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Commercial Property Leasing – A Tenant Mix Orchestration for Property Success

people walking in shopping mall
Analyze your shopping center and tenant mix.

In retail property and shopping centre performance today, the tenant mix and the income created from the tenants in occupancy needs to be shaped and improved over time.  That is where ‘tenanting mix orchestration’ is a useful skill to learn and to feed into the property investment strategy.

The suggestion here is that the tenant mix can be shaped and improved.  That is certainly the case in retail property performance.  That is your job.  The landlord will benefit greatly over time by a well-considered and controlled tenant mix.

Every lease and every tenant in occupancy should be looked at in balance with the surrounding tenants, the shopper clusters, and the customer profiles.  The terms and conditions of each individual lease should be negotiated to standards that match the investment targets of the landlord.

Correct Tenant Placement

Here are some ideas to help you study and orchestrate the correct retail tenant mix and property improvement plan for your landlords:

  1. Anchor tenants – You have to start your assessment around the stability and business activities of the anchor tenants. Look at the lease conditions that apply to each and every anchor tenant in the property.  How long are they in occupancy?  What are the terms and conditions that apply to their occupancy?  How can they integrate their business activities into the success of the overall property?
  2. Customer profile – You can’t move your property to another location. On that basis your customer demographic will be specific to certain incomes, employment, and family profiles.  Understand your customer base and how those customers like to shop locally.  You may need to undertake a marketing study through the local area to get the most recent and up to date information about customer activity and or future needs.  When you understand the customer, you can set the strategies in place for the ideal tenant mix and property profile.  You may also be pulling in the customers from outside of the area through tourism and transient people.
  3. Property design – Every property will have factors are designed to understand and integrate into the tenancy plan. Entrance points, common areas, congregation points, and transport drop off points all influence foot traffic and potential retail sales.  The tenancy mix should be designed for customer interaction and sales improvement.  That base strategy requires you to put the right tenants in the right locations.  You will have a mixture of small and large tenancies to consider.  You will also have tenancy locations requiring special consideration such as food retailing, fashion retailing, entertainment, and services.  You can get plenty of ideas by looking at other comparable properties locally or regionally.

From these three simple concepts, you can set in motion a comprehensive tenancy mix plan and retail sales strategy.  Understand the property, the tenants, and the customers.  Balance at equation so that the landlord can optimise rental returns and minimise vacancies.  That is what tenancy mix orchestration is all about.

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Tenant Retention Plans and Strategies in Retail Real Estate Today

woman with shopping bag
Tenant retention plans will help you grow your retail tenant mix in the correct way.

Tenant retention today has become an important strategy in property performance, particularly with retail shopping centres and retail investment properties.  Every commercial and retail leasing agent should provide a comprehensive and detailed tenant retention strategy to those property owners that need the service, or own the larger properties.

A good retention plan will give you as the retail leasing specialist opportunities for future leasing, renewal negotiations, tenancy relocations, and property changes.  All of that means better commissions.

A leasing expert in this market is of high value to any landlord with a high quality retail property.  This leasing churn produces fee opportunity and market intelligence.  Most property owners and landlords will not have the tools or the market intelligence to design their own tenant retention strategy in this regard.

So a good tenant plan will have particular factors to help property performance, and strengthen the tenant profile for the landlord.  Ultimately this will encourage rental income and lower the vacancy factors.

Here are some factors to help you establish the retention plan in properties and listings of suitable size and complexity.

  1. Get to know the existing tenants within the property.  This will normally involve meeting with those tenants to talk about customer activity, customer trade, and property requirements.  In most circumstances, the tenants within a retail property can give you significant and valuable feedback to help your plan creation and consolidation.
  2. Get professional surveys undertaken of shoppers using the property on various days of the week.  In medium to larger shopping centres, it is quite common for the survey to occur on a quarterly basis.  The survey would normally take two weeks to implement so that you cover the necessary variables in daily shopping.  The results of the survey will tell you what customers are looking for and what they think about the property today.
  3. Visit the local council or planning approvals office to understand the activity of other property developments coming into the market soon.  Obviously you should look for new property developments that could destabilise the balance of supply and demand when it comes to tenancy leasing.
  4. Review other properties in the local area to understand their factors of vacancy, market rental, and customer base.  You can also selectively talk to some of their tenants to get feedback regards shopping trends and property performance.  Obviously it should be said that this approach should be suitably confidential and sensitively handled.  Many other property managers and property owners may feel threatened if you make this process too public or obvious.  Simple questions asked in a creative way as you purchase a newspaper or an ice cream can give you some good tenant feedback to work with.
  5. Given your existing retail property, determine the tenants that are more attractive and less attractive to the future of the asset.  The attractive tenants will feature in the retention plan differently and more intensely.  Some of the less attractive tenants will disappear from the plan when you can find better ones.
  6. If you have an anchor tenant or perhaps a few anchor tenants in your retail property, it pays to talk with them regards property trends and sales.  They will give you valuable feedback from their perspective as a major retailer.  Most leases with anchor tenants go for many years.  Make sure that the tenant is locked in for the longer term and that they are well integrated into the overall tenancy mix activity.

So these are some of the foundational factors that will help you move towards a good tenant retention plan.  Over time you can consolidate our real strategy across the entire tenancy mix.