When you think of building maintenance, what comes to mind? For many commercial investors, this term conjures images of repainting between tenants, replacing and repairing light fixtures, worn carpeting, and leaky faucets, and consistently ensuring that HVAC systems are running up to par. While yes, these things are big components to the overarching idea of maintaining your property, they are far from all that is required. Properly maintaining the exterior of your building is equally, if not more, important to consider and for a lot of legitimate reasons. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top incentives to keep up the exterior of your building.
The exterior of your building is its first line of defense against rain, snow, sun, wind, and even wildlife. Holes or cracks in the roof, concrete or siding can allow these elements to permeate the barrier, potentially causing a lot of unwanted and unnecessary damage to the interior of your building. Mold, mildew, rust, rot, leaks, and animal nesting, to name a few, can wreak havoc and could even lead to your building being deemed uninhabitable in more serious cases. For this reason, it’s imperative to schedule regular exterior assessments so that you can catch problems while they are still small.
All throughout the United States, exterior building and maintenance standards have been set that every business is expected to comply with. These standards help to ensure that all of those working at or visiting your property are safe. Routinely checking walkways can help you to avoid slips, trips, and falls. Regularly checking exterior lighting fixtures can do the same. Proper lighting can also help to deter burglars and other offenders who might be bolder in a poorly lit environment.
A well-maintained exterior not only shows that you take pride in your commercial property, it also speaks to the businesses that make their home there. Customers entering a building with shoddy or nonexistent landscaping, chipping paint, and cracked windows are likely to feel deterred by its appearance. A building that is clean, well-maintained, and properly landscaped, however, will exude an air of professionalism that is much more likely to help them build faith and positive rapport with the business(es) inside. These factors also set a precedent which can encourage your tenants to take as much pride in your building as you do.
Repeat customers and referrals are the crux of any business model. As customers build confidence in their relationship with a business, they are much more likely to keep coming back and to make those crucial referrals. Happy customers mean happy tenants! Proper exterior maintenance can help your tenants to feel valued as their businesses grow, meaning that they are likely to sign longer leases and to renew at lease end. It can also help them to feel safer in their work environment. Asking for feedback from your tenants and their customers and making the changes requested is a wonderful way to ensure that you will maintain a low vacancy rate within your commercial property!
Taking care of the small problems before they become big ones can be very beneficial in keeping your long-term maintenance costs down. Working your exterior maintenance into your yearly budget will ensure that you are always able to handle these small issues as they arise and will be able to accurately plan for the heftier costs. Roof replacement, for example, should take place every 20-30 years (depending on your location, exposure to the elements, materials used, et cetera) and can be a very costly job. Inconsistent maintenance could drastically reduce this time span, meaning you could get hit with a high price tag far sooner than you were prepared for.
Even small cracks or holes can have a very significant impact on your heating and cooling costs throughout the years. Windows and doors that aren’t properly sealed, for example, can cost you up to 30% more on your energy bills throughout the year! Investing in energy efficient windows and doors can alleviate these extra costs. Unnoticed holes in the roof or cracks within the façade of the building can also cause heating and cooling to escape.
When you purchase a commercial property, it’s typically done with the understanding that you are embarking on a long-term investment. That being said, you want to make sure that you have a lot of equity in your building when the day comes that you’re ready to unload that investment. Properly maintaining the exterior of your property is one way to guarantee this. Even if the month-to-month costs and effort of exterior maintenance feel a little daunting, zoom out and look at the bigger picture. A properly maintained building is going to market itself in a much prettier light than a building that has been neglected and left to the elements.
If you feel ready to find your next commercial investment property, there’s never been a better time than now. Let an SVN Alta Commercial broker help to find the right property for you! We’ll we beside you every step of the way to ensure that your investment is a success.
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