Commercial Property Management Tips for Professional Property Agencies

When it comes to managing a commercial property today, controls and efficiencies will help you provide a professional service to your clients. Most particularly, all of your systems should be well documented and relevant to each property type.

This then suggests that particular checklists will apply to office property, retail property, and industrial property. The checklists will also be different when it comes to leasing verses property management.

Here are some tips to help you establish a solid control process as part of your agency property management services.

  1. Lease documentation should always be checked when it comes to taking over a new property management. In many cases you will find that some of the documentation is lacking in some respect or critical dates have not been actioned. If someone gives you a tenancy schedule as part of the property handover, make sure that the schedule is completely checked against existing lease documentation. You should also understand that lease documents are not the only documents relating to occupancy. You can and usually will find special documents relating to licensed occupancy, and that would normally include car parking, signage, storage, and a special use areas. These documents can be separate to the lease documentation.
  2. Check the arrears in the property as part of the handover process. Any existing arrears will need to be quantified for any action that may be required. Ask for copies of any documentation and letters that relate to the pursuit of arrears. If any special agreements have been entered into with existing arrears, you will need copy of the documentation.
  3. Get to know the tenants and the property as early as possible. When it comes to changing property managers, the tenants can be quite sensitive to new arrangements and new people. Introduce yourself personally to the tenants on a daily one of the property Handover.
  4. Understand what the landlord requires of reporting and approvals. Every landlord will be unique and different when it comes to the communication and reporting process. Some landlords will have special requirements of cash flow and the reports to substantiate the cash flow. In complex properties with multiple tenants, this can become quite a challenge. Make sure that your chosen property manager has the experience to satisfy the demands of the landlord.
  5. Talk to the maintenance people involved with the property as early as possible. They will tell you a lot about the property today and the potential maintenance failures in the future. This information will help you planned for cash flow and expenditure over the coming years. Ask the maintenance people about the specific factors of plant and equipment that are critical to the performance of the property. Any older plant and equipment should be closely monitored for potential failure.
  6. Outgoings management forms part of the property management control base. The outgoings for the property should be managed to the building budget and the requirements of each and every lease document. Many leases will have different factors of control and reporting when it comes to outgoings recovery. For this very reason, all lease documents should be carefully scrutinised as part of the property take up procedure.
  7. Property history will always be relevant. Get copies of previous reports, financial activity, and lease documentation where possible. This information will help you when it comes to establishing the status of the existing tenancy mix and how the property can move forward as an investment.
  8. Budgets for income and expenditure may be current or this year. Those budgets should be passed across to the new property owners and property managers. In this way you will know how the existing outgoings recoveries have been established and on what basis.
  9. Vacancy reports and strategies will vary throughout the year. Importantly any vacant areas are successfully marketed to reduce the vacancy downtime. Any pending and upcoming vacant tenancy should be aggressively marketed to find the necessary new tenants.
  10. Rent review profiles and option strategies will be reviewed as part of the lease documentation scrutiny. Look for all of the critical dates as they relate to the rent reviews and option timings. Critical dates should be entered into some form of diary system so you can activate the event early or on time.

Professional commercial property management services are only achieved through systemised actions and well qualified people. Take the steps to establish your own systems as early as possible in the property management process. These items above can be modified and expanded based on the property type and the property location.

7 Magic Marketing Tips For Commercial Real Estate Success

I never cease to be amazed. The other day I sent a survey to my clients asking what topics they’d like to learn more about and the response was unanimous – MARKETING. It’s funny because when we were all busy getting our degrees, certifications and real estate licenses we forgot to take a course on how to market our services. We never learned this stuff! The point of marketing is to generate a never-ending flow of prospects who call you! Who wouldn’t want that? I have come up with 7 Magic Marketing Tips (or Strategies) for Commercial Real Estate success:

Marketing Tip #1 – Brand Yourself as an Expert

Most individuals and companies prefer dealing with an expert. List ten ways you can be known as an expert in your niche and than start checking each one off as you accomplish it. Before you know it, you will be the “expert.” One of the best ways to be seen as an expert is to be published. Write articles, write newsletters, write a book, write a special report – just write.

Marketing Tip #2 – Don’t be Afraid to Think Outside the Box

Brainstorm ideas with yourself and/or others. Most commercial real estate professionals think alike. Every action step is the same. I have noticed that even though my clients want to try something different, when push comes to shove, no one ever will. Remember, if you want to get a different result, you have to take different action steps. This requires thinking outside the box. Be willing to take risks.

 

Marketing Tip #3 – Have a Marketing Calendar

Each November map out the next calendar year by putting in all the marketing steps you intend to take, the date (s) they will be taken, and the desired results. This can be written on a calendar (best method), entered in a spreadsheet or any other method you choose. The point is, plan ahead in writing and follow through.

