As a commercial or retail property manager, the month end communication with your landlords will take the form of a Property Management Report of one type or another. Your accuracy and format in the report process will be important in the client relationship. On that basis always take time to understand what the client wants and what you can do to help.

Every landlord will be different and potentially want unique issues in their reports. Identifying special needs here will help your property management system and the landlord relationship for the long term.

In simple terms the month end report should not be a ‘churn out and send process’. Everything has to be checked before sending to the landlord.

Given that many parts of the month end report come from some form of computer based accounting and lease management system, there is a tendency to expect that everything is accurate. Accuracy in a month end report only comes from your checking process. Failure to check the report will see something slip through to the landlord (and make you look silly or slack at your job as the case may be).

So it is very wise to check all property records before a month end report is done. In this way you can fix errors before they are compiled and sent out to the client.

Check Everything

One of the biggest weaknesses in many property management month end processes is in not checking what is to be sent out to the client or landlord. Errors make the property manager look less than professional; there is nothing worse than getting a telephone call from your landlord client to tell you that ‘the tenancy schedule is wrong’, or ‘you collected the wrong rental’.

The main categories that should be documented at each month end will include:

  • Income receipted for the month for each of the tenancies
  • Arrears identified and generated in the month
  • Expenditure made and charged
  • Expenditure authorised and outstanding
  • Lease critical dates report for rent reviews, options, and expiry.
  • Arrears status report and lists of actions taken for each of those arrears
  • Maintenance report for physical building matters relating to property performance
  • Tenant communication and concerns
  • Tenant Mix strategy and any updates relating to the expected or known changes to the tenant leases and or locations.
  • Vacancy report to give strategy on any vacancies that you do have or that could be coming up within the property
  • Lease documentation should that is being updated or changed.
  • Tenancy schedule that is up to date.

Now I know that some property managers will be thinking that this is a lot of work. On a single industrial property with one tenant it probably is; but when you manage a property with multiple tenants the report should take this format.

Commercial property management is not a real estate service that can have short cuts. Provide accurate information and controls at all times, and make sure that you get a reasonable fee as part of the process.

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