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Attractive Shopping Centers Create Better Customer Sales and Tenant Results

If you are a specialist in retail shopping centre leasing and management, you will understand the importance of retail property appearance and design.  Customers like to feel comfortable, safe, and happy as they move around within shopping centres and look for the goods and services that they require.

A good shopping centre experience will encourage immediate sales and repeat business.  You really do want your customers coming back to your shopping centre in a regular and ongoing way.  The benefits to both the tenants and the landlord are significant over time.

Shopping Center Facts

Consider the following facts:

  1. A GREAT PROPERTY: A successful shopping centre will attract more customers and tenants in an ongoing way. It is quite easy to see when a shopping centre is trading at successful levels; the customers to a retail property can also interpret and see those issues.  When the tenants are successfully trading within the property, the retail sales are likely to reduce both tenant mix volatility and vacancy factors.  So the focus here is to make your shopping centre visually successful in every way possible.
  2. VACANCY CHALLENGES: If you have any vacancies to work with, then do so selectively and professionally. Keep a close eye on your lease expiries coming up and your lease renewals.  Negotiate those issues early and directly with the tenants involved.  Don’t let vacant shops remain vacant for too long.  Put covers and hoardings across vacant shop areas.  Put advertising material and marketing material on those holdings.  What you want to do here is remove the visual negativity of the vacancy from the property and the customers.
  3. PROPERTY PRESENTATION: Set some standards within the property relating to retail tenant signage and shop presentation. The signage for retailers should be commonly positioned and designed.  Good signage will always help with the level of sales and the customer experience.  Signage specifications will maintain the quality and the positioning of that signage.
  4. VISUAL STANDARDS AND ILLUMINATION: Lighting standards will always help with property presentation and believe it or not sales. Most retail shopping centres today are trading at all hours and on that basis seven days a week.  The lighting strategies within the retail property, in the car park, and within tenancies should be suitably specified and maintained.  Poor lighting directly reflects in poor retail sales.  The lighting within the common areas and within the individual tenant shops should be specified for maximum retail impact and customer safety.
  5. WHAT CUSTOMERS THINK: Understand the customer experience from the very time that they enter the property. Look at how customers into the car park, how they move through the car park and into the shopping mall or shopping centre.  Look at the factors of signage, lighting, security, and common area design.  Are the services and amenities of suitable quality to encourage customer use and help them stay longer within the property?  If you can extend customer visit time, you can potentially improve the levels of sales across the tenancy mix.
  6. TENANCY FACTS: On a final note it is worthwhile recommending that you do a full tenancy review and a tenant mix study with any shopping centre on an annual basis. It is a professional service that you can provide to the landlords that you work with.  What you want to do here is understand where the threats to the tenancy mix are potentially derailing tenancy sales opportunity and or customer visits.  The right tenants chosen for the property will encourage shopping centre success over time.  Any weaknesses within the tenancy mix should be resolved or remove over time.  Understand what the customers expect and require when it comes to the standard shopping experience.  Undertake a customer review all marketing survey on a regular basis so that the tenant mix changes are driven from customer information and tenant mix performance.
  7. KNOW THE FACTS: Delve into the facts about the property. When you take a serious look at your tenancy mix, you can see the challenges, the strengths, and the weaknesses with the anchor tenants, and the specialty tenants; a full tenancy review should occur each year as part of the property business plan.  Split your tenancy mix up into desirable tenants and those that should be removed at the next leasing opportunity.  Also look for the missing tenants within the tenancy mix that you can target and find when vacancies arise.  Visit other local shopping centres on different days of the week and at different times of the day to see how they are performing from a tenant mix perspective.

So there are plenty of good things that you can do here when it comes to retail property performance and shopping centre tenancy review.  Maintain the appearance and the function of your shopping centre so that it can attract the best tenants and for customers.

The activities of customers and tenants are always linked when it comes to shopping centre performance.  As the leasing manager and or the property manager, you are the best person to develop effective and direct strategies across those issues.  Over time that means you will be help in the property performance and landlord results.

You can get more tips about Shopping Center Management and Leasing in our eCourse ‘Snapshot’ right here.

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Commercial Property Agents – Why Cold Calling is Really Hard

In commercial real estate, the cold calling process is very difficult for many salespeople.  They may attempt to get a cold calling system up and running, but they will soon find something else to do.  It’s not a new problem and it is all so common in most agencies; that does not however mean that salespeople should not call prospects.  It simply says that many salespeople have an issue to get under control and improve on.  Top agents do that, and over time will build their market share with well qualified prospects.

