I own and self manage a small commercial property (retail) and am now starting to take on some 3rd party fee based management accounts. What do I need to know?
Specifically, what should the onboarding process look like? What do I need to ask and get from my new clients?
Thanks in advance for any guidance.
You want to be financially fair.
1st, know your property. Especially when you are "small".
Do a walk thru exit interview/checklist with prior tenant. It will help you see any issues you were not aware of, get repairs done before you walk new potential clients through, etc.
Then to a walk-thru entry interview/checklist with an oncoming tenant.
Have a guarantor on leases. (commercial/retail) & Run that person's credit- with their permission and signature, of course.
Prior to----- establish a criteria and/or score that someone needs to rent from you or the people you manage for. *Not carved in stone, after awhile you get a good feel for a yes or no. However, you save yourself and/or people you manage for time and money by not rushing to lease but finding the best possible candidate for any given vacancy.
Know your limits. Remember, even Property Managers need assistance. If you start getting bigger than what you yourself can manage/oversee, then hire help in the form of another person(s) or look into a new and more elaborate property management system.
I appreciate setting up auto-drafts for payments. I get notifications when a payment is made, or in the case something goes NSF.
Make sure you have the emergency after hours contact for the business. Make sure they have your emergency afterhours contact.
I have basically a welcome packet/booklet that can be given or emailed that includes
all day time and emergency afterhours contact information, all ways they can pay their rent,
& forms that will be filled out prior to signing a lease. Includes: contact sheet for us for day/emergency afterhours, security code for maintenance for any alarm they have/get, etc. etc. etc.
We also have the business tenant carry a routine hvac maintenance contract with t a company of their choice (licensed) to deter some of the BIG ticket repairs for the owners we manage for. If a tenant holds a contract, has had routine maintenance and the unit still has issues, then, it is at owner's expense.
Be accessible. Return calls, return emails. Be concerned when a tenant or owner has a concern. (Seems a given, but many well oiled machines are not so well oiled in the area of customer service, which, brings more business)
& Lastly, as you work with both Owners and Tenants, see each as a valuable part of the equation. Represent them the same way you would want someone to represent you.
Beyond being ethical and good business, it also produces some nice side effects, like return business and loyalty. :)