Who should hire a property management firm?

Maybe, as a commercial property owner, you’ve considered hiring a property management firm but aren’t really sure what they’d do for you. Maybe, you’re becoming increasingly busy managing your properties and think a property management firm can take some work off your plate. Or, maybe you know you want to hand over the day-to-day activities of managing your commercial property, but aren’t really sure where to start.

We are going to discuss all of these points, but first, let’s define what a property management company can do for you.

If you were to Google, “What can a commercial property manager do for me,” you’d get an answer along the lines of, “A property management company will deal directly with your prospects and tenants, saving you time and worry over marketing your rentals, collecting rent, handling maintenance and repair issues, responding to tenant complaints, and even pursuing evictions.”

While some people purchase commercial real estate and look forward to dealing directly with prospects and tenants, other owners realize they’d rather hand those jobs off to someone else.

If that’s you, then it might make sense to hire a property management firm.

Who else might consider hiring a property management company? Here are five factors to take into account when determining that answer:

  1. The number of properties you own. If you own one commercial property, you may think you don’t need a property management firm, but if you lack the training, you most likely are throwing money down the drain without one. And, the more properties you own and the more units each contain, the more likely you are to benefit from a property management company.
  2. The amount of time you have. If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to being a landlord, and/or you’d rather spend your time building your portfolio by acquiring other investments, then a property management company is probably a good bet.
  3. You don’t live nearby. If the properties you own are located in another city or state, or if you are a frequent traveler, having a property management firm will give you peace of mind.
  4. Hands-on management is of no interest to you. If you bought your commercial properties as an investment and have no interest in running the day-to-day of the property, then definitely outsource those jobs to a property management firm.
  5. You can afford the cost. Hiring a property management company is an attractive option if you can afford the fees. But, you also can lose money by not hiring a management company. Here are a few examples of how:
  • Undercharging Rent: Don’t want to do that!
  • Overcharging Rent: May be good in the short term, but that tenant will likely leave once they realize the cost, and potentially leave you with a vacant unit.
  • Emergency Remediation: Not knowing how to properly address damage WILL cost you.  Property management companies regularly deal with emergency situations and understand what needs to happen to best mitigate damage and preserve your property.   Professionals like Clarity Commercial are ready to handle these problems 24/7/365, in the most timely and effective way.
  • Maintenance: Management companies have a network of contractors who often provide discounted pricing as they are competing for business in that management company’s portfolio of many properties.
  • Tenant Build-outs/Improvements: Having trouble leasing your space?  Maybe it needs some renovation work. Have you thought about providing a potential lessee with an allotment to renovate as they like?  May seems odd, but some tenants are very willing to sign a long-term lease (20 to 30 years) IF they can get the right space.  But, the numbers must add up, and there are many factors to consider.  The experts at Clarity Commercial understand the market, factors involved, and can help guide you through the process to maximize profit.

The cost of having a management company is often offset with the savings they provide, ultimately giving the property owner a better long-term bottom line.

If you do decide to hire a property management company, you want to ensure you hire the right one. To learn more about how Clarity Commercial can help you and your properties, please contact us. We’d love to speak with you!

Vendor Testimonial

This is why we love what we do – when out of the blue a vendor of ours sends an email to tell me how well my employees are doing and that we are building our business the right way!!  Thank you Mark!!

Mel,

While I have a moment and it’s fresh on my mind, I want to congratulate you and your team on the launching of Clarity Commercial.  These are exciting times and I know you will continue to grow and succeed for many years to come.

I also want you to know when members of your team go above and beyond expectations when dealing with contractors, such as myself.  I speak of Jenny Ramola.  She is extremely professional and pleasant to deal with. Any and every time I’ve dealt with Jenny, she gets to the heart of the matter, communicates well and follows through.

She realizes that contractors and Property Managers for that matter, don’t often get emails or phone calls singing the praises of how well your company manages a property or how efficient/effective a contractor is while on a property site.  Jenny, on many occasions, has passed on a kind word or compliment coming from a tenant and is one of only a handful of people (that I’ve ever dealt with) to ever bother doing this.  She seems to genuinely appreciate the work we furnish and always thanks me/us for the various services you folks have asked us to provide to your clients.

So congratulations on the great team you have surrounded yourself with and thank you for giving Lakeville Building Services the many past, current and future opportunities!

