Don’t go it alone: The Anderson Group explains when to outsource your property management services
You own a commercial property. Maybe you even run your business from it. It’s a full-time endeavor, and some days, it’s more than that. Between managing employees, meeting with clients, and balancing your bottom line, the last thing you want to worry about is coordinating contractors and fixing leaky faucets. That’s time – and money – down the drain. So when does outsourcing your property management services make good business sense? And is the investment worth it?
Even if you’ve contracted with several local businesses for these services, you’re still expending your own time and energy managing and coordinating schedules, payments, and personnel. But it’s another day at the office for a property management company.
The benefits of hiring a property management company
A good property management company will have the procedures and resources in place to keep your property in tip-top shape so you can focus on what you do best – running and growing your business. If you own and manage your own property, hiring a professional property management company could save you:
- Time. Let the experts address employee and/or tenant needs and complaints, routine and large-scale maintenance, and marketing vacancies in your properties. Good property management companies have skilled contractors and consultants at the ready to support your business.
- Liability. A seasoned property manager stays on top of things like keeping sidewalks and parking lots free from of snow and ice. They know when to use “wet floor” signs, fix loose handrails and repair uneven walking surfaces – saving your company from insurance payouts and lawsuits. Reputable property managers know the risks and how to avoid them.
- Money. Yes, you’ll invest some money to outsource your property management services, but a seasoned property management company will save you money in the long run. Many offer value-added services, such as energy efficiency consulting and space and workflow planning to minimize your cost and maximize your productivity. They also know your local real estate market and can help you market and fill vacancies.
- Expert advice. Property managers should be able to offer you informed advice on everything from the best environmentally friendly towel dispenser to the ideal unoccupied office temperature. This know-how can enhance your property in little ways that add up to big savings and happy tenants.
Find your perfect match
Not all property management companies are created equally. Services, prices, policies, and expertise vary widely from company to company. So where do you begin your search? Start by asking for recommendations from business colleagues or your local chamber of commerce. You can also turn to an industry service council, such as the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), a reputable source of information about building management and operations.
When you’ve compiled a short list of prospects, request their references and substantiation of claims of insurance and licenses. Then schedule a meeting with representatives from the companies’ management teams, and don’t be afraid to approach the meeting as if you’re interviewing them for a position in your company. Because you are.
Helpful questions to ask a potential property management company might include:
- How often will you inspect my property? The more often your property management company is on site, the more attention your property receives, and the better it looks and functions. In one capacity or another, a full-service management company should be on-site daily, performing landscaping, housekeeping, maintenance, leasing and supervisory duties.
- How do you handle repairs and maintenance?Ask each company to list the repairs and maintenance they can and cannot do. It’s also a good idea to ask whether the companies rely on subcontractors (ask for a list) or have their own staff handle routine repairs and maintenance. Ask them to explain their spending and expense-report procedures. And negotiate terms and conditions for spending money on your property.
- What are your fees, what are they based upon, and what do they include? Management fees can range from 4% to 10% of the base rent, depending upon the facility size and the scope of duties performed. Make sure to ask exactly what services are included, and make sure everything you need and want is listed, from housekeeping services and HVAC services to financial reporting and rent collection.
- How do you handle building vacancies?If you have extra space in your commercial property, how does your prospective property management company propose to fill them? At a minimum, vacancies should be addressed with on-site signage, multiple listing services (MLS), Web saturation and a dedicated leasing agent.
- Will I receive reports about my property, what will they include, and how often? A good property manager will issue monthly reports, which may include rent roll, vacancies, financials/receivables, preventive maintenance schedule and capital improvements.
An experienced property management company should be staffed with experienced real estate, management and housekeeping professionals who are ready, willing, and able to respond to your requests efficiently and effectively so you can get down to business—your business.
For information about how The Anderson Group can meet your company’s property management needs, contact Susan Anderson Touhey at 518.458.7726 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More About The Anderson Group – The Property Management Experts
The Anderson Group’s experienced professionals are ready and able to respond to tenant requests 24/7. Value-added services include:
- General facility management and maintenance
- Housekeeping services
- Landscaping and grounds maintenance
- Financial reporting
- HVAC services
- Electrical and plumbing services
- Life safety
- Space planning and interior design
- Construction management
- Rent collection