Tips for Outgoings Management and Budgets in Commercial Property

When you manage commercial real estate, the outgoings within the property will require focus and financial control. When the property market slows or gets tougher, managing the outgoings is really important; the outgoings form part of the financial strategy for the landlord and will impact the net income for the property. If the outgoings get too high, the property will be hard to lease and hard to sell.

Set Some Rules

You can split the outgoings into a number of categories and this is normally done to identify and track the cash flow by expense streams. Most importantly there are two sides to the outgoings equation. Some of the items will be controllable and others will be uncontrollable. This means that the landlord can exercise control on only some of the outgoings.

The uncontrollable outgoings are those which are imposed on the property and have to be paid without any opportunity for cost savings, adjustments, or budgeting. Those uncontrollable items are normally council rates, land tax, and water rates. To a degree, insurance and energy costs will also fall into that category although some cost controls are possible with these items.

To manage the property outgoings effectively it pays to adopt a process similar to the following:

  • Create a budget for the property prior to the commencement of financial year
  • Track your expenditure to budget monthly. Adjust expenditure when you see a need and reason; early adjustment prevents bigger blowouts.
  • Look at the history of the property expenditure over the last few years to identify any excessive spending or items that are beyond the averages in the local area. The history of the property will allow you to adjust your budgets and cash flow expectations.
  • Make sure that you have removed the capital expense items from the normal repairs and maintenance for the property.
  • Talk to the owners of comparable properties in the same area. The outgoings between your property and their property should be similar. If not, you need to know why and take steps to fix that. Share information of outgoings costs with other similar property owners for this very reason.
  • Monitor the annual valuations for rating purposes. When these valuations are done, you will soon see the statutory charges and council rates rise soon after. It is not unusual for landlords and property managers to dispute the valuation in an effort to keep the statutory charges at a lower rate.

In preparing an expenditure budget for the property, you should time the expenditure so that the larger costs are expected; hence ensuring that the cash flow is suitably adjusted in preparation.

The controllable outgoings are those that the landlord can exercise decision and timing. Normal items of repairs and maintenance together with the contractor maintenance will fall within this category. If the landlord chooses to delay the expenditure with the controllable outgoings, then they can spread the impact of those items on the net monthly income from the property.

In summary, the property manager working on behalf of the landlord should exercise due care and diligence in the budgetary process for property expenditure. A well-managed landlord cash flow in an investment property is a correct balance of income against expenditure given the tenancy mix pressures on the building and the existing vacancy factors.

Commercial Property Management – Tenancy Schedule Tips Tools and Tactics

The tenancy schedule is the tool of choice for a property manager or leasing manager in a commercial or retail property investment. It is the tenancy schedule that will keep the property manager up to task on forthcoming events and dates.

Often you find that the tenancy schedule is not up to date, so if anyone gives you such a document, treat it with the caution it deserves, and check it out completely before you act on the information contained therein.

So let’s say that you have a great tenancy schedule that you know is totally accurate. I get many questions about what I would want to see in a tenancy schedule. Here are my main priorities:

  • Details of the tenant name, lease, and full contact detail for emergencies
  • Tenancy identifier or suite reference that comes from the plan for the property
  • The area of the tenancy in m2 or ft2 (depending on your unit of measurement)
  • The % of the tenant area to the building net lettable area
  • The rent $’s per annum, per month, and per unit of measurement (m2 or ft2)
  • Lease start date
  • Rent start date
  • Lease end date
  • Term of lease
  • Option term of lease
  • Anniversary dates and reminders for rent reviews, options, expires, renewals, renovations, and make good obligations
  • Outgoings charges for each tenant on the basis of area and monthly charge
  • Outgoings budget for the building
  • Total outgoings recoveries for the property on a currency and % basis
  • Types of outgoings to be charged to the tenants
  • Insurance obligations of the tenant
  • Rental guarantee details or bonds held
  • Provision for critical dates relating to any important lease term or condition
  • Maintenance obligation details of the tenants

This list is not finite and you can add your own extra priorities, I would however make sure that it is totally correct and maintain it to the highest level of accuracy. When you do this you can stay on top of important upcoming events that will impact the occupancy or rental of the property.

Whilst you can buy ‘off the shelf’ software programs that display this above information, that can be quite expensive for those commercial and retail property managers that are first entering this type of property. The alternative is to create some simple spread sheet that contains the data; in saying that, it is essential that great care is taken to maintain the spread sheet that you create. Any errors in the tenancy schedule can destroy your landlord, your business, your tenant, your reputation, and the property. Accuracy is paramount.

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.

The Advantages Of Getting Commercial Property Management Firms

People who own a commercial property can get more than enough cash flow from their commercial property and definitely have guaranteed financial security for your future. Of course, both of these benefits do come with a price. One of these is the property has to be in good condition to maintain or increase its value. Otherwise, you will have to spend more money on maintenance and taxes.

Considering commercial property management firms is an excellent solution. Instead of you, and a handful of people you know, running your commercial property, you get another company to do the managing so it will be less hassle and stress-free. Check out some advantages that you can get from getting these services from professional property management experts.

– You will be able to provide the very best service to tenants. A commercial property firm will have the systems and the people in place to address every kind of tenant concern, from the smallest utility issue to the more serious security problems. Even though you own a fairly small commercial building, servicing tenants and making sure they are satisfied (and safe) can be time consuming as well as energy draining. Unless you have nothing else to do with your days, then you could better serve your tenants by hiring a business management firm to do the job for you.

– You can get better tenants for your commercial property. One of the ways to maintain profits is to get the best tenants. This means tenants who pay on time and who also take care of their leased spaces as their own. Delinquent tenants not only dissolve profits, but they also create a lot of stress.

– Property professionals have the experience to manage your property. From collecting rent to implementing maintenance work, these business managers can handle every aspect of running any building. They do the job for you so you don't have to be stressed out or be hassled.

– A well-managed property will never fail to yield revenue. With expertise and experience at the helm of your business venture, you are sure to turn over a good profit every time. Some of the best leasing companies even assess your terms and make appropriate recommendations so that you not only reduce problems but also boost revenue.

– You need to relax and enjoy your investment. Finally, what good is a property investment if you can't even find the time to relax and enjoy the profits you have earned? With the right management firm, you can do that now. Click here to know more.