Servis Realty’s Comprehensive Guide To Commercial Property Management

comprehensive guide

Key Services to Look for in Quality Commercial Property Management

Working with an accomplished team of professional commercial property managers can significantly impact your vacant periods, profitability and overall peace of mind. But it is important to choose the right company and ensure they have the sufficient skills and resources to represent your investment.

Let our experts explain how a property management service can add value to your rental portfolio and what to look for before you commit.

The Benefits of Commercial Property Management Services

Having your property managed by a competent firm authenticates a rental business, whether you have one property or a broad portfolio, making it more appealing to quality tenants.

Some of the main advantages include:

  • Shorter and fewer void periods – finding new tenants can be difficult. A property management team will deal with references, viewings and deposits, and market the property to the ideal demographics.
  • Longer-term tenancies – commercial property managers don’t take on the first potential tenant but work to match the right person to the right space for their business. Getting that mix correct means tenants who stay for longer and are satisfied with the quality of the service offered.
  • Year-round management – a management firm will take over arranging maintenance work, calling out emergency tradespeople over holiday periods and protecting deposits according to government approval schemes.
  • Professional valuations – marketing a commercial property includes an analysis of the rental value, recommending an optimal time to increase the rates, and actively marketing the property to command the right income level.
  • Access to respected contractors – local property management firms work with networks of trusted tradespeople and can often negotiate a competitive price and monitor safety obligations to verify that any required work is to specification.

With these practical benefits, owners have less exposure to legal liability, late payments, tenancy disputes or any other issues in line with professional standards and commercial rental sector law. As landlord regulatory requirements become more complex, the time required to control each aspect of the property continues to grow.

What to Look for in a Commercial Property Management Company

Understanding the potential returns on a property management service is one thing; identifying the ideal team to work with is another! Here are the requirements we suggest you prioritize, or at least ask about during the initial consultation.

Commercial Property Management Track Record

Local professionals with in-depth knowledge of the area and market are far superior to online-only services. If your commercial property manager has an outstanding reputation and a file of long-term landlord clients, you will usually be able to ask for references and hear first-hand from fellow property owners.

Consistent Low Vacancy Rates

Property owners need to know that if they are paying for a management service, their returns will pay dividends on that investment. Low void periods indicate a successful marketing approach, an underlying understanding of the best ways to promote a vacant property to the right tenants, and the ability to swiftly close an agreement to the satisfaction of all parties.

Some larger agents publish data about the volume of properties they manage, but it’s more meaningful to ask about vacancy metrics than the numbers of buildings.

Management Fees

A credible commercial property management team will always be upfront about fee structures – because they know that a well-managed property will produce higher rental yields and/or profits. Be conscious of ‘additional services’ and confirm that everything you need has been included in the price so you aren’t hit with unexpected supplementary charges.

Services Offered

Comprehensive property management covers a wide range of services, such as:

  • Valuations and setting rental values
  • Tenant screening and selection
  • Moving in and out processes
  • Collecting rent and deposits
  • Managing inspections and compliance issues
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Legal issues and disputes

The ideal is to have a range of services so you can pick and choose the level of involvement you wish your property manager to have – and which tasks you’d like to retain control of yourself.

Comparing the Costs of Self-Managed and Professional Commercial Property Management

Many landlords don’t delegate their commercial property management to an experienced agent because they are concerned about denting the value of their income. Self-management is possible, but it’s important to be mindful of the volume of tasks, time requirements, and pressure involved. If you are dedicated to running a commercial rental property business as a sole focus, it may be convenient to save money on management, provided you have the capacity.

For example, self-management includes:

  • Being on call 24/7 to deal with emergency maintenance requests.
  • Chasing late payments or negotiating on rental arrears.
  • Arranging periodic inspections.
  • Staying updated with changing legislation around rental laws, physical building standards and taxation regulations.

