Property Management

Customer Centric, Relationship Focussed, Straightforward Commercial Property Management & Leasing

Rental arrears management

Managing rent arrears is both an art and a science. It’s also one of our biggest tasks as a property management company.

Nutshell use specialised software to help us manage rent arrears. All tenants receive their monthly rent invoice 30 days in advance of the due date. Our system then enables us to accurately reconcile any rent payments and send out notices when rent is overdue.

Nutshell have developed a thorough policy for chasing overdue rent. This policy outlines exactly when and how we chase tenants for rent. For example, tenants who are one day overdue receive a friendly reminder via SMS. Tenants who are four days overdue receive an email. All our email and text message templates are tested and have proven to be effective in minimising overdue rent.

Nutshell’s team have the experience and people-skills to compliment our robust systems. We believe that treating tenants with respect is not just “the right thing to do”… It’s also the best way to ensure on time payments in the future.

Accounting

Keeping an accurate record of income, expenses and GST for your investment property can be a lot of work. Nutshell handle this entire process for you. We will categorise every income and expense into a detailed chart of accounts. There are accounts for rent income, council rates, insurances, you name it! Different types of maintenance expenses get their own specific accounts. We keep things organised so you’ll know exactly how much you’ve spend on, say, electrical work vs plumbing. For investors with more than one property, we will separate your expenses by address. If an address has more than one tenant, we can categorise by tenancy as well.

Each month our clients receive an easy to read statement. Then at the end of each financial year, clients receive a tax summary. This is one single report you can hand to your accountant, saving them time and you money. Tax – done!

Reactive and proactive maintenance

Maintenance is one of the most time consuming parts of owning a property investment. First the tenant calls to say the door doesn’t work. Then you have to go out and inspect it. Then find a suitable tradie to do a quote. Check their work. Pay their invoice. Recoup the cost from the tenant etc etc.

Nutshell’s property management team will handle all this for you. From the moment a job is logged in our system, you can rest assured it will get done.

To begin with, we’ll inspect the property. We’ll then arrange some quotes from our roster of tradespeople. If we don’t already have a suitable trades-person on file, we’ll find one. From here we’ll select the most appropriate supplier and send them a work order on your behalf.

Some clients have preferred suppliers for certain maintenance tasks. In this case we will link the supplier’s record to the property record to make sure they are notified of the job.

Once the job is complete we’ll enter the details in the system and you notify you by email.

When the tradie sends their invoice we’ll make sure it get’s paid on time. If needed, we’ll then invoice the tenant and recoup the costs for you.

Contractor procurement

It’s always important to use contractors and suppliers that you trust. Nutshell have an extensive list of contractors that we have used and would recommend. This list is our first port of call for any maintenance job. But what if the right person isn’t on there?

In this case our team will be happy to find a suitable supplier or contractor. Our experience means we can find them fast. Within 24 hours we can arrange 3 quotes from reputable sources.

Once the quotes come in it’s time to make a decision. Cost is important, but it’s not always the best decision to go with the cheapest quote. That’s why we check things like licenses, insurances and work history.

Nutshell can arrange contractors for a wide range of jobs. We often work with builders, plumbers, electricians, air-conditioning technicians, painters, roofers, glaziers and cleaners.

Rest assured, we’ll find the right tradie for you job.

Property inspections

Not all commercial property managers see the value of a inspections. Indeed, some commercial property managers don’t even carry out inspections for their clients. At Nutshell we see it as an indispensable tool in our property management toolkit.

There are three main types of properties inspections. Pre-tenancy inspections, routine inspections, and maintenance inspections.

Pre-tenancy inspections, sometimes called in-going inspections, are used to create a record of the property’s condition at the beginning of a lease. We take hundreds, sometimes thousands, of photos during these inspections. These photos can then be used as a reference at the end of the lease. Was that window always cracked, or did the tenant do it? With a thorough pre-tenancy inspection to look back on, there are no arguments.