Marketing Tip #4 – Have an Assistant Help Implement the Plan

You cannot possibly do everything yourself. When I work with clients and their marketing calendars we strategize to have as many things as possible be included that the broker does not have to do personally. For example, implement a postcard campaign where your assistant designs and sends a postcard on the second Tuesday of each month. Or, draft a newsletter but have it edited, improved upon, and sent out by somebody else. Perhaps have your assistant invite three people to join you for lunch each Tuesday (including making reservations and confirming each guest). You get the idea, don’t you?

Marketing Tip # 5 – Follow Up Regularly

This is a fact: 90% of commercial real estate brokers have poor follow-up. A lack of consistent contact causes valuable relationships to suffer, or even dwindle to the point where somebody else who’s stayed in contact snatches the business.

Marketing Tip #6 – Don’t Confuse Marketing with Sales

Before you can sell your service, you must have a prospect. Before you have a prospect, you must have a lead. Trying to jump from stranger to client isn’t a fruitful strategy. Instead, implement an effective lead- generating system (Learn how to do this by joining my Commercial Real Estate Success Inner Circle – watch for the re-launch later next month!). Focus your efforts entirely on generating qualified leads and keep your pipeline full!

Marketing Tip #7 – Don’t Give Up Marketing

Give your new marketing campaign a chance to work. Remember it takes five to nine times receiving a message before it kicks in. And, you must continue to stay in contact. If you don’t – your competitor will!

Tips For Commercial Real Estate Investment

Commercial Real Estate Investment involves buying commercial properties that are bigger than a 4 unit apartment building. It is that real estate investment in which an estate is rented out or sold to make profit through rental income, interests, dividends, royalties, etc. but not for primary residence. It is better for the investors who are beginners in the field to avoid commercial real estate investment strategy. On the other hand, experience investor can go for for this kind of investment as the competition is much less. It is also the best choice asset class for building wealth, you may ask why? This is because there is a limited supply of land; no more land is being created! If you select a real estate with a land component in an area of increasing population and demand, the laws of supply and demand will work in your favour to increase the value of your investment. It provides better leverage than any other asset investment, with the ability to typically borrow at least 80% of the purchase price on house and land packages. 100% lends are possible in some circumstances. It physically exists and everybody needs a roof over their head. Wherever there are people, there will be demand for real estate. Given a healthy national economy, no deflation, an increasing population, or at least increasing demand for property in your chosen investment area, then your investment is liable to increase in value over time. You may have no control over the state of the economy, but I tell you, you can stack the chips in your favour by selecting the right type of property in the right area. Commercial deals take longer than other investments. They take longer to purchase, renovate, and get sold. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind so that you don’t get impatient or rush into a bad decision.

Tips to help you succeed in commercial real estate investment

This investment is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time as I said earlier to buy, renovate and sell, so you need to be patient. Think big and embark on big investment, buy properties at least 10units, remember that the more the unit you buy the cheaper they are per unit. Be prepared to spend a lot of money at first, fight the temptation to be discouraged by this, always have in mind that you can overcome this by borrowing from real estate investment trust or other source as I mentioned in one of my articles. Predictability is required in this investment because it follows a cycle which can be predicted, with predictability you can grow. It also requires consistent and persistent. Learn to analyse properties, know the worth before buying. Before now you suppose to know that commercial real estate is the business of marketing and finance, so you have to be master of finance, learn about mortgages and interest rate, loan programs that are out there. Also you need to be a skilled problem solver for anything going on in the business field in other to excel in this investment. Finally, remember that this business is not static, it changes in strategy and other aspects, so you have to be updated in the latest information, to do this you have to continue with your education/training on this.

Thing to look for when buying commercial real estate investment property

1. Solid Land Component; Aim for an investment where at least 30% of the purchase price is comprises of the land component. House and land, villa units, townhouses, and low apartment buildings can all fit in the bill. Land is the only limited resource, and that means value for you. If you purchase a unit in a high rise, not only will the value of the building depreciate over time, but what is to stop developers erecting more high-rises and diluting the supply in your market?

2. Stable or Increasing Population; Invest in an area with an increasing, or at least stable, population base. Avoid towns which are dependent on a single industry for the bulk of their employment. If the industry folds, so will the tenants.

3. Transport, Shops and Public Amenities; Invest in an area close to schools, shops, public transport and good public amenities such as a post office, library and park lands. These are the basic factors that make an area desirable to live in and will help to ensure continued demand for property in that area over the long time.

4. Affordable for an Average Worker; Select a median property in a median area, one which is affordable for the average workers. High end real estate is prone to vacancy and busts in recessionary times. Low end real estate is less desirable, can attract a lower quality of tenant, and cost you more in maintenance. Aim for a property that will rent for no more than 40% of the average household income for that area, preferably 30% of the household income.

