Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shopping Centre Managers - Maintenance Strategies for Property Performance

female with shopping bags
Better sales in retail shopping

When you manage or lease a retail shopping centre, the maintenance of the property can be a challenging issue.  The larger and more complex the property, the greater the volume of issues to consider and structure into your maintenance plans.  Here are some tips from our Retail Agents Newsletter.

So a shopping centre has to function efficiently and well to support the tenant occupancy and keep customers coming to the property.  A successful shopping centre is one that attracts people back for more visits and purchases.  

When a shopping centre is optimised, the tenants in the tenant mix tend to stay in the property for the long term and extend lease occupation; that being said, any lease negotiations in the tenant mix should be matched to the needs of the landlord and the prevailing property market rentals.

A top performing shopping centre attracts new tenant enquiry even in the toughest of retail shopping environments.  The lists of parties that have a link to the performance of a retail shopping centre are:

  • Tenants – You need to keep them in the property to minimise vacancy problems and build the rental cash flow.
  • Customers – They have to keep shopping and your property experience should encourage them to come back to your property.  Do you know what customers want from your property?
  • Landlord – Their needs and requirements should be understood.  The landlord will have certain pressures that apply to the income and cash flow required from the investment property.
  • Building regulators – They will set rules that apply to the use of the property and its configuration.  Make sure that your property complies as all times; the building regulators can shut your building down if occupancy is unsafe for any reason.
  • Contractors – They will support your property in function and efficiency.  Choose your contractors well; that selection process will include cost structures, experience, availability, response times, and relevance to your property.

To bring all of this together, the maintenance plans for a shopping centre should be well considered and set out from initial considerations of key factors such as the following:

  1. The current plant and machinery in the property should be considered for efficiency in operation and compliance to current machinery and building codes.  Get engineering experts to advise you here.
  2. Power consumption, energy efficiencies, and environmental compliance all feature in retail building operations and design today.  Understand how your building is impacted by these things and what challenges arise from operating the property.
  3. Regulatory systems and essential services requirements will apply to the plant and machinery in your property.  Other factors of health and safety will also add to the function of the building.  It is wise to have experienced assessors and contractors advise you on what the building requires here.
  4. Budgets for the property will be set each year.   The budgets for the property should be structured after careful consideration of historic costs, expected escalations, and known changes to the property.  Have your contractors advise you on planned maintenance factors and repairs and breakdowns procedures.

These simple steps will help you establish a maintenance budget and program for your retail property.  That will then allow you to control cash flows more efficiently for the landlord.

Do you need more help with Shopping Centre Management or Leasing?  Join our community here.