commercial real estate training

Retail Shopping Centre Leasing – Skills Required of a Leasing Expert

When it comes to leasing a retail property, the leasing specialist must be a real expert in the retail property type and the strategies behind tenant selection and tenant mix.  In a retail property today, it is not simply a matter of finding a tenant and creating a lease; the right tenant must be found for each and every property.  Many variables come into consideration.

A well selected tenant for a retail property will do a lot for the factors of property function and performance including:

  • Underpinning market rental for the landlord and as an investment property
  • Minimise vacancies in the property for the long term
  • Build on the success of tenants in the property so that the investment property can be expanded or sold on at a reasonable capital gain

Given all of these above factors, a retail leasing ‘expert’ is a special person that understands the leasing process and retail property performance to a high level.

Here are some factors that can help you in gaining this level of retail property expertise:

  1. Retail leases are documents that are built around strategy of rent, lease terms, and tenant mix.  In many respects, you do not want one lease to negatively impact the occupancy of tenants around it and in the same property.  That is why knowledge of tenancy mix becomes so important.
  2. Rent levels and lease incentives will change throughout the year given the overall location and the property type.  Monitor these changes and watch the rental levels.
  3. The levels of tenant enquiry will change during the year.  Some of that enquiry is quite seasonal and should be identified as that.  It may be that a property should be leased at a particular time of year as opposed to a time when the market may be slower given sale or market trends.
  4. In retail property you should watch for other property developments that are soon to be coming on the market.  They can have a major impact on rental or incentives that are being offered.  In many respects those other properties will be attracting some of your tenants to relocate.
  5. Franchise tenants are becoming an important part of many retail shopping centres and the particular tenant mix.  In many respects, particular franchise tenants will be very desirable for certain retail properties.  Get to know the franchise tenancy groups that operate in your area or that could require new premises in your area.
  6. Anchor tenants are an essential part of the structure of a major shopping center.  They also have a role to play when it comes to smaller retail shopping centers and neighborhood centers.  The selection of the anchor tenant will be based on the demographics of the local customers visiting the property.
  7. Tenancy mix strategy will vary from property to property.  The age of the property, the existing specialty tenants, and the intentions of the landlord will all have impact on the tenancy mix.  In many respects, the proximity of one tenant to another in the same property could have major impact on the stability of the market rental, the sales for some of the tenants, and the visitations of the customers.  Clustering is a factor that applies when it comes to retail tenancy mix.  Some tenants in a cluster can enhance the sales of nearby tenancies.  That is how strategy and tenancy placement comes to the fore.

Retail property experts and leasing specialists tend to understand the leasing process very well and can analyse the performance of the property from that.

By John Highman

John Highman is an International Commercial Real Estate Author, Conference Speaker, and Broadcaster living in Australia, who shares property investment ideas and information to online audiences Worldwide.