It’s quite remarkable what businesses, and people, have been able to achieve while working from home during the past two years.
Sealing deals, turning bricks and mortar shops into online operations, and even purchasing investment properties from the comfort of our own home have all been made possible by embracing technology.
However, one thing technology can’t always provide is the effective management of your commercial properties — particularly if they’re located interstate.
Although the age of travel restrictions and border closures may be behind us for now, good property management is becoming more important than ever, believes Johann de Beer, Head of Property Management – Queensland for MRS Property.
Because you can’t always be available
Any savvy investor knows the importance of spreading risk and potential across several areas, be that interstate or global.
However, in recent years, this approach has increased risk for many investors, who’ve been unable to visit their assets, Johann said.
“It can be hard to check up on the physical appearance of the building, or the quality of maintenance and repairs undertaken.
“Relationships with tenants can also suffer — and that’s when having a good property manager on your side really matters.”
MRS Property has provided robust property management services to many investors throughout the pandemic.
“We provided the full spectrum of property management services, from due diligence during and after acquisition right through to property management,” Johann said.
“This included attending to the relationships with tenants, outcomes from due diligence processes, as well as understanding how the property actually runs and making it more efficient.”
To retain and attract tenants
In the current market, commercial tenants are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation.
To encourage tenants to stay for the long term, good property management is key, Johann said.
“The most important role that property managers play is in the engagement with tenants.
“Some tenants who are not contacted regularly, especially during a period like we’ve just had, simply go ahead and make decisions in their own interests.
“If the landlord and property manager had been engaged with the tenant from the outset, we may have found solutions that actually benefited both parties.
“I can think of a number of instances where we have regularly engaged with tenants who’ve been thinking of leaving, and they’ve ended up taking up more space.”
Being on generally good terms with your tenants is also important when it comes to lease renegotiation.
“For tenants, one of their primary concerns before and during lease negotiations is the financial aspect.
“But once a contract has been signed and they’ve taken occupation, the interaction with the landlord and the service and engagement becomes so much more important.
“If that’s absent, it becomes a sticking point during renegotiation, and can come back to bite you when it counts most.”
What to expect from a good property manager
With a good property manager on your side, lease renewals become easy, as does achieving greater income stability, reducing downtime and vacancy rates, while increasing the value of your property.
But what should you expect from a good property manager?
“Good property managers will be honest and transparent with landlords and tenants alike, be proactive rather than reactive, and communicate openly and quickly about issues” Johann said.
“Here at MRS Property, our culture is to look after every property as if it were our own.
“That involves addressing the fundamentals of property management — marketing, tenant engagement, lease renewals, financial management like collecting the rent and providing reliable financial information to our clients, as well as service management, making sure the building is as functional and operational as it can be.”
If there’s anything that this pandemic has taught us, it’s how unpredictable the world — and markets — can be. A good property manager will also ensure your asset is sale ready, at all times.
“If the market turns in your favour, like it has for some of the asset classes now, and your building isn’t ready for sale — there’s no way a purchaser will pay top dollar.”