When you work in commercial or retail real estate leasing, your tenant database is critical in your business processes and ultimately the lease conversions. It must be separated from everything else as there are special issues and situations to track with all tenants. A good quality tenant list will help you find and win more landlord clients. It is hard for a landlord to ignore a comprehensive list of tenants in a location or across a property type.
So, what do you track in your database? You track future business and tenant changes as well as property and lease requirements. Here is a list:
- Location preferences – that will be the precinct or zone of the city or suburbs. Some tenants need to be near main roads, transport hubs, other businesses, customer bases, or city zones. Ask questions when you talk to a business owner about location priorities and put that information into your tenant list.
- Size of premises – understanding the different types of buildings and businesses, there will be factors of focus with office area, warehousing, showroom, car parks, and common areas. A specialist leasing person will probe into those factors and questions.
- Lease expiry dates – ideally, it pays to work with tenants at least 12 months out from a lease expiry date. In that way, you can prepare them for premises change, budget, and the logistics of changing a building.
- Special needs – some businesses have unique requirements of building choice and layout. The best way to investigate that is to know where they are coming from now and how they operate as a business unit through the year.
- Improvement requirements – staff and customer activities will impact improvement locations and fit out design. Differentiate between the customer and sales areas of a business, and then look at the way in which staff and business processes occur. Typically, a business will have ‘pods’ of focus such as sales, service, administration, storage, technology, and production. A good architect should be consulting with the business owner to advise on how those zones are positioned and how they operate in a building and new lease situation.
- Expansion and contraction – know that most businesses are going to change operations over the coming 2 to 5 years. Given that most leases are between three and five years long, the requirements of expansion and contraction should come into the discussion with business owners.
So, a tenant list and database should have the capabilities of storing and tracking this information. One of the quickest, cheapest, and easiest ways to set up a list that contains the information that you seek to track is to use Microsoft Access or similar. YouTube offers plenty of free instruction on Access Databases and how to build them.