Photo: Matheus Vinicius/Unsplash

Looking after an investment property of any kind can be a challenge. You need to ensure that bills are kept under control and that any required maintenance is carried out in a timely manner. Don't even get us started on getting rent out of difficult tenants!

Commercial property carries its own unique set of issues that can arise, and because it tends to be on a larger scale than a simple unit or townhouse, it's a lot more to manage. If you're feeling like things are slipping through the cracks, it may be time to consult a different professional. However, if you're experiencing any of the issues on this list, a new commercial property manager should be at the top of your to-do list.

Your Paperwork Is All Over The Place

We get it, no-one told you there would be this much paperwork involved in building a passive rental income. Unfortunately, that excuse won't fly with the taxman, and not being on top of things could end up costing you more than you've made. Good commercial property management is about much more than just being the middleman between you and your tenants. Property managers are used to staying on top of these things, so they should be able to take the pressure off for you. If yours is adding pressure rather than reliving it, this is a major red flag.

The Rent Is Always Late

Hate being the bad guy that has to follow up when rent is past due? Or maybe you're falling behind on your bills because the expected amount didn't hit your bank account when it should? Good commercial property managers will help ensure that rent is paid on time, every time, leaving you with the freedom to budget properly.

You've Got A High Vacancy Rate

For those who deal with multi-business buildings, short term rentals, or co-working spaces, the biggest sign that you may need to hire a new commercial property manager is a high vacancy rate. Yes, times are hard at the moment, and many companies are struggling to stay on top of their rent, but if your building is consistently near empty, it's definitely time to get a property manager (or a new one if your current one isn't up to the task).

Maintenance Costs Are Always High

All properties require maintenance from time to time, but if you're consistently receiving sizable bills, it may be time to investigate for yourself. A good commercial property manager will ensure that your building is well looked after which, logically, drives maintenance costs down. So if expenses are always high, it may be time to get a new professional on your side.

The Middle Man Isn't In The Middle

If your tenants are frequently contacting you because they can't get in contact with your manager, what are you even paying them for? We're not saying you should drop them if they're sick every once in a while or if you've been notified ahead of time that they'll be unavailable for a certain period, but if they're never around when your tenants call, how can you trust them to be there when you need them?

Not all commercial property managers are created equal. There's a reason different agencies offer different services. Having said that, if you're not being looked after in these five categories, you may as well be doing everything yourself. If you think things are fixable, chat with your current manager before making any decisions. However, if things are too far gone, don't feel bad about switching up your strategy. It is your investment after all.