When an employee arrives at the office each morning, she probably has a certain expectation about how the day is going to go. She anticipates that she will do her job, hopefully as quietly and as efficiently as possible. She plans to attend a meeting or two, perhaps, and maybe make a few phone calls. What the employee probably does not plan on doing is attending to the daily maintenance and cleaning of the office space.
Why is that? Quite simply, for most employees, cleaning and maintenance exist somewhere well outside of their job description. Building maintenance is not the province of each individual employee, nor even necessarily of the company owner: Often, this work is attended to by the building owner. As the landlord, it is the building owner’s job to ensure the proper, daily functioning of the building and grounds, and to keep tenants happy.
This is good news for the tenant, of course, but not necessarily welcome news for the landlord! Of course, most property investors know, getting into the business that it falls to them to attend to maintenance and repair issues. The question is, do they do it alone, or do they enlist the services of a professional management firm?
Calling in the Pros
Naturally, this is a decision that the landlord must make independently. There is no law saying that you cannot manage the property yourself, and take a DIY approach to the daily issues that might come up. If you want to do all of the cleaning and maintenance work yourself, that is your prerogative—but remember a couple of facts. First, remember that your success as a real estate investor hinges on keeping your office building full of tenants who are willing to pay you rent. Second, remember that doing this requires you to promptly address all issues that arise, without interrupting the daily affairs of your corporate clients.
A professional property management company can be on call, 24/7, to provide these services, which is why enlisting their services is often the best approach for those seeking to succeed in office space investment.
Remember, too, that owning and operating an office building is about more than daily maintenance and cleaning. Suppose that you have multiple tenants, occupying the same building—and one business complains about their neighbor causing too much noise, or failing to maintain professional decorum. It falls to the property owner to resolve this dispute in a way that keeps both tenants happy—something a management company can assist you with.
And by the way, before you can get to the work of managing tenants, you have to get tenants into your building. This means launching a marketing campaign, and also screening potential tenants to make sure you have the right ones. Again, these are services easily rendered by a professional management company.
The list of services a professional management company can provide goes on from there. Say, for example, that a capital improvement project becomes necessary. Managing a construction endeavor (and the related budget) is something else that falls under the expertise of your average commercial property management firm.
The bottom line is that each office building has different needs, and it falls to the property owner to assess those needs. More often than not, however, there are a variety of issues in play, and only a professional management company can address them appropriately.