5. Affordability for you, the investor; Try to invest in property that at least pays for itself, that is to say that the rental income will at least cover your mortgage repayments, insurance, maintenance, management fees, local rates and taxes. If this is not possible in your area, consider alternative areas. Otherwise you can still build wealth with negative geared property.

Above are few tips on how to succeed and buy a good investment properties. Just bear them in mind when buying commercial real estate properties and I bet you, you cash flow will boom.

Top Gun Prospecting Tips in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage, the prospecting process is critical to the commissions and listings that you attract. The best agents and brokers in the industry have a quality approach and system when it comes to prospecting for new business. Every day they are implementing their system into new segments of the market and with new clients.

To revitalise your career and your market share, you can adopt a ‘top gun’ approach to all of your new business efforts. You could say that the approach is based on an ‘attitude’ more than anything else. When you direct your thinking towards creating new clients and new business, everything tends to follow with leads and opportunities.

Action is the key to getting anywhere in this industry. It really doesn’t matter what agency or brokerage you work for; personal branding and networking will allow you to achieve the results you want with listings and commissions.

Here are some ‘top gun’ tips to help you with your growth of market share and client conversions:

  1. Make it easy for people to contact you. Over time extend your brand into the local area and with the right people through constant contact. To do this correctly, you will require a networking and contact model that devotes 50% of your time to current contacts, and 50% of your time to new contacts.
  2. Take advantage of technology through the use of auto responders, e-mail marketing, social media, mobile telephones, and call prospecting. The ultimate goal in any new business effort is to get in front of the right people to establish a long-term relationship. In our industry, the elements of trust and knowledge go hand in hand. It can be many months if not years before someone is ready to use your services. Staying in contact over and for the long term is really important.
  3. Be prepared to put in the time and the effort when it comes to building your market share. Every day approximately 2 or 3 hours should be devoted to the prospecting and networking model you have devised. That itself can be a very large challenge for some agents. They simply do not have the discipline for the process and hence do not take the required action. When you think about it, this leaves the market wide open for those people that can get organised and stay on track when it comes to their real estate business plan and opportunity network. It is a personal thing. It cannot be delegated.
  4. Tracking your efforts and your results will be important to getting traction in building market share. Understand the number of calls that you are making every day, the meetings you are creating, and the presentations underway for new listings. Seek to improve the numbers in a logical and consistent way. Commit time to the process in your diary so that you can reach new people with new property requirements.
  5. It should be said that the prospecting process usually involves a degree of discomfort and skill development. You can fast track the process through practice and role playing. You can merge those activities into your regular weekly sales team meeting.

A successful prospecting model in commercial real estate will take you quickly into the local property market and help with many new quality commercial listings. Consistency and focus will be required to stay on track and get the conversions that you require. The agents and brokers that control the listings, control the market.

Commercial Real Estate Agency Blogs – 5 Tips For Success

It’s no secret by now that one of the cornerstones of a great marketing strategy, you need to have great content, well-written and helpful to your site visitors. Perhaps the easiest way to achieve this is through creating and actively maintaining a blog. You’re probably thinking, wait, I’m a commercial real estate agent, where do I even start with having a blog? Here are some tips to get you started on your way to becoming a CRE wordsmith.

1. Don’t cover too much at once

As an author, your space on the blogosphere is pretty much unlimited. However, this does not mean that you should try to cram all you know about one topic into one single blog post. If you think that the topic can be broken down into smaller sub units, you should also make blog posts covering only those sub units. It will be easier for your readers to process, it will be easier for you to write, and it will give you more content and more traffic.

2. One topic = one blog post

Related to our previous point, your blog posts should revolve around one single topic. The reason is simple – both you and your readers will be able to stay more focused. If you’re already brewing with ideas, write them down and expand them in future blog posts.

3. Answer the right questions

Writing helpful content is one of the best ways to get your visitors engaged and keep them returning to your site. However, you need to make sure that you’re answering those questions which they need help with. Put yourself in the prospects’ shoes and see what kind of concerns and problems they might have.

4. Cover common problems

In your average working day, you come across dozens of clients and they all have similar questions and doubts. Why not use this knowledge to your advantage? Your blog can be a platform where you address frequently asked questions, problems and concerns your clients might have.

5. Look at the bigger picture

You might think that having your own blog implies that you should use it to write about yourself, your agency and your work experience. However, your potential clients will not be looking for information specific to your agency. Instead, they will be looking for more general information pertaining to the commercial real estate industry. This is why your blog posts should rarely touch upon your own agency, unless it’s something really worth noting – such as an important deal you closed, company anniversary, charity event you hosted or similar.