Many challenges present themselves when managing a vacant commercial property, many of which can be potentially very expensive to fix: vandalism, theft, maintenance issues, and liability, to name but a few.
If you are responsible for looking after an unoccupied commercial property and are worried about any of the above, then you need to implement strategies to mitigate risks and keep the building safe.
Find out the best way to manage and make the most out of a vacant commercial property below. Plus, discover top tips on filling vacant commercial properties in record time!
How to Manage a Vacant Commercial Property: Regularly inspect the property
If you think you can lock up and forget about a vacant commercial property, think again. Unless you want to be met with a whole host of unpleasant surprises upon your return, you must ensure you are conducting regular inspections on the property.
Ideally, you should inspect a vacant property at least once a month, checking the overall condition of the building, identifying any maintenance issues, and addressing any security concerns.
Invest in security measures
Unless you want to risk falling victim to thieves and vandals, you need to invest in security measures for your vacant commercial property.
Although you could choose to install CCTV cameras yourself, it is much more effective to invest in professional vacant property security, which will provide you with peace of mind around the clock.
Don’t be tempted to try and cut costs with security, as this will end up costing you more in the long run.
Poor maintenance is often a bigger problem than theft and vandalism for vacant properties and can prove very costly if left unfixed for a long period of time.
To prevent your commercial property from succumbing to general wear and tear or from developing expensive maintenance issues, you need to develop a proper maintenance plan. This should include cleaning, landscaping, and routine checks of all the property’s systems, including electrical and water.
Take out insurance
If something does happen to your commercial property when it is unoccupied, you don’t want to have to foot the bill for any repairs yourself.
Therefore, you need to make sure you take out the right type of insurance. Depending on your provider, standard commercial property insurance may not cover you when the property is empty, so you need to check for this. Make sure that your policy covers you for incidents such as vandalism, theft, fire, and liability.
Did you know that if someone injures themselves or damages your property, you could still be liable for any expenses incurred? To protect yourself financially when you have an empty commercial property, there are several actions that you should take.
Firstly, remove any electrical and copper pipes along the radiators, as thieves often target these. Also, remove anything valuable, such as electronics which could attract thieves or squatters. The less inviting you make your property, the fewer unwanted visitors you’ll get.
Lastly, carry out a risk assessment to identify points of entry and put appropriate measures in place to secure them.
How to fill a vacant commercial property
If your commercial property is not vacant by choice and you would like to see it filled sooner than later, then the below top tips are just what you need:
If you want to attract potential tenants to your commercial property, then you need to be advertising it. Make sure that you market your property to a specific audience.
For example, if you have an office space to rent, make sure you are tailoring your advertising efforts towards these types of businesses rather than construction companies.
Make the most of the space
If you are struggling to fill your property, then you need to think of ways to make the space appear more attractive to prospective tenants. If it is an older property, consider renovations that could make it more appealing or allow you to command a higher rental price.
Collaborate with local businesses
It can be useful to partner with other local businesses, community organizations, and government agencies when filling vacant commercial properties.
For example, if your property is near a park or local school, it can be a good idea to partner with an organization that offers leisure or recreational activities for kids.
Hire a broker
If you have tried all of the above and are still unable to find the right tenants for your vacant commercial property, you may want to consider hiring a broker who specializes in commercial properties. A broker will not only be able to find you suitable tenants, but they will also be able to negotiate the lease on your behalf.