Clearly Better Commercial

Attract New Tenants with These 5 Alternative Uses for Vacant Commercial Space

Commercial Building Alternative Uses

If you’re struggling to fill vacant commercial space this year, you’re not alone. Many commercial property owners are finding it challenging to attract traditional tenants for their offices, retail, industry, and other space.

To survive in a hard market, it is important to think outside the box. Here are a few alternative uses for vacant commercial space that could help you land your next loyal tenant.

1. Life Science Labs

Life science companies require a mix of office and laboratory space. If you’re willing to work with the tenant on the build-out, your vacant office space may be the perfect future home a biotechnology, food processing, or medical device firm. Your existing building may be a more attractive option to the right company than ground-up new construction.

2. Medtail

In a similar vein, your retail space may be the ideal home for a new medical office. The medtail model puts outpatient services in a retail setting. Not only is this convenient for consumers, it can open up an entire new tenant market for you. Medtail build-outs are relatively straightforward, and the new tenant may attract other medical businesses to your property. 

3. Eatertainment

It’s eating. It’s entertainment. It’s eatertainment. The Twin Cities is home to several eatertainment venues (think CanCan Wonderland in St. Paul or Punch Bowl Social in the West End). If you have a big space to fill, a tenant that plans to combine a restaurant or bar with sports, music, or other social activities might be the perfect fit. 

4. Glamping

If you have vacant land in a rural area that is awaiting development, consider marketing your property to potential glamping tenants. Glamping, or glamorous camping, is an increasingly popular way for non-outdoorsy people to enjoy the outdoors. Your acreage may be the ideal spot to attract vacationers.   

5. Pickleball

Pickleball was 2023’s fastest-growing sport in the United States, so why not capitalize on the trend? Pickleball courts are popping up in empty big-box stores and other properties with tens of thousands of square feet.  

If you’re struggling to attract tenants, Clarity Commercial is here to help. Our property managers can help you market your portfolio and find the ideal tenant, even if they are outside the box. Contact Clarity Commercial today for expert property management advice.

IREM Webinar

Register for These IREM Webinars and Grow Your Skills in 2024

Did you  know that IREM offers dozens of webinars to property management professionals looking to hone their skills? There’s something for everyone at any stage in their career. Here’s a look at a few of the courses coming up in the next couple of months. Be sure to bookmark the IREM webinar page to make sure you never miss a professional development opportunity!

Clarity Commercial’s Tom Elmer will present Calculating Effective Net Rent Webinar

We are excited to share that our very own Tom Elmer from Clarity Commercial will be a presenter in one of the upcoming IREM webinars. Tom will be sharing his expertise on calculating effective net rent, an essential skill for anyone in the commercial real estate and property management industries.

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from one of the best in the business and enhance your financial skills. Don’t miss out on this chance to gain valuable insights and grow your professional capabilities. Register now for this webinar and explore other offerings at IREM to continue your professional development journey.

Asset Management IREM Webinar

From Excel skills to reforecasting to financial concepts every property manager should know, IREM has several valuable webinars on offer in February, March, and April to help you hone your asset management skills. Each webinar lasts 45-60 minutes and is taught by a certified, credentialed professional.

Finance Webinars

IREM has nearly a dozen finance webinars available this spring to help you build your commercial real estate and property management finance skills. Learn how to calculate effective net rent, automate Excel charts, analyze construction capital, and take the guesswork out of landscape maintenance, among several other interesting and highly applicable topics.

Risk Management Webinars

Want to learn more about the risks your properties might face or need to develop a disaster response plan for your portfolio? Or, maybe you’re interested in seeking a green building certification. IREM has you covered this spring with seven risk management webinars. Like the asset management webinars, these webinars last 45-60 minutes and are taught by subject matter experts.

Leasing Webinars

IREM has seven webinars on offer in February through April to help you grow your leasing skills this year. Take advantage of webinars that explain the basics of retail leasing, social media marketing for commercial real estate, and building positive relationships with your tenants. If you’ve ever considered accepting bitcoin for rent payments, there’s a webinar for you, too!

Leadership Webinars

IREM is here to help property management professionals shine and grow in their careers. A trio of webinars in March will help you grow your leadership and management skills. All of the instructors are credentialed property management professionals who have experience in building successful and fulfilling careers in commercial real estate and property management.

