7 Essential Tips for Commercial Roofing Maintenance and Protection

Commercial roofing is a critical but often overlooked part of successful business operations. A building’s roof shields it from the elements, helps to maintain a comfortable indoor climate, and protects the people and assets inside. Proper maintenance and regular inspections ensure that this important covering continues to do its job without having an adverse impact on profits.

Check for Problems After Extreme Weather

Surface damage caused by weathering or environmental hazards is usually most visible after heavy rain, high wind, or snowfall. Visual signs, such as standing water or bubbled materials, often signify trouble. Flashing, the material that protects the seam between the structure’s walls and its cover, should be inspected for loose or missing sections.

Schedule Regular Inspections

Biannual inspections are the best way to keep commercial roofing in optimal condition. A professional examination is recommended, although some building owners check for damage and then call their contractors for an in-depth diagnosis. In best practice, inspections are scheduled in early spring and late fall, just after the harshest seasons.

Stay Alert to Signs of Water Damage

Neglected repairs eventually manifest inside the building. Stained ceiling tiles and discolored walls may indicate deteriorated or damaged decking material, while bulges or cracks could signify more extensive damage. Discolored or rotting window frames also suggest moisture or water damage that may be roof-related, as do signs of mold on the inside or outside of the structure.

Keep Gutter Systems Clean and Clear

The gutter system carries water away from the building. Clogged gutters or drainpipes often prevent proper drainage, causing rain and moisture to accumulate in certain areas. Systems should be cleaned twice per year, although storms and high winds sometimes necessitate more frequent cleanings.

Elevate or Remove Nearby Trees

Overhanging trees pose several hazards. Dead or storm-damaged branches may fall, puncturing or scratching the roof. Trees also drop leaves, pine cones, sap, and other debris onto the surfaces beneath them, often contributing to deterioration. Property owners should regularly remove dead branches threatening their buildings and keep healthy limbs trimmed so that they do not touch the structure.

Ward off Summer Sun

Harmful UV rays may decrease the lifespan of traditional commercial roofing, and hot sunny days typically increase energy costs. Cool Roofs are cost-friendly solutions. Coatings and single-ply membranes offer protection to flat coverings, and pitched types benefit from light-colored tiles or coated metal. These products can decrease rooftop temperatures by 50 to 60 degrees during summer.

Invest in a Commercial Roofing Maintenance Plan

Many contractors offer maintenance packages to extend the life of a structure’s cover. These programs typically include regular inspections, as well as other preventive care services such as resealing. A maintenance plan provides peace of mind, and it makes it easy to detect problems early, minimizing unexpected expenses in the future.

The life expectancy of commercial roofing materials ranges from 25 to 40 years, or more. Proper maintenance, timely repairs, and the right preventive care are the most cost-effective ways to maximize the performance of a structure’s covering.

How To Start A Realtor Sign Installation Business – Tips And Strategies

When you start a Realtor sign installation business, you have access to a wide variety of potential business sources from residential to commercial to vacant land. You will also need to establish the geographical area that you can cover reliably.

In considering how to start a Realtor sign installation business, the first consideration has to be arranging for the production of signage materials. To print custom logos and colors you will need to set up arrangements with a silk screen printing company. This is a specialized process where the pattern is created on fabric with a resist material, then ink is pressed through in multiple color passes. You are also going to want to arrange for storage of the completed signs in a covered dry area with separators to protect their surface when not in use.

The signs themselves are almost universally mounted on four by four standard construction grade Douglas Fir posts, apart from larger commercial real estate signs which occasionally may require four by six posts. The plywood for lettering should be plywood with exterior grade glue and a smooth PTS “plugged and touch sanded” surface on both sides. Half inch thickness should suffice for most applications.

You will need a good knowledge of the area to accurately locate the sign placements. A GPS device is useful here, and you will also want to be able to read County Assessor plat maps if you are going to place signs on vacant land. You will also need to check local sign ordinances in developed areas. Know the restrictions on sign placement in gated communities, within homeowner association controlled developments, and in all areas with covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCRs) such as planned unit developments or town homes.

You also need to have reliable transportation consisting of a full size pickup truck with wood separator fixtures fashioned to secure the standard yard signs during transport.

