Happy tenants are gold to commercial building owners. The trick is to not get distracted and let that gold slip through your fingers. There are three simple things you can do to help nurture those tenant relationships. In the end, all these tips relate to a couple of key attributes: organization and communication. And while the default tool for organizing tasks is the spreadsheet, that’s not necessarily the best solution to this problem.
Get On the Same Page
You started with a letter of intent, or at least a handshake, and then formalized the agreement with a lease contract that outlines your responsibilities, their responsibilities, and important dates. Standard practice is for the tenant to file their copy in an easily forgettable cubby because they can always contact your office when they have a question. At least you started on the same page.
Be sure to keep your copy in a convenient location – with access from your phone or tablet if possible.
Don’t Miss Deadlines
There are a handful of critical dates and dollar amounts trapped inside every commercial real estate lease. Losing track of any of these will cost you money:
- Rent due date
- Rent amount
- Grace period
- Late fee
- Expiration date
- Renewal notification
Make It Personal
Mary Kay Ash, who founded cosmetics powerhouse Mary Kay Inc., once said, “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ ” That’s great advice, and easy to achieve if you take the time to get to know people. Keep a few notes about each tenant so you remember what their hobbies are, where they are going on vacation, or information about their family. If you have some rock-star tenants who deserve special treatment, then surprise them with a thank you note or gift card.
The Right Tool for the Job
You’re probably already using Outlook, Apple Calendar, or Google Calendar to schedule meetings and appointments. You can use that same calendar to keep track of lease-related dates and deadlines. Evernote is a great, cross-platform app for keeping notes, chunks of critical information, and even PDFs. Apps such as Wunderlist and Todoist can also fill a similar need.
And if you need to store and share a large number of documents, you can rely on Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud.
However, it takes a somewhat clunky combination of multiple tools or apps to manage all the tasks involved with operating a portfolio of commercial real estate leases. The best solution is to maintain everything in a lease management tool such as Leasecake. Sure you can cobble together a workable solution with a few different software products. But ultimately, you might get frustrated and abandon the effort.
By using a purpose-designed product explicitly built for lease management, you can more effectively and efficiently manage your properties, and potentially add more buildings without adding staff. Leasecake is the ideal solution for most small- to mid-tier commercial real estate owners. To watch a demo and start using Leasecake for free, please click here now.