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Commercial Property Management – Tips for Achieving Energy Savings in Managed Buildings

Like it or not, energy forms a significant percentage of property operational costs today.  In any retail or commercial investment property the common area power will drain a lot of profit from the landlord’s net income.

In simple terms the energy consumption factors of any investment property should be carefully controlled and optimised.  That is one of the main jobs of the property manager to focus on; to improve the property performance financially in a realistic and professional way.  In saying that, there are a few strategies that can work very effectively and directly in improving energy consumption and costs as part of the overall investment property performance.

Set Some Energy Strategies

Here are some ideas to help:

  1. CONTRACTOR MEETINGS: Meet with your maintenance contractors regularly as they will have some valuable ideas to share about the operational systems of plant and machinery. They understand the equipment better than anyone else; they will know what can be done to improve energy use whilst not overly impacting occupancy conditions in the building.
  2. THE COST OF ENERGY: Buy energy at the best commercial rates. There are different suppliers of energy in most towns or cities.  They offer certain economies and purchasing power when it comes to energy.
  3. DEMAND TIMES FOR  ENERGY: Understand your peak demand periods. With any office or retail property there will be certain periods of peak energy demand during the day and during the week.  Those periods generally do not change, but how you purchase energy at those times will impact gross costs.
  4. CLIMATE CONTROL AND AIR CONDITIONING: Review air conditioning operations. The air conditioning plant in any investment property will consume a lot of power.  In winter and summer those demands will shift depending on your typical outside climate and building design.  In conjunction with your air conditioning maintenance contractors you can review special internal climate strategies such as delayed starts, optimal starts, outside air use, and night purges.
  5. AFTER HOURS CYCLES: The after-hours use of air conditioning, lighting, and the building itself will put demands on operational costs. Some of those use factors will be recoverable from the tenants in the building.
  6. LOW COST LIGHTS: Lighting modifications can occur to common area globes and tubes so that common area lighting costs are reduced. Understand how lights function in special common areas such as car parking, entrance foyers, and toilets showers.  Sensor lights and LED hardware will help in saving costs.
  7. MOVING PEOPLE: Lifts and escalators are a big drain on power consumption. Whilst they are essential for the movement of people in a building, they could be partially shut down after hours.  For example consider a high rise office tower; there is no point running all lifts in the lift banks if the building is largely empty.  You can park lifts after hours and only run one lift in each bank in an office tower.   The occupants will very likely not be impacted.

So these simple factors of building use will have a great impact on energy consumption and savings in any investment property.

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Commercial Real Estate Brokerage – Start Now to Be Effective as an Agent

In commercial real estate brokerage it is far too easy to procrastinate and get diverted in time wasting activities.  Your peers and clients will all ask for some of your time and then you still have demanding tasks to get to on a personal basis.  As you get more listings, things get busier in all respects.

Realistically there are only a small number of things that should really matter when it comes to broker focus and business planning.  Those particular issues are simply summarised as:

  • Prospecting for new listings
  • Listing documentation and marketing
  • Personal marketing through the location and the precinct
  • Client contact and service
  • Deal negotiation and documentation
  • Database management and follow-up

If you focus your efforts daily at a personal level into these six simple factors of activity, your property market results will take a sharp turn upward and allow you to improve your listings and commission conversions.

Simple messages

So the message here is that you can change your focus immediately and start working on these six factors to improve your market share.  In saying that, don’t procrastinate and certainly do not divert away from the new business opportunities that exist in your property market.  Be prepared to do the challenging and difficult things every day and stretch your ‘comfort zone’ and reduce any skill limitations.

There are far too many agents and brokers in the commercial property marketplace that consistently achieve only average results and struggle a lot of the time when it comes to database growth and income.  The best agents comprise the top 10% of the property market, and control 75% of the quality listings.  There is a message in those numbers.

Changing your commercial real estate career focus

So what can you do here?  To change the momentum in your commercial real estate career, the first stage involves a change of thinking at a personal level; the second stage involves action in a managed and directed way.  Understand what is happening with the activities of local property investors and business owners in your town or city.

Look for the zones or the precincts through your town or city that have plenty of property activity and enquiry.  Also look for the property types and the new property developments attracting enquiry.  Specialisation will help you dominate market share.

Exclusivity is really important

From all of this information you can move into an exclusive listing focus across those segments.  Exclusivity is the key element of market domination, listing conversions, and a professional Top-Agent-Focus.  When you list properties exclusively, you control the client, the listing, the enquiry, the inspections, and the negotiations.  Conversely, the open listing process gives you little if any control at all.