This post originally appeared on Burt M. Polson's Real Estate Journal and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.

Protecting your real estate investment takes time, effort and a plan. With my 12 step annual check-up you will have all you need to annually review your property. Now is an opportune time to implement these steps to insure your investment will continue to grow and pay you dividends.

In parts one and two we discussed leases, visiting your property, maintenance, bidding, planning, reviewing energy savings and refinancing. In this final part we will review meeting with the professionals on your team:

Meet with your real estate broker – You should already receive communications from your broker throughout the year if he or she is effective and efficient in his business. Ask your broker for a market evaluation or an opinion of value, market CAP rates and values per square foot. Include current lease offerings to determine where your property is positioned in the marketplace.

Meet with your CPA and bookkeeper – Tax law is complicated and changes regularly. It is important to know what laws are being phased-out and what new laws are on the horizon so you can legally take advantage of all means possible to save on taxes.

Additionally, new technology is always bringing us new ways of performing old tasks. Online cloud computing and methods of receiving rent payments can ease your bookkeeper’s job and keep you better informed. It can also make it easier for your tenants to pay rent using a credit card or bank transfer.

Meet with the city planning department – You may receive notices in the mail from city planning for new developments or businesses within the area of your building. This usually occurs when a use permit is applied for by a property owner or tenant.

Always read your local periodicals for new developments and changes coming that may affect your property and meet periodically with staff in the planning department.

A zoning change of your property could add or take away value from your investment as could a realignment of a street, installation of a roundabout or the execution of a flood management plan all of which have occurred in Napa.

Meet with your insurance broker – Check the building values being represented in your policy as they could be undervalued. It may be prudent to have your broker gather quotes from other carriers as well since the insurance industry changes rapidly.

Meet with a Certified Access Specialist – The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been on the forethought of many commercial property owner’s minds in Napa recently with a rash of lawsuits for alleged violations being filed.

This important law has many regulations that are updated regularly, which can be difficult to understand for the untrained property owner. A certified access specialist (CASp) knows the laws and regulations and can assist a property owner in bringing their property into compliance as well as their leases.

In summary, here are the 12 steps to perform each year to keep your real estate performing:

  1. Review your leases
  2. Visit your property
  3. Service building systems
  4. Go out for bid
  5. Plan out next year
  6. Review energy savings measures
  7. Refinance
  8. Meet with your real estate broker
  9. Meet with your CPA and bookkeeper
  10. Meet with the city planning department
  11. Meet with your insurance broker
  12. Meet with a Certified Access Specialist

Burt M. Polson, CCIM, is a local real estate broker specializing in commercial, luxury estates and wineries. Reach him at 707-254-8000, [email protected]. Sign up for his email newsletter at

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!