Routine Inspections happen every 6 or 12 months, depending on the property. Most commercial leases allow the tenants a fair amount of freedom in what they can do while they are there. The lease will usually say that the tenant must “make good” on any damage or alterations at the end of the lease. So during a routine inspection we are only checking for major issues or lease breaches.

Maintenance Inspections are fairly self explanatory. If a tenant or landlord reports an issue we will inspect the property. This is to make sure we get a thorough understanding of the issue. It’s important we do this so we can communicate the issue to the tradie or supplier. Depending on the job in question, we will inspect the completed work to make sure it is up to standard.

After each inspection our team will enter the details in our system and notify the client by email.

Vacancy minimisation

Vacancy is the number one ROI killer as a commercial property investor. Nutshell take a proactive approach to managing vacancy. It all starts with a thorough understanding of your tenant and their lease.

Most leases require the tenant to give at least 3 months notice – and at most 6 months notice – to exercise an right to renew. It’s important that we know early on whether the tenant is intending to renew their lease. We aim to build strong relationships with our tenants. Because of this we tend to know, even before they tell us, if they are happy in their property. Armed with a thorough understanding of the lease and the tenants situation, we can keep vacancy to a bare minimum.

Tenants come and go, this is the risk of commercial property investment. However, we will never wait until the property becomes vacant before we start work finding a new tenant. There are always some steps that we can take straight away.

Timing is also important when it comes to minimising vacancy in a commercial property. It’s notoriously difficult to lease a property over the Christmas period. The best solution here is to avoid vacancy at Christmas altogether. To achieve this, we aim to sign 13/25/37 month leases in December. This way, any leases that start in December will finish in January, avoiding the Christmas vacancy!

Nutshell use the latest digital marketing techniques to get your property maximum exposure. We advertise on all major commercial property web sites including realcommercial.com.au and commercialrealestate.com.au

We also have a database with thousands of contacts, which is growing by the day. This database is the source of most of our leasing deals.

With a portfolio of listings, Nutshell agents “bounce” enquiries from one to another. For example, if someone calls about a warehouse we have available in Marrickville, we will suggest that they also view a similar warehouse in the area. This basic technique can multiply the value on one single enquiry 10 times.

Nutshell are always working hard to keep our vacancy rate as low as possible.

Lease administration

Leases can be 30+ pages long, with lots of complicated clauses. It might seem like a lot to keep on top of, so let us handle it for you.

For all new leases or management clients, we start with our Lease Audit. Our team will go through your lease to make sure we understanding it entirely. We enter all the key information into our management system so that nothing gets missed.

Rent
It’s one of the most basic elements of the lease. It may seem straightforward, and usually is, but there are still some elements to keep track of.

Most leases have “penalty interest”. That is, interest charged if the rent is late. We’ll keep track of penalty interest whenever rent is late.

All leases will have some kind of rental increases. We will make sure that the timing and calculation of the increase is done correctly.

Dates
Leases are full of dates. Start date, end date, option dates, option windows, rent increases, market reviews, routine maintenance, and more. During the audit we’ll extract and summarise all the key dates.

Outgoings
Nutshell can manage a variety of different methods of charging outgoings. The most common methods are direct on-charge and budgeted outgoings. In direct on-charge, we will pay a bill on your behalf, then create an invoice to the tenant. Using budget outgoings, we can charge the tenant a budgeted amount each month. We will perform a “wash up” at the end of the year to account for any over or under payment. We can also handle split outgoings between a group of tenants.

Maintenance tasks
During our audit we will identify any maintenance tasks required by the Landlord or Tenant. For example, tenants are often required to service the air-conditioning on a regular basis.

Security Deposits and Bonds
We will identify any security deposits and bonds, where their are held and when they were paid.

Insurance
All leases will refer to insurance. Whether it’s paid by the landlord or tenant, our audit will pick up any insurance requirements. We will then check with the tenant to make sure that the correct insurances are in place. Renewal dates go in our management system for the following years.

Tenant relationships

Nutshell is the first port of call for any tenant enquiry. Clients who have never managed a property themselves are sometimes surprised how often tenants call us with all sorts of questions. Our team will field all these calls and only contact you when 100% necessary. Saving you time and effort!