Once your production capacity and storage arrangements are in place but not yet activated, you need to secure your accounts. In addition to marketing to conventional real estate offices, you will also want to pursue the bank REO (real estate owned) departments that need to liquidate foreclosed holdings and the independent agencies that are selling foreclosed properties in bulk.

Establish your pricing and service by comparison with sign companies in areas adjacent to your service area. Much of your marketing will be establishing contacts in person with the real estate office managers in your area. Be presentable, be persistent, be cordial, and be businesslike. These people need to know they can trust you to promptly and reliably place and remove their signs.

Almost every business today can benefit from an online marketing presence. A digital camera can provide you with promotional photographs for your web site, and templates are available online to simplify the process of setting up your site. Be sure to include a call to action on every page to encourage your visitors to request an estimate by e-mail. Also obtain their name and telephone in your online form to follow up with them consistently. The forms can be found by searching online for reply forms.

Commercial Property Leasing – Pain Points to Lease Negotiation

When leasing commercial or retail premises there are certain points of negotiation that always create pain for the parties concerned. Here are a few of the big and most common ones:

  1. The landlord wants a high starting rent
  2. The tenant wants a big incentive
  3. The tenant wants a huge option term for further potential occupancy
  4. The landlord wants a tenant but is not prepared to provide an incentive to attract them to the property
  5. The last tenant left the premises in a mess and the landlord will not fix it up until a new tenant is found
  6. The landlord will not refurbish the premises before they have a tenant on a signed lease
  7. The tenant does not want to give any form of guarantee as security in the case of any default of lease

These are the most common problems for the average lease negotiation. Most landlords also think that their property is better than anything else around and on that basis will not negotiate down on any rent to get the premises let. So often you hear that the landlord is prepared to wait it out and see what the next tenant will offer.

In this market there are limited numbers of active tenants looking to relocate to new premises. In some cases there can be 5 properties available for every tenant to choose from. Urgency in the lease deal is not high from the tenant’s perspective; landlords need to know this. They may only get one tenant to make an offer for the premises.

When it comes to leasing premises it is not where you start your lease and rent, but it is more important to know where you are headed and where you will finish. Rent reviews during the lease term can take care of rent escalation to improve the lease, providing the real estate agent negotiates the lease well.

So what can you do with this list of common leasing problems? The best way is to use the pain of the vacancy (in the case of the landlord), or the pain of the need for new premises (in the case of a tenant) to move the deal forward. You should work with the offer that you have and not hope that another will come again soon to replace a low offer today.

Take today’s lease offer and turn it into a valuable lease over the term. Show the landlord the real value of the lease by doing an analysis of the deal using a net present value approach on the lease cash flow over the lease term. It is remarkable how the landlord will soften their negotiation position when long term lease value is explained in numbers.

New Book Teaches Real Estate Investors to Get Rich Through Mentoring Others

Barry Wilmeth’s Making Others Rich First provides a fresh take on real estate investing for both new and seasoned investors. Wilmeth, who has been investing in real estate across the United States for many years, knows that real estate investing is not solely about making yourself rich. It’s also about helping others to become wealthy by providing them with quality housing or helping them to buy their first homes, and for those who want even more, it is about helping new investors pursue their own financial dreams for success. I love Wilmeth’s attitude in this book. While some people might view real estate investing as competitive, Wilmeth believes there is plenty for everyone, and we all get more when we help each other. As he states early in the book, “We have an existential sense that our happiness depends on the happiness of others and that there is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”

Making Others Rich First is designed to help the real estate investor starting out with the basics of how to invest, but it is also designed to encourage more seasoned investors to mentor others in the real estate investment business. Each chapter has nuggets of information for both the mentor and the mentee, and while the overall structure benefits the mentee, I think mentors will find much here to give them new ideas about investing.

The book is divided into five sections, each of which has three or four chapters. Those sections are: Getting on the Road to Riches; Setting the Business Framework; Preparation, Education, and Application; Staying Motivated; and Getting a Return on Your Investment. Throughout the sections, Wilmeth shares personal stories of investments he has made, shows how to crunch the numbers to determine potential payoffs and whether an investment is worthwhile, and continually provides motivation for readers to take action.

