Commercial Property Managers – Why They Have No Time and Work So Hard

If you are reading this, you are likely to be a commercial property manager or you know one; either way the question has hit the spot and you understand what I am saying.

It is a fact, many if not all commercial property managers have very little time to spare in their average working day. They are the hardest working of most commercial real estate people because they have to control and produce the property performance for the landlord; it’s the central part of their job. That takes time, effort and commitment.

Property management is not like selling or leasing a property where you can move across a number of projects and keep all of them moving in some form or another. In property management you have to stick with some very complex issues that can take days if not weeks to resolve. You can manage some really difficult properties with real challenges.

Add to this fact the tasks that each property presents every day with tenants, landlords, maintenance, and leasing, you have some real work to do. It is unrelenting and consistent. It does not go away. That is why you have no time to spare.

Given all of this observation, it should now be said that good commercial and retail property managers are some of the most qualified professionals in the industry. They generally know far more about property performance, tenant mix, and lease optimisation than sales and leasing people. They know how to make a property work.

To give you some idea of what I am saying here, the role of a commercial or retail manager would typically involve many things including:

  • Lease management
  • Lease optimisation
  • Vacancy management
  • Fit out approvals and controls
  • Refurbishment and renovations
  • Lease negotiations
  • Tenant mix strategy and analysis
  • Maintenance management and planning
  • Building income and expenditure budgets
  • Risk management
  • Due Diligence practices and systems
  • Energy management
  • Retail trade analysis and customer sales strategy
  • Landlord reporting and communications

So this list goes on. You can see why a property manager is really the central part of the property performance equation. A landlord needs a good property manager to help them with a complex property.

It is interesting to note that the inexperienced landlords of this world will consider outsourcing property management requirements to the cheapest real estate agency or property manager. Considering that these landlords are putting their income and expenditure in the hands of potentially one inexperienced person or group, and that person may have little real knowledge or relevance to the future of the property, the risk of damage to the property performance is very real.

So the message here is for all experienced and qualified property managers to ask for a reasonable and relevant fee for the services offered. Stay firm on your fees; those landlords seeking and taking discounts from other agents will soon realise the error of their ways and will likely come back to you when the property is financially derailed and the vacancies are rising.

When you are asked to fix a problem in a previously poorly managed property, charge a solid and fair fee for the issues involved. You are the professional and your services are worth good money. Professional commercial and retail property management is not an experiment for the feint hearted.

Tips for Offering Move-In / Move-Out Cleaning Services

People and businesses are moving from homes, apartments, and offices on a daily basis. As people and businesses move, they either need their old location cleaned or want to make sure their new location is clean before moving in. Your cleaning company can fill this niche by providing what is known as move-in/move-out cleaning. It can be an added service that your cleaning business provides, a way to give employees new skills, and a great way for your company to make more profit!

Move in/out cleaning can be cleaning a building after an old tenant moves out or before a new tenant moves in. The type of clients looking for move in/out cleaning includes residential and commercial property owners and managers. Commercial move in/out cleaning can vary from small, quick jobs of just a few thousand square feet to large office buildings of 15,000 square feet and up.

A good place to start when looking for move in/out cleaning accounts is to contact property management companies. If you happen to be located in a college town there will probably be no shortage of work. If you have been cleaning commercial buildings, your clients will no doubt ask you to provide move in/out cleaning services when they move into a new office or building.

When first starting out with move in/out cleaning it may be necessary to meet with the property manager on-site to give an estimate on the time it will take to clean the apartment, office, or building. Once you establish a relationship with the property manager you may be able to skip doing an estimate and just bill for your time. They will most likely need floor cleaning services too (carpet, tile, wood). These are specialized cleaning services, which you will charge separately for. Offering these specialized services will also add more profitability to your cleaning company since you will charge more for these services.

The prices charged will vary depending on the type of facility you are cleaning, but you should be able to bill $20 – $25 for your services. Apartment buildings tend to be less profitable than commercial buildings because many apartment managers have a budget to adhere to, so they like their cleaning contractors to bill a flat fee because it’s easier to stick to their budget. Cleaning contractors need to be cautious about bidding this way. Some apartments take much longer to clean than others so you don’t want to lose money because you underestimated your time.