IREM webinars are $59.00 for IREM members or $99.00 for non-members. If there are several webinars that look interesting to you, we recommend purchasing an IREM webinar subscription. This will get you unlimited access to IREM’s webinars for the year for an annual fee of just $199 for members or $349 for non-members.

Clarity Commercial owner Mel Schultz, CPM, CCIM, CCAM, is an active IREM member. He is passionate about continuing education in the commercial real estate industry. For more information about IREM and how our participation in the organization helps you, contact Clarity Commercial today.

For more information or to request a free estimate, visit their website at https://myclaritycommercial.com/ or give us a call at (952) 370-224-2699.

Affiliations & Credentials: We are proud members of IREM, CCIM and MNCAR along with various professional organizations, and hold relevant certifications in the real estate management field. Our affiliations and credentials demonstrate our commitment to excellence and our ongoing efforts to stay up-to-date with industry best practices.

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Continuing education for property managers: Winter 2024 IREM Property Manager Professional Development Events

Continuing education for property managers

Clarity Commercial is a proud, active member of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Minnesota. IREM Minnesota offers continuing education for property managers who work in commercial real estate. Here’s a look at what’s coming up this winter. Be sure to check the IREM website for additional opportunities as they are scheduled.  

ALM Building Tour & Happy Hour | January 16

Join IREM’s Advancing Leaders for a tour of Riverplace in Minneapolis followed by networking and a happy hour. This event is free to property managers with fewer than 10 years of experience.

Register today on the IREM website.

People Serving People Volunteering | January 17

Join IREM Minnesota for its monthly volunteering event. In January, five IREM volunteers with serve lunch to the residents of People Serving People and help with clean-up afterwards. IREM is proud to have volunteered with People Serving People since 2007.

Register today on the IREM website.

2024 VIP Tradeshow | March 14

Embrace your inner child and register for IREM’s 15th Annual Valued Industry Partnership (VIP) Tradeshow! The Nickelodeon and cartoon character-themed tradeshow and education session will take place at the Overlook at the Mall of America. Exhibitors are encouraged to decorate their booths and dress up, as participants will be voting on their favorite booth. Learn more about becoming an exhibitor or attending the tradeshow on the IREM website.

Register today on the IREM website.

Clarity Commercial owner Mel Schultz, CPM, CCIM, CCAM, is an active IREM member. He is passionate about continuing education in the commercial real estate industry. For more information about IREM and how our participation in the organization helps you, contact Clarity Commercial today.

For more information or to request a free estimate, visit their website at https://myclaritycommercial.com/ or give us a call at (952) 370-224-2699.

Affiliations & Credentials: We are proud members of IREM, CCIM and MNCAR along with various professional organizations and hold relevant certifications in the real estate management field. Our affiliations and credentials demonstrate our commitment to excellence and our ongoing efforts to stay up-to-date with industry best practices.

Snow Removal Service - For more information or to request a free estimate, visit their website at https://myclaritycommercial.com/ or give us a call at (952) 370-224-2699. Affiliations & Credentials: We are proud members of IREM, CCIM and MNCAR along with various professional organizations and hold relevant certifications in the real estate management field. Our affiliations and credentials demonstrate our commitment to excellence and our ongoing efforts to stay up-to-date with industry best practices. Commercial properties

Snow Removal Service: What to Look for in a Minnesota Commercial Properties

While it may not feel like it at the moment, winter is coming to Minnesota, bringing with it snow, ice, and wind. Commercial snow removal service companies are ready to help keep your parking lot and walkways clear and safe.

If you are searching for a commercial snow removal service, Clarity Commercial has a few tips on how to choose the right contractor for your property. Here are a few things we consider when selecting a commercial snow removal service for the properties we manage:.

Find a Snow Removal Service That Fits Your Exact Needs

Not all snow removal services are alike. Some companies operate a fleet of trucks and employ dozens of workers who can make quick work of a large parking lot or extensive walkways. Other snow removal service providers are owner-operators with a truck with a plow, a snowblower, and a shovel.

Both can be good options, depending on your property’s needs. In your discussions with potential service providers, confirm they can perform every service your property requires. They should be equipped to plow your parking lot, driveway, and sidewalks as needed. Double-check that the company will promptly and repeatedly come out to salt your sidewalks and walkways, as you could be held liable for a visitor or employee’s slip and fall accident if you leave these areas untreated.