Landlords with multiple properties, those with separate career commitments, or commercial property owners who want to spend more time enjoying their returns will benefit from a commercial property management service. They don’t need any active involvement with the rental business unless they wish to and find that maintenance costs and non-compliance risks are considerably lower than through self-management.

Full Commercial Property Management

Having a commercial property management company draft your tenancy agreements, manage potential issues and remain up to speed with regulations is a substantial advantage to busy landlords and ensures you receive a better rental income with more sustainable returns.

For more information about commercial property management in the Edmonton area, please get in touch or drop in and visit us at your convenience.



The term commercial property management can be a bit abstract – what exactly does it mean?

This comprehensive guide will review everything you need to know, including the various types of property management, what a property manager actually does and other factors to look for.

The Basics of Commercial Property Management

Commercial property management involves overseeing a non-residential real estate investment. Whether it is an office space, retail location, or industrial building, the key is that it requires you to run an income-producing property.

When commercial property management is done right, you can generate more revenue and ensure that your tenants are happy and willing to renew their leases. Similarly, it includes meeting with tenants and potential clients, working with contractors to service the property, building partnerships with real estate associations, and more.

Types of Commercial Property Management

There are four basic types of commercial property management: asset management, property management, development and construction, and leasing and marketing.

Let’s dive into each of these categories in more detail!

1.Asset Management

Asset management refers to the strategic planning behind your real estate investments. This type of commercial property management looks at financing, lease negotiations, re-development and densification, and more. The goal of Asset Management is to protect the property’s value and increase it as much as possible.

For example, the strategy will address the reasons why you invest in a particular property. What is the upside potential, and how long does the owner intend to own the property? What needs to be done to ensure that you maximize the return on investment for the owner?

Answering these questions is essential to your success and will require analysis of future cash flows and sales values depending on your individual goals.

2.Property Management

The next category is property management, which is likely what you automatically think of when considering commercial properties. This includes much of the day-to-day responsibilities, like keeping the space clean and presentable or addressing any maintenance issues.

Likewise, it involves managing tenants and leases to ensure smooth operations. That means it also requires experience with property accounting, collections, budgeting, and other reporting.

3.Development and Construction

Development and construction are also vital aspects of commercial property management. Land planning, supporting tenant construction, and having the ability to repurpose spaces will ensure that you are maximizing the ultimate value of the property.

As a result, you must carefully manage tenant mix, construction timelines, scope, and budgets.

4.Leasing and Marketing

The fourth type of commercial property management involves leasing and marketing. You can’t have a retail space without tenants, so you need to curate a desired tenant mix, market to target tenants and negotiate good and fair leases!

Leases can be complex and difficult to read, but it is one of the best opportunities you have to increase the value of your property. This is where working with an experienced property manager can make all the difference.

So, what exactly does a Property Manager do?

Many responsibilities fall under the role of a property manager. They can fall under any of the categories described above, like asset management and leasing, but the day-to-day duties will vary depending on the retail property itself.

Here are some of the most common tasks a commercial property manager must complete:

  • Manage leases and tenant contracts
  • Supervise maintenance work orders
  • Marketing open units
  • Resolving tenant complaints or concerns
  • Collecting rent and completing property accounting and reporting
  • Oversee construction and repurposing projects
  • Track KPIs to measure retail assets and investments

As you can see, while some of these responsibilities overlap with residential properties, retail locations have a broader scope.

What Do Commercial Property Managers Look For?

Now that you understand commercial property management, you may be wondering what commercial property managers look for.

When you partner with Servis Realty Inc., our goal is to provide much more than your basic management services. Whether you need us to perform daily functions or help with asset management, we will work to increase traffic, occupancy, and property NOI.

As professionals in the financial and retail property space, we will develop a custom solution that maximizes your returns. In other words, the goal of commercial property managers is to improve every aspect of your retail investments.

Learn more about our commercial property management, retail property and asset management services and contact us directly to find out how we can help.

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