Is Your Property Covered? 6 Types of Liability Insurance Needed

Property owners and managers expose themselves to potential liability any time they engage a third party to perform work on their building's premises. If the third party causes injury to a building occupant, tenant, or employee, the owner or manager is a target for liability actions.
To prevent a lawsuit at all costs, this post dives into the 6 types of liability insurance needed to cover potential injury.
1. Professional Liability Insurance Environmental consultants are often hired to identify and evaluate the presence of contamination or to design an abatement or remediation program and evaluate its implementation. When hiring an environmental consultant, ask the consultant to show evidence of this insurance.
2. Asbestos Abatement Liability Insurance Property owners should require an asbestos abatement contractor to carry asbestos abatement liability insurance. This will protect against claims of third-party bodily injury and property damage arising from asbestos abatement projec…

Know Your Competition

What you can learn from other property managers who lease space in their buildings? The answer is, a lot!
Trading InformationGetting to know your building colleagues can have benefits beyond learning the going rental rates. In spite of what you may think, in most cases your competition will be friendly. A fraternity/sorority of sorts results from sharing the same frustrations, the same gains and losses, the same pressures and rewards that you go through on a daily basis. People you have treated fairly will be more likely to pass on and trade information than people who feel that you have taken advantage of them.

Getting to know the managers, vendors, and leasing agents of other buildings and brokerage firms will help you plug into the information circuit. Here are some examples:
The real reason that your competition made a deal that you lost.The possibility of a deal (which your competition could not salvage) with a tenant who plans to vacate your competitor’s building.The concessions th…

Summer Sun is the Best Renewable Energy Solution

The summer months provide a great use case for renewable solar energy solutions. Solar energy use has surged at about 20 percent each year over the past 15 years thanks to rapidly falling prices and gains in efficiency. Japan, Germany, and the U.S. are major markets for solar.

With tax incentives, solar electricity can pay for itself in 5-10 years.
Solar energy capture is broken down into four types:
Daylighting: daylight and sunlight used to provide illumination within a building, especially to supplement or replace electric lighting.Active: photovoltaics or PV (solar panels) used to directly convert sunlight to electricity.Passive: large windows placed on the south side of a building to allow sunlight to heat materials on the floor and walls.Thermal: collectors on a roof heat liquid in tubes that supply hot water.DaylightingLighting is the largest energy load in commercial buildings today, with electric demands that occur predominantly during the day when daylight is available. Because…

Spend Less on Cleaning Costs with These Design Tips

The results of cleaning are visible to the public, customers, and employees, especially if cleaning is done poorly. Building tenants consider the cleanliness of a building and its common areas a significant criterion in assessing the effectiveness of building management. 

Cleaning costs are not only ongoing, but grow continually as wages and other costs increase. In order to spend less on cleaning costs, the design of new buildings and renovation of old buildings should take into account these two areas.
Flooring SurfacesRestroom Equipment & Fixtures FlooringFlooring surfaces are the most difficult to keep clean. The amount of people that enter into a building with dirty or wet shoes can ruin the finish and stain of a poorly chosen flooring option. 

For example, the most expensive color of vinyl tile is white; the most difficult color of vinyl tile to maintain is white. Better options for flooring surfaces are mixed-color tiles and carpets, especially tweed carpets with three or four …

Final Decisions when Managing an REO Property

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series, we discussed what a real estate owned (REO) property is and the specific tasks an asset manager will perform to improve the overall appeal of the property. In this final post, we will evaluate the next steps after the property is repositioned.

As an asset manager, you are responsible for assisting in all aspects of the administrative, financial, capital, and operations of the assigned portfolio, in this case an REO Property. It is now your job to make decisions with respect to managing the property.
Management DecisionsFind a Property ManagerIf the property manager in place is not familiar with the sale process of REO properties, this might be a good time to hire a firm that can ensure a successful marketing of the property.
Select a Leasing AgentSelecting a leasing agent and a broker familiar with REO properties is pertinent. Ask about how many REO transactions they’ve handled, how recently, and inquire about their previous property addresses an…

Managing and Repositioning an REO Property

In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed what a real estate owned (REO) property is and why it is one of the biggest challenges in property management. In this post, we will go into the specific tasks an asset manager will perform to improve the overall appeal of the REO property to potential tenants and buyers alike.

Primary TasksUpon acquiring an REO property, the court-appointed receiver (an asset manager or property manager) must protect existing collateral value which will involve the following tasks.

Evaluate Security and Maintenance:Repair deficiencies that are diminishing the value of the property. This includes a comprehensive property condition assessment and prioritization of needed improvements.

Insure the Property: Place an appropriate amount of insurance on the property in case of fire or other damage to the building, effective on the day of acquisition. Liability insurance will protect ownership in case visitors are injured while on the premises.

Maintain Utilities: If t…

The Biggest Challenge in Property Management

Managing a real estate owned (REO) property is one of the biggest challenges in property management. An REO property is owned by a lender such as a bank or government agency, usually after an unpaid mortgage and then an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure auction. 

Numerous resultant problems require a specialized approach to property management. This demands an experienced manager and staff who have the ability to:
Quickly assemble resources and data.Interpret and analyze data.Articulate recommendation options and their corresponding likely outcomes.Assemble an experienced team to execute on the owner-approved asset management plan and strategy.In some cases, the building will be incomplete, and there may be complications in moving forward with development. 
If tenants are unhappy, potential lessees may be discouraged from moving into the building due to bad press. A critical issue in dealing with REO buildings is that they must often compete among other successful properties that offer …