Commercial property owners in Greater Victoria range from multi-national corporations to individual investors, business owner/occupiers or family estates. The commercial tenant range can be equally diverse whether it be retail, office, warehouse or industrial businesses, mom and pop operations or national chains, occupying anywhere from 500 to 50,000 square feet of space. Yet the relationships between any and all of these tenant/landlord situations can be managed successfully by one jack-of-all- (real estate) trades: the commercial property manager.
While on the surface commercial property management would seem straightforward - the lease is drawn up, a tenant moves in and runs his/her business, the landlord collects the rent each month - there are myriad operational, legal, financial and human relations details to manage on an ongoing basis. Physical management of the property alone, particularly in cases where there is a large common area in a multi-tenant building, will include everything from janitorial services to HVAC maintenance, plumbing repairs, landscaping, garbage removal and fire systems. The property manager, armed with an arsenal of service persons either in-house or contracted out, is responsible for maintaining the landlord’s real estate investment while providing the tenant with a trouble-free environment in which it may operate its business.
All of these services, of course, come at a price, in the form of operating costs, which are most usually paid by tenants in the additional rent component of their monthly rental payments. The property management fee also forms part of these costs, so although the landlord hires the property manager, it could be argued that the tenants ought to pay for the best management they can afford.
The physical management of the building is only one small part of the services normally provided by a commercial property management firm - the collection of rent, lease administration, tenant relations, compliance with safety and municipal regulations, ensuring adequate insurance is in place, regular financial reporting to the landlord, accounting, tax filing, review of annual real estate assessments and regular disbursements of cash to the building owner are a few of the other ongoing elements of commercial property management. An astute property manager, acting as an intermediary between the tenant and landlord can greatly improve the circumstances for both parties. The business owner is able to run his operation more effectively, and the property owner can realize a return on his real estate investment with minimal direct involvement or oversight.