Buying and maintaining a multi-tenant property can be compared to buying and maintaining a new car. For a first-time car buyer, the pride and freedom that comes with having your own means of transportation are eventually usurped by a basic economic lesson: Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Sleek lines, a revving engine, and the new car smell make it easy to lose our senses and fall in love with our new automobile. That’s why the first big repair bill can feel like a harsh reality.
That reality is true with other investments, including real estate—albeit on a much grander scale.
For multi-tenant property owners and managers, the top three expenses are taxes, electrical services, and janitorial services. When a building sits without tenants and the accompanying rental income, these costs start to mount and can quickly feel overwhelming. While smart investors factor these costs into their overall investment analysis, it’s the source of these costs—empty space—that becomes the greatest liability.
Adopting best practices to avoid tenant lapses is a critical part of real estate management. One of the most overlooked areas in the equation is janitorial services. Cleanliness and overall maintenance of your building directly impact tenant satisfaction. A properly maintained building strongly contributes to what some managers and property owners define as “keep factors.”
While many in the business understand and actively manage keep factors, they too often overlooked the direct correlation between janitorial services and your second greatest operating expense, your electric bill. If your janitorial team keeps lights burning on all the floors, but only cleans one floor at a time, they are unnecessarily costing you money. Economical cleaning companies follow a “light as you go” approach, only using light on the floors they are cleaning.
Beyond tenant satisfaction and loyalty, janitorial services also directly impact other TCO elements, including engineering and disaster recovery (such as leaks, broken pipes, and gas issues). The immediate and real cost of addressing these maintenance issues increases if your janitorial team is not proactive.
With janitorial services so integral to your total cost of property management and ownership, it’s wise to select a team that will help you navigate and proactively tackle these issues. The right team delivers more than just clean floors; it serves as your business partner 24/7 and is a key factor in reducing your client’s cost of ownership and increasing your peace of mind and profits.