Spring Cleaning: Time for Schools to Clean Up their Real Estate Assets

It’s time to clean up your school real estate. Reviewing, renewing and revising your property assets before the school year ends can not only help you save money but also find new revenue sources. Not sure where to start? Here are six ideas to get you started.

Review Your Facilities Master Plan
Look for surplus sites or underutilized sites with surplus potential. If you work in a public school district that has property you can lease or sell, you must go through the state Education Code-mandated public committee process. Unsure what we mean by “surplus” and if it applies? Check out this handy guide, or contact us for more information.

If the site isn’t surplus, start your 7-11 surplus process now. It takes at least two to six months to complete.

Review Lease Agreements
If your district has leased any property, it’s time to check when the lease expires, the provisions for renewing the agreement if you want to continue to receive revenue from that source, or the requirements for terminating the agreement if you have a need for the property or need to re-evaluate the fair market rental value.

If the lease is ending this year, consider when you’ll need to start marketing the property for a new tenant (typically at least six months for a school site) and how the coming school year will impact your lease.

If you are leasing your space, it’s time to see how much longer you have on the lease and think if you’d like to renew it or find a new property. It’s also is a good time to evaluate whether the space still fits your current and expected needs in terms of square footage, parking, outdoor space and space configuration.

Review Titles
This is especially important if your school district previously borrowed money from the state for construction or renovation of new school facilities. Although your district may have paid back all funds or the state may have waived those debts, it is important that any liens against the property be examined, and in some cases removed, prior to the sale or lease of a site.

Work Toward Cooperative Partnerships
Meet with your counterparts in city, county and other local municipal departments to see if there are opportunities to share resources or consider consolidating uses. There is great potential to work with other nonprofit and public entities on transportation, maintenance and administrative buildings.

Assess Your Property
Learn the value of your property. We can help determine the fair market value of your site to sell, lease or exchange. We can also hire an appraiser to provide options and information to you and your board.

Explore Workforce Housing
Survey employees about workforce housing. If your employees have trouble meeting their housing needs amid California’s affordable housing crisis, then you may want to consider workforce housing as a recruitment and retention advantage. An electronic survey of current and future housing needs and expectations is a great way to get started.

Whether you’re already organized or looking for help to get started on efficiently and effectively using your real estate to support your education mission, DCG is here to help. Contact us to learn more!