5 Secrets to Commercial Tenant Relations

REAL ESTATE
5 Secrets to Managing Commercial Tenant Relations
Dealing with tenants is a large part of the day-to-day duties of anyone in a property management position. Managing commercial tenants comes with its own set of complex needs that differ from residential management. For the best outcomes, commercial investors must set reasonable tenant expectations and facilitate a balanced landlord-tenant relationship. Here are five tips to guide this process.

1. Properly vet tenants before agreeing to terms. As part of your initial screening process, determine the potential tenant’s ability to pay. If you have questions about the financial viability of their business, a larger deposit may be a prudent measure.

2. Clearly define tenant and landlord roles. The lease agreement must clearly designate what the landlord and the tenant are responsible for. This includes, but is not limited to, rent payment, property upgrades, building maintenance, and cleaning.

3. Keep the lines of communication open. Communication can head off potential issues before they become insurmountable. Simple things like identifying maintenance items and informing your tenants in advance can reduce tense moments.

4. Monitor payment of rent and other fees. Watching the bottom line is important to the success of any business. Late rent payments may be an early indication of financial distress. This may be an opportunity to address the issue before it escalates.

5. Keep written records. Whenever there is an issue, clearly and honestly document what the issue is and what steps were taken to resolve it. Depending on the severity of the tenant issue, you may need to seek legal advice before moving forward.


HOT BIZ TRENDS
Customer Reviews Are Crucial: Here’s How to Get Good Ones

These days, customer reviews can make or break a small business. This means you need to actively encourage your satisfied customers to share their experiences with your company online.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Social Media

Make sure you have a presence on all major social media sites that are relevant to your business. Start with Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Then consider Bing, Angie’s List, LinkedIn, Yahoo, TripAdvisor, CitySearch, and others.

Feedback

Ask your customers to give feedback. As long as you deliver as promised on your product or service, they won’t mind if you ask for a review. Don’t wait too long, though. Customers are more likely to provide feedback right away.

Follow-Up

Whenever possible, follow up your initial request with a reminder email containing links to suggested review sites. And anytime customers compliment you in person or via phone or email, ask them to post their feedback online.

Convenience

Make it easy for your customers. Put direct links to your review profiles in multiple places, such as in emails, in newsletters, and on your website.

Incentives

It’s okay to incent, but not buy, reviews. You might offer your customers a bonus or reward of some kind, but be sure all reviews are authentic.

Review

Make sure your employees understand the importance of soliciting reviews from their customers, and be sure to monitor the reviews. You need to know what is being said about your business and where you may need to improve your level of service.


EMPLOYEE RELATIONS
Are You Building a Championship Team?

Because great teams are goal-oriented and imbued with a sense of purpose, team-building needs to be a holistic process.

The first step is to choose team members who can and will contribute in meaningful ways to the team’s overall success. Once the team is in place, as team leader, you need to delineate the roles and responsibilities so that individuals know that their jobs matter and that they bring something unique and essential to the table.

Next, set clear, realistic short-term and long-term goals, and establish milestones and deadlines. Motivate progress toward the goals with positive reinforcement, but also know when to pivot or course-correct if necessary.

Provide continuous feedback and maintain open channels of communication. Communication fosters engagement and commitment to the team’s success and also enables team members to surface ideas, suggestions, and issues that may lead to a more productive workflow.

Celebrate successes and accomplishments, but also acknowledge problems, setbacks, or concerns. This type of candor conveys the importance of working together and reaffirms each individual’s responsibility to contribute to the team’s success.

Ultimately, it takes vision and strong leadership to create and sustain a high-performance team. As a leader, you will have to make difficult decisions, establish standards of performance, and implement corrective action from time to time. Be aware of your leadership style and techniques. Get to know the people you work with so that you can have constructive discussions and lead your team to achieve the best outcomes.


REAL ESTATE
Top Challenges and Benefits of Mixed-Use Properties
Rental markets are constantly in flux. With careful planning, investors can stabilize their portfolios by including mixed-use properties while meeting the needs of the marketplace in which they have chosen to invest. A mixed-use property is a blend of three or more property types. Also referred to as live-work spaces, mixed-use properties offer combinations of residential, commercial, cultural, entertainment, and institutional spaces in one setting.