Respectfully,

 

Mark Rundquist
President
Lakeville Building Services, LLC

5 qualities to look for when hiring a property management company

As a landlord, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is whether or not to hire a property management company. Some landlords want to manage their properties on their own, while others rely on a property management firm to help in a variety of ways.

Property maintenance is a big benefit, but property management companies also can help with the marketing of properties, lease renewals, collecting rent, and budget projections, among other things. So, if you are thinking about hiring a property management company, make sure that you hire one with a solid reputation, impeccable track record and one you can trust.

Here are 5 qualities to look for when hiring a property management company:

  1. Experience – This goes without saying. You want a property management company that has either been around for a while, or if it’s relatively new, is run by people who have been in the industry for several years and understand the ins and outs of commercial property management. Be sure to ask for references and talk to some of the employees to really get a feel for the company.

 

  1. Tenant relations – Obviously, for a property to survive, a landlord needs tenants. One of the many critical tasks of any property management firm is how they go about getting and retaining tenants. Do they have a plan to maintain relations with the tenants throughout the life of their lease, and what efforts do they make to keep the tenants upon the expiration of the lease? These are important questions to ask.

 

  1. Tenant procedures – Just as important as tenant relations is the processes and procedures the property management company has established in dealing with tenants on a day-to-day basis. Do they have a move-in/move-out procedure as well as a process for after-hours maintenance? These policies are critical for running a tight ship in a professional manner.

 

  1. Maintenance – Speaking of maintenance, you want your property management company to have maintenance resources available for the tenants as soon as they may need one. The maintenance workers should be clean-cut and professional, as they oftentimes are the face of the property, and they should all follow the same procedure – including record-keeping – when responding to a maintenance call.

 

  1. Financial reporting – Understanding the financials of your property or properties is critical. Will the property management company provide you with monthly reports, and if so, what will those reports cover? Can the reports be set up in different systems for accounting purposes? Will the property management company help with budget projections and payment of operating expenses?

Clarity Commercial is an experienced and professional property management company based in the Twin Cities. We manage a wide-range of commercial properties including multi-story office buildings, warehouse facilities, retail spaces and industrial properties, and we offer a variety of services to our clients.

From marketing and maintenance to lease negotiations and renewals, budget projections, site inspections, financial reporting, security system management and so much more, we work hard on behalf of our clients.

Contact us today to schedule some time to talk. We’d love to learn more about you and your properties, and discuss ways we can help!

 

 

 

 

Old School or Cutting-Edge Innovation, Your Property Management Company Should Adapt to You

We are in an interesting time in commercial property ownership and management. Some property owners have owned their buildings for decades, successfully managing tenants in-person at an office with a landline phone and paper files. They’ve built relationships with long-term tenants with their hands-on approach. And if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Other property owners have embraced all the latest innovations in the property management industry. They were the first to use software and cloud-based programs to manage their properties and offer mobile apps to tenants to track rent payments and maintenance requests. Some even use drone technology to market and monitor their facilities.

There is room in the market for both approaches to property management. Some tenants value the hands-on approach of veteran landlords, while others may prefer more autonomy and automation that new technologies offer. Whether you’re running an old-school operation or an early adopter of all things new in commercial property management, you should work with a property management company that can adapt to how you work best.

Old School or Innovative, Clarity Commercial Works with You

To have a successful relationship with your property management company, you must be on the same page. If you’re a handshake, landline phone, paper file landlord, chances are you’re looking for a property management company that will pick up the phone, visit your property regularly in person, and call instead of email.

On the other hand, if you prefer email or text over a phone call, encourage your tenants to use a mobile app, and don’t have a physical office in your building, you likely want a property management company that can offer remote support and the newest technologies to streamline and automate your operations.

Clarity Commercial is a property management company that can do both. We implement many of the industry’s cutting-edge technologies to make our own operations easier and more efficient. But we also understand the value of building relationships, both with you and your tenants and employees. We’re committed to meeting you where you’re at and fitting into your processes, not the other way around.

Working with a property management company should make your life easier, not more difficult, confusing, or onerous. If you’re interested in hiring a property management company but you’re not sure if the relationship will be a good fit, please reach out to Clarity Commercial. Our experts will explain how our team can integrate with your own.

