Maximize Your Commercial Property Investment

Commercial Property Investment

When you own a commercial property, there are a variety of building systems that must be maintained for safety and performance.  In this article, the experts at Rachuba Real Estate Advisors will discuss the five building systems you should inspect and maintain regularly to maximize the value of your commercial real estate.

Maintenance is not just about curb appeal.  In fact, the more important aspects of maintenance involve the property’s structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.  Even the best-looking buildings can’t operate if those systems are not working properly.  This is why an effective preventive maintenance program is important.

Don’t’ know where to start?  Below is a list of major systems that Building Owners (or their Real Estate Managers) should inspect on a regular basis:

  1. Exterior – Since you only get one chance to make a first impression, you want to be sure that your tenants, their customers, and those who live and work in the area have a great one. Landscaping boosts curb appeal, so you’ll want to make sure your plantings and lawn are in good condition and properly maintained.  Hardscapes, such as pavers and sidewalks should be inspected and cleaned often.  Exterior lighting systems provide an aesthetic and safer environment.
  2. Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Systems (HVAC) – All HVAC systems should be on a regular maintenance schedule that includes system checks, changing filters, air quality. If you do not have someone on-staff to monitor these systems, outsource the service.  You will minimize down time and costly repairs by maintaining these systems properly.
  3. Restrooms – Faucets, fixtures, and sinks can be updated to improve appearance, functionality and conserve water. Touchless faucets and toilets often reduce water usage and the spread of germs.  Clean restrooms are critical to customer satisfaction.
  4. Elevators & Stairs – Getting your tenants (and their customers) to their destination safely is paramount. So, for multi-level commercial properties, you’ll want to have a maintenance contract for your elevator systems.  This often includes routine inspection as well as 24/7 service.  Stairs are the primary evacuation method, in the event of an emergency.  Routinely check handrails, treads, lighting, and doors to ensure your stairs are safe and clean.
  5. Exits – Make sure that exit routes are prominently displayed and that exit signs are lit and working, especially in the event of power disruption. Check exit doors to ensure proper operation.

If you own a commercial property, ensuring your systems are operational at all times is a must. While a preventative maintenance program is not going to eliminate the need for repairs, it will minimize the late-night maintenance failures that are disruptive to tenants and employees.  This also saves you money.  It is less expensive to perform preventive maintenance than to perform an emergency repair.

It will also help you prepare for long-term capital expenses.  By inspecting these systems regularly, you will know when it will be time to upgrade or replace the systems.  An effective Reserve Policy for Capital Expenditures can you prepare financially.

There are resources available for developing such a plan.  A Real Estate Management professional can guide you in the right direction.  Rachuba Real Estate Advisory Services can provide a property assessment with recommendations for your specific needs.  Contact Rachuba Real Estate Advisors today!

What Your Business Must Know About Facilities Management

Facilities Management

Facilities management can fondly be remembered as a position where the guy ‘wears a lot of hats’ and knows a little something about everything.  Overseeing janitorial services, mailrooms, and building maintenance were just a few of the responsibilities that often fell under the scope of work.  As our society has evolved, more demands have been placed on facilities management.  Owners and tenants wants buildings that are green, with an emphasis on efficiencies, cost reductions, life-cycle reporting, and safer workplaces to name just a few.

Many business owners now invest in their own commercial real estate and are tasked with complying with growing social demands, technology, workplace safety, and employee satisfaction.  As the business grows, so do the demands.  Business owners must often determine if staffing their own facilities management personnel is the most effective use of funds, or if outsourcing the operations would provide a higher level of service and satisfaction.  Here are a few ideas to consider:

  1. Workplace Adaptability – With more and more employees working virtually, the role of technology and accessibility is ever-increasing. Facilities managers must have the latest information and resources to not only accommodate these workers virtually, but provide a seamless environment connecting corporate culture and virtual workplaces.
  2. Federal, State & Local Regulations – Whether building out a new office or reconfiguring an existing space, organizations are required to comply with a variety of regulations for compliance purposes. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides a list of requirements to ensure proper access for those with disabilities.  In addition, the use and/or disposal of certain items must comply with hazardous waste guidelines, as required by the EPA or other entities.  Will your staff be able to keep up with these regulations and minimize the company’s liabilities?
  3. Workplace Safety – Unfortunately, workplace safety has become a top concern for many companies in the age of workplace shootings. Protecting employees, preventing crisis events, and ensuring that facilities have proper protocols is key.  Does your team know how to effectively design and manage these processes?
  4. Equipment Procurement & Maintenance – While most large equipment will be maintained and/or have service contracts, it is important that your team have working knowledge of this equipment and be able to understand quotes, bids, and repair orders.

