3 Ways to Keep Your Commercial Tenants Happy (and Paying Their Rent On-Time)

Property owners, especially those who manage their properties themselves, often struggle with tenant turnover. Managing and maintaining one or more commercial properties is a full-time job that leaves little time for doing the things that keep current tenants happy and attract new ones. Here are three ways you can keep your current tenants happy so they’re more likely to renew their lease with you.

  1. Build a Professional Relationship with Your Tenants

If your tenants only see you when their rent is due, it’s difficult to build a positive relationship with them. Take the 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 location for maintenance and repairs.

Simply listening to what they love about your property and what could work better for them goes a long way toward building a good relationship with your tenants. Better yet, make some of the improvements they suggest. Investing a little in them makes it more likely that they’ll be loyal tenants for years to come.

  1. Maintain and Improve Your Property

Maintenance and improvements should be part of your annual budget for every one of your properties. All buildings require ongoing care to operate efficiently and reliably. Show tenants that you’re dedicated to keeping your property safe, functional, and attractive for them and their visitors.

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 a little rundown or overgrown, invest in some upgrades. Not only will this help your tenants attract new business, you’ll likely attract a few new tenants yourself.

  1. 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. A property management company such as Clarity Commercial can help you build and manage your tenant relationships, from finding new tenants and responding to their maintenance requests to lease renewals.

When it comes down to it, 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.

 

Spring Cleanup and Maintenance for Commercial Properties

The snow is melting rapidly and potholes are cropping up across the metro area—it’s early spring in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It may not quite be time to put up the ice melt and gas up the lawn mower, but it is time to put together your spring-cleaning checklist. Commercial properties require seasonal maintenance just like homes do. Here are five of the items Clarity Commercial will be taking care of for our clients in the next 60 days.

  1. Patching Up Parking Lot Potholes

The snow is on the way out and leaving massive potholes in its wake. It seems like new craters appear every hour. For commercial property managers, March is the season of cold-patch asphalt and power sweepers. While your parking lot snow mountain may persist through May, March is when you need to fill potholes and sweep your parking lot to remove salt and sand. We partner with reputable asphalt and paving companies to keep our clients’ parking lots clear and safe.

  1. Inspecting Roofs for Damage

Several roof collapses made the news this February after nearly 40 inches fell across the state. All that snow strains the integrity of commercial roofs. If you were lucky enough to avoid a cave-in, it still pays to have your roof inspected now that the snow’s melted. Clarity Commercial hires professional commercial roofing companies to perform roof inspections at the properties we manage. If we uncover damage, we work with our clients to have it repaired to keep tenants safe.

  1. Cleaning Out the Gutters

Gutters on commercial buildings can become blocked with leaves and other debris over the winter. 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. We have resources for both.

  1. Scheduling Window Cleaning for March

The busy season for window cleaners runs April through September. We like to stay ahead of the curve and have the windows of our properties cleaned in March after most of the snow has melted. That way, our buildings look their best while their neighbors are waiting for their spring refresh. Clean windows also let the warm spring sunlight to brighten offices and atriums.

  1. Maintaining HVAC Systems

While the heat will be on in most commercial buildings for another month or so, it’s a good time to schedule your HVAC maintenance appointment to clean your ducts and get your air conditioning ready for the warmer months.

Patio weather is right around the corner. Get your commercial property ready for sunny days with a little spring cleaning. Clarity Commercial is here to help. Contact us today for help with regular commercial property maintenance.

Should You Upgrade to a Cloud-Based Security System?

Everyone on the Clarity Commercial team hopes to become a trusted partner and resource for our clients. We’ve helped property owners with all sorts of questions, from how to grow a profitable commercial real estate portfolio to how to supervise on-site workers. One question we’re often asked is how to best secure a commercial property.

There are as many ways to secure a property as there are properties themselves. A warehouse in Burnsville, Minnesota, has very different security and safety needs from an apartment building in downtown Minneapolis. This month, we wanted to focus on one of the newer technologies in commercial security: cloud-based security systems.

Cloud-Based Security Is a Hot Trend

Cloud-based security systems have become very popular options for commercial properties. Cloud-based systems can integrate several different layers of security, from alarm and access control systems to security cameras and CCTV. It’s easy and affordable to add sensors and other security equipment to a cloud-based system, which makes them a great option for a growing business or for landlords with average to high tenant turnover.

In a cloud-based system, property managers and owners manage who has access to their buildings through an online dashboard. They can assign and revoke access to all or parts of their property and review who’s entered and exited the building. Cloud-based storage of video makes it easy and affordable to keep and review footage from security cameras anytime, anywhere.

Cloud-Based Access Control for Tenants

For a property with multiple tenants, a cloud-based security system is a great option. Many newer systems are operated via a smartphone app, which means owners do not have to invest in hundreds of key cards that can get lost or stolen. Instead, tenants download the app, the property owner or manager authorizes them as users, and the app automatically unlocks doors for them via the phone’s Bluetooth capability. Since it’s cloud-based, access can be assigned or revoked instantly, and records of who is entering and leaving the building are immediately available.