Texas Property Managed

Don’t DIY when it comes to marketing your commercial property

When someone takes on a DIY (Do It Yourself) project, they usually do so for one of two reasons: they love the type of work it is, and/or they want to save money. While these are both noble reasons, you should reconsider doing it yourself when it comes to marketing and leasing your commercial property. Rather, you should hire a property management company to do it for you.

Why?

If you try to market and lease a property yourself, you are most likely going to spend a lot of time and energy:

  • Preparing the space to rent
  • Answering phone calls and emails
  • Showing the space to prospective tenants
  • Negotiating the rent

And time is money.

Property management companies take care of all these tasks for you, and more. And, since they have the expertise and resources to properly market your space, they’ll most likely find the right tenant in the least amount of time.

That means more money in your pocket.

Companies like Clarity Commercial are experts at marketing different types of commercial properties so we end up attracting the right kind of tenant for a particular space. Plus, we have a vast network of referral partners who can help us identify potential tenants.

What’s more, we know what red flags to look for when interviewing someone for the space, which can save you headaches down the road.

And, once you have a good tenant in place, you’ll want to keep him or her happy so they continue to lease your space for a long time. A property management company helps do this by making repairs quickly and acting as a resource for the tenants when they have a problem.

Contact Clarity Commercial to start a conversation about our marketing programs and how we can help you save time and money while attracting high-quality tenants for your commercial space.

Clarity Texas Property Management

5 Ways Hiring a Property Manager Can Save You Money

As a property owner, you’re in the business of increasing your property’s value while keeping your costs under control. This is true whether you own a small office building or several 50,000 square-foot warehouses. Effectively managing your portfolio of properties takes a diverse set of skills. Without the help of a property manager, you have to become an expert in marketing, leasing, maintenance, insurance, taxes, and collections, among many others.

That’s why it makes a lot of sense to invest in the expertise of a property manager. We have the training, experience, and resources to take these and other tasks off your plate. In the long run, working with a property manager can save you money and even help you make more. Here’s how.

  1. A property manager maintains your budget.

How often do you sit down and look at your balance sheet? A property manager takes your budget seriously and works hard to stay within it. We help you understand how much you’ve made and spent so far and present you with budget projections for the rest of the year. We can help with your five-year and ten-year planning, too.

  1. A property manager evaluates your tax burden.

When you’re busy working with tenants, you have little time to spend analyzing and evaluating your tax burden. But income, property, sales, and utility taxes add up. In some cases, they can also be negotiated. Property managers can help you keep track of your tax burden and help you find ways to reduce it.

  1. A property manager handles collections.

Tenants who make late payments or fail to pay can throw off your books. Collections can take a lot of time, energy, and angst. Property managers can take collections completely off your plate and help you recover late or missing rent checks.

  1. A property manager mitigates risk.

Your properties are used for all sorts of tasks that create a diverse set of risks. Your insurance policies should cover it all, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket when it’s time to make a claim. We can help you understand the different risks you face at your different properties and recommend comprehensive liability, fire, and extended coverage.

  1. A property manager markets your property for you.

Okay, this one might actually make you money, not just save it. Property managers like Clarity Commercial can help you market your available properties so you can fill vacant space quickly. The fewer days your properties are vacant, the more money you’ll make.

Working with a property manager can be one of the best investments you can make. If you’re wondering what a property manager could take off of your plate, contact Clarity Commercial today

Are You Missing Out on IREM? An Interview with Clarity Commercial Founder Mel Schultz, CPM®

Mel Schultz, CPM®, CCIM, CCAM

Mel Schultz, CPM®, CCIM, CCAM

Mel Schultz, CPM®, has been in the Real Estate business since March of 2003, prior to 2003 he was in Medical Device manufacturing after serving in the US Navy as an electrician working on F/A – 18s.  Schultz was instrumental in growing the family business and in negotiating the sale of that business to New Concepts in 2009. Schultz’s management portfolio consists of retail properties, commercial office buildings, commercial associations and raw land development. Schultz has been a member of the New Concepts Management Group (NCMGI) team since 2009. On January 1, 2018, Mel and NCMGI ownership formed Clarity Commercial Services, LLC to further their efforts on growing a Commercial Real Estate portfolio and business. He is committed to the growth of Clarity Commercial, it’s client’s growth and his personal education and training. Schultz’s professionalism, personality and integrity are the main attributes the clients Schultz represents deeply appreciate.

