Yearly Audit: Staying competitive

By, Henry Land, Property Manager

Introduction

Owning a commercial building or complex is a great way to make money and invest in the future. Whether using a property manager or doing it yourself, it is very easy to get comfortable with your current process. This could be costing you and your tenants money.   A yearly audit and comparison shopping of your vendors and service providers can help make sure you are on track and competitive with other owners. A yearly audit should include maintenance, service providers, accounting and insurance as well as any specialty items specific to your property.

Maintenance

Having a clear and coherent maintenance strategy will make this step easier. No matter if  you are looking to improve the building, or are just maintaining it for further development, knowing the long term plan can help make sure your manager and maintenance staff are working in the same direction. Review your maintenance contracts to ensure that the price is competitive and the scope is in-line with your overall goals. When budgeting, make sure you are realistic with the plan and include all foreseeable items to ensure you are as accurate as possible.

Services

There are some items that you will not be able to control as much as others like utilities and trash services, but each item should be reviewed to ensure that your tenants are getting the most bang for their buck.

Utilities

You should not only look at your accounts, but also the building itself to ensure there are no areas of wasted utilities, IE. broken windows and doors that do not seal properly. Make sure to check for any water leaks and consider letting the utility company do an energy audit. Having a good maintenance team can help with these items.

Cleaning and landscaping

These services should always be monitored and can be adjusted to meet your goals. This is one area  where the lowest price is not always the best deal. Pest control and other building specific items should be reviewed and updated yearly as well.

 

Accounting

There aren’t many things more important than a trusted accountant when dealing with investment property. From collecting rents to ensuring your obligations are being met, having peace of mind that your financial  house is in order is priceless. Most people will stick with a trusted accountant even if their pricing is higher, however property managers include this as part of their work scope and normally have in-house accounting  to reduce your total cost.  

Insurance

Like a good accountant, a knowledgeable insurance agent can be the difference between success and bankruptcy when put in a difficult situation. Insurance agents are not all created equal, and can enhance or potentially damage your position. Many agents can save you money as well as protect your interest. Laws and rates are alway changing so make sure you are up to date on the latest. We work with the best agents in the business who can compare your insurance with the market and ensure you are getting the best rates possible. With hurricane season upon us, having wind, flood and other catastrophe insurance can make sure that you are protected should a major storm come your way.

 

Conclusion

Whether working with  a property manager or self managing your investments, make sure you take the time to continually improve your position. A yearly audit can save you and your tenant money and time, giving you an edge over your competition.  Things we were doing ten years ago may not be the same things we are doing today. Continue learning and continue to succeed. At SVN Southland we strive to stay on top of the latest trends and best practices to ensure that you are getting the best and most efficient management possible. Call SVN Southland at 850-434-7500  today and we can tell you more about how we keep your property competitive.


Henry Land

Henry has an extensive background in real estate sales, property management and residential / commercial project management. He started his management career in Tallahassee, where he worked managing and developing student housing around FSU’s campus. A strong work ethic and a devotion to partner and client relationships have been the foundation of his career. Working as a construction project manager for the last 4 years, Henry’s well-rounded background will make him able to handle any real estate management needs.