Friday, August 17, 2012

Commercial Property Manager Tips - Income Performance in Commercial and Retail Property

business woman looking at file
Keep good leasing and income records in commercial property management today.

When it comes to managing commercial and retail property, it is very important to optimise the income for the landlord.  The income for the property should be looked at both individually with separate leases, and across the entire property and the tenancy mix.

At the beginning of every financial year, there should be some form of budget created for the tenancy mix and the potential property income.  All of the leases currently existing will have rental strategies and rental increases to merge into the income budget.  This income budget can be incorporated into the business plan for the property for the upcoming year.  The best time to do the budget is in the months of April and May, just prior to the beginning of the financial year.

Here are some tips relating to income optimisation in commercial or retail property management:

  1. Always allow for some measure and method of adjustment given that the property market is always changing in your local area.  When you set a property income budget, it should be reviewed on a monthly and quarterly basis.  Any established trends in the local area should be tracked and then be used as a form of rental adjustment for the landlord if those trends are firm and established.
  2. The vacancy factor in your local area will change based on the supply and demand of available property.  To monitor this process, you should track down the changes to the property development plan in the region.  Look for any new developments that could have an impact on your property.  Those new developments will have a timeline of construction and occupancy; it is likely that those developers will also have an allowance for rental incentive to attract tenants into their property.  That incentive will have an impact on your property leasing strategies.
  3. Market rentals will change from time to time.  They do not always go upwards, and more commonly will stagnate or slightly reduce when the property market slows.  To help you with the levels of market rental, you will need to understand the impact of incentive in the market rental structure as it exists today.  If an incentive exists in any market rental negotiation, it creates what is called a face rental.  That face rental will be discounted by any property valuer back to a level that is truly aligned to the effective rental and the market.  Incentives create a false level of rental.
  4. Business sentiment will change from time to time based on the local and regional economy.  Some business segments and business types will be more active and successful than others.  Track those business segments and monitor the needs for property change or occupancy.  Some of those tenants could be relocated to your property if the opportunity arises.
  5. Existing tenants in the property should be categorised into long-term tenants and short-term occupants.  Some tenants will be more attractive to the landlord and the performance of the property over time.  They may have a tenancy profile or business identity that encourages other tenants to the property.  Reviewing the tenancy mix is called tenant retention.  You can create a tenant retention plan as part of your business planning model.
  6. Pressures of expansion and contraction will change from time to time with all other tenants in your tenancy mix.  Look for those changes, and keep close to those issues through the business year to identify any pressures of change that may need to be accommodated in the building.  It is better to have a tenant in your property that you understand and appreciate, than find a new one that is unproven and costly in occupancy changeover and leasing costs.

The income for a commercial or retail property can be enhanced when you fully understand all of the above factors and adjust the property accordingly.  It is not unusual to adjust the business plan or for a property three or four times during the financial year.

Commercial Realtors - Finding Leads and Prospects

business meeting in office at desk with 3 people
Finding leads for Commercial Real Estate Agency Today

Local business owners are a distinct opportunity for commercial real estate agents.  It is those local business owners that know the area and the activities of other property occupants and tenants.  To a degree they will know the local area far better than you as the property agent.

To build your pipeline of opportunity and a good database, at least half of your prospecting efforts should focus on the proprietors of those local businesses.

This is the type of information they can give you:

  • An idea of those other local businesses that are looking to change occupancy or location
  • Requirements of expansion or contraction subject to current business activities
  • Details of the landlord for the property if it is leased
  • They will tell you of any instability or discomfort they have with the landlord
  • A good history of the area so you can understand how things are changing

So how can you make contact here and why should they listen to you?  To answer the first part of the question, the best method of contact is by the telephone to arrange a suitable meeting.  In other words you should be making many cold calls into the local business community.  Set yourself a benchmark of 40 calls a day into the business community.  In making 40 calls you should achieve at least two meetings.

In making contact with these business people, it is essential to provide some form of relevance and interest to them.  That can be through one or more of the following strategies:

  1. Create a simple brochure of local property information on a single piece of paper.  This double sided single piece of paper can be copied conveniently when you require more of them to take with you as part of your prospecting efforts.
  2. Creating an Email newsletter to send to your prospects and clients on a regular basis.  As part of that process you should be getting their approval to receive such information.  The frequency of the e-mail newsletter is open for some debate although fortnightly seems to be very successful for most commercial agents and realtors.
  3. Create a blog on the Internet to talk about local property activity and property information.  Make sure that the blog is specifically relevant to a property type and the location.  This information from the blogging process will increase your Internet profile as a property specialist.  You should blog at a frequency of once per day if that is possible.  Anything less than posting a blog once a week will be a waste of time.
  4. Create a social media platform of different contact processes that can be easily activated and utilised with both property listings and local property information.  Use the social media platform at least once a day.

There is always opportunity in the local area for you to tap into as a commercial real estate specialist.  Build your systems and push your system forward each and every day into the market place.

Observations About Support Staff for Commercial Realtors Today

secretary answering the telephone
Support staff will help your commercial real estate agency business.

Some commercial realtors and commercial property agencies operate with support staff for the sales team, but they do so in many different ways.  If you get the support staff equation correct, the sales team can produce better results and more quality listings.

The targets of putting support staff in the sales team structure is to do some or all of the following:

  • Remove the mundane paperwork from the sales people so they can get on with listing and prospecting.
  • Build and maintain a quality approach to standard tasks that the salespeople must do for the clients and the listings that they are involved with.
  • Keep some more ordinary salespeople on task and controlled to the business working model
  • Monitoring the quality of the work that is put out by the sales team.
  • Put some quality control on the marketing of the listings in your agency
  • Creating standards to the administration of the sales and leasing listings.