Common Snow Removal Service Contract Stipulations

Your snow removal service contract should stipulate all of your required services as well as the timeline for when you can expect your snow removal team to show up after a storm. It should also include any preventative measures the service provider will take to prevent icy surfaces before a storm hits. Your contract should also include what happens to the removed snow. For example, will the company push it to a certain area of your property or haul it away? Remember to confirm how you will get in touch with the company if an issue arises or you have an acute need for snow and ice removal.

Look for an Insured Service Provider

Many property owners assume the contractors they work with are insured, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. Since failing to remove snow and ice can leave you open to risk, you need to confirm that the commercial snow removal company you are considering is properly insured for a snow removal service contract. Any reputable company will be happy to share this information with you.

Winter is here, and snow and ice are on the way. For help finding commercial snow removal services for your property, contact the professionals at Clarity Commercial today.

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5 Financial Reports You Need to Monitor for Your Commercial Real Estate Portfolio

Your portfolio of commercial properties requires hands-on management. This includes not only your physical buildings but also your portfolio’s finances. Here’s a look at five financial reports that you need to monitor to ensure your portfolio stays healthy and profitable.

Financial Reports to Review:

1. Income Statement, aka Profit & Loss Statement

Your portfolio’s income statement is a summary of each property’s cash flow. It lists all of your income and all of your expenses across your portfolio for a 10,000-foot view of the health of your portfolio. We recommend reviewing your income statement monthly or quarterly to ensure you are making the most of your properties.

2. Rent Roll

Your rent roll report provides a prediction of the amount of revenue you can expect from any given property. It includes an estimated rental value for the property, lease dates, and recurring costs as well as gross scheduled rents, renewal rates, and other rent-related figures.

3. Tenant Receivables

The tenant receivables report includes all revenue from each tenant, from rent and maintenance to utility payments and security deposits.

4. Accounts Payable

Your accounts payable report gives you a look at your obligations to vendors, lenders, and other suppliers. Your accounts payable report may include details about your loans, insurance, utilities, and maintenance costs.

5. Service Charge Budget Report

If you are planning property improvements this year, the service charge budget report will be a valuable tool for understanding how much capital you have to work with. The report includes any shared costs between tenants that will fund the refurbishment of communal areas at your property.

Clarity Commercial monitors these and other important financial reports for our clients so they can focus on growing their portfolios. For our expert property management advice and services, contact Clarity Commercial today.

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IREM Continuing Education Classes

Fall 2023 IREM Continuing Education Classes

Clarity Commercial is a proud, active member of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Minnesota. IREM Minnesota offers continuing education for property managers who work in all real estate industries. Here’s a look at what’s coming up this fall. Be sure to check the IREM website for additional opportunities as they are scheduled. Great opportunity for your Fall 2023 IREM Continuing Education Classes.

November Continuing Education Classes

Capstone Track | November 13

This is in preparation for the two-part final assessment for the CPM certification. The class will cover the Management Plan Skills Assessment (MPSA) and CPM Certification Exam (CPMEXM) to prepare you for both assessments.

Register today on the IREM website.

Member Party | November 30

Celebrate another successful year at IREM Minnesota! Join IREM at 4 for networking, casino games, cocktails, and appetizers. Awards and prizes start at 6:30. Sponsorships available!

Register today on the IREM website.

Don’t forget to stay up-to-date on the My Clarity Commercial blog for additional opportunities as they are scheduled. With our blog, you get the latest insights and news about IREM Minnesota and other industry trends. Plus, always check the MyClarityCommercial.com website for more information on all upcoming events!

Clarity Commercial owner Mel Schultz, CPM, CCIM, CCAM, is an active IREM member. He is passionate about continuing education classes in the real estate industry. For more information about IREM and how our participation in the organization helps you, contact Clarity Commercial today.

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Commercial Property Fall Cleanup Tips

5 Commercial Property Fall Cleanup Tips

Breathe in, breathe out . . . that’s the smell of fall! Autumn has arrived in the Twin Cities, and it’s time to schedule your fall cleanup. Here are five commercial property fall cleanup tips from the professionals at Clarity Commercial. Our crews will be taking care of these tasks for our clients over the next 60 to 90 days.