Many ‘average’ salespeople in commercial and retail real estate know the ‘ups and downs’ of the market.  Over a period of 12 months they will have times of listing difficulty and slow commissions.  The best way to change all of that is through a dedicated call contact program where you constantly find new prospects that may want to get involved in selling, leasing, or transacting commercial real estate.

It doesn’t matter when a person or company needs your help; it does matter that you open the door of contact and build the communication links for the time that they do need you.  Remember, you are the property expert!

Do you know this person?

Have you seen or heard of a salesperson that likes to sit in the office and wait for the telephone to ring or for the prospects to walk in the door?  Believe it or not, there are some salespeople in the industry that do just that even in this difficult property market.  Unless they have another source of income to help them along, they will be consistently ‘poor’ when it comes to commissions.

It is too costly to work in the industry to ‘survive’ on a low income for too long.  Directed effort and prospecting can change all of that very quickly.

So let’s say that you want to fix the prospect pipeline in your business and build more income opportunity.  The best way to do that is in making the calls.  Here is a checklist for you to get started:

  1. Determine the area that your business will come from.
  2. Understand the types of properties and businesses that you serve.
  3. Why should people do business with you?  What are your points of relevance to the market?  Are you better than the competition agents in the local area?
  4. Devote 3 hours a day to making the calls.  In that time you can use the business telephone book to speak to business leaders and managers to identify what their property needs may be in the future.
  5. Use a database system of some type that will allow you to capture information for ongoing contact.

Are you ready to turn your commercial real estate career around?  Set up a contact call process of prospecting; over time you will see the benefits of better listings and greater commissions.  Start the process and practice your dialogue.

If you would like more tips on commercial real estate, you can ‘register’ on this site to be a member and have full access to our ‘member resources’ 24/7. 

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Turning Commercial Real Estate Agency Challenges into Opportunities

In this property market there are certainly some challenges for commercial property investors and business owners.  Occupancy costs are rising or remain substantial, and locating tenants can always be a challenge if there is a high vacancy factor in the local area.  Supply and demand will always be a concern for commercial or retail property owners and investors.

In essence, the local business community is the backbone of the income generated from commercial property; when the economic environment becomes frustrating or slows down, the business community can take a conservative viewpoint.  That will then have flow through to the occupancy trends and rental payments in commercial property.

The local property market will recover from these challenges, however the issues exist now and there are some real opportunities for specialist commercial real estate agents in this type of property market if they respond to those challenges.  A keen eye for opportunity is required.  A diligent process is required to take the right action.

So exactly what are the challenges and how can we turn them into those opportunities that we need?  Here is a list of issues that we commonly see around the commercial property marketplace:

  1. Too many businesses not fully utilizing their available occupancy space.  They are then looking for sub tenants or situations of lease assignment.  That will allow them to ease the burden of any rental payments.  The abundance of space that’s available in any sub leasing situation will create a lower secondary market of rental.  That lower rental can destabilize the market rental in quality properties.
  2. Property owners are struggling with vacant space.  Too much vacancy space can mean tenant volatility and downward pressures on market rental.
  3. The levels of market rental vary substantially between properties in the same category because of the higher levels of vacancy in the local property market.
  4. The incentives that apply to new leases create a wide gap between effective rents and or face rents.  Many landlords are offering incentives to entice tenants to their property.
  5. The supply of new space to lease from new property developments is undermining the leasing situation in other established properties.

A top commercial real estate agent can see opportunities in these situations.  Behind all of these challenges and issues, are the facts of property occupancy that relate to successful businesses and tenants in the local area.  There are successful businesses out there; get to know their property requirements and build a strong relationship for the times that they will need to change property location or property type.

A successful top agent in this market will focus on the relationships that they have with the business community and successful property owners.  Getting to know the local businesses and all of the decision makers behind them will help with any future lease opportunities and lease placements.  This is where your database as an agent becomes so important to the future listings and commissions that you generate.

So the message here is that the existing property market has opportunities for those real estate agents that look creatively into the issues and challenges.  Get to know the local business proprietors and their requirements when it comes to property occupancy, property purchase or sale, and any relocation requirements.

The commercial property market doesn’t disappear, it just changes.  As real estate agents, we can adjust to those challenges and adopt our services to improve situations for business leaders and property owners.

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