5 Effective Tips for Managing Commercial Properties

tips for commercial property management

Commercial property managers play a crucial role in overseeing the operation and maintenance of commercial properties, including office buildings, retail spaces, storage facilities, and other non-residential spaces. 

From lease agreements to tenant management, residential property management shares some similarities, but commercial real estate presents unique complexities that require specialized skill sets. Longer lease agreements, common area maintenance (CAM) responsibilities, property wear-and-tear, and potential for unexpected emergencies can pose significant hurdles to success.

This blog discusses commercial property management and outlines strategies to address the unique challenges commercial property managers face, ensuring the preservation of property value.

What is Commercial Property Management?

Commercial property management encompasses the administrative, operational, and supervisory tasks of non-residential (commercial) properties, including office buildings, retail spaces, and industrial complexes. This comprehensive approach maximizes the property’s value, profitability, and operational efficiency.

The primary role of commercial property management is facilitating leasing and tenant management. It involves marketing vacant spaces, analyzing potential tenants, negotiating lease agreements, and addressing tenant inquiries. Property managers establish strong relationships with tenants to meet their needs, handle lease renewals, rent collection, and promptly address maintenance or repair issues.

5 Tips for Property Management

Here are some tips to assist commercial property managers in maintaining their well-being and achieving success throughout the entire year:

1. Invest in Commercial Property Management Software

As you spend more time working, you realize the importance of the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder.” A reliable commercial property management software is crucial to handle the complexities of managing office spaces, industrial centers, and retail properties. This software helps memorize essential details, allowing you to concentrate on more critical tasks. Investing in such software enables you to organize crucial information for informed decisions.  

You can find a program that can track:

  1. Rental income rates
  2. Total monthly expenditure
  3. Renters/tenants based on location and property type
  4. Latest local and federal regulations
  5. Renter turnover rates
  6. Work orders for property maintenance
  7. Scheduled clean-ups, appointments, or inspections

2. Understand Your Property

Commercial property managers must thoroughly understand the industry and commercial spaces they manage.

Unlike residential properties, commercial properties are diverse and need careful & optimized planning for different types of renters, including businesses, restaurant spaces, and other industrial uses. Understanding each property’s unique needs becomes crucial, especially considering property-specific regulations.

Additionally, property managers should be familiar with every detail of the physical spaces they oversee. Regular inspections, records of each unit’s use and condition, and a history of maintenance work help fill vacant rental spaces, prevent issues, and maintain a well-documented property.

3. Continue to Upgrade

Making regular improvements & upgrades to your commercial property costs a lot, but it can help your business earn more profit. Nowadays, commercial renters are looking for newer spaces with better features. You don’t always have to do big or expensive renovations to compete with other properties. 

There are several affordable ways to upgrade, such as getting new light fixtures, smoke detectors, and smaller electrical things such as fans, copy machines, and TVs for common areas. These changes can help make tenants happier. Keeping tenants satisfied is challenging, but these minor upgrades can make a big difference. To keep track of your upgrades, you can include them in your property maintenance plan.

4. Plan for Maintenance Ahead of Time

Prioritizing proper maintenance is crucial for any property manager dealing with commercial spaces. It might feel overwhelming because more is needed to stay on top of regular maintenance and quickly address emergencies. These are some of the reactive ways of handling property maintenance. It is essential to incorporate preventive maintenance to lessen the need for reactive maintenance.

A proactive plan should cover all aspects of a commercial property, including:

  1. Plumbing
  2. Electrical systems
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Pest control
  5. Landscaping
  6. HVAC & ventilation systems
  7. Wear-and-tear
  8. Code violations
  9. Upgrades & replacements

Here are a few ways that inspecting and fixing potential issues can help you and your tenants maintain a good and successful relationship:

1. Saves Money on Maintenance

Fixing small issues at an early stage is a smart way to save money on property maintenance. For instance, repairing a small plumbing leak is much cheaper than replacing big parts of your property’s walls and floors due to water damage.

2. Keeps Your Property Looking Good

The appearance of your commercial property can affect the success of the businesses renting there as it helps attract customers. This, in turn, helps tenants pay their rent on time and encourages them to renew their leases. 

3. Prevents Injuries

A lack of maintenance can lead to unsafe conditions. There are many dangers when the property is not managed, from breathing problems due to mold to tripping on uneven floors to slipping on water from leaks. Preventive maintenance helps prevent these injuries.

4. Maintains Property Values

Commercial properties are often rated as A, B, or C; higher grades can charge higher rent. Failing to fix issues can lower these grades, making it harder to charge more rent.

5. Keep Your Tenants Happy

Losing tenants is a natural part of the business. Companies expand, relocate, or simply change their needs. However, it is crucial to prevent unnecessary tenant turnover. After all, retaining existing tenants is often easier than acquiring new ones.

To keep your property occupied, prioritize creating a safe and positive atmosphere in each unit. While regular upgrades and proactive maintenance are essential, there is more to it than just repairs. Effective commercial property managers must go beyond fixing issues and actively understand their tenant’s needs.