Taking action is especially key. Wilmeth knew that no matter how many books he read or seminars he took, he would never truly learn about real estate investing until he took action by buying a property. That first action paid off in the knowledge he acquired from owning it, and today, he owns rental properties across the United States, and he also buys and sells properties on a regular basis.

Wilmeth understands that real estate investing can initially be scary, but he states:

“The fear will subside the more you do similar deals. I tell new investors over and over, ‘Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.’ Get your feet on the ground by making a real estate purchase and renting it out by using a reputable property manager. This is not a field trip. It is an internship. It is on the job training (OJT). Learning from a book or a seminar will make you think. Learning by doing will make you experienced.”

In addition, Wilmeth talks about how to find money for investing-from private investors and other sources. Once investment money is available, Wilmeth guides readers through how to do their due diligence when buying a property so they can avoid bad deals, and he also talks about how to recover if you do make a bad deal. A bad deal is not a reason to give up, but an opportunity to learn from your mistakes.

Wilmeth also takes readers through all the details of business and tax planning. He introduces them to what he calls the MBA Formula, which consists of: Monitoring Your Debits and Credits, Balancing the Books, and Analyzing the Numbers.

He also talks about the importance of following up with others. You need to respond quickly, be on the phone rather than waiting for an email response, and consistently putting yourself in front of others so they will help you find deals and you can make sales. Even if you don’t know the answers to someone’s question, just responding can lead to forming a relationship that can benefit you in the long run. All of these points are explained in detail in these pages, along with advice on networking, volunteering, marketing, and much more.

But beyond all the real estate investment details is the book’s core message-the importance of mentoring, which Wilmeth summarizes in two main points: 1) “If you are new to investing, you really should have a mentor. And if you decide not to, there will come a day when you’re going to hear me whispering, ‘I told you so,'” and 2) “If you are already a sophisticated investor, you can get more deals and expand your business by being a good mentor to others.”

Ultimately, mentoring can only be advantageous to a real estate investor. As Wilmeth states:

“Your firsthand testimony is much more powerful than a seminar, book, or attendance at an investors’ club meeting. You will come across to others as believable and as an ‘If I can do it, so can you’ role model. I believe the best way to be the real deal is to take steps to increase your wealth, share your story, and then help others get rich without charging a fee.”

Yes, you read that right-“without charging a fee.” Wilmeth describes the difference between coaches who do charge fees and true mentors, and his take on mentoring is refreshing as a result.

A lot of successful businesspeople will try to tell you how to get rich by sharing with you what they have done, but it’s rare to find someone who does it for the purpose of giving back rather than to benefit himself. Not that Wilmeth denies the personal benefits of helping others, but his sincere desire to help others get rich first is what makes this book stand out from all the other real estate books already available. Whether you’re new to real estate investing or you want to learn more through giving back, this book will open new opportunities for you.

Tips for Offering Move-In / Move-Out Cleaning Services

People and businesses are moving from homes, apartments, and offices on a daily basis. As people and businesses move, they either need their old location cleaned or want to make sure their new location is clean before moving in. Your cleaning company can fill this niche by providing what is known as move-in/move-out cleaning. It can be an added service that your cleaning business provides, a way to give employees new skills, and a great way for your company to make more profit!

Move in/out cleaning can be cleaning a building after an old tenant moves out or before a new tenant moves in. The type of clients looking for move in/out cleaning includes residential and commercial property owners and managers. Commercial move in/out cleaning can vary from small, quick jobs of just a few thousand square feet to large office buildings of 15,000 square feet and up.

A good place to start when looking for move in/out cleaning accounts is to contact property management companies. If you happen to be located in a college town there will probably be no shortage of work. If you have been cleaning commercial buildings, your clients will no doubt ask you to provide move in/out cleaning services when they move into a new office or building.

When first starting out with move in/out cleaning it may be necessary to meet with the property manager on-site to give an estimate on the time it will take to clean the apartment, office, or building. Once you establish a relationship with the property manager you may be able to skip doing an estimate and just bill for your time. They will most likely need floor cleaning services too (carpet, tile, wood). These are specialized cleaning services, which you will charge separately for. Offering these specialized services will also add more profitability to your cleaning company since you will charge more for these services.

