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Field Guide to Commercial Property Management

(Updated September 2013)
Whether you are new to commercial property management or have been at it awhile, you're sure to find useful information concerning leases, safety and security, marketing, and maintenance for commercial properties. You'll have access to full-text articles, and book suggestions from the NAR library. (D. Shumaker, Senior Library Information Specialist)


What to Remember When Leasing to the Government

  • Tax escalations after the first year are paid in a lump sum. However, claims must be submitted by the lessor within 60 days of the tax payment date. If the deadline is missed, the lessor forfeits the entire escalation.
  • When the GSA wants to make alterations to space it leases, it sometimes asks lessors to sign a "waiver of restoration" saying that the GSA does not need to restore the space to the condition it was in before. Failure to sign this waiver, however, does not mean that the GSA will not make changes to its space, only that it might be possible to force the GSA to make everything the way it was. With government leases often running 10-20 years, accurate record keeping and a good corporate memory are vital.
  • The Contract Disputes Act clause outlines the procedures to follow if owners have a disagreement with the government that they can't resolve in negotiations. The "final decision" of the government's contract officer is anything but — lessors can still appeal to the GSA's Board of Contract Appeals.

Source: Avoid traps in government leases (National Real Estate Investor, Feb. 2005).


Median Income and Expenses – Office

Source: 2012 IREM Income/Expense Analysis: Office Buildings.

Leases

Strip Malls Turn Heads, (REALTOR® Magazine, July 2013). As vacancies decline, community shopping centers are a hit with consumers.

Footings for a Career in Commercial Real Estate, (Buildings, July 2012). The slowdown in commercial real estate transactions adds value to the roles of facility and property managers. Q

Law Soon to Shine Light on Buildings’ Energy Use, (San Diego Business Journal, Jun 17, 2013). Ready or not, California owners of commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet will need to begin complying this year with a state law requiring the disclosure of properties' historical energy usage data to prospective buyers, renters and lenders. Q

Like CRE, telecommuting trends depend on location (Mortgage Banking, Feb. 2011). Telecommuting can save companies in operational costs and increase productivity, but like commercial real estate, a telecommuting office depends on location. Q

Arbitrating Commercial Real Estate Lease Disputes (Dispute Resolution Journal, May-Oct. 2010). This article identifies the lease provisions most likely to give rise to disputes suitable for arbitration and discusses how to tailor the arbitration provision to them. Q

The Importance of "Greening" Your Commercial Lease (Real Estate Issues, Spring 2010). With demand increasing for leasable space in green buildings, it may be surprising that there is no widely accepted definition of a "green" lease. Q

Successful Leasing: Maximize Value by Understanding the Basics (Building, Aug. 2008). Successful leasing is about the fundamentals: determining your building's position in the marketplace, understanding goals, and negotiating effectively. 


Safety & Security

Integrated System, (Commercial Property Executive (Online), Dec. 2011). Building security takes the next step forward.

Sophisticated Security Drills Help Some Mall Owners and Managers Prepare for the Worst, (National Real Estate Investor, April 2011).

Securing the Unoccupied Building (Security, June 2009). Empty buildings can become enticing to vandals, so protecting the property should be considered. Q

A layered approach to office building and property management (Security, Oct. 2008). Q


Marketing

Landscaping key to luring top-flight office tenants, (Stamford Advocate, Aug. 21, 2013). An impressive landscaping scheme at an office park can pay dividends for a landlord.

Tried and True (Journal of Property Management, July/Aug. 2010). Prepare for the market turnaround by employing proven business initiatives. Q

Creative Tenanting (Chain Store Age, May 2009). The year 2009 is rapidly becoming the year of the mall shake-up, as landlords give non-traditional tenants their shot at in-mall glory. Q


Maintenance

5 Strategies for Managing an Aging Roof Portfolio, (Buildings, Dec. 2012). Consider the following strategies to develop a roof asset management plan. Q

How to Minimize Warm Weather Facility Odors, (Buildings, Sept. 2012). Higher temperatures mean more than just oppressive heat and humidity -- they can also create less than pleasant odors. Q

We Kid You Not: Goats Offer a Greener—And Leaner—Way to Manage Your Land (Journal of Property Management, Nov./Dec. 2010) — If you're interested in greening your property, you might want to enlist the help of some goats. Q

See the Light (Journal of Property Management) — Save big on energy costs by reducing light use in parking lots. Q

Curb appeal on a budget (Journal of Property Management, March/April 2009). Q


Links

Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International — A primary source of information on office building development, leasing, building operating costs, energy consumption patters, local and national building codes, legislation, occupancy statistics and technological developments.

IREM: Institute of Real Estate Management — The only professional real estate management association serving both the multi-family and commercial real estate sectors. IREM is an international organization that serves as an advocate on issues affecting the real estate management industry.

SIOR: Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® — The leading professional commercial and industrial real estate association with more than 3,200 members in 20 countries. SIOR represents today’s most knowledgeable, experienced, and successful commercial real estate brokerage specialists.


eBooks & Other Resources

eBooks.realtor.org

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Commercial Real Estate Investing (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties: How to Analyze any Single-Family, Multifamily, or Commercial Property (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Property Manager (Adobe eReader)

The Economics of Commercial Property Markets (Adobe eReader)

Happy About Apartment Management (Adobe eReader)

Opportunities in Property Management (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Commercial property management answer book (New York: Vendome Group, 2008). HD 1394 C73

Managing and leasing commercial properties (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2007). HD 1394 AL2ma

Principles of real estate management (Chicago: Institute of Real Estate Management, 2006). HD 1394 In7rm

Risk management in the post 9/11 world (Chicago: Institute of Real Estate Management, 2004). HV 6431 In7r

Office building management (Chicago: Institute of Real Estate Management, 2002). HD 1394 I2

Managing and leasing commercial properties: practice, strategies and forms, 2nd ed. (New York: Aspen Law & Business, 1999). HD 1394 AL1f

Spotlight on security for real estate managers (Chicago: Institute of Real Estate Management, 1997). HD 1394 In7o

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