Qualities to Look For In a Commercial Property Manager | Prince George's County Property Management -Article Banner

If you’ve invested in Prince George’s County commercial property, you’re going to need to protect that investment as best you can. Professional property management will help you do that. There are so many benefits to hiring your own property manager. They’ll take care of all those leasing and management details that you might find overwhelming and time-consuming to handle on your own. They’ll make sure all is well at your building and with your tenants. 

Smart investors know the value of commercial property management. 

But, how do you know you’re hiring the best possible management partner?

We want to help you choose wisely. The right property manager will help you have a better and more profitable investment experience. The wrong property manager will only waste your time and money. 

Here are some of the most important things to look for in an effective commercial property manager.

Look for References, Affiliations, and a Positive Reputation 

Reputation is everything today, and it’s not uncommon to make consumer decisions based on the reviews you read and the references you collect. You will absolutely want to understand how other commercial property owners feel about the service and value they received from the management company you’re considering. Most companies will provide a list of references or have some highlighted testimonials on their website. 

The right commercial management company will have plenty of positive word-of-mouth referrals. Talk to other investors in Prince George’s County and the local markets. Your vendors might make a recommendation or even your broker. Look for a company with raving fans in the local business community. You want to hear that the company you’re choosing has a solid reputation for providing professional management services and unrivaled customer service. You want to work with experts who are honest, transparent, and accountable. 

Affiliations do not necessarily speak to reputation, but you are likely to find it easier to trust management companies that are involved in their local professional associations and industry organizations. 

When you encounter management companies that are active in their local and national organizations, you’ll find they have better access to ongoing education, peer networking, technology, and resources. They tend to keep up with best practices and they can access better vendors and contractors. 

Certifications and accreditations also matter. If you’re working with a management company that’s certified in property management, project management, or financial management – you have a lot to gain from that knowledge. 

Always ask what organizations the management company belongs to and what credentials and licenses the staff has.

Look for Prince George’s County Commercial Property Experience

Experience is important, but you always want quality of experience over number of years. 

While a management company that’s been in business for 35 years is impressive, it’s not necessarily an indicator that they have the experience you’re looking for. The best service does not necessarily come with age. A new and growing commercial management company will likely make up for the lack of experience with eagerness, value, and attention to detail. 

You also want the right kind of experience. If the company you’re considering specializes in residential single-family rental homes, they might not be the best choice for your 30-unit apartment building or office space. Look for experience that matches the type of commercial property you own. If your entire portfolio is made up of warehouses, for example, you want someone with industrial management experience. 

When you’re talking to a potential property manager, ask about specific successes and challenges. Obviously, you want to hear stories about how they’ve helped their clients earn more money, avoid disasters, and make smart investment decisions. You want to hear about how they handle mistakes and solve problems, too. Find out what they’ve learned from their experience. 

Talk about their team structure, too. Will you be working with one point of contact or several different people depending on your needs? 

Take a look at what the property managers in the company did before they began managing commercial investments. You want to see the knowledge, skills, and talents that will provide resources and support to your ultimate goals. A construction background, for example, can be incredibly useful to an owner who wants to develop and renovate their properties. 

Scope of Commercial Property Management Services in Prince George’s County

Don’t overlook the simple fact that you’ll need a property manager who can do what you need. 

Talk about the services provided, and make sure they’re comprehensive. 

Here are some of the things you can expect a high quality management company to do for you:

  • Investment advice and planning. One of the qualities to look for is a willingness to help you set and achieve your investment goals. You’ll need expert help evaluating the local rental market and the economic factors that contribute to the state of the commercial market. 
  • Rental value analysis. Commercial management companies should be able to provide an accurate and detailed analysis of market rents. You’ll want to know what competing properties are renting for, what the tenant demographics look like, and how much vacancy you should expect between tenants. 
  • Strategic marketing plans. There’s no one way to market a commercial property. The way you advertise an office building is much different from how you’ll market retail space. The marketing services provided should be extensive and targeted towards your ideal tenants. 
  • Lease negotiation and execution. One of the qualities you definitely want to find in a commercial property manager is the ability to negotiate. You’ll count on your management company to negotiate a lease agreement with your tenant that ensures you’re profitable and protected. Lease renewals will also be negotiated by your property manager.  

Decide if you’re going to work with a Triple Net Lease. A good property management quality is the ability to evaluate and recommend an option that’s going to deliver as much income and ease as possible for you. 

  • Contractual relationships. Commercial tenants are likely to make improvements and modifications to the space you are renting them. An office, for example, may need to separate the large open space into private offices or cubicles. A retail space may need to make room for dressing rooms. You need a commercial property manager that can prepare specifications for all the contracted work that’s going to take place. This includes tenant improvement construction. Good qualities in a commercial manager are the ability to collect competitive bids and the willingness to supervise the work. Project management is essential.
  • Financial reporting and budgeting. You should look for a property manager who can be counted on to provide accurate, detailed, and transparent accounting statements and financial reports. Ask to see a sample. Talk about budgeting. You’ll need a management company that can help you develop a budget and then monitor spending and income. A great management team will help you anticipate what you’ll spend on marketing and maintenance as well as operations and improvements. Look for a partner who is comfortable making budget adjustments and unexpected needs arise. 
  • Rent collection and tenant relations. Rent collection is perhaps the most basic function of your property manager. Look for impressive qualities, like an online system for rent collection and direct deposit into your bank account. You’ll want to see a daily, weekly, or monthly record of deposits. Talk to your potential management company about their cash management system.

Tenant relationships are also important. You’re the client, but you want to be sure that your tenants are treated professionally and respectfully by your property manager. It’s the best way to minimize conflict and disputes, and it will also contribute to tenant retention.  

Quality Commercial Managers Have Systems in Place

What’s the plan for preventative maintenance? How will the property manager handle parking problems or snowstorms or mold? 

Ask about purchasing procedures and how equipment and supplies will be inventoried. You’ll want to see a consistent process for lease enforcement, eviction, and cleaning during turnovers. 

It’s also important that your property management team understands and complies with all federal, state, and local laws that pertain to renting out commercial property. There are fire and safety codes that will need attention. Elevators may need to be inspected. What’s the policy for cleaning and sanitizing with COVID protocols in mind?

Ultimately, you’re looking for a commercial property manager with many different qualities. You want a partner who can understand your values and your investment goals. You want a project manager who can take the initiative and manage budgets, timelines, and subcontractors. You also want a good financial steward who will protect your bottom line and help you earn more on your commercial investments in Prince George’s County and throughout the DC area. 

Do your research, and once you’ve identified a few strong contenders, set up interviews. The qualities you want will immediately emerge when you begin speaking to them. You’ll probably easily identify the qualities that you don’t want in a property manager as well. 

Contact Property ManagementWe can help with your commercial management needs, and we’d love to talk with you. Please contact us at Stripe Management. We work with owners, investors, and properties in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County, Washington, D.C., Capitol Heights, District Heights, Baltimore, and anywhere in the DC metro area.