Keeping businesses in buildings: How commercial property managers work


A quick walk around any town or city and you’ll see bustling offices, shops, estates and other commercial properties packed with businesses of all shapes and sizes. While many businesses are long term residents of offices, did you know that very few actually own the building they operate in?

Most businesses rent a floor or even a whole building from a commercial property landlord. Much like residential renting, the building and tenants are then looked after by an external manager who represents the property owner. That’s where a Commercial Property Manager comes in.

However, as Dan Ballard, from commercial property experts Fisher German explains, a commercial property manager is much more than just a middle man between a business tenant and landlord…

The eyes and ears of the landlord

First and foremost, a commercial property manager is there to represent the landlord or client. While initially employed to get the right businesses into the building (which we’ll cover later), the day to day work includes collecting rents and service charges for the landlord, managing their accounts, resolving disputes and much more administration. As Dan explains,

“Obviously, the landlord is our client but we need to ensure there is a positive relationship between landlord and tenant – it’s easier for everyone then. A commercial property manager is much more than just a rent collector for the landlord, we take care of the day to day management of the tenant as a whole”

Finding the right fit

When a commercial property is empty, commercial property managers are required to find and secure new tenants for the space. The property manager is required to find the right business for the property, in terms of financial standing and mix with other tenants.

Keeping a close eye on a business doesn’t stop when the office is tenanted. Commercial property managers will take a proactive approach and conduct regular inspections to ensure tenants are complying with the contractual agreement. For example, conducting fire and health and safety checks to ensure the property is safe and complicit with regulations.

Understanding a business

Commercial property managers are employed to ensure that rent is paid. So, gaining an understanding of how a business works now and in the future is vital for assessing risk and ensuring commercial landlords get reliable tenants. As Dan explains,

“The more we understand how a business works, the better we can advise our clients to maximise their return and minimise their risk”

Commercial property managers will provide a full tenant liaison, to understand how the business will develop during the tenancy. They will then regularly report back to the client or landlord, so good communication is a vital skill.

Managing the future

Commercial property managers don’t just look after their client and tenants, they also coordinate asset management and consider the future of the building. This can include managing applications to extend the building or offices and working to increase the value of the property while always striving to attract new property owners to their portfolio.

A vital part of the business world

The commercial property manager plays a major role in keeping businesses running. While the client or property landlord is their priority, taking a keen interest in the development of the tenant’s business is vital for the future of the commercial property. More than just a middle man, commercial property managers ensure businesses and the commercial property market both continue to thrive.