The prices charged will vary depending on the type of facility you are cleaning, but you should be able to bill $20 – $25 for your services. Apartment buildings tend to be less profitable than commercial buildings because many apartment managers have a budget to adhere to, so they like their cleaning contractors to bill a flat fee because it’s easier to stick to their budget. Cleaning contractors need to be cautious about bidding this way. Some apartments take much longer to clean than others so you don’t want to lose money because you underestimated your time.

No matter if you are cleaning a residential apartment, home or a commercial building there are several steps you should take to guarantee your success and your customer’s satisfaction with your move in/out cleaning services.

· Use teams of 2 to 4 people for apartment cleaning, depending on the size of the apartment. Larger teams may be needed for commercial locations.

Team members should be specialists in the tasks they are performing. For example, in a two person team, one person will be assigned to dusting, windows, and vacuuming. One person will be assigned to bathrooms, kitchens, hard floor vacuuming, and mopping.

The team leader is responsible for making sure that all equipment and supplies are brought to the job site and gathered when the job is complete. Put all tools and chemicals into a plastic tote.

· Before you begin check with the client to make sure the job site has working utilities. You cannot clean without running water and you need electricity to run a vacuum. If it is the middle of the summer, you should make sure the building’s air-conditioning is working properly. Cleaning chemicals and drying times can be affected by heat and humidity.

· Begin cleaning by removing all trash. Pick up all trash that is too large to vacuum. You will be able to vacuum more efficiently as you will not have to stop and pick up large objects.

· Use a microfiber flat mop for cleaning ceilings, walls, baseboards, and doors.

· Proper vacuuming is an important step in move in/out cleaning. Using a backpack vacuum with the proper attachments can speed up the tasks at hand and make work easier on the cleaning staff. Remember to vacuum from high to low, including light fixtures, window tracks, blinds, and along the baseboards. It is also much easier to vacuum out cabinets and drawers than wiping them.

Some of these items will need to be wiped down after vacuuming; light fixtures, insides of cabinets and drawers, ceiling vents, heat registers, and blinds.

· Windows and patio doors should be washed with an applicator and squeegee. Use scrapers or #0000 steel wool to remove stickers and bugs. Be sure the window is wet when using these tools or you could scratch the glass. Frames and tracks should be vacuumed and then wiped down.

· After picking up trash and vacuuming, start cleaning the stuck-on grime and dirt. Chemicals to have on hand include: bowl cleaner, fume-free oven cleaner, window cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, neutral floor cleaner, stainless steel polish, and furniture polish. Save money by using concentrated chemicals rather than RTU (ready-to-use) chemicals.

Spray spots and make sure you give dwell time so the chemicals have time to work. It is important that you have enough air movement so employees do not breathe in fumes. Make sure that your employees have the correct personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles, etc.) when working with chemicals.

· Deep cleaning. If you need to loosen build-up, use the correct cleaning tools – paper towels, terry cloth rags, microfiber cloths, pads, brushes and scrapers. Use caution when using these tools – you don’t want to damage surfaces.

. Use paper towels, terry cloth rags, or microfiber cloths for most cleaning tasks. Use a green microfiber cloth for dusting; blue for windows, glass and polished surfaces; red for cleaning restrooms and yellow for countertops, sinks and walls.

. Use hand brushes for scrubbing showers, sinks, stoves, and refrigerators. Use grout brushes for cleaning up grout on countertops and ceramic tile floors. Toothbrushes can be used for detail cleaning around faucets and around the rims in toilet bowls.

. Use white pads for surfaces such as glass, chrome, stainless steel and plastic. This is because white pads are not as abrasive as green pads.

. Green pads are good for greasy areas including cabinets, toilets and scrubbing shower stalls. Be careful when using green pads however, as they can scratch surfaces.

. Use a 2″ utility scraper for build-up and adhesives in kitchens and bathrooms.

· Save time by spraying the inside of the refrigerator and showers/tubs with a pump-up sprayer rather than using a spray bottle. When cleaning kitchens, be sure to pull out the stove and refrigerator. Clean the walls, sides of appliances, sides of cabinets, floor, and vacuum the coils. Also clean the oven hood and filters.