No matter if you are cleaning a residential apartment, home or a commercial building there are several steps you should take to guarantee your success and your customer’s satisfaction with your move in/out cleaning services.

· Use teams of 2 to 4 people for apartment cleaning, depending on the size of the apartment. Larger teams may be needed for commercial locations.

Team members should be specialists in the tasks they are performing. For example, in a two person team, one person will be assigned to dusting, windows, and vacuuming. One person will be assigned to bathrooms, kitchens, hard floor vacuuming, and mopping.

The team leader is responsible for making sure that all equipment and supplies are brought to the job site and gathered when the job is complete. Put all tools and chemicals into a plastic tote.

· Before you begin check with the client to make sure the job site has working utilities. You cannot clean without running water and you need electricity to run a vacuum. If it is the middle of the summer, you should make sure the building’s air-conditioning is working properly. Cleaning chemicals and drying times can be affected by heat and humidity.

· Begin cleaning by removing all trash. Pick up all trash that is too large to vacuum. You will be able to vacuum more efficiently as you will not have to stop and pick up large objects.

· Use a microfiber flat mop for cleaning ceilings, walls, baseboards, and doors.

· Proper vacuuming is an important step in move in/out cleaning. Using a backpack vacuum with the proper attachments can speed up the tasks at hand and make work easier on the cleaning staff. Remember to vacuum from high to low, including light fixtures, window tracks, blinds, and along the baseboards. It is also much easier to vacuum out cabinets and drawers than wiping them.

Some of these items will need to be wiped down after vacuuming; light fixtures, insides of cabinets and drawers, ceiling vents, heat registers, and blinds.

· Windows and patio doors should be washed with an applicator and squeegee. Use scrapers or #0000 steel wool to remove stickers and bugs. Be sure the window is wet when using these tools or you could scratch the glass. Frames and tracks should be vacuumed and then wiped down.

· After picking up trash and vacuuming, start cleaning the stuck-on grime and dirt. Chemicals to have on hand include: bowl cleaner, fume-free oven cleaner, window cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, neutral floor cleaner, stainless steel polish, and furniture polish. Save money by using concentrated chemicals rather than RTU (ready-to-use) chemicals.

Spray spots and make sure you give dwell time so the chemicals have time to work. It is important that you have enough air movement so employees do not breathe in fumes. Make sure that your employees have the correct personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles, etc.) when working with chemicals.

· Deep cleaning. If you need to loosen build-up, use the correct cleaning tools – paper towels, terry cloth rags, microfiber cloths, pads, brushes and scrapers. Use caution when using these tools – you don’t want to damage surfaces.

. Use paper towels, terry cloth rags, or microfiber cloths for most cleaning tasks. Use a green microfiber cloth for dusting; blue for windows, glass and polished surfaces; red for cleaning restrooms and yellow for countertops, sinks and walls.

. Use hand brushes for scrubbing showers, sinks, stoves, and refrigerators. Use grout brushes for cleaning up grout on countertops and ceramic tile floors. Toothbrushes can be used for detail cleaning around faucets and around the rims in toilet bowls.

. Use white pads for surfaces such as glass, chrome, stainless steel and plastic. This is because white pads are not as abrasive as green pads.

. Green pads are good for greasy areas including cabinets, toilets and scrubbing shower stalls. Be careful when using green pads however, as they can scratch surfaces.

. Use a 2″ utility scraper for build-up and adhesives in kitchens and bathrooms.

· Save time by spraying the inside of the refrigerator and showers/tubs with a pump-up sprayer rather than using a spray bottle. When cleaning kitchens, be sure to pull out the stove and refrigerator. Clean the walls, sides of appliances, sides of cabinets, floor, and vacuum the coils. Also clean the oven hood and filters.

· Clean floors last. Use the backpack vacuum to give the floors a final vacuuming, and then mop all hard surface flooring.

