Here are a few basics on purchasing and owning commercial property:
Inspect the property as if you would be living there, but don't invest the same amount of emotion that you would be investing if it were your home. Checking the cleanliness, fixtures, bathroom conditions, neighborhood, and overall maintenance of the property is extremely important. It's vital that you know how many computers the building's fuse boxes can handle, if female employees are going to be safe walking down the street, and if you're going to have to hire someone to do the dishes for you in the break rooms. That said, don't get so wound up in a certain property that you end up doing anything to have it. After all, it's a workplace, not a home. It's normal to want a place that won't depress the tenants daily; it's not normal to pay an extra $3000 just because the windows are arched.
Observe your commercial property neighbors. Are there other offices or workplaces around you? If so, how are they doing with their space? Do they fill their units faster than you do? If so, try to find out why and how they're doing it.
Make absolutely certain that you have the right commercial property insurance, and the correct amount of it. Not just protecting the building from storms, theft, and fire, but also liability insurance. Commercial properties have people coming in and out constantly. It's imperative that you are prepared for any accidents which occur on your property. Along with coverage, you should install security alarms or cameras, and keep the building up to safety codes.
Expect to pay more than you assume for maintaining and upgrading. You may need to do a little face-lifting to your property if the competition gets hot. And 99% of the time, it costs more than you'd think. Giving the place a new coat of paint or installing a lobby coffee bar can get pricey.
Pre-screen your tenant wannabe's. You have to be careful. Cash deposits are always a little suspicious. Have everyone fill out an application, and check everyone's credit, employment, and rental history. It's more financially draining to evict a bad tenant than to have an empty unit.
Do not break the rules you've set yourself. Ignoring your own policies sets a bad example, and besides, you set those rules for a reason.
We're HO Insurance, an independent agency located in Altamonte Springs, Florida. For more information on commercial property insurance, contact us today!