Recognizing the credibility and distinction of the CPM® designation, Schultz began his IREM involvement in 2003 and earned his CPM® designation in 2007. Long active in IREM’s Minnesota Chapter, he has served in numerous chapter leadership positions, including that of 2014 MN Chapter President. He has also been honored as the chapter’s CPM® of the Year in 2014 and most recently received the 2017 Spirit of IREM award. At the National level Schultz also has served as a member of its Governing Council, a committee member on IREM’s Industry Standards Board and Membership and Credentialing Committee, Regional Vice President and is currently serving on the Executive Committee as a Member At Large.

Schultz is also involved with other organizations and earned his Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM) designation through the Minnesota Multi-Family Housing Association (recognized as the Outstanding CIC Manager of the Year in 2013) and the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation in 2011. Schultz is heavily involved by attending various events, serving on committees and in many leadership roles within each of these organizations. Schultz currently lives in Rosemount, Minnesota with his wife of more than 19 years, and is very active in their children’s many activities.

If you’re serious about your property management career, membership in the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) is absolutely essential. It’s your gateway to building relationships with peers, and industry partners as well as training on the innovations happening in our industry here in Minnesota and around the world. No other real estate group does it better than IREM! Clarity Commercial Mel Schultz, CPM®, is here to tell you why.

What is IREM?

IREM is an international organization of real estate management professionals. We have more than 20,000 members across the globe and more than 330 members in the Minnesota chapter alone. IREM’s tagline is “those who manage to make a difference,” and the organization’s mission is to support property managers through education, professional development, and collaboration with other industry professionals.

IREM welcomes college students, young professionals, and industry veterans who want to advance their career in property management. If that describes you, I’d love to hear from you!

Mel, you’re passionate about what IREM does. How did you get started in the organization?

Quite simply, without IREM, I could not do my job as a property manager up to my personal standards and those of my industry. Today, 80 percent of the contractors I partner with are supporters or members of IREM. It’s given me the opportunity to build relationships here in Minnesota and across the country, including Texas and California.

I joined my local chapter when I started in the property management industry in 2003. I earned my Certified Property Manager (CPM®) designation in 2007. By then, I had experienced the value of membership first hand and joined several committees, attended multiple events, and served on my chapter’s leadership team, which led to the role of president in 2014.

In 2015, I was asked to join the national governing council for IREM —what an honor! I was privileged to serve as the Regional Vice President of Region 9. Region 9 covers the IREM Chapters in Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin for a 2-year term:  2016 and 2017.  Currently I serve as a Member-At-Large on the National Executive Committee.

Wow! That sounds like a big role. What do you like most about serving the organization at the regional level?

Being RVP is said to be “the best volunteer position in IREM!” Volunteering at the regional or national level gives you a deep understanding of why IREM is the Leader in Real Estate Management Industry.  I able to work with leaders from each chapter in the region (as well as leaders across the world) and help them improve how their chapters are run and ultimately, to help them grow their chapters.

It also offered me a good look at what IREM does to support its members on a global level. IREM is heavily involved in lobbying for policy that affects the real estate industry. It also provides ample opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Can you describe some of those opportunities for personal and professional growth through IREM?

Sure! In addition to a variety of recurring and annual events to help members build their skills and make connections. IREM offers four designations. These are designations members volunteer to pursue that indicate they implement industry best practices in their property management business.

The flagship designation is the Certified Property Manger designation, or CPM®. It is for individuals who are property management professionals. This is the designation I pursued in my early years with IREM. It unlocks the opportunity to serve on leadership within IREM.

In addition to CPM®, IREM offers Accredited Residential Manager (ARM®) and Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM) for individuals. The Accredited Management Organization (AMO®) designation is for companies. It requires a company leader to have the ARM® or ACoM accreditation.

How can property managers learn more about IREM or join the organization?

Attend one of our events! On April 4, a speaker from the national council will speak on the value of the CPM® and how property managers can earn it. It will be held at Minneapolis Event Centers on St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis. You won’t want to miss it!

Of course, you can always reach out to me or Minnesota chapter president Charles Meadows. I’d love to share how IREM could help you take your career to the next level.

7 reasons to consider outsourcing the management of your commercial properties

Whether you own one building or several, commercial real estate can be a great investment. It also can be a huge job, from the maintenance of the building to leasing out the space and thinking about capital improvements. That’s why many building owners opt to outsource the management of their commercial properties as a way off-load some of the day-to-day tasks that eat up all of their time.

