Owning a commercial property is a significant commitment, but a lucrative investment. By providing other businesses with a premium brick-and-mortar location and working to preserve the value of the property, you’re in position to earn a profit. To maximize your earnings potential and retain quality tenants, read on for seven tips for commercial property owners.
Commercial property owners should:
1. Choose the right tenants. When you’re ready to fill a vacancy, the first step is marketing the property to potential tenants. The second, once you’ve secured someone’s interest, is to properly screen them. At Frankenmuth Insurance, we recommend running a thorough background check on all prospective tenants, as well as a litigation search. If possible, we also suggest meeting in person, or at least by video, before committing to a contract.
2. Conduct regular inspections. To help preserve your property and prevent emergency expenses, schedule quarterly walk-throughs. While reviewing the exterior, make a list of things that may need to be repaired or replaced, like paint, windows, landscaping, roofing, sidewalks, and the parking lot. Inside, investigate doorways, hallways, flooring, lighting, fixtures, plumbing, and HVAC.
3. Complete routine maintenance. With proper upkeep, you can keep your property looking professional and presentable, and you can keep tenants safe. This includes:
- Repairing wear and tear
- Replacing appliances, equipment, and technology
- Hiring a landscaper on a regular basis
- Hiring a pest control company
- Servicing the HVAC system
- Changing furnace filters
- Changing light bulbs
- Testing fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
- Replacing fire extinguishers
- Replenishing first-aid kits
4. Make a list of prequalified and preferred vendors. When crisis strikes your commercial property, will you be calm and confident, or will you get caught up in the chaos? To avoid the latter, we suggest keeping an up-to-date list of third-party experts you trust, so that when the time comes, securing a solution is simple.
5. Invest in building security. When it comes to protecting your property and your people, it’s important to be proactive. Aside from ensuring your standard door and window locks work well, consider monitoring cameras, motion sensors, automatic lighting, and alarm equipment. In doing so, you may be eligible for preferred terms and pricing on your commercial insurance policy.
6. Continue to be COVID-conscious. While the spread has certainly slowed, the coronavirus is still out there. Being conscious of that, and acting accordingly, could help prevent an outbreak at your property, which could be why companies across the country are switching to low- or no-contact features, like automatic doors that open with a key card, facial recognition technology, and even smart plumbing solutions in the building’s bathroom and/or kitchen, like automatic flushing mechanisms and hand dryers, plus motion-activated lights and faucets. (Bonus read: 6 ways to protect commercial property during a temporary closure.)
7. Use a commercial property management software. Streamline your business by using a commercial property management software that will record essential facts and figures, store records of work orders and inspections, organize data, and send notifications to tenants, so they’re always aware of policy changes and scheduled maintenance. Bonus: Some software products can help screen applicants, upload/send leases to tenants, and issue/collect rental payments.
Prior to entering any partnership, it’s important to ensure you have a good understanding of a tenant’s business and feel like they’re a good fit for your building. Then, it’s essential to retain said tenant, as that will save you the time and money it takes to successfully secure another. Perhaps the most proactive way to do so: Plan preventive maintenance – keeping the property in pristine condition for as long as possible, while ultimately reducing your risk of unexpected expenses. Keep your building safe and your operations organized, and of course, keep up with your independent insurance agent, who can confirm your coverage is cost effective and comprehensive.
For more commercial insurance insights, read our additional blog posts:
4 ways your business can benefit from equipment breakdown coverage.
How commercial umbrella insurance can help protect your business.