Offering move in/out services is one way to start your cleaning business. It also provides a way for an established cleaning company to provide added services to their existing clients while putting extra dollars onto the bottom line.

Proof of Funds for Commercial Real Estate Investors

Creative Financing

When a Commercial Real Estate Investor is looking to purchase income producing property utilizing any number of creative financing methods, one of the most important keys to their success is that their ability to provide adequate, verifiable proof of funds – P.O.F.- to both the seller and the lender. The verification of funds can enhance the investors credibility with the seller as well as satisfy the lenders requirement to know that the borrower has necessary funds to complete their transaction.

Proof of Funds

There are a few ways acceptable to lenders and sellers to show P.O.F. to close your Commercial Real Estate transaction:

  • Bank Statements or Bank Verification
  • Brokerage Account Statements or Verification
  • Escrow Account Verification

“Bank Verification” This is the most acceptable and widely used method to confirm the investors can complete the proposed deal. As such money must be put into a bank account and confirmed by statements or letter from the banker.¬† This is a “hard” (versus soft) method of verification, because money are deposited in an account in the buyers name to serve as proof the buyer can complete the transaction.

“Brokerage Account Verification” Similar to bank accounts, brokerage accounts show acceptable means to complete a purchase transaction. Likewise, statements or letter from the brokerage house representative will meet the requirement to prove adequate financial strength. This is also a “hard”¬† method.

“Escrow Account Verification” This is the one method that can be hard or soft evidence of necessary assets as the escrow agent simply needs to write a letter of confirmation attesting that the borrower has finances available to complete the transaction. It becomes hard when money is transferred¬† into an escrow waiting for the closing.

Companies

Finally, there are companies whose sole purpose is to provide evidence of the financial ability of Commercial Real Estate Investors to complete their transactions. Many of them provide “Proof of Funds” and Transactional Financing. P.O.F. is necessary at the beginning of the deal and Transactional Financing is for the day of closing only. Both of these methods are a necessary part of an investors arsenal when utilizing creative financing.

Renting An Apartment – What Should Matter?

Accommodation is a need that will never be satisfied and hence more and more rental properties keep coming up. Properties for rent are not only residential but they could also be commercial to serve your business needs. If what you have are residential needs, then you have so many property options to choose from depending on where you are located. Flats and apartments are the most common property types today and you will definitely end up in the best when you know what to look out for before renting your unit. Because your apartment will be your home for some time, you need to make all important considerations to get the best.

Location – Is the location of the property convenient to you? Is it close to where you work or will you have to embark on a journey every morning and how convenient is that to you? When thinking location you should also think about access to facilities and services that are essential. The unit you select should offer you the kind of views you are comfortable with so be sure to check out the available units in relation to what you find most ideal.

Atmosphere – This means the surroundings in and out of the property. If you love some quiet, then you will want a calm and quiet atmosphere and this can be hard to enjoy if you end up in a community that has a reputation for parties. You should also consider what types of residents are accommodated. For instance, a property that houses largely students cannot be compared with one that houses mostly professionals or families. The point should be to select an atmosphere that suits your personality perfectly as well as your study or work habits.

Amenities – What is provided for in the property? This is not only important to consider in your rental unit, but also the common areas that are available on the property. The internet seems to be among the most important aspects for many people so if this matters to you then make sure that the property makes it available for you. Sports ground, swimming pools and entertainment areas are some of the other things you can consider before renting a property on a rental property.

Safety – Apart from thinking about the safety concerns in the area, check to see that reliable locking systems are provided for on windows and doors. Smoke detectors, exit points and other measures should also be in place so you have a sense of security at all times. A good property should also have perimeter wall and some sort of security arrangements at the gate to give residents peace even at night.

Building basics – When you rent an apartment, you want to enjoy maximum privacy when you are in. This makes it important to consider whether the floors, ceilings and even the walls come with any insulation to keep noise out. Because of how apartments are built, without proper insulation you will end up putting up with noises from above, below and outside and this can be distracting for some. Ensure also that doors and windows are tightly sealed to keep off climatic elements.