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Keeping up with the day-to-day maintenance of any property, residential or commercial, is a full-time job. For any property, it’s important to keep tenants happy and ensure that both the building and grounds look and operate at their best.

A well-managed commercial property can mean the difference between an empty building and a full one, and investment property owners want to make the most return possible for their investment. With that in mind, there are three basic differences between commercial property management and managing residential properties. If you’re looking for the best partner to manage your real estate investment, it’s important that you keep these elements in mind.

1. The best, most responsive Property Managers, who oversee the work

In the commercial real estate world, it’s important to have an assigned Property Manager who is your partner; you can speak to them about everything and anything that concerns the property and s/he will help you solve a wide range of property issues.

Your Property Manager becomes your “right-hand” person, who understands and anticipates the needs of the property, from the maintenance of the grounds and the building to tenant payments. In our case, for example, we have our own personnel who take care of many of the day-to-day service issues that arise.

This is different from the residential property manager, who isn’t responsible for being on-site to manage the work that’s needed. If a bigger issue comes up with your commercial property, we work with approved vendors who are licensed and insured. This is critical in South Florida.

2. Overseeing tenants and their responsibilities

With commercial real estate, tenants are responsible for their monthly lease and rental payment, as well as some or all of the expenses related to their use of the common areas of the property. These expenses include real estate taxes, insurance, and maintenance fees.

It’s the responsibility of the commercial property manager to be sure that tenants are up-to-date in their payments. We may have to add penalties (such as late fees), to ensure payments are made on-time, and even take care of evicting sending non-paying tenants or membership property owners to collections agencies, when necessary.

3. Project management skills

Commercial Property Managers need to have a broad range of knowledge, across a diverse number of areas, to be effective and efficient on behalf of the investment property owner. For example, Commercial Property Managers need to know about South Florida regulatory and insurance issues, as well as understanding the needs of a variety of businesses. We also are well-experienced in the area of hurricane preparation and dealing with issues in the aftermath of a storm. Again, these are critical for South Florida businesses.

With residential properties, the tenants are people who live in the buildings; the tenants at a commercial property are running businesses, so their livelihoods are dependent on the effective management of the space they use. At Fairman & Associates, our tenants own a wide range of businesses, from offices (including medical office space) to retailers, restaurants, warehouses, manufacturing, and industrial work. We even have expertise in managing aviation facilities.

As an investor/owner of a commercial property, you know that your return-on-investment depends on the facility running smoothly. You can’t afford to have someone run your commercial property poorly as it creates vacancy.

Give us a call to find out how we can help you leverage your South Florida investment well. Whether your commercial property is in Broward or Palm Beach County, we can help, and look forward to speaking with you!

About the Author

Fairman & Associates Property & Facility Management
Bill Fairman Sr.

Bill has over thirty years of experience in the property and asset management field with additional expertise in: Budget and cost controlling, long range planning, preventative maintenance scheduling, site selection, purchase and/or lease negotiations, court receivership, property appraisal, inspections and review coordination.