Tune Up the Furnace – Commercial Property Fall Cleanup

While your A/C worked overtime in the summer heat, your furnace will be clocking in for its shift soon. It’s best to schedule your HVAC maintenance appointment now before your HVAC vendor’s schedule books up. Early fall is an ideal time to inspect your furnace or boiler, clean your ducts, and prepare your system for the colder months.

Confirm Snow Removal Services

For commercial property managers like Clarity Commercial, September is the month when we confirm that our properties have their snow removal services in place. While they hopefully won’t need to visit our properties for at least another month or two, it is good to have them lined up early. We partner with reputable snow removal companies to keep our clients’ parking lots clear and safe all winter.

Make Summer Storm Damage Repairs

Did summer storms cause damage to your property’s roofing or exterior? Be sure to make repairs before the cold and snow arrive. Clarity Commercial hires professional commercial roofing and exterior contractors to inspect and repair the properties we manage. If we uncover damage, we work with our clients to have it repaired to ensure your property is protected from the elements.

Clean Out the Gutters

Gutters on commercial buildings can become blocked with leaves and other debris over the summer and into the fall. Before the snow and ice arrive, get your gutters cleaned out. A commercial roofer can inspect your gutters while they’re looking at your roof. Or, you can hire a gutter specialist to give your gutters a thorough cleanout. Work with Clarity Commercial for vetted recommendations for both.

Schedule the Year’s Final Window Cleaning

The busy season for window cleaners runs through September. It’s your last chance to get your property’s windows cleaned before it is too cold to do so safely and effectively. Clean windows let warm sunlight brighten offices and atriums all winter long, a welcome reprieve from the cold outside.

Old Man Winter is coming. Get your commercial property ready for snow and cold with a little fall cleaning. Clarity Commercial is here to help. Contact us today for help with regular commercial property maintenance.

Commercial Property Fall Cleanup Tips

Negotiation Tips for Landlords - lease renewal

5 Lease Renewal Negotiation Tips for Landlords

Negotiation Tips for Landlords - lease renewalOne of the most valuable services Clarity Commercial provides to its property owner clients is renewing leases with their tenants.  Lease renewal is almost always a much less expensive alternative than seeking a replacement tenant, by avoiding gaps in income and incurring lower costs of space improvements and tenant representation commissions. Here are a few of our team’s tips for making sure your interests and property values are maximized in the process.

  1. Leverage Established Rapport with the Tenant

The lease renewal process begins the day the tenant first moves in, by the property manager establishing a personal working relationship with the actual decision-maker of the tenant, or the local head of the office.  It continues with regular contact and prompt response to issues.  The goal is to create an atmosphere where the tenant wonders why they would consider moving.

  1. Offer Longer, but Flexible, Lease Renewal Terms

Landlords prefer longer lease terms, providing steady monthly income while minimizing costs of tenant turnover.  Tenants would also prefer that structure, but potential changes in financial performance (up or down) or future business strategy call for flexibility.  A potential compromise is a longer-term lease – 6 to 10 years – with an option to terminate at a certain point in time or upon certain business events occurring.  These situations call for concessions based on the shorter lease renewal term, with “rewards” for not exercising the termination option, or based on the full lease renewal term with the tenant paying back unearned or unamortized concessions if the tenant elects to terminate.  For longer-term leases, consider midstream rent adjustments based on the then-current market, or increases based on metrics like the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

  1. Include Relocation Rights

It is sometimes necessary to ask a tenant to move to accommodate another tenant who wishes to expand or relocate into the space, or in the case of retail properties, to optimize the location/mix of tenants to draw more customers.  Adding a relocation rights clause to your lease renewal agreement can give the landlord rights to move tenants to help you manage your property more efficiently.  These rights should include fair compensation or incentives for the potential inconvenience.

  1. Educate the Tenant on Common Area Maintenance Cost Charges

A renewing tenant will know the history of Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges at the property.  Use the renewal process to “open the books” and talk about the historical trends in each line item, identifying those items that are non-controllable or only partially controllable.  For controllable or partially controllable expenses, talk about efforts or processes the owner and/or property manager have implemented to control increases; or if applicable discuss unusual events that have occurred that prevented controlling increases.  This is also a good opportunity to get feedback from the tenant on the level and quality of maintenance, considered in light of the image the property is striving for with tenants and the visiting public.