Investing in this type of property comes with both challenges and benefits:

Portfolio diversity. With a variety of tenancy types under one roof, you have an opportunity to protect your investments from the fluctuations in tenancy demand. If there is a decrease in demand for retail space in the area, there may be an opportunity to retrofit existing space and meet the demand for residential units.

This diversity allows the investor to reduce financial risks while minimizing poorer performing aspects of their real estate portfolio.

Built-in foot traffic. The retail spaces in your mixed-use building benefit from the built-in foot traffic from the residential tenants. This also works for your residential tenants, as there are employment opportunities near their living situation as well as convenient opportunities to access the goods and services they require.

Benefits for urban lifestyles. Walkability scoring is increasing in popularity in many markets. Since mixed-use buildings are typically located in a central area, investors can attract both anchor tenants and supplementary tenants by promoting ease of access to public transportation, education, complementary businesses, and other amenities within walking distance.

Property management. If you are new to investing but have experience with property management, a mixed-use building could be a good starting point. Your income sources and related expenses are contained within a smaller area, reducing the need for you to maintain a presence at multiple sites throughout a city.

As your portfolio grows and you require outside property management assistance, you will be able to attract skilled management companies and free up your time to focus on other investment opportunities instead of the day-to-day operations.

Be aware of issues that are specific to mixed-use properties before you buy. The occupancy certificate will clearly outline the intended uses of the property and the number of units. If the building doesn’t match the occupancy permit, you may encounter substantial issues with the building’s operation and ownership.

Second, tenancy regulations surrounding residential and commercial tenants can vary from region to region. Inquiries should be made to ensure you’re complying with tenancy regulations for your commercial as well as your residential tenants.

Third, the tax rates for mixed-use properties are calculated using a hybridized formula based on the percentage of the property that is commercial and the percentage of the property classified as residential. Consultation with an accountant or commercial realtor prior to purchase can help identify the tax implications.

Finally, financing a mixed-use property is very different from applying for a mortgage for a property with a single use. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a mortgage professional before finalizing an agreement to purchase.

Contact our office for a list of recommended mortgage experts.

SA Realty Watch Group
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Worth Reading
12 Most Unusual Offers Made to Recruit a New Employee
By Young Entrepreneur Council
Small Biz Trends

Notice when a potential hire with strong credentials mentions a niche interest during the interview. Incorporating that interest into an offer letter may ensure you get the employee you want. That’s one tip employers can learn from this list. Another is to leverage remote, digital working arrangements to provide more time off or an option of working while traveling.

Just Do It: How to Work When You Really Don’t Feel Like It
By Aytekin Tank

Entrepreneur.com

Don’t wait for motivation before starting work. Start working, and then you will find motivation. That’s the main theme of this article about how to prevent procrastination. Remove emotions from your work. At the same time, create structures that will encourage you. For example, pair a pleasant ritual with a dreaded task or create a visual reminder of your accomplishments to encourage you to keep working.

10 Ways to Make Working from Home More Productive (and Free Up More Time for Yourself)
By Jeff Haden

Inc.com

Working from home can work, but you need to put in the effort to set up an environment that encourages productivity. This article gives practical advice about how to arrange your workspace and your work schedule. Communicate these things with the people you live with; this can decrease distractions and interpersonal conflict.


LINKS YOU CAN USE
This Month-Small Biz HR
Few small-business owners find it feasible to staff an entire HR department. Yet they must find a way to accomplish the tasks of HR professionals.

How? The following links shed some light on the options available to today’s entrepreneurs:

A good place to start is an overview of what HR is, what HR tasks your business should provide, and the various ways you can do this:
HR for Small Business: The Ultimate Guide

Small-business software may be a good solution for your HR needs. Learn what the software should include and discover a few leading platforms here:
Best HR Software for Small Business

If payroll is particularly challenging for your business, you may want to consider one of these payroll options:
The 5 Best Payroll Options for Small Businesses

Do you need to offer employee self-services? Check out these small-biz-friendly employee portals:
12 Employee Portal Options for Small Businesses

Perhaps HR administration tasks are simply eating up too much of your time. Here are some tips on outsourcing these jobs:
Best HR Outsourcing for Small Businesses in 2019

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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