Catering to tenant needs can vary depending on the property type. For example, it is important to consider tenant compatibility in retail spaces. Avoid placing similar businesses directly next to each other, as it can lead to competition and hinder their success.

Another key to successful commercial property management is building strong tenant relationships. By regularly communicating with tenants, you can measure their satisfaction and identify potential concerns. Tenants often have valuable insights into their spaces and can pinpoint issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. 

What Should You Include in Your Commercial Property Management Checklist?

Here are the items you should include on your commercial property maintenance checklist:


Regular HVAC maintenance prevents costly repairs and ensures optimal system performance. Schedule regular checkups and cleanings to remove dust and debris and replace air filters. Address unusual noises or excessive vibrations promptly, which may indicate unlying issues.

Regular maintenance allows for early detection of problems, preventing costly repairs and extending the lifespan of HVAC systems.

2. Electrical

Electricians recommend annual inspections of switches, breaker boxes, batteries, wires, outlets, and other electrical components to ensure electrical safety and prevent costly repairs. Property maintenance services should carefully check for signs of deterioration, cracks, or corrosion. Also, vent grilles, electrical storage areas, and circuit boxes should be free of dust or debris. Regular maintenance not only eliminates potential safety hazards but also prevents costly repairs.

3. Lighting

Maintaining your commercial property’s lighting system is crucial for safety and energy efficiency. Regularly check your light fixtures. Make sure all lights are working, and replace burnt-out bulbs promptly. It is good to have a group relamping schedule for efficient maintenance.

During preventive maintenance, inspect if lights, gaskets, cables, screws, and other hardware are correctly installed. Also, ensure lights have the same color temperature, and keep lamps and lens surfaces dusted and cleaned for better performance. 

4. Fire Safety

Fire safety is crucial for effective building maintenance and a mandatory legal requirement for all commercial properties. Ensure that your smoke alarms, sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide alarms are in proper working conditions. In addition, strategically place fully stocked first aid kits throughout your property.

Commercial properties must maintain up-to-date fire and life-safety systems to safeguard the property and individuals who work or reside there. Failure to comply with fire safety regulations can result in substantial fines and penalties.

5. Plumbing

Regular plumbing system inspections are crucial for maintaining a functional and efficient commercial property. By proactively addressing potential issues, you can prevent costly repairs, ensure tenant satisfaction, and extend the lifespan of your plumbing system. 

Inspect your plumbing system yearly, checking water boosters, pumps, valves, and heaters. Look for leaks and strange noises, and lubricate parts as needed. Run wear-and-tear tests to ensure everything works well and identify the areas that need service.

6. Kitchen and Bathrooms

Checking and maintaining kitchens and bathrooms ensures tenants a comfortable and hygienic environment. Regular inspections help identify potential issues before they escalate into major problems. Make sure soap and paper towel dispensers are working properly. Also, examine sinks, toilets, and showers for leaks or damage.

7. Interiors

Maintaining a commercial property’s interior is crucial for both aesthetics and functionality. It involves regular inspection of floors, walls, and ceilings for any signs of damage and promptly addressing issues such as leaks or loose tiles. Ensure all doors and windows are operational, and locks and closures function properly. By maintaining the interior of your commercial property, you can create a safe, inviting, and functional space for tenants, customers, and employees.

8. Exteriors

Maintaining a well-groomed exterior enhances its appeal and contributes to your property’s overall value. Regularly cleaning exterior walls, doors, railings, windows, sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, and other hardscapes is essential. It includes removing gum, restricting parking areas, and ensuring the cleanliness of parking garages and loading docks. Investing in these maintenance services creates a positive impression on tenants and customers, promotes safety, and prevents potential liabilities.

9. Roof

Regular roof maintenance is crucial for extending the lifespan of your roof and preventing costly repairs. Schedule professional roof inspections at least twice a year to identify and address potential issues early on. Inspect the roof for signs of damage, such as missing or cracked shingles, and consider applying reflective coatings to improve energy efficiency. Roof pressure washing can effectively remove debris, grime, mold, rust, and stains from the roof’s surface. Additionally, ensure that drains and downspouts are clear to prevent water accumulation and potential damage.

Manage Commercial Properties With BFPM

You can safeguard your investment and foster long-term tenant relationships by prioritizing tenant satisfaction, maintaining a positive environment, and implementing proactive maintenance practices.

At BFPM, our expert property managers help you manage commercial properties and stay ahead with evolving market trends, technological advancements, and ever-changing tenant needs. Our professionals can help you achieve sustainable success and maximize the value of your commercial property for the years to come. As effective management is an ongoing process, it requires dedication, adaptability, and commitment to continuous improvement. 

For any queries, contact us at BFPM.

Trevor Henson

Trevor Henson is an experienced entrepreneur (10+ highly-successful start-ups) and property investor with a demonstrated history of building and leading teams in investment property management environments, maximizing returns for property owners, and optimizing properties through construction management and re-positioning. He…
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

  • Physical maintenance
  • Tenant management
  • Lease agreements
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  • Financial management

Despite operating in smaller cities and towns, property management businesses can still generate a substantial income due to consistent demand for rental properties. In the US, profit margins generally range from 10% to 15%.