Being a commercial property owner comes with added risks and responsibilities than simply owning a private residence. You have to manage everyday administrative duties, ensure the environment is safe for public traffic and your employees, and regularly check the premises for any known or unseen hazards that might be developing.
When issues arise that require repairing or replacing key features, it can be overwhelming and sidetracking your entire day, week, or month! Fortunately, there are ways to stay on top of maintaining your commercial property. Check out the following six tips to make this aspect of property management a breeze:
1. Have a Team of Reputable Contractors on Speed Dial
Who will you call when a pipe bursts and floods a lower office floor? If you don’t already have a reliable plumber on your emergency contact list, you’re taking a significant gamble with the level of service you’ll get. A pool of reliable contractors is essential when owning a commercial property list.
Think about the areas of your property that could require professional services and reach out to a service provider to set up a consultation and maintenance plan. Sure, you may have an onsite handyman, but unless he has certifications in HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and construction, you’ll likely need a professional to come out and take care of major repairs and upgrades.
After all, if your parking lot needs a sidewalk installed, that will require more than just a few handymen to get it done. You need a commercial paving company for this type of work, and we will be grateful if you think ahead and add this contractor to your list.
2. Check Out Your Premises Everyday
One of the biggest reasons repairs come as a surprise is that commercial property owners need to be more relaxed with employees and clients. It’s easy to get stuck behind your desk, and you must remember there is a building to maintain, too. Always take time every day to walk around the entirety of your premises and take note of any issues needing attention or potential problems to address.
This practice will also help you get away from your desk and have an opportunity to appreciate the features of your property that make it such a wonderful location.
3. Don’t Forget to Maintain Your Outdoor Premises
One of the biggest appeals of your commercial property is the many features it offers. Whether you house a state-of-the-art data center, standalone clothing store, or daycare, it’s important to recognize that curb appeal is a driving factor of business. If your building’s exterior is starting to look run down, has damage, or appears outdated, you may need to pay attention to important maintenance duties.
For example, if you notice green streaks from mold on your roof or siding, you should set up a regular powerwash to treat and remove this issue. Is the front entrance landscaping looking overgrown and dull? Consider having fresh mulch and flowers brought in to add some color. The same can be said of your walkways and curbs. If you’re noticing chunks of concrete missing, parking space paint being invisible, or crumbling pavement and potholes, you need to get these fixed immediately. This helps minimize the risk of a personal injury claim and shows your property is well-maintained and valued, thus boosting its curb appeal.
4. Inspect for Leaks
Have you ever rented a hotel room and the smell of mold and mildew was overpowering when first walking in? This can be a frequent problem for commercial buildings due to the many windows, doors, and sinks these structures have. Make sure your maintenance crew regularly inspects the caulk and seals around these areas for any sign of cracking, flaking, and shrinkage, as this could be a red flag of potential moisture getting in and causing mold.
5. Have a Disaster Preparedness Plan
After the last few years of intense heat waves, hurricanes, and flooding, it goes without saying that it’s never too late to have a disaster plan in place. This document does more than outline which insurer to call and how to store documents and equipment to avoid damage. It also outlines steps your team should take to prepare the building for dangerous and seasonal weather.
For example, if your property is located on the Gulf Coast, you should make sure you have an action plan set up for storm preparation, including the flooding that often comes with events like hurricanes. In addition, make sure to create a checklist that goes over what tasks to perform step by step to ensure your building and landscaping will suffer minimal damage.
6. Don’t Wait Until You See Pests to Deal with Them
There’s an old saying about pests where you see one, there are many. As a commercial property owner, trying to rid an entire building or surrounding landscape of unwanted pests like spiders, cockroaches, ants, and mice can feel like an insurmountable task. However, waiting until they are an obvious problem will guarantee a frustrating, ongoing battle. So instead, as you’re making your daily walkaround, take note of areas where pests could make a home. Also, ensure that any greenery, including trees, is not right up against your building, as this creates an avenue for these creatures to access your building easily.
If you still need to add a pest control company to your list of reliable contractors, now is the time to set up a prevention plan immediately. You can focus on more important matters by staying ahead of the problem, like getting more tenants.
Remember, Property Maintenance is Essential
As a commercial property owner, you have a lot of responsibility on your plate. This is especially true if in a tenant management situation or offering public access. Of course, it’s important to maintain your building, parking lot, and surrounding grounds for curb appeal, but there are also significant liabilities you minimize when conducting necessary maintenance, as well.
One of the best ways to ensure none of the recommendations in this article falls by the wayside is to create a maintenance plan and have a network of professional contractors available when needed. This step is essential, especially for larger projects like a parking lot expansion or updating your paved curbs. You’ll experience less downtime and interruption to your operations with reputable service providers on your team.