· Clean floors last. Use the backpack vacuum to give the floors a final vacuuming, and then mop all hard surface flooring.

Offering move in/out services is one way to start your cleaning business. It also provides a way for an established cleaning company to provide added services to their existing clients while putting extra dollars onto the bottom line.

Commercial Construction Tips – Completing the Project on Schedule

Construction projects are tricky when it comes to placing a timescale on things. After all, there are a lot of things that could cause issues during the course of the project, which in turn leads to delays. Sometimes these issues are unavoidable but there are a number that can be eliminated from the equation with proper planning. Follow these tips and you will have a much better chance of getting your construction project completed on schedule.

Know the Lie of the Land

Issues with the land you are using as part of the construction project can cause issues if they are not caught early and adjusted for. Have an architect and a surveyor come in to examine the plausibility of the project itself and also to ensure that the land you are using for the construction is stable and fit for use with the intended project.

Consider Lead Times

In the construction world the lead time essentially refers to anything that can cause a delay, such as the time between hiring materials and them arriving on the site or the delay between requesting a design and actually receiving it. Wherever possible try to ensure that you have everything that you need before beginning the project. In cases where this is not possible you will need to keep a close eye on the project and anticipate any issues before they arise. If you note that construction materials are running low, order early to ensure the lead time doesn’t affect the project in a negative fashion. This may have an effect in the client’s cash flow so it is important to keep them informed every step of the way.

Create a Task List

Every construction project is made up of smaller tasks, many of which need to be completed before another one can begin. It is important to create a task list and ensure that every task related to the job is catered for. Always assign the best people for the job to each task and where possible try to have a spare hand available at all times to assist with a task that is in danger of falling behind. If you can plan the tasks to completion before the proposed construction date then you will also have room for manoeuvre should a task fall behind, so try to make the task list as efficient as possible.

Hire the Right People

Bringing the wrong people in for the job can have a massive effect on the way the job ends up going. This doesn’t just mean the people on the construction team itself but also contractors and others who will assist with the project. You need speed and efficiency to get the job done right so make sure you vet any candidates for available positions and keep an eye out for any weak links in the chain. One person causing an issue with a task will lead to further issues down the line so try t nip issues in the bud to keep things running as smoothly as possible.

Tips for New Residential Construction

The process to entitle lots can take more than five years and is expensive. The cost of parcel maps for five lots or less is $100,000. Tract maps for more than five lots can cost more than $500,000. The number of lots and the potential size are determined by biology, health-department regulations, slope, and the zoning and general plan. Included in the cost are engineering, processing, and regulatory fees and various reports and studies.

Reports and studies include conditions of approval costs, storm-water treatment, anthropology and archeology, soils, biology, noise, and traffic. When a map is approved and recorded, there are additional fees that include, but are not limited to the following:

• Potential greenhouse gas studies

• Retention and drainage basins

• On- and off-site mitigation land

• School fees

• Parks and recreation fees

• Physical secondary access

• Fire fees

• Annual bonding fees.

Politics comes into play when obtaining the required approvals from county boards, city councils, and planning commissions. The level of public opposition or support affects hearings completion. They can be completed in as little as four months, or take years and cost over a million dollars. Property owners have three courses of action to take into consideration.

1. Entitlement and sale of the property ‘as is’ – This option brings the lowest price, but costs the least and requires the shortest time for property disposal. Under rare circumstances, the land is worth more when it is unentitled.

2. Enter into a long-term agreement – The agreement is made with a home builder who incurs the expenses of processing a tract map. This option is the most utilized. The process could take up to five years. The buyer is required to release nonrefundable deposits periodically to the seller after approving their contingencies. Escrow closing typically occurs after tentative or final map approval.

3. The owner incurs the entitlement costs – Much of the process is like option two. The difference is the owner has full control of the mapping process and bears all expenses.

The ramifications of each choice should be weighed carefully before making a decision. Owners, who have chosen not to seek advice, have made the decision to process a map and found out later the number of lots was not financially feasible. A competent engineer can determine the optimal number of lots that can be obtained and approved. Smart growth design principals call for buildings with a variety of materials, texture, and color and individuality; well-defined open space; a building and street relationship; mixed uses; and high-density development. Contractors, who specialize in residential subdivisions, can give realistic cost estimations.

