What is a man or woman’s word? Is it worth anything anymore? When you are working in commercial Real Estate, you can guarantee that your name and whether you keep to your word will get around really fast. Sometimes people will say untrue of unfair things, but that will quickly be overcome by all of the positives if you are a consistently dedicated and ethical commercial business building owner. Keeping your word is what makes your business – so make sure you are known as someone who is fair, ethical, lawful, and approachable. Nobody wants to have to “lay down the law” with their tenants, but it’s an absolutel must to protect your name, legal interests, the safety of others, and your reputation.
Three Ways To Promote a Healthy Rental Culture For Commercial Tenants
- Know the Laws and Follow them
- Keep the building up to safety Codes
- Conduct Regular, Planned, Announced Visits
It’s hard to follow the laws of rental property if you don’t know what they are. They county courthouse Is a good first place to stop to make sure things are up to date – all permits are within regulation, nothing is expired, and there are no taxes that need to be paid, etc. It’s a good idea to strike up a friendly relationship with your county courthouse clerks – that way they are likely to alert you immediately if there is a problem. Its always a good idea to have legal counsel on retainer, particularly if you own a lot of commercial real estate or rent out commercial real estate that may be prone to lawsuits (nightclubs, athletic endeavors, etc.) The time you save by being able to call and attorney and ask a question is well worth the money you spend. Make sure you are never discriminating against anyone in a protected class. In short, be the kind of person you’d want to do business with.
Don’t scrimp on safety. It never works out, and it always reflects poorly on the owner. Make sure the smoke detection system is working, the sprinkler system is working, the fire escapes are clear, promptly respond to any complaints, especially involving plumbing, heat, or other thins that could be harmful. Insist on a no smoking building (you can designate a smoking area away from the door, according to your state’s laws) but be non-negotiable about it. Invite the local fire department to come visit your building. Most are happy to do so and may find hazards you didn’t know you had.
Nobody likes a surprise visit from the owner- not even a commercial business. Make sure you announce two weeks in advance what date you will be stopping by and the approximate time. You don’t want your tenants to be afraid or feel like they can’t tell you things. When you arrive, don’t reprimand anything in front of customers or workers. If there’s something you noticed that must be addressed, put in writing and send it to your tenant, then schedule a meeting face to face to address it. Always aim for a cooperative type relationship that encourages openness and honestly on both sides. Keep your word, and hold your tenants to theirs.
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