If you’re considering adding or upgrading a security system on your commercial property, Clarity Commercial is here to help. Our property managers have years of experience advising property owners on how to find the security system that keeps their property secure without breaking the bank. Contact us today for help.

 

 

3 Ways to Keep Building Tenants and Guests Safe during Winter

Property owners in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, face a unique challenge for up to six months of the year: winter. Whether you own a strip mall in the suburbs or office space downtown, winter cold, ice, and snow make it difficult to keep your building safe and comfortable. Here are three challenges property owners face in winter and how to solve them.

  1. Snowy and Icy Walkways, Driveways, and Parking Lots

Challenge

Snow can make it difficult or impossible for tenants and guests to reach your building. In late winter, mountains of plowed snow can shrink your parking lot and make it difficult to see pedestrians. Ice makes walkways and driveways treacherous, too. Some cities require you to clear and de-ice public walkways around your building within 12 to 24 hours, which is difficult if you own more than one property.

Solution

If you own just one building, you may feel comfortable clearing your walkways, driveway, and parking lot yourself. Maybe you own a plow or don’t mind getting to your building early so walkways are clear once your tenants and their guests arrive or staying through the day to ensure walkways remain clear.

If this sounds like a lot of work, or if you have more profitable things to do with your time than clear snow, consider hiring a snow removal company. A snow removal company will plow snow, shovel walkways, and de-ice all paved surfaces to ensure they’re safe and easy to navigate. If you already work with a property management company, such as Clarity Commercial, ask if you can add snow removal to your list of services.

  1. Broken Boiler or Offline HVAC System

Challenge

It gets brutally cold in Minnesota. No one wants to work in or visit a building where the heat is broken. But if you own an older building, discovering a broken boiler or furnace is a real possibility. Without proper maintenance and regular repairs, you may have to shut down your building for a day or more due to frigid indoor temperatures.

Solution

Head any boiler or HVAC issues off at the pass with regular maintenance and repairs. Routine boiler and furnace checks can uncover issues before they occur. Not an HVAC professional? Then it’s time to call your property management company. Clarity Commercial can take the headache out of boiler and HVAC maintenance so you keep your tenants warm all winter long.

  1. Power Outages

Challenge

Minnesota is home to some epic blizzards (remember when the Metrodome roof collapsed?). High winds and accumulating snow can bring down power lines. This means all your tenants’ electronic equipment—including office computers or a restaurant’s freezers—will be down until the power comes back on. Power outages are a headache at best and a disaster at worst, especially when refrigeration is involved.

Solution

A generator is one of the best investments you can make. The generator kicks in to support your building until the power comes back on. It’s not a long-term fix, but it is a lifesaver for you and your tenants. Clarity Commercial can recommend generators that are good solutions for your building.

Don’t let winter make property ownership a headache this year. Partner with a commercial property management company that can take the challenges of winter property management off your plate. Contact us today to get started.

3 Maintenance Tasks a Commercial Property Manager Can Take Off Your To-Do List

It’s the fourth quarter of 2018—are your commercial properties hitting their revenue targets this year? If not, it’s time to make a change so you can meet your goals in next few months. Partnering with Clarity Commercial can free up your time so you can be out finding tenants and filling space rather than repairing leaky toilets or winterizing your lawn irrigation.

Here are three maintenance tasks a commercial property management company can take off your to-do list so you can finish 2018 strong.

  1. Emergency or Scheduled Repairs

Emergency maintenance calls can completely derail your day. Don’t cancel your appointment with a potential tenant to fix a broken office cabinet or replace the busted fridge in the common-area kitchen. Call on your commercial property management company to help.

A property manager can handle all scheduled and emergency repairs for you, often without even involving you in process. Your property manager can keep a scheduled maintenance calendar to stay ahead of wear-and-tear repairs and notify you when repairs are completed. For emergencies, your tenants can call your property manager, who resolves the issue and lets you know when the repair’s been made.

  1. Fall Clean-Up and Winter Maintenance

Many commercial properties have outdoor space that requires clean-up in the fall before winter arrives. Raking leaves, winterizing sprinklers, and putting out salt for sidewalks can take a day or two out of your busy schedule.

Instead, let a property management company take care of your fall clean-up and other winter outdoor maintenance tasks. Your property manager can tackle any outdoor project, from switching out summer garden beds with fall mums to snow removal for your parking lot. Use the time you save from outsourcing these tasks to meet with potential tenants or building your relationship with current ones.

  1. Mechanicals Maintenance

Commercial properties have complex HVAC and plumbing systems. Maintaining these systems properly yourself is time-consuming and even dangerous if you do not have the appropriate expertise. Fortunately, your property management company has the experience and resources to keep your building warm and safe throughout the winter.

Thinking about hiring a commercial property management company to take some of your maintenance tasks off your plate? You’ll be surprised at the time you’ll save by outsourcing repairs and other to-dos. To learn more, contact Clarity Commercial today.

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