What Investors Should Know About Property Management Reports

Each month your property manager will send you a monthly report. Each company has its own format, using different property management software and internal processes. However, you should receive the following:
A one-page summary that highlights key issues about the property, e.g., one tenant is 30 days behind on the rent.
Income & expense statement. This should be a short statement showing the base rent, Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges for each tenant, rent and CAM payments received from each tenant. It also shows maintenance expenses and management fee; so you may quickly determine if each tenant has paid rent or not. This statement itemizes all of the income and expenses which may include:

Late fee: when the tenant pays late, he has to pay the rent plus the late fee. The late fee amount is normally stated in the lease. Normally, when the tenant pays late, the property manager has to do extra work to collect it. The amount of work depends on whether the tenant is too busy to mail the rent check, does not have the money or simply does not want to pay. The property manager will try to convince you that he is entitled to the late fees as an incentive to collect the rent. However, one can debate that it is a reward to the property for a lousy job. You as the investor suffer the damage when the tenant does not pay you on time so you should receive it.

Management fee: this fee is usually a percentage of the monthly income from the property that both you and the property manager agreed in the management contract. If you have a very stable property with the same income every month, then the management fee is the same. Otherwise, it varies from month to month.

Leasing fee: you typically see this when there is a new tenant or a renewed lease. This fee is normally around 6% of the base rent for the life of the lease. However, when the property manager is also the leasing agent you should ask for 4% fee.

Security/Fire Protection: your property may have fire & security monitoring services.

Electricity: this is most likely for parking or common area lighting as each unit normally has its own meter.

Water: this is for both drinking and irrigation.

Disposal: this is for garbage collection paid to the city.

HVAC repairs & maintenance: this is the maintenance costs for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Usually, there is a service contract for HVAC whereby the maintenance company will inspect the HVAC twice a year: once before the winter and once before the summer. So, you may receive the service bills only twice a year.

Garbage dumping: sometimes people dispose their unused furniture, mattress on the property because there is no one around at night. The maintenance crew may have to clean up these things. Normally, you or the property manager will want a picture of the dumping to make sure that it is a legitimate bill.

Landscaping: this is often the biggest expense item. Typically, the landscaper signs a one year contract to maintain the landscaping on the property, such as mowing the lawn, trimming the trees/shrubs, and planting flowers. Thus, the monthly payment should be the same for the whole year.

Sweeping: the parking lot is usually swept daily, either late in the evening or before the tenants open for business. In the winter, there may be an expense for snow removal.

Steam cleaning: the concrete sidewalk is normally steam cleaned once a month. This is done by the same company that handles the sweeping and landscaping.

Roof maintenance: the roof of a commercial building is often flat and requires regular maintenance especially during the rainy season. The roofer may charge each time he is called to fix a roof leak. So, this is not something you see on the statement on a regular basis.

Supplies: there are various things on the property that have to be replaced periodically: light bulbs, trash bins, sprinklers, etc.

Bank charges: sometimes the tenants pay by check with non-sufficient funds. The bank will charge a fee each time the check is bounced.

Legal fees: you may see this if the property manager has to evict a tenant.
As a rule of thumb, you should not spend more than 30 minutes to review the management report of a retail property with 10 tenants. If you have to spend much more than that, then your property manager has sent you too much information or not organized the report properly.The property management company often proposes an annual maintenance budget for the property based on the prior year’s maintenance expenses. Each tenant is then billed a fixed monthly amount, proportional to the size of his unit. Thus, the base rent and CAM charges are the same each month; so, the tenants may expect to pay a consistent amount each month. Annually, between January and March, the property manager reconciles the accounting for the prior year. If the actual expenses exceeded the budget, the tenant will have to pay his share of the difference. In the event, the actual expenses were less than the budget; the tenant will be refunded or credited back the difference.Do’s and Don’ts
Use email for most of your correspondence. This will allow you to have records (date, time) of all issues sent and received between you and the property manager. You may want to set up the mail option such that it automatically will save all out-going mail. In addition, you may want to create an email folder for each property and keep all email messages related to that property in that folder. This allows you to find information quickly.
Ask the property manager to email to you the monthly reports. You should save all of the reports on your computer. Time and time again, you will need to look at a report from a previous month. The easier and faster you can access them, the more likely you will do it. Paper reports are much more time consuming to retrieve.
Have a copy of the rent roll handy with rent rate, lease start date, lease expiration, and CAM share portion. When you are asked to approve a new lease, check to make sure it does not expire on a year when you have several other leases expiring. This minimizes the risk of high vacancies on your property.

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IT Building Blocks: The Essential Elements of IT Foundation Management

Foundation Management defines the scope of a foundation by all of the technologies that contribute to the reliable, secure and compliant operation of the business. This definition requires ITFM to embrace all technologies regardless of who made them, what they are, or where they physically (or virtually) reside. All organizations have hardware and software from different vendors in their I.T. Infrastructure and most organizations have a mix of technology platforms. Because of this, Foundation Management cannot be achieved without the ability to bring any type of technology under systems-based management.The specific scope of a given Foundation is most often determined by the flows of information that are available and relevant to the achieving of a business goal. That business goal can be anything that is important to the business.In addition, ITFM is an essential part of the strategic CIO’s game plan behind providing the kind of leadership that addresses CXO concerns and supports the executive business role of the CIO. Foundation Management is a key imperative to protecting the organization’s Brand, delivering customer satisfaction, increasing margin, and by decreasing litigation and regulatory penalty vulnerability.In this regard, Foundation Management serves to protect the organization from the occurrence of negative events that can lead to financial loss or reportable negative incidents while creating the forensic evidence to prove such events or incidents never occurred in the first place; shutting down misplaced, frivolous or opportunistic threats.Flows of Information
ITFM recognizes that IT devices – both hardware and software – can produce information about their operational status, health, and activity in a number of different ways that often require specific technical capabilities in order to interact with that information. To meet this challenge, Foundation Management defines the management scope as “all flows of information relevant to the business goal at hand.”The “flows of information” concept enables ITFM to embrace a much broader set of technology than infrastructure or systems approaches do traditionally do – increasing the organization’s ability to perform proactive response to conditions that can adversely affect business operations before the adverse affect actually occurs. This also opens the technology management practice to devices that are not normally considered part of the I.T. infrastructure though they are imminently relevant to business goals.Non-Traditional Devices
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Considering that the scope of Foundation Management is driven by the flows of information that are available and relevant to a business goal, Foundation Management naturally extends across geographical boundaries. For Foundation Management to serve its purpose, both devices and people must be engaged in the Foundation wherever they may be – including multiple physical device locations, Cloud Computing centers, and people any where an internet connection exists.This even extends to virtualization where virtual machines “move” under the virtualization paradigm to different physical devices as needed to balance load and efficiently use available resources. Foundation Management makes no assumptions as to where devices, applications or data resides. Instead, Foundation Management acts from the perspective that the devices, applications and data that form a Foundation must be managed as a coherent whole regardless of where they are, where they were or where they may be in the future.In respect to people, Foundation Management meets the need for experts to provide Foundation oversight, conduct routine operations and perform remediation on the Foundation as a whole – or any part there of – regardless of where the expert is physically located. In this way, Foundation Management is able to reduce the cost of managing the Foundation with remote monitoring, management and remediation; provides the I.T. organization the tools it needs to develop a solid Foundation Management strategy; and supports even the most complex outsourcing scenarios with ease.Building Block – Real-Time (milliseconds)
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