  1. Review and Update Status of Tenant Improvements

One of the most common contentious issues between landlords and tenants occurs at move-out, when there can be confusion or disagreement about ownership of improvements in the tenant space – regardless of who paid for them – and whether tenant-installed improvements can or need to be removed at lease end.  Use the renewal process to walk through the space with the tenant and talk about existing improvements and each party’s understanding and expectations, as well as potential improvements needed as part of the renewal.  Make sure the renewal language clearly aligns with your discussions, which will set off the new lease renewal term on a good note.

Commercial lease renewals do not have to be time-consuming or cumbersome. Let Clarity Commercial take care of the legwork for you. For help managing your commercial leasing, contact our team today.

Commercial Real Estate and lease renwal

continuing education classess

Summer 2023 IREM Continuing Education Classes

Clarity Commercial is a proud, active member of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Minnesota. IREM Minnesota offers continuing education classes for property managers who work in commercial real estate. Here’s a look at what’s coming up this summer—there’s a lot on the calendar for continuity education! Be sure to check the IREM website for additional opportunities as they are scheduled.

Advancing Leaders of Minnesota Building Tour | July 27

New property managers are invited to join the Advancing Leaders of Minnesota for a building tour of the RBC Gateway and an ice cream social and happy hour. Sponsored by Davey Tree and Ben & Jerry’s, property managers under the age of 35 or with less than 10 years of experience are invited to join in the fun.

Register today on the IREM website.

Canterbury Park Tour Continuing Education Classes | September 13

Enjoy an afternoon and evening at Canterbury Park and earn one hour of real estate CE. Tour the grounds and learn about building capacity and its impact on guest comfort, space use, catering, vendor relations, and horse care.

Register today on the IREM website.

Asset Management Track | September 18

The next class in the IREM Asset Management Track will take place on September 18. Join IREM for a day of learning about financing, loan analysis, investment real estate, and asset analysis.

Register today on the IREM website.

Capstone Track | November 13

This is a preparation for the two-part final assessment for the CPM certification. The class will cover the Management Plan Skills Assessment (MPSA) and CPM Certification Exam (CPMEXM) to prepare you for both assessments.

Register today on the IREM website.

Clarity Commercial owner Mel Schultz, CPM, CCIM, CCAM, is an active IREM member. He is passionate about continuing education classes in the commercial real estate industry. For more information about IREM and how our participation in the organization helps you, contact Clarity Commercial today.

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3 Ideas on How to Retain Commercial Tenants

How to retain commercial tenants is a major concern for most commercial property owners. To do so, you must discover the things that keep current tenants happy and attract new ones. Here are three ideas on how you can keep your current tenants happy so they’re more likely to renew their lease with you.

1. Build Professional Relationships with Tenants to Retain Commercial Tenants

If rent collection is the only interaction you have with your tenants, your relationship with them is likely neutral at best. You can build your relationship with your tenants by taking time to learn about their business and their needs for their space within your building. Take their calls and give them a heads-up when you need to access their space for maintenance and repairs.

You can also build your relationship with your tenants by asking them what they love about your property and what you could do to improve the tenant experience. Then, act on their advice. Investing a little in them makes it more likely that they’ll be loyal tenants for years to come.

2. Make Property Improvements

All buildings require ongoing care to operate efficiently and reliably. Retain commercial tenants by showing that you’re dedicated to keeping your property safe, functional, and attractive for them and their visitors.

Maintenance and improvements should be part of your annual budget for every one of your properties. If it’s been a few years since you’ve updated the common spaces in your office building or if the landscaping around your property is looking rundown, invest in some upgrades. Not only will this help your tenants attract new business, you’ll likely attract a few new tenants yourself.

3. Hire a Professional Property Management Company

If you’re a busy property owner managing multiple locations and dozens of tenants, partnering with a professional property management company is a necessity. Clarity Commercial can help you build and manage your tenant relationships, from finding new tenants and responding to their maintenance requests to lease renewals.

A happy tenant is a lease-paying tenant. Clarity Commercial can help you find great tenants, build professional relationships, and maintain your property to keep your tenants happy for years to come. Contact us today to discover if partnering with us would be a good fit for your property.

 

Commercial Lease Renewals - retain commercial tenants
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