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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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Tenant Rentention Plans and Strategies for Commercial and Retail Real Estate

skyscraper office buildings
You must have a tenant retention plans for your property management buildings.

When you work in commercial real estate as a broker or agent, the fact of the matter is that you are serving a number of clients and helping them through the challenges of property performance and liquidity.   Here are some tips from our Newsletter for Commercial Real Estate Agents.

If you are managing a lot of properties at the same time, it becomes a real challenge to administer the issues related to firstly performance and secondly the liquidity in all the different and diverse properties.  Every property owner will have different rules and regulations relating to their lease management, cash flow, and approvals process.

To define both of these important matters:

  • Property performance is in how you optimise the result the property.  Performance can be a number of different things including income, reduced expenditure, tenant mix, tenant retention, and market rental.
  • The liquidity of the property is the ability to sell it at any particular point in time and the properties attractiveness to the market in general.  Throughout the given year, liquidity will vary given the pressures of the economy, and the rates of enquiry that are coming in from buyers.

Today we have a property market that is under some pressure.  The global economy is creating some difficulty for many local businesses.  That has an immediate flow through to the tenancies in our managed properties.  This is where the leasing manager or property manager can provide a high value service to their clients through a tenant retention plan.

The tenant retention plan is designed to identify the critical tenants within each and every property, and then manage them to optimise rental income and minimize vacancy risk.  Experienced property managers do this very well and will usually have a tenant retention plan as part of their toolbox of services.

To implement a simple tenant retention plan the following rules can be adopted:

  1. Take the individual property and look at all the leases for each and every particular tenancy.  Identify the critical dates that will have impact through the term of the leases and look for those dates that will be related to rent review, option, or lease expiry.
  2. Given these critical dates, look at the next period of 24 months and track any dates that are inside the ongoing 24 month timeframe.  The dates related to the exercising of option, or the negotiation of lease expiry will require action as early as possible.  There is nothing wrong with negotiating early in each case.
  3. Some tenants within the property will be regarded as more important and critical to the tenant mix.  Any negotiations with those tenants should be optimised through attractive terms and conditions that the tenant will find hard to refuse.  Any new lease can pick up the growth of the rent for the landlord subject to a strategy and the required holding strategy.
  4. If your property has any anchor tenants, those tenants should be closely monitored for business stability and interaction within the property.  Successful anchor tenants create an immediate flow through to all other tenants and give confidence to the property function and identity.  Support your anchor tenants at each and every opportunity.

Attention to the tenancy mix and the retention plan will help you through difficult times with the performance of a property.  When well maintained and managed, a property will always be saleable and attractive as an investment if a sale has to occur.  Property investors and buyers like to see a stable tenancy mix supported by professional lease and property management.

Need more help with your tenancy mix plans?  You can join our Newsletter for Commercial Agents right here.