and/or owner, it can easily be one of the most important business decisions you will make in your real estate career.
With that being said, here are three things you should consider when searching for a property management team
1). TAKE THE TIME TO EVALUATE YOUR TRUE NEEDS AS A PROPERTY OWNER. Before you add property management costs to your financial statement, be sure to take the time to review what your true needs are as a commercial property owner. For example, do you reside in close proximity to the property you own or are you out of state? What level of service will you require? How “hands-on” do you want to be? How reliant will you need to be on a management company? Does the management company offer a variety of packages or tiers you can choose from to best suit your needs? Are they flexible in accommodating your specific and unique needs if necessary?
2). FIND A MANAGEMENT TEAM THAT OFFERS SERVICE LEVEL PACKAGES AND SHARES PRICES OPENLY. Variety is the spice of life. Transparency is also incredibly important when making business decisions. Many property management companies offer different service packages which they advertise freely. However, few offer their pricing upfront. Full disclosure and absolute transparency is the first step to setting reasonable expectations and building a professional working relationship based on trust.
Without a referral from a trusted friend or colleague, it may be necessary to interview and shop a few different companies in your search to find that “perfect fit”. Before you sign a property management agreement, take a look at portfolios, visit websites, and get on the phone with them! But also – meet the team face to face. Personalities matter. Being in alignment with the individual or individuals who will be representing you and your vested interest will make a world of difference in making your investment work for you.
3). DO YOUR RESEARCH. Before you settle on a company, be sure to read any online reviews and testimonials that you can find. Remember that testimonials on a website will generally sing the company’s praises but there are other ways to read the good, the bad, and the ugly about each company. Remember not to take negative reviews too seriously. Many people only put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard when they’re angry about something. Keep that in mind as you read but do put a lot of stock into raving reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other well-known business review sites.
It is also completely appropriate to ask for references from previous clients each management company has served. Your property is your baby (so to speak) and you should be incredibly selective and overly cautious when it comes to choosing the right caregiver.
Property Management companies should lead with a service mentality. They should be responsive, forthcoming, answer all of your questions thoroughly and thoughtfully, provide lasting solutions, and present viable proof of results-driven success stories under their management. If for any reason, the company you are talking to does not meet these basic criteria or is refusing to give you the information you are requesting, it’s probably time to move on.
Managing a commercial property is no small feat and protecting your investment is critical to your success. Your property management team should be your trusted feet on the ground working on your behalf, sharing your vision, and exceeding your expectations from start to finish.
By: Melissa Parziale
Melissa Parziale currently works in commercial property management in Orlando, Florida in the Sales Support and Marketing Division.