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Ways of Building Tenant Mix Strategies that Work in Retail Shopping Centers

shopping center mall

In a retail shopping center, there are key factors to watch that can impact the shop tenant mix and the vacancy factors.  (NB – you can get plenty of retail shop leasing tips in our Snapshot program – its free)

As a leasing expert in retail you really do need to balance all of these issues mentioned below in any shopping mall and the shopping center, particularly when placing a tenant:

  • Positioning a new tenant in the retail cluster of tenants
  • Choosing rents that aligned to the local market and that are achievable for the long term
  • Lease documents that build the landlords investment position over time
  • Lease clauses that encourage the tenant to build their successful retail business

So there are things to do here.  I have said many times that ‘retail’ is perhaps the most unique and special part of investment property performance.

In this audio program, I talk about the special factors of retail leasing and tenant mix establishment.  You can get the audio here below:

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Commercial Real Estate Leasing – Rental Income Growth Strategies for Agents

City buildings on city skyline.

When you work in commercial real estate leasing, you will need a good degree of local market awareness to help you with the leasing and rental strategies of any property negotiation.

Note – You can get plenty of commercial real estate leasing tips and ideas through our regular coaching and training material right here.

As you work for different landlords with different property types locally, the market rents, and the occupancy costs vary from property to property. In this audio program, John Highman shares some ideas to help you improve your leasing market awareness and negotiation outcomes.

Of course you can work for either landlords and tenants in today’s property market. They can both be valuable clients to work for from different ends of the leasing equation. It doesn’t really matter whether you work for landlords or tenants, but it does matter as to how you optimize the rental position of your client as part of the leasing process.

As you strive to achieve better results in the leasing market today, consider the special factors of lease occupancy where you can add value to your client. Most particularly those factors should include the following:

– level of market rental
– lease duration
– lease documentation
– optimal use of leased space
– sensible balance of occupancy costs to area occupied
– vacancy minimization
– the budgeting of occupancy costs given current market rentals

In this audio program, John Highman shares some specific income growth strategies that you can use in commercial and retail property leasing today.

You can get the audio program below:

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Boost Rents and Leasing Strategies in Commercial Real Estate

Buildings and boat on Hong Kong harbour

There are many different rent strategies that you can implement in commercial real estate brokerage.  The facts of the rental matter hinges on just how long the property owner wants to own the property. (NB – you can get plenty of commercial property leasing tips in our Snapshot program right here)

You can have rent strategies for the short term or the long term.  You can boost property value in a rental lift.

You can encourage a tenant to lease a property using fair and staged rents, or you can ask for the highest levels of income from the leased space and run the risk of a vacancy occurring.

Don’t forget that you also have net rents, gross rents, and incentives to work with in any lease negotiation.  The income or rent that you start with can be enhanced over time, so look at the bigger picture when negotiating with tenants.

Don’t focus so much on the start rent, but the income over time.  Look at the rent reviews and how they can support stable occupancy for the longer term.

In this audio program, John Highman talks about the rent and leasing strategies that are so important in today’s property market.  You can listen to the audio and download it here:

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Talking Shop with Commercial Property Managers

woman looking at files.
Set up systems in commercial property management.

The commercial or retail property management process can be time intense and quite frustrating.  The observation is quite common.  Most property managers will be intensely busy every day of the working week.  On that basis they need to be organized to the tasks that really matter as part of providing quality professional services.  Here are some tips from our Newsletter.

It is worthwhile noting that an experienced property manager will bring significant skill and opportunity to the landlords that they serve.  That will be across the property in a number of ways including the specialized disciplines below:

  • Rental growth
  • Expenditure control
  • Vacancy minimisation
  • Tenant mix strategy
  • Property performance
  • Lease documentation
  • Safety and risk management
  • Property value improvement
  • Renovation and refurbishment

So there are plenty of ways that the manager can bring growth and opportunity to the clients that they serve.  It is just a matter of understanding the plans and the targets of the client as they relate to the future of the property in the region.  It is a wise process to create a property business plan on an annual basis to manage the variables of property performance for the client.

