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6 ways to be a better commercial landlord

By Greg Bell

When you own a commercial property, you should always strive to make sure your tenants whether they are people living in an apartment building or a business of any kind are happy with both the building and their relationship with you. Of course, some may feel the relationship with you, as landlord, is inherently combative, but you can certainly do a great deal to make sure that isn't the case.

How do you do that? Incorporate the following suggestions into your everyday dealings with tenants of all types. Doing so will go a long way toward improving relationships and making the arrangements you make easier on all involved:

1) Stick to the lease

First and foremost, you should encourage your tenants to have a careful look at the lease so everyone is on the same page as to the various ways responsibilities fall on all involved. Murphy CRE noted that this ensures fairness, but moreover it creates a clear delineation between what a tenant should take care of themselves, and what you, as the property's owner, will handle.

2) Be proactive about maintenance

With that said, however, you should always strive to ensure your property is well-maintained and that all systems with the building are in good working order. Doing so not only helps keep current tenants happy, but it's also likely to reduce headaches when (or if) those tenants move on and you have to make upgrades to attract new customers.

3) Understand how tenants operate

Depending on the kind of property you own, you might want to do more to get a clear picture of how your tenants use your building, and make arrangements to better accommodate them. An article in the Building Owners and Managers Association Magazine mentioned that when you know what people or organisations expect from you, it becomes easier to meet those expectations on an ongoing basis. Simply put, that's going to make them happier with their entire arrangement.

4) Say 'yes' more than 'no'

On occasion, your tenants may make requests of you — upgrading the water heater, improving the building's Wi-Fi connectivity infrastructure, patching the roof, etc. — that aren't exactly on your maintenance or upgrade schedule. However, even if these tasks weren't necessarily in your plans for the near future, you need to realise that they're probably asking for a very specific reason or need. As such, just being willing to say "yes" to their requests can certainly improve their opinion of you.

5) Keep lines of communication open

As MRK Investing noted, few tenants enjoy having an absentee landlord. While they likely don't want to have to talk to you on a daily or weekly basis, you should always be reachable when they have an issue and, more to the point, reply promptly when tenants reach out. Along similar lines, you should always strive to address pressing concerns as soon as possible. The longer people have to wait for what they would consider to be basic service, the less likely they'll be to view your relationship fondly.

6) Always follow up on completed work

Finally, when issues arise and you arrange for them to get fixed, it's a good idea to check in a short time later and see how things are progressing. That way, if there's a lingering problem, it can ideally be addressed as quickly as possible, and no matter what, the tenants think of you as looking out for their best interests.

When you're looking to buy or sell a commercial property, it pays to have an expert by your side every step of the way. At Ray White Surfers Paradise, we've closed innumerable sales for both buyers and sellers and can bring that level of experience to bear for you. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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