When you look around a retail property it pays to do so with an eye of a customer. If you manage or lease a retail property it is the customer that will impact everything in the end result. Without customers the tenants cannot trade and therefore the rent cannot be paid.
So in walking around a retail property you can do look at specific things such as:
- Can you get access to the property without difficulty both on foot and in a motor vehicle?
- When customers enter the property is the car park easy to understand and use?
- Look at signage at logical entrance points. Are they of high standard and of similar design? Signs for tenants should also have some controls both in size and placement. Nothing looks worse than a property where signage has been poorly controlled.
- Does the property feature some pylon signage at the entrance way that presents well and gives the property an identity?
- Is the mall or common area for the property uncluttered and clear so that all tenants can display their location and offering? Look at the sightlines in all directions from the front of all shops.
- If public transport accesses your property, does it do so in a way that deposits people safely at the main entrance? When they leave the public transport zone can they enter the common area mall and find what they want quickly? You will need a series of Directory Boards at key entrance points for this purpose.
- Check out the common areas and the services and amenities that the public would use in the property. Do they give the best impression and are they functional to standards that will impress the shopper? Are the common areas ‘user friendly’ and attractive?
- Lighting and illumination will complement the common area and customer useage.
A great shopping centre is a balance of tenant mix, surrounding the functional common areas in a way that encourages sales. A customer will only spend money when they ‘feel good’ about the property. You should be the manager of ‘first impressions’. Make sure the tenants support the process.