Upcoming IREM Minnesota Events to Fill Your 2019 Calendar

Clarity Commercial is an active member of IREM Minnesota. Our local chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management hosts events throughout the year to help real estate managers hone their skills (and have a little fun). Mark your calendars for these upcoming IREM events.

June 7: Property Management Summit at Golden Valley Country Club

On June 7, IREM Minnesota will host the Property Management Summit at Golden Valley Country Club. Real estate managers can earn four hours of CE credit for participating in the summit. The event will give an overview of the state of the real estate management industry, then offer four one-hour sessions that will cover business development, asset management, marketing, leasing, maintenance, and tenant improvements.

June 10: IREM 2019 Golf Tournament at Minnesota Valley Country Club

IREM members work hard, and they play hard, too! Register today for the IREM 2019 Golf Tournament in Minnesota Valley Country Club in Bloomington. Put together a foursome, win the beanbag tournament and best-dressed (and worst-dressed!) competition, and take a shot at $5,000 in the long putt contest. Look forward to seeing you on the course!

September 24: Roundtable on Construction Management & Tenant Improvement at The Harrington Company

The next IREM roundtable will cover construction management and tenant improvements. The members-only event will be held at the IREM Minnesota chapter office in Minneapolis on September 24. Participants will learn how to oversee tenant improvement and construction projects on smaller residential buildings and earn one hour of CE.

November 11–15: Asset Management Track Courses at Atria Corporate Center

IREM Minnesota will offer the Asset Management Track of courses November 11–15. Participants will complete three courses: Financing and Loan Analysis for Investment Real Estate, Performance and Valuation of Investment Real Estate, and Asset Analysis of Investment Real Estate. The Asset Management Track meets CPM program requirements.

This track of courses will build participants’ knowledge of financing as well as the valuation of real estate assets. IREM recommends that participants complete Budgeting, Cash Flow, and Reporting for Investment Real Estate before embarking on the Asset Management Track.

Clarity Commercial never takes time off from professional development. IREM events help us stay on top of changes in the real estate management industry so we can provide you with the best property management service possible. To learn more about how we can serve you, contact the Clarity Commercial team today.

Keep Guests and Employees Safe This Winter with These Snow & Ice Tips for Commercial Properties

Last month, Clarity Commercial shared three common winter challenges commercial property owners face and how to solve them. This month, we’re taking a closer look at the first challenge: snow and ice removal.

Tips for Clear and Safe Parking Lots 

In Minnesota, mountains appear seasonally. They tend to show up around the end of January in parking lots across the Twin Cities, then disappear sometime in May. Snow mountains are a fact of life for commercial property owners with parking lots. Not only do these piles of snow take up parking spaces, they can make it hazardous for your employees and visitors to navigate your lot.

Regular plowing and deicing will keep your parking lot surface clear and safe. But all that snow needs to go somewhere. In winters with below-average snowfall, you might be able to get away with allowing your snow mountain to accumulate. But in average or above-average snowfall, you will want to contract with a company to haul away some of your snow. Clarity Commercial has the resources to help you plow your snow, deice your lot, and reduce your snow mountain to Minnesota prairie.

The Best Way to Keep Outdoor Walkways Safe

Slip-and-fall accidents increase in the wintertime, which means out-of-work employees and even lawsuits if injuries are serious. What’s the best way to prevent slip-and-falls? Staying on top of the snow and ice on your walkways.

Most municipalities require owners to clear the walkways around their properties. Clarity can help you understand your city’s requirements. Our snow removal crews use snow blowers and shovels to clear snow from our clients’ walkways. We follow up snow removal with deicing, including salt and sand, if necessary. If snow is in the forecast, you may see our crews out before the weather hits to throw down a layer of salt, too.

Don’t Forget to Keep Interior Flooring Dry

Snow and ice removal doesn’t end once employees and visitors walk through your front door. Snow and salt on boots can muck up your floors and cause people to slip. Clarity recommends placing a few heavy-duty mats in your vestibule and lobby areas to catch water and salt. Our vendors also stop by at least once a week to replace wet and dirty mats.

Keep an eye on hardwood and tile flooring, both of which can get slick from melted snow. Mop up wet floors regularly and consider using an industrial blower fan to dry floors on stormy days. Carpets can get gummy with melted snow and salt. Schedule one or two carpet cleaning appointments throughout the winter to keep your floors looking nice.

Don’t let Old Man Winter get you down this year. Keep employees and visitors safe and dry as they come and go from your building. Clarity Commercial can help you stay on top of the snow this season. Contact us today to get started.

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!