So let’s go back to the tasks and activities of the property manager.  If the correct person is chosen for the portfolio and the client, the other balances required will include the following:

  1. Be aware of the amount of time it takes to manage a property for a client.  Some properties and clients will require significantly more work than others.  If that is the case, the intense workload should be reflected in the fee.  One way of calculating a fee is to consider the amount of time each week a property will require for ongoing control.  Consider the factors of the tenancy mix, lease documentation, maintenance, customer involvement, vacancy issues, and rental collection.  The larger the property, more intense these issues will be.
  2. With quality clients and properties, the reporting process can be quite specific and tedious.  The factors of income, expenditure, lease management, maintenance, tenancy mix, and documentation will require special processes and established guidelines.  In a large property, it is not unusual to be reporting to each of these factors on a weekly basis.  That written report will support any verbal instructions given or communications made with the landlord.
  3. The best way to get your job and portfolio under control is to work to a daily and weekly plan.  It can also be said that the end of each month will be busier with reporting requirements and property analysis.  So look at the factors of work that apply to each day, each week, and each month.  Split the working day into two segments.  The first half a day should be devoted to documentation and reporting issues.  The last half the day can be devoted to clients and tenant contact.  Obviously there will be some variations and pressures that apply.

So you work in a busy segment of the market.  At least 80% of your time should be under control.  In that way you will preserve the quality of performance and control that your clients require in commercial and retail property management.

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Time Management Tips for Retail Shopping Center Managers

shopping center management team meeting
Get your team organised.

To manage a shopping centre effectively and efficiently, the shopping centre manager needs to be knowledgeable but also time efficient. There are many pressures to balance as part of the property management process.

In an average working day, the following activities are some of the big items that will usually require attention on the part of the manager:

  • Collection of rental relative to the leases
  • Connecting with tenants regards day to day matters
  • Ensuring that the customers to the property receive the correct services and experiences
  • Marketing vacant tenancies within the property
  • Staying on top of the critical dates relative to the tenancy schedule and the existing leases.
  • Maintaining the property physically as to maintenance and essential services.
  • Balancing the tenancy mix with an affective a business plan and tenant retention plan
  • Reporting to the landlord on a regular basis regards income activity, expenditure activity, and rental arrears.
  • Marketing the property from a customer trade perspective to improve sales across the tenancy mix
  • Finding new tenants for the property based on the requirements of the mix and the upcoming vacancies.

So there are many things to do when it comes to managing a retail property. The larger the property, the more challenging the workload and the diversity.

It should be said that the larger shopping centres will usually have a team of people splitting the key issues of the property into different disciplines. When that happens, the cost of the staffing structure will be built back into the recoverable expenses for the property. It is quite normal for the centre management cost structure to be a recoverable item within the lease documentation.

So here are some strategies to help Retail Property managers stay on top of the workload and the challenges of the job.

  1. Create check-lists for processes. You can have check-lists across leasing, maintenance, reporting, tenant mix, tenant contact, budgeting, and landlord contact. The same process can apply when it comes to property handover.
  2. Start the day early, and get the difficult documentation and paperwork out of the way. The first 3 hours a day should be devoted to paperwork and processes.
  3. Where ever possible, delegate key tasks to members of your team. A successful retail property will be built around the strengths of the team, and the professionalism of communication.
  4. Document everything when it comes to tenant and landlord contact. Over time the notes and the event recording processes will support you in the case of any litigation or negotiation.
  5. At the beginning of the week, hold a team meeting where you can cross reference critical issues across the property, within the tenancy mix, and with the landlord. Create an agenda for the process, so that you can stay on track with critical issues. Follow things through where complex issues apply or negotiations are continuing.
  6. The income and expenditure activities within the property will be important in many different ways. Tenant occupancy, lease structures, and critical dates will all have an impact on cash flow. Understand all of those factors as part of providing a top service to your clients. Stay ahead of the critical dates and be prepared for the negotiations that follow.

A successful retail property is one that is managed effectively, efficiently, and correctly. Give due regard to occupant and customer safety, as well as the rules and regulations that apply to building codes and essential services.

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