Commercial property is one of the safer ways to invest your money.
Yet commercial real estate brokers warn there are certain risks that can affect your investment even if real estate seems less volatile than the stock market.
When seeking the best commercial investing opportunities, be sure to take natural disasters like hurricanes into account.
One event could leave you with a worthless property if you haven’t planned ahead for the possibility.
Pre-Hurricane Planning for Commercial Property
When it comes to protecting your commercial property, there is no better protection than planning ahead.
Always assume that something could happen and the ways you can protect your investment in the event that it does:
- Property Insurance - As all commercial real estate brokers will tell you, appropriate property insurance is your best protection against the damage that could be sustained in a hurricane or other natural disaster. Make sure your property is correctly valued and you have specific coverage for wind, flood, fire, and other related perils. Most general policies don’t cover all of these losses, so be sure to purchase any riders necessary to supplement your general coverage.
- Good General Maintenance - Good property maintenance helps in two ways: it maintains the value of your commercial investing opportunity and it helps reduce or prevent damage that may be sustained in a hurricane or other weather event.
- Emergency Plan - Plan for severe weather by knowing how to turn off water and power, discuss storm preparedness with tenants, and make an emergency plan for protecting the property and/or evacuating it. Having connections with contractors ahead of time can also be helpful for getting repairs done faster should your property end up with damage. Keep supplies on hand to protect windows and roofs; secure items around the property or bring them inside upon first learning of a hurricane warning.
Post-Hurricane Management for Commercial Properties
After the storm has passed, and flood water has receded, and it’s once again safe to be outside, immediately begin to assess the condition of your commercial property to look for damage.
Start quickly and work fast, documenting everything as you go.Commercial real estate brokers recommend asking your property management company to help you inspect since these services are proficient at assessing property damage and facilitating your insurance claims process.
Next, contact your insurance company and report any noticed damage. Work with them to get all damage officially assessed and repaired.
While this is going on, if your commercial investing opportunities are shared with partners or shareholders, keep everyone informed of how the property has been affected and what is going on to fix it.
If you have tenants or residents being affected by the damage, determine whether they need to vacate for repairs; if so, expedite the process by providing as much physical and financial help as possible so repairs can begin.
When you invest in commercial property, the last thing you want to think about is your building becoming damaged in a hurricane or other extreme weather event.
If your property is located in an area where extreme weather is common, your best means for protecting all commercial investing opportunities is to prepare for the worse and have a good plan.