Increasingly, businesses are choosing to outsource their facility management responsibilities.  Outsourcing often reduces costs and improves operational performance.  If you’d like to explore how outsourcing facilities management services could benefit your business, contact Rachuba Real Estate Advisors today for a free consultation.

How a Real Estate Advisor Can Be Critical to Building Wealth with Real Estate

Real Estate Wealth

When you are getting ready to buy, sell, lease or renovate real estate, it’s important to consider a multitude of factors that can impact your real estate investment.  Different than a real estate agent, a real estate advisor provides important guidance and serves as an expert on a variety of real estate factors, not just buying and selling.  In this article, we’ll highlight the 3 questions you should ask before choosing a real estate advisor.

  1. What type of experience do you have with residential and commercial properties?  Residential and commercial properties have very distinct differences and a host of factors that can influence their value.  Commercial properties are often far more complex and can provide much higher values than a typical residential property.  You will want a real estate advisor that has extensive experience with both types of real estate.  This experience may include land development, rezoning of residential to commercial, converting a commercial property from industrial to corporate, etc.
  1. Tell me about how you evaluate the best use of a Your real estate advisor should have a strategic process for evaluating properties to determine their highest and best use.  They should be able to utilize their knowledge, experience and vast resources to determine the best use, current value and potential value of a piece of real estate.  Further, they should have examples to share of projects they’ve worked on and the outcomes, particularly as they relate to the client’s goals.
  1. Explain how you work with professional service firms. Many clients rely on their financial planners, accountants, and attorneys for advice.  Certainly, these professionals often have a full picture of your goals and objectives along with your financial  A real estate advisor should work closely with these professionals to understand the clients’ overall financial and long-term strategies.

To maximize your real estate investments, it is critical to partner with a real estate advisor who has the experience to make sound recommendations.  Rachuba Real Estate Advisors has over 40 years of experience in extremely diverse real estate transactions.  They have bought, sold, developed, rented, managed, and renovated virtually every type of real estate.  If you’re seeking an advisor to work with your professional services team, contact Rachuba Real Estate Advisors today!

When Should You Hire a Construction Manager?

Construction Manager

Originally, the role of a construction manager was designed to oversee large commercial construction projects.  Today, discerning homeowners have found there to be a great benefit in hiring a construction manager for oversight on high end residential homes.  In this article, the experts at Rachuba Real Estate Advisors discuss the three area you need to consider when hiring a construction manager.

Roles & Responsibilities

The construction manager will generally have extensive background and experience in construction.  Many construction managers are licensed architects or former general contractors.   A good construction manager will be onsite regularly, troubleshoots issues, and ensure that everyone is honest with their time, materials and quality of work.  Some of the responsibilities typically carried out by a construction manager are:

  • Help you hire an architect
  • Collaborate and work well with other industry professionals to complete the job
  • Evaluate plans and solicit bids from contractors
  • Construction documents, bidding and contract administration
  • Handle permits and inspections
  • Finding and hiring subcontractors
  • Ordering materials and negotiating discounts
  • Reviewing bills

How Much Does It Cost?

Most construction managers work on an hourly or flat fee basis.  This provides a transparent working relationship where the construction manager oversees the project for the owner at a relatively fixed cost.  So, instead of hiring a general contractor and paying overhead and profit, you’re simply contracting the hours needed to oversee the project.

Know What You Don’t Know

A construction manager can often save you time and money, because they will know what you don’t konw.  The following tips will help!

  • Look for a firm that has extensive experience in managing a project similar to yours
  • Review construction costs and budgets and will work to ensure the project comes in on time, on budget
  • Discuss the construction managers on-site presence
  • Ensure that the construction manager will be responsible for securing permits and plans
  • Outline all responsibilities and expectations up front

A construction manager can help save time and money while reducing stress.  Rachuba Real Estate Advisors provides construction management for commercial and residential building projects.  Contact the experts at Rachuba Real Estate Advisors today!