Some of your commercial real estate clients will have vacancies in their investment properties to work through and resolve. Those vacancies are a real opportunity for you the local leasing broker. If you have a large database of tenants in the local area then you will have plenty of attraction and leverage to offer to local landlords. Sell your professional leasing services from the strength of your database.
Ultimately the clients that you serve just want to get a tenant. You can offer the best solution as part of that process. Talk about the best tenant types that you see for the vacant premises and then offer the client a specific way to attract those tenants. Here are some factors that you can drill down on as part of your client offering:
- Presentation of the premises
- Property improvements to strengthen promotion
- Time of marketing to lift enquiry rates
- Best promotional channels
- Leasing alternatives
- Rental structures
- Incentives to offer tenants
- Special advertising methods
- Tenant mix strategies for the overall property
- Rental improvement strategies
So the message here is that any vacant property or premises is a major opportunity for working with an investor for the longer term. Don’t just let the single leasing requirement be the start and the end of the matter. Look at how you can extend your services for the client.
Develop a leasing team in your office that can handle the leasing requirements in specific locations and across property types. Ensure that the team can speak and present comprehensively into the rental and leasing market locally; that will mean across specific rents, marketing situations, leasing documentation, inspection processes, and negotiation approaches.
When you open the client up to the many extra leasing services that you can offer for the longer term, benefits arise for both you and your brokerage. Try some of these for starters:
- Taking a property through a growth phase for a new renovation or project opportunity.
- Upgrading leasing services to a full property management appointment.
- Expanding the client’s investment requirements to other local properties and opportunities.
- You can be seen as the leasing specialist that is helping results happen over the lease duration and across the tenant mix.
- A good leasing outcome today can be a sales requirement in the future with the same client.
All of these things can lead to fee growth and diversity for the brokerage. Comprehensive fees are driven from diverse leasing services. Are you ready to lift your service offerings?
When you work in commercial or retail property leasing, you need a rich source of tenants and business leads. There are a number of resources that you can use for that purpose, and on that basis it is simply a matter of selecting the ones that work for you and your property market. Develop your leasing strategies.
Here are some of the best leasing sources of business names and tenant identities:
- Check out all of the major buildings in your leasing territory. When it comes to buildings that contain multiple tenants, it is a matter of taking down or capturing the details from the directory board that is located in the property. The easiest way to do that is to take a photograph of the directory board on your mobile telephone. You can process and review the photograph later.
- From the details that you get in the previous ‘directory board’ step, it is a matter of telephoning down all the businesses in the particular buildings to discuss future leasing and occupation needs. Leases come to an end at some stage for all types of reasons. Some tenants prefer to move when that occurs, and on that basis you can be the source of market information and relocation opportunity.
- Get a copy of the local business telephone book as it applies to your location, town and city. It is preferable to use the telephone book in hardcopy rather than online. That is simply because the telephone book can be logically processed and marked off with a colored pen or highlighters as you proceed through it. Starting at the beginning of the telephone book work through every business name to find those businesses that are located in your priority suburbs and leasing territory. Whilst this process may seem tedious, it is simply a matter of reviewing one or two pages of telephone numbers each night in preparation for your prospecting processes the next day. One telephone book can take you an entire year to move through. You will however see that the system is quite easy to implement and soon you will be covering 5 to 10 pages a day as part of that process. One page of the telephone book should give you two or three numbers to call; cold calls lead to information and potential meetings with the right tenants. You may wish to choose a greater number of businesses given the filtering process and the criteria of targeted tenants locally.
- You can also get some good leads and opportunities from using the Internet methodically and specifically. In your town or city, there will be a business ‘Yellow Pages’ telephone book online that you can use for this very purpose. In most cases you can search the ‘Yellow pages’ based on targeted business types and by suburbs. From that search process you can get specific names of businesses and tenants to put into your prospecting activities and cold calling systems.
So these four strategies are quite simple. You can see why things need to be methodical and systemized.
When you create a large list of local businesses and tenants, and then take the time to understand their occupation needs from a leasing perspective, you are of high value to the landlords that you serve. Use your database as leverage in this way when it comes to winning a property leasing appointment. Tell the landlord about your database and how accurate and up to date it is. They will find it difficult to ignore an agent with a comprehensive and up to date database of tenants.
In larger retail properties today, you need a quality anchor tenant that is location based. They have to be closely aligned to the local community and the demographics of the area. For this reason, leasing managers and property managers should select anchor tenants well and ensure that the anchor tenants will build a customer base into the local area without difficulty.
A strong anchor tenant will encourage more shoppers to a retail property and help the specialty tenants with their trade and sales. The link between the anchor tenant and the property is therefore high.
To help the anchor tenant with this close alliance with the property, consider the following factors:
- The anchor tenant should be encouraged to market their business into the local area. It is wise to have some guidelines established for that process to occur. The anchor tenant’s lease can set out some guidelines for that.
- The specialty tenants should join with the anchor tenant in a regular marketing effort to promote the property. The specialty tenants can have a clause in their lease that requires them to pay a percentage of their rent to the marketing fund of the property. The property manager should administer the marketing effort on behalf of the tenants and the landlord.
- The lease for the anchor tenant will need to be a lengthy period of time to give the property some stability over the long term.
- Look at how the access to the anchor tenancy is obtained by customers and how that access can incorporate involvement or profiling of the speciality tenants in the property. Follow the ‘foot traffic’ to see what marketing effort can be established in the ‘corridor’ or pathway to the anchor tenant entry.
- The pylon sign on the property will be critical to the image and exposure for all tenants. The anchor tenant will feature in the signage and then all specialty tenants should be on the same pylon sign. Look at the pylon sign placement to passing vehicle traffic and pedestrians.
- If the local area is serviced by public transport, get some marketing material and posters into the transport systems and drop off points.
- Understand just how tenants access the property and how long they stay in the property. What do they buy when they visit? These questions will help you understand what the tenant mix requires to strengthen trade for the anchor tenant and the specialty tenants.
- Get marketing brochures into the local community and give special attention to seasonal sales or celebrations. The community will get involved with your property if you create the right atmosphere.
There is a fine balance between the tenants in the property, the community, and the landlord. The property manager or leasing manager for the property has to bring all of that together.