The process of entitling residential property to higher densities is costly, complex, and cumbersome. Many factors must be taken into consideration. The leading concerns that communities have about increased density are the quality of life and increased costs.

There is a need for new affordable housing to reduce recent overpayment and overcrowding. There is also a need for high-density housing that supports economic recovery, accommodates new workers and their loved ones, and economizes the costs of infrastructure. It is quite a balancing act. Open spaces need to be conserved and the distance between new jobs and new homes reduced.

Sales Meeting Strategies in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Today

In commercial real estate brokerage, the weekly sales meeting can be a powerful tool when it comes to building the market share momentum for the real estate business and the sales team. The meeting can be well planned to achieve positive leverage and momentum across the agency.

With most agencies today, the weekly sales meeting is a good idea to keep the agents on focus and task. That being said, an agenda is required to achieve that. Minutes should also be created from the meeting to track and measure the efforts of individuals. Good salespeople thrive on positive recognition and individual performance tracking. They understand the benefits of the process.

Weekly sales meetings should occur in the mornings before the business day commences. They should also take no longer than 1 hour so that that the team can get back to the marketplace and the daily activities required.

So the goals of the sales meeting should be to achieve the following:

  • To encourage the team forward with activities in listings and commissions
  • To sustain the momentum and the focus across the group in a positive way
  • To track and measure the activities of individuals
  • To establish positive communication between the sales team and the administration team

It should be remembered that most salespeople dislike lengthy meetings. Any top agent or broker will prefer to have a firm agenda to stick to when it comes to weekly reporting and meeting attendance. The team leader or the sales manager should control the process.

Here are some tips to help you establish a positive process of meetings for your sales team:

  1. The location of the weekly meeting should be varied to encourage activity and attendance. You can move the meeting between different venues and times of day. Breakfast meetings are usually quite successful, and the same can be said for lunch meetings. You will however need an agenda for the process.
  2. Peer group praise will always be a useful tool within a successful sales team. The team leader or the sales manager for the agency should encourage that activity. When a salesperson has achieved great success or an extraordinary deal, share that information around the group at the right time and in the right circumstances.
  3. Once a month allow the full sales team and the administrative team to come together as part of social drinks. The interaction between both groups will be important for the success of the agency.
  4. Establish a points system between members of the sales team. The points system should be varied based on a number of different criteria. In that way you will be recognising and encouraging everyone, and not just the top agents with the best deals. Look at the different achievements of the week including the best deal of the week, the best marketing campaign, the greatest numbers of inbound calls, cold calling targets, exclusive listings, and new meetings.

Top agents and brokers like efficiency. They also like to get to the point quickly and effectively. Any sales meeting should take no longer than 1 hour, minutes should be created, and agendas should be circulated prior to the next meeting. Respect the time of your top agents, and they will respect the attendance requirements at your sales meetings.

Commercial Real Estate Agent Prospecting Facts and Strategies

When you work as a commercial real estate agent or broker, it is essential that you develop and implement a prospecting program to generate new business leads. It is a personal process and it is not something that you can or should delegate.

I am amused sometimes when I hear that an agent has paid considerable money to a marketing company to ‘cold call’ their entire sales territory or market segment looking for leads and prospects to serve. Delegating the prospecting process to a marketing company or another ‘unskilled person’ is a waste of time and money. Commercial real estate is an industry built around personal relationships and trust; a marketing company or employed canvasser cannot offer that level of communication or service.

So why would a real estate agent employ such a ‘marketing firm’ to make prospecting calls? The answer in most cases is glaringly obvious; the agent doesn’t have the skill or the discipline for the prospecting process to be successful.

If you want to win the new business, then you will need to do it yourself. Yes, it takes time to get results and you will need to develop some new skills, but discipline will help you get to the results that you are seeking.

One thing should be said here; commercial real estate brokerage is tremendously rewarding for the sales people that can work hard and to a system or plan. Looking for leads and opportunities is part of the process or game. It’s a personal thing and it can’t be delegated.