But you don’t want to outsource to just any management company. Rather, you want one that understands not only the local market, but also the many types of buildings available. You want a company that has experience with multi-story office buildings, warehouse facilities, commercial condominiums or townhouses, retail, and industrial properties.

Clarity Commercial has experience with a variety of building types, and we understand that no two buildings are the same. No two property owners are the same, either, and that’s why we pride ourselves on the personalized attention we give each of our clients and their properties.

We work with our clients to help control costs and increase property value while maintaining tenant satisfaction. And as important as it is to increase property value, there are many other benefits to working with a management company. Here are just seven to think about:

  1. Property maintenance

Let’s face it. Your buildings will need maintenance, and probably improvements. You want a reputable company that can take care of both for you. Doing so will not only help you retain and attract new tenants, but also protect your investment.

  1. Marketing and leasing programs

Management companies like Clarity Commercial are experts at developing and implementing marketing and leasing programs in order to attract the right kind of tenant with the right lease terms.

  1. Collections

You don’t want to spend your time chasing down monthly rents, nor do you want to spend your time negotiating lease renewals. You don’t have to when you outsource those very important duties to a professional.

  1. Increased protection

Clarity Commercial can help you protect your investment with services such as security system management for your buildings and the retention of necessary liability insurance for you.

  1. Additional consulting services

Many management companies like Clarity Commercial will also help you with financial reporting, budget projections, payment of operating expenses, and real estate and personal tax evaluations.

  1. Multi-state management

Clarity Commercial operates across the U.S. so if you own properties in different states, you only need one management firm to take care of them for you.

  1. More time

That’s right; by outsourcing the management of your properties, you get more time to focus on those things you love.

To find out more about our services and how we can help you and your properties, contact us today!

Clarity Texas Property Management

3 Ways Commercial Property Owners Can Gain Clarity and Time in 2018

Eagan MN Car Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re bogged down in the day-to-day management of your buildings, it’s difficult to find the time and resources to grow your portfolio of commercial properties. That’s why many commercial property owners outsource the daily operations of their buildings to a property management company like Clarity Commercial. Here are three ways working with Clarity Commercial can help you find more to time in 2018.

  1. Outsource the maintenance of your commercial property.

Often, property owners perform all the daily maintenance of their buildings themselves, from vacuuming the lobby and washing the windows to shoveling and salting the sidewalks. This might be manageable for a single, small building. But multiplying these tasks across two or more properties becomes burdensome.

Outsourcing the regular maintenance of your commercial properties frees up the time you have for marketing your empty space and hunting for your next investment. Clarity Commercial can provide regular building maintenance services and can even manage your maintenance staff for you.

  1. Get help with your marketing and commercial leasing programs.

Managing your current tenants is already a full-time job, so it can be difficult to find the time to create and implement a marketing plan for attracting new ones. Managing your tenants, negotiating lease renewals, and collecting payments can take up your entire day. That’s why it often pays off to work with a property management company that can help you manage your current tenants and market to new ones.

Clarity Commercial can also work with you to identify potential new tenants and find them the ideal space in your commercial property portfolio. We can help you negotiate the lease and make any renovations and leasehold improvements they require.

  1. Work with a property management professional with a proven record.

Clarity Commercial owner and Navy veteran Mel Schultz, CPM®, has been in the real estate business since March 2003. Mel manages a portfolio of retail properties, commercial office buildings, commercial associations, and raw land development. He was a member of the New Concepts Management Group (NCMGI) team for nine years. On January 1, 2018, Mel and NCMGI ownership formed Clarity Commercial Services, LLC to further their efforts on growing a commercial real estate portfolio and business.

Mel joined IREM in 2003 and earned his CPM® designation in 2007. Long active in IREM’s Minnesota Chapter, he has served in numerous chapter leadership positions, including chapter president. He has also been honored as the chapter’s CPM® of the Year in 2014 and most recently received the 2017 Spirit of IREM award. Schultz is also involved with other organizations and earned his Certified Community Association Manager (CCAM) designation through the Minnesota Multi-Family Housing Association (recognized as the Outstanding CIC Manager of the Year in 2013) and the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation in 2011.

Are you hoping to grow your commercial property portfolio or just need some help managing your current properties? Clarity Commercial can help. Contact us today.