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Why professional management is essential

By Karyn Stroet

In the world of commercial property investment, the allure of self-managing assets can be tempting for landlords seeking to maintain control and potentially save on management fees. However, the reality is that self-management often leads to significant challenges and pitfalls that can ultimately undermine the value and performance of the investment.

One of the most challenging aspects of self-managing commercial properties is dealing with tenant defaults on financial obligations. Landlords who have an emotional connection with their tenants often struggle to enforce strict lease terms. This reluctance to issue breach notices or charge interest on overdue payments can result in tenants falling significantly behind on rent and/or outgoings. The consequences are twofold; the landlord’s cash flow and financial commitments suffers, and the tenant’s financial situation deteriorates further, creating an unpleasant and potentially disastrous situation for both parties.

Professional property managers, on the other hand, maintain a professional distance and are well-versed in handling such situations. They ensure that lease terms are strictly enforced, breach notices are issued when necessary, and appropriate measures are taken to mitigate financial risks. This approach helps maintain a healthy financial relationship between landlord and tenant, preserving the integrity of the investment.

Another major pitfall for self-managing landlords is the challenge of keeping abreast of constantly evolving legislation, particularly the intricate laws governing commercial and retail leases. Retail lease laws, in particular, are incredibly complex and require a deep understanding to ensure compliance. Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in legal disputes, financial penalties, and reputational damage.

Professional property managers are experts in commercial and retail lease legislation. They stay updated on legislative changes and ensure that all lease agreements and property management practices comply with the latest regulations. This expertise protects landlords from legal pitfalls and ensures smooth, compliant operations.

Accurate asset valuation and market rent assessments are critical to maximising the returns on commercial property investments. Self-managing landlords, who may not be actively involved in the leasing market, often lack the necessary market knowledge to conduct accurate market reviews. As a result, they may undervalue their assets, missing out on potential rent increases and failing to optimise their investment returns.

Commercial property specialists have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They conduct thorough market analyses, ensuring that rent reviews and lease renewals reflect current market conditions. This expertise ensures that properties are competitively positioned, and landlords receive fair market value for their assets.

The pitfalls of self-managing commercial properties are clear: emotional connections with tenants, navigating complex legislation, and lack of market knowledge can all significantly impact the performance and value of the investment. Engaging a professional management specialist mitigates these risks and ensures that the property is managed with expertise, diligence, and a focus on maximising returns.

Leteicha Wilson | Commercial Property Management BDE

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