Here are some way’s to find new business, better property listings, and good clients:

  • Redundant Properties – Some properties will move to a level of redundancy due to age, deterioration, change of zoning, or lack of tenants. When this happens it is time to move to the next phase of the property ‘lifecycle’. A good real estate agent can see the signs early and work closely with a property owner as they start to deal with the issue of investment change.
  • Vacant Land – As a city expands or suburbs change, vacant land will be rezoned for new development. Keep ahead of this opportunity by monitoring the planning and development applications at your local planning approvals office. Get copies of the public minutes of the planning committee meetings.
  • Old Listings – Some listings don’t sell or lease at the first attempt. What you can do here is withdraw the property from the market today and then revisit the property marketing effort a few months later in another and perhaps different marketing approach. Refreshing a listing is a valuable business process.
  • Open Listings – The best way to sell or lease a property is through an exclusive listing process. Open listings are very much a process of luck; most open listings stay on the market for a very long time and on average are far less successful when compared to the dedicated marketing efforts of an exclusive listing. Revisit old open listings to see if they can be optimised for a fresh marketing effort.
  • Larger Businesses – Local businesses are involved in property either as tenants or as owner occupiers. Business owners will need help with property from time to time. The best way to tap into that opportunity is through direct and ongoing contact. Cold call every business in your town or city and speak to them regularly about property needs and changes.
  • Surrounding Other Listings – When a competing agent puts a property on the market, you can use that listing as a reason to talk to all adjacent and nearby business and property owners. One property listing can be the catalyst to talk to others to see if they would like to compete or do something themselves.
  • Street Canvass – On a street by street basis, systematically move through your sales territory and research all property owners. Eventually you will create a good list of owners for your database. Ongoing contact will allow you to build valuable client relationships and the levels of trust that help grow commissions and listings.
  • Cold Calling – The telephone remains the most effective business tool that we have. Direct calls handled in a professional way will help you reach out to new people. Selectively researching the property owners and business people in your area will support the cold calling process.

A simple list like this will give you an abundance of property leads and opportunities. The secret to making things work for you is in doing it yourself.

Commercial Property – What to Do If the Lease Is Unsigned

In commercial property management and leasing you frequently come across the problem of the tenant delaying the signing of the lease. It can be for a number of reasons such as:

  • The complete terms of the lease are still being negotiated
  • The tenant is still finalizing their fitout design
  • The various partnership members are not all available for signature
  • The documentation is still with the tenants solicitor
  • The business or government department is taking time to process the document
  • The decision makers are away
  • Approvals for permitted use are delayed at local council

So the list goes on and you will see many variations of the problem. Tenants will give you so many different reasons why the lease is still outstanding. Frequently the delay process is not as it seems and there are other alternatives that the tenant is adopting for their own reasons. Tenants will not tell you the whole truth; that is a fact.

The signature on a lease is then a critical element of making the tenancy available for occupancy. In almost all lease situations, you would want the tenant to satisfy the following criteria before the keys to the tenancy are handed over:

  1. The lease is totally and correctly signed
  2. The plans and drawings associated with the tenants fitout have been submitted to the landlord and are approved
  3. The plans and drawings associated with the tenants fitout have been submitted to the building control board or local council and are approved
  4. The first months rental is paid in advance in accordance with the lease documentation
  5. The appropriate personal or bank guarantees are provided to the landlord in accordance with the agreement to lease
  6. All associated documentation and disclosures tied to the lease implementation are correctly served and satisfied
  7. The deposit required under the lease agreement or lease arrangement is paid

The golden rule in the leasing a property to a tenant is that all lease requirements are satisfied in accordance with the property managers instructions and the landlord’s requirements before any keys and tenancy access are given.

It should also be said that any incentive to be made available to the tenant as part of the new lease structure should not be released or made available until all the six points above are satisfied.

In most instances with commercial property, the tenants you work with are very experienced in business and negotiation. They are likely to be more experienced than the property manager or the landlord. The tenants will set up the leasing situation to their own advantage during the lease negotiation.

So the clear message here is that the premises should not be handed over to the tenant until all lease documentation requirements have been satisfied correctly and legally.