Industry Trends in Commercial Property Management

Commercial property management today is a high value service to be offered to landlords and property investors. Specialised agents have the expertise and the market intelligence to strengthen property performance through commercial property management.The major trends in commercial asset performance today include the following:
Minimisation of vacancy factors within the property (this assumes that the property is not required for refurbishment or redevelopment)
The optimisation and stabilising of net income cash flow from the property and the tenancy mix
The management of the tenancy mix to ensure occupancy stability and compatibility between tenants in close proximity
Sensible controls on the expenditure activity for the property in keeping with industry benchmarks and standards
The management of leases within the property using standards that match the landlords investment plans and property holding intentions
The minimisation of risk in the operation of the property and the activities of the tenancy mix
The compliance of the property to rules and regulations surrounding essential services, occupancy terms and conditions, and local property regulations
All of these factors are quite specialised and require an agent that is very familiar with local commercial property trends and benchmarks. It is interesting to note that many a landlord will seek out an agent charging the lowest fees for the services required. This can be counterproductive and usually is. Cheaper agents do not normally have the best people and cannot provide the best services.Quality property management services require significant knowledge and skills and disciplines. That can only be obtained through experienced people supported by professional systems. Short cuts achieve poor results. Good managers usually rise through the ranks and gain experience on different property types on the way through.In some respects they will specialise on certain property types such as retail, industrial, or office property. Retail managers are perhaps the most experienced in the industry, therefore attracting a premium when seeking employment.It is worth remembering that a professional management service so requires specialized lease procedures are supported on dedicated software programs. Capturing the activities of tenants within numerous properties can be a demanding task. This is where specialised software programs will assist the property manager to achieve control and change within the tenancy mix.Gone are the days of trying to manage numerous tenants on spreadsheets. Many a property manager has tried the process only to find that the required upkeep is too difficult. Purchasing the right software to support your property managers is well advised.Professional management is not an experiment, but a specialised business process that can add many thousands of dollars to the property income each year and tens of thousands of dollars to the property value over time.

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Creating A Presence for Your Business and Increasing Sales

Five years ago I started my first business. My background and training were in manufacturing, chemistry and management. The management experience was certainly helpful in launching a new business, but the other areas really didn’t lend much to helping me get done everything I needed to do.As the owner, I was responsible for hiring, firing, billing, marketing, following up on sales leads, managing & training my employees, scheduling, submitting all of the proper paperwork for payroll, bookkeeping, accounting, etc… This can be very overwhelming for a person who is launching a business for the first time with very few resources. To manage all of these tasks, I immediately outsourced the day-to-day bookkeeping tasks, hired an accountant, and outsourced the payroll administration. These were all things that I was not adequately skilled to do and knew that it would be well worth my time to pay for outsourcing.I have never had a job in the sales field, so the next BIG hurdle for me was to find a way to generate leads and turn those leads into clients. My company is a small cleaning service that started with me and one employee. My intent was always to be the manager of the company — not the cleaning lady! So, I had to develop skills that did not come naturally to me. I also had to develop a strategy.My first attempt at developing leads was a total and utter flop. I engaged in a $4000 direct mail campaign. Direct mail can range in price from $1500 to tens of thousands of dollars for a professionally executed campaign. The company that I contacted to help me in this quest developed my logo and created the mail pieces that would go out to specific demographics. My call back rate on this mailer was less than 1% and the number of resulting clients I could count on one hand. Needless to say, I was very disappointed and a little bit desperate, because this was my entire advertising budget.Since then I have learned a lot. First, to get your business name recognized, you will need to have a presence in the community. It may take a while to brand your product or service, but in the long run it pays off. In the beginning of my first business I did this by joining networking groups. You can check your local papers in the business section to see what is available in your area. Some groups charge annual fees or dues, others charge per the function. What worked for me was the type of networking group in which you developed relationships and those who were in those groups felt comfortable giving you referrals. Please note I did say referrals. Unlike the direct mail piece where the callers were looking for a bargain, the relationship referrals were people who wanted someone they could trust. My closing rate on referrals was about 90%. And the referrals almost always continued using our service on a long-term basis.As I said, it took me a while to brand my business. I used the logo that was developed for me because it was very well done and memorable. I kept the colors that were used in my original direct mail campaign – black and gold. Down the road, I developed a website and about 6 months ago I hired a firm to redevelop my website that did a fantastic job utilizing my branding strategy. Eventually, I bought uniform shirts, aprons, bags with our name and logo. All of our print material displays our logo. I meet more people at networking meetings that remember meeting me because of my striking business card. So the effect is apparent what a good branding campaign can do for your.Another wonderful way to create a presence in the community is to promote your business through PR announcements. You can do this yourself by looking at the different announcements you see in your local business news or you can hire a PR firm to do this for you. A lot of professionals in sales and business owners read that information because they like to be informed about what is going on in their business community.If your business has employees, consider sponsoring an event. Some events want monetary sponsors, but some events need workers which they will consider as an in-kind sponsorship. There are always schools, professional associations, and other non-profit groups looking for this type of relationship with business. A business associate of mine owns a senior care business. Each year she sponsors “Senior Santa” program which provides personal care and non-prescription health products to the Senior Citizens in the area. This is a wonderful way to give to the community plus the local papers pick up the story free of charge to help promote the event.If print advertising seems to be the best route for you, check out some of the new or smaller local magazines instead of the newspaper. I have placed business card sized ads in a fairly well distributed magazine for just over $100 a month. Always check to see if the publication requires a certain commitment (3 months, 6 months, 1 year) before making a decision. If you’re on a budget, you can get a better price by going for a longer term sometimes, but it may be better for you to go month to month if you are unsure about your available budget. The publication I advertised in had prices ranging from $125 – $95 per month. I got a mid-rate for a 3 month commitment which fit in my budget well.The last thing I would recommend for new businesses is to get a web presence as soon as possible. My first company is a cleaning company and for about the first year, I kept telling people “I don’t need a website because I don’t sell anything on the web.” That was a true statement, but what I was overlooking was the fact that people like to know something about a company before they use them and just about everyone will go to the computer and punch in your company name to visit your website if they are considering doing business with you. Having a website lends credibility to any business. It shows prospective customers that you want to share your company information with them.A professionally developed website can be big bucks and well out of budget for the start-up business. There are many services available that offer templates and affordable hosting. Do a web search for website development or internet hosting or websites. My cleaning company has a professionally developed website. My newest venture – well – I did the website – because my budget did not allow for that expense right now. I must say I am very satisfied with my newest site www.welcomecharlotte.info [http://www.welcomecharlotte.info]

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