Owning a commercial building is a considerable investment offering long-term profit and scalability. However, it comes with many responsibilities to preserve its value and attain a return on investment. From construction to maintenance and anything in between, operating a small commercial building can be challenging. Below are five business tips for running your small commercial building to save headaches and keep the property in prime shape.
1. Prioritize Maintenance
Keeping your small commercial building well-maintained is crucial to increasing its value, lowering operating costs, promoting safety, and boosting the occupancy rate. A neat and well-kept building is aesthetically appealing and enticing to tenants, customers, and visitors.
Maintenance can be as simple as repainting peeling walls, fixing damaged fixtures, replacing old carpets, and giving the exterior a facelift with a fresh coat of paint. It is best practice to have a proactive approach to maintenance rather than a reactive one to save time and money.
2. Go Digital
Operating a commercial building is laborious, and you must juggle collecting rent, dealing with expenditures, handling maintenance work orders, scheduling inspections, and adhering to relevant local and federal regulations. Fortunately, you can invest in technologies such as commercial property management software to handle all the mundane and repetitive tasks in the current digital age. You get a single platform for all your bills, communications, work orders, and regulations.
Research shows that 32% of small businesses have mobile apps, and 42% will have one in the future. Your small commercial building also needs an app to increase competitiveness, provide value to renters and customers, and broaden marketing channels.
3. Stay On Top of Safety
In any commercial building, safety is paramount to avoid accidents and lawsuits. Therefore, you must take measures to find out that the occupants of your building are free from harm. First, ensure that safety fixtures are in place and operational during emergencies. They include emergency doors, exit signs, and alarm and fire detector systems. Second, identify and eliminate potential fire hazards in your building to minimize the possibility of a fire. Do not forget to equip each floor with a fire extinguisher.
Third, inspect your building for cracks to ensure structural stability. An electrochemical fatigue crack sensor can be handy as it identifies cracks as small as 0.01 inches on your building. This way, you can fix cracks before they become disastrous. Last, keep pests at bay with pest audits and control.
4. Inspect HVAC Systems
HVAC units are crucial in any commercial building. They offer thermal comfort, maintain good indoor air quality, and encourage occupants’ safety and productivity. Over time, your building’s HVAC may break down and require repair or wear out and need replacement.
It is essential to inspect your HVAC systems every season to identify and fix problems early before they wreak havoc. Do not forget to check the heat exchangers in your commercial building. Cleaning your heat exchangers regularly can reduce energy costs by between $5,000 and $10,000 annually.
5. Keep up With Code
Every state has laws and regulations that commercial buildings should comply with to create conducive and secure commercial spaces. Therefore, it is fundamental to make sure that your small commercial building is up to code and prevent penalties and fines. Ensure you adhere to design, construction, maintenance, and inspection regulations. In addition, your building should meet health, stability, fire prevention and control, and general welfare requirements.
Inspecting is an excellent way to guarantee compliance with building codes. A professional inspector examines all the aspects of your building, from plumbing to roofing, erosion control, fire blocking, and means of egress, and gives a report. This way, you know what to work on avoiding violations and potential lawsuits.
While a commercial building is a lucrative investment, operating it takes a lot of work. The above tips will ensure a safe, clean, and efficient building for renters, customers, investors, and visitors. As a result, your business thrives, and long-term returns are guaranteed.