For those of you that didn’t read my blog post in my last e-newsletter, here is a link. It’s a good pre-curser to this post!
With 2018 almost in the rearview, it’s time to look forward to 2019. If you’ve read last month’s post, you’ve already gotten a sense of leases that are coming due, made repairs, gotten in touch with your tenants, checked your expenses, considered a refresh, and even considered getting your property valued. Now that you have a clean slate and relevant information, you can look at what’s coming up in the new year. In this post, we’re going to look at three things you can do right now to better position you and your property for 2019.
Check Your Rent Roll
There is no better time than now to check your lease expiration mix. Create a calendar or build into your calendar your lease expirations, even if you work with a property management company or use lease contract management software. Set an alert for six months prior to the notification date to make sure that you know what’s coming up and when, and can reach out to the tenant in a timely manner that is perceived as friendly rather than necessary. Check in to see if there are any open issues, stop by for an in-person hello, or reach out with a note just letting them know that you are available for any questions or concerns. This personal outreach by you, the property owner, will be greatly appreciated by your tenants.
Know Your Competition
Many office building owners don’t typically think of their properties as having competition, but you do. Be sure to check them out and make an annual note of the following:
- Pricing: How do their lease rates and rate per square foot compare to your property?
- Amenities: How do their amenities compare to yours?
- Look-and-Feel: What is their curb appeal quotient and how does your lobby stack up against theirs?
Evaluating these three points will provide a basis for you to increase your property’s competitiveness in the market. It might even be a great idea to keep a spreadsheet. Remember that just because there is a rate listed on Loopnet that is not what you are comparing. Does the building next door include electricity and yours does not? Many variables come into play when tenants write rent checks.
Improve Your Budget
Every year you or your property manager or management company create a budget. Take the time now to study how your initial budget in 2018 compared to your actual budget. Where did you underestimate and where did you overestimate and take that into consideration when creating this year’s budget. In addition, be sure to include an additional margin of error so that you are not once again caught by surprise. Take into consideration upcoming vacancies, as well as refreshes, upgrades, and advertising/broker fees for those vacancies; necessary repairs, and any other upgrades you want to make based on the “Know Your Competition” section.
- Bonus Tip: This is also a great time to bid out services to try to reduce expenses. You may be surprised by the expenses you can lower just by asking.
Congratulations, you’re now ready for 2019! Be sure to reach out to me with any questions you may have or if you’d like a comps report for your office building or portfolio.