Commercial property management and maintenance may seem like one and the same thing. Even though the two are crucial to the preservation and enhancement of commercial properties, it is important to remember that these are two different disciplines. Whether it is the management of institutions, commercial properties, or municipal buildings, property maintenance services will involve upkeep of properties to restore or improve their value. Therefore, maintenance is considered a subset of the overall management of properties. Commercial building such as banking halls, stores, offices, as well as apartment complexes, require regular care and cleaning to ensure durability, prolong aesthetic appeal, increase longevity, and protect the entire value of the investment. Just like a motor vehicle, a building also requires to be maintained regularly. Routine maintenance and repair will help in protecting the proprietor’s investment. Apart from that, proper maintenance will help in protecting residents, guests, visitors, or customers within the building daily. So what kind of maintenance is required on a building and how often should maintenance be conducted? This article offers a complete guide on the maintenance of commercial buildings and properties, and why it’s important to hire professional services for all your maintenance needs.
What is Property Maintenance?
Property maintenance refers to the tasks and strategies that are involved in ensuring your rental or commercial properties are in perfect condition. There are different kinds of routine maintenance tasks. Some of these include pool services (where applicable), ensuring fire detectors are functioning, ensuring proper lighting, fixing all plumbing defects, among others. Additionally, there are larger less frequent projects which are part of maintenance and these include the parking lot, roofing, and walkway repairs.
Why is Maintenance Critical?
The maintenance of commercial buildings is crucial as it helps in avoiding unexpected maintenance problems which could easily arise when the services are ignored. The importance of maintenance services on commercial and municipal properties cannot be undermined since the lack of it could result in increased costs for the proper owners or managers. The lack of maintenance can be costly to a business and it could result in unexpected expenses. Other potential and common hazards caused by the lack of maintenance include injuries caused by falling objects, unexpected fires, or slippery and poorly maintained walkways. Failure to maintain commercial properties can result in lawsuits against the business and this may end up affecting their image due to negative reviews. To avoid these potential scenarios from taking place, property managers and owners should always prioritize on maintenance services.
In addition to reducing the risks of injuries for your employees or tenants, you need a proper maintenance system in place for numerous other reasons as well. These include:
I. Increased property value – As mentioned, well-maintained property will most likely increase their market value. Failure to maintain your property will detract from its value due to factors such as depreciation.
II. Reduced costs – An efficient maintenance program will help you to save money by reducing the risks, prolonging the life of your equipment and appliances, satisfying your tenants, and reducing manual efforts.
III. Satisfied tenants – When business properties are poorly maintained, the tenants are likely to be dissatisfied and may end up breaking the terms of their lease.
IV. Less work – Property owners or managers usually have so much on their plate. As a result, ensuring there is an elaborate system of maintenance in place will go a long way in reducing the time they would spend contacting tenants, inspecting the building or dealing with emergencies. When the properties are maintained on a regular basis, the owners will not have to worry about possible building hazards, thus will focus their efforts on other important matters.
With these in mind, you need to ensure your property is well-maintained to maximize its value. This will, in turn, present an opportunity for your business to maximize its rental prices. When the tenants are satisfied, you will experience lower turnover. Ensuring the right maintenance program is in place will help in improving your profits, preserving your excellent reputation, reducing hassles, and saving time.
Tips for Commercial Property Maintenance
Commercial properties of different types and sizes are similar in that they require regular maintenance. If you don’t perform routine maintenance on your property, those minor problems could quickly become full-blown emergencies later. When it comes to maintenance, here are a few tips that could help you save thousands in repairs.
1. Check for Broken Stuff
When the locks break, the doors jam, the toilet clogs, or the windows crack, hiring a contractor or handyman can be the right step to take. Either of these professionals can help to fix just about anything, including the busted hinges, desk drawers, cracked walls, and much more. Other maintenance repair tasks include everything from the lighting or office equipment to other major repairs such as elevators, escalators, and security equipment. These kinds of maintenance and repair services may not be required on a daily basis. Large properties such as movie theaters, apartment complexes, shopping malls, hospitals, and office buildings may require regular maintenance and repair. As the property owner, it is important to carry out all repairs to avoid lawsuits, worker’s compensation claims, and negative reputation. It can also be helpful to maintain a record of all the repairs needed and then call the contractor to resolve all the identified problems at once.
2. Check Insulation
Every commercial building is insulated because the building codes make it compulsory for such buildings to be insulated to a certain degree. Unfortunately, due to the factor of the budget, most buildings are constructed with a minimal level of insulation. However, it’s imperative to remember that higher levels of insulation translate to better efficiencies. If possible, you can decide to increase the insulation levels of your commercial building to enhance the comfort levels of the building’s tenants. You can choose to redo the roof so as to minimize the impact of solar on the building or choose to use energy-efficient lighting systems and windows.
3. Choose the Right Suppliers
Finding a supplier to maintain your property is usually a tedious and time-consuming process. From groundskeeping to janitorial services, creating contracts with clear service levels and ascertaining that the quality of service by the suppliers are maintained are all crucial to ensuring successful maintenance of the facility. The business attempts to minimize costs in property maintenance category are usually affected by the inability to maintain the standards of comfort and safety for your workers.
4. Emergency Repairs
Disasters are usually inevitable even for commercial buildings. It is always important to try all things necessary to ensure emergency cases do not occur. Failure in electricity, water leaks, and flooding are areas a remodeling contractor can work on. These individuals retain the knowledge, training, and equipment to combat and prevent any emergencies. Even a broken window can be an emergency if it’s very cold outside, so you’ll need to ensure such cases are handled as soon as possible. Your contractor can replace the glass on the windows or offer a temporary solution as they wait to have the problem fixed completely.
5. Consider Services that Impact Energy Use
There are some energy-related projects which are more or less hidden from occupants of a commercial building and are primarily implemented to minimize energy consumption, such as the upgrade of fan units and chillers. These kinds of improvements usually go a long way in providing occupants with better temperature control, although that is not always the main aim of the upgrade.
Operational changes which include the reduction of lighting and HVAC operation, and amending setback temperatures, which are less costly do not affect the experience of the user directly but can go a long way in reducing electricity loads. All in all, working with an operations team on the aspect of energy reduction can result in impressive reductions in load.
Hire the Right Maintenance Professionals
As a property manager or owner, you can greatly benefit from contracting out all the work involved in the maintenance of the property. When you are choosing a contractor, you need to make sure they have a well-established business with trained personnel including customer service department. The trained customer service agents of your prospective contractor should always be available to offer assistance in the best way they can including requesting troubleshooting maintenance and dispatching approved servicemen. More importantly, hiring a contractor for the maintenance services of your commercial building will help in freeing up your time so you can focus on more pressing matters such as expanding your business.
When it comes to commercial building maintenance, you need to know that so much is involved including the regular minor services as well as the scheduled maintenance which is often done after a certain period has elapsed. In either of these options, you need to make sure you hire the services of a qualified contractor so you can be confident that the work is being handled with qualified individuals. There are numerous maintenance contractors out there, so make sure you do enough research to ensure you are making the right selection.