So these are some really good reasons to have a quality support team behind the sales team.  That being said, the support team costs money and will be a burden on the business financially.  There is a very good case here for taking 5% or up to 10% off the top of the gross commissions to fund the support sales team cost.

Now many salespeople will have an issue with what I have just said with taking some of the commission off the top of the completed sale or lease transaction; however the reality of the situation is that someone has to do the mundane paperwork that is associated with each and every listing.  It is really important to put some quality systems into the activities of the sales team.  A good support team can do that.

Here are some tasks that a support team could control for the brokers or agents:

  1. Undertaking the property title checks before the marketing of the property occurs
  2. Gathering all of the correct paperwork before the property is taken to the market
  3. Establishing a quality marketing campaign that is aligned to the vendor paid marketing funds
  4. Following up on the sales team for client approvals of the draft advertising
  5. Listing the property on the websites associated with your real estate business
  6. Ensuring that all marketing material is sourced and aligned to any price adjustments
  7. Following up on contracts or leases, and the associated paperwork that is required to complete the transaction or take it to the next level.

Some would say that these tasks are the job of the salesperson; yes that is the case, but good support staff behind the salesperson can streamline the quality and the processes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reconciliation Tips for Commercial Property Managers

commercial property manager looking at a file record
Outgoings reconciliations need good records for the commercial or retail property.

At the end of any financial year in commercial property management, it is necessary to reconcile the financial activities of the commercial or retail building for the landlord.  In a building with many tenants in the tenancy mix, the process of reconciliation becomes quite complex and lengthy.

It can take some days if not weeks to ensure that the reconciliation has been correctly conducted and accurately reflects the true income and expenditure from the property.

Some leases require the property manager and or the landlord to undertake a formal audit of the completed reconciliation process.  The auditor then signs off on the records of the reconciliation so that any outgoings recoveries can be correctly implemented with the necessary tenancies.

All of this takes time, and on that basis should be timed into the requirements of the building, the landlord, the leases, and local property legislation.  It is not unusual to have circumstances or legislation where the outgoings reconciliation needs to have been completed and served upon the tenants in a particular time frame.

The reconciliation process occurs for the following reasons:

  • To determine that the income raised throughout the year across all of the tenants leases is accurate and correctly charged
  • To determine that the expenditure paid from the property financial records is correct and in accordance with the established rules relating to building occupancy costs.
  • To remove any items of a capital nature that should not be in the ordinary property expenditure category.
  • To ensure that any arrears and recovery processes are correctly actioned and reflected in the recoverable income.
  • To review all of the rentals charged to the tenants to ensure that those charges are correct and in accordance with the terms of each active lease.
  • To raise charges against the appropriate tenancies for recoverable outgoings still to be charged.
  • To apply any adjustments on the tenants in the tenancy mix for any outgoings paid in advance.

The accuracy of the outgoings reconciliation process should never be under estimated.  The reconciliation will have impact on the net income for the property and on that basis the potential sale price if and when the property is sold.

The levels of outgoings in a property will also impact the market rental when it comes to leasing any vacant space.  A property with a high level of outgoings will be difficult to lease and will not attract the quality tenants that you require.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Commercial Realtors - Tips to Help Your Clients Make a Decision

businessman and woman talking
Commercial Real Estate Clients need help to see the way ahead.

Some clients in commercial real estate can take too long to make a decision and take action.  Invariably that can mean lost opportunity for them and for you as the agent.  Top agents will move a client through the decision ‘gateways’ and put them on the road to action.  In saying that many a client wants to know that they are still in charge and have alternatives to choose from.  To help them with that fact you can offer a few alternatives in all the big issues such as marketing and inspection processes.

So the client should be directed or encouraged to see the benefit of moving ahead.  The best way to do that is to show them a time line of the issues ahead and how you intend to help them.  The Gantt graphing process is great for that.  You can have a typical model for sales leasing and property management.

The average client has no idea about the complexities of taking their property to the market.  In a Gantt graph you can time the bigger issues and show the client just how you will be involving them in the decisions and the actions.

How many issues are involved in taking a property to the market for sale or lease?  If you really think about it there are some 20 to 30 phases in the handling of a property for sale or for lease.  In breaking those down you can show the client just how important their choice of agent is in listing the property.  You should be the agent of choice and you can do that by showing them the way to get all the key matters under control.

Here are some issues to put in your Gantt chart for the client.

  1. The current market will include an assessment of a number of things including competing properties, time on market, price ranges, rentals, best method of sale or lease, and ways to attract enquiry away from any other property listed with competing agents.
  2. Marketing solutions can include drafting advertising, targeting the advertising, editorial, internet listing, signboards, brochures, direct calls, emails, database review, direct letters and many more.
  3. A timed marketing campaign can be designed around the market and the other properties that are on the market at the moment currently.  Competition is sometimes a good thing.  Matching to the timing of other property promotions in your office may also allow you to share property enquiry across similar property types.  A catalogue auction of a number of properties is just like that.
  4. Inspecting the property can involve strategy and features.  In simple terms it is a way of taking people to and through the property so you are building the right property impact.  A good property inspection will help you.

You can probably add to this list.  When you do this and put all of your issues in a Gantt chart, you are creating a selling tool to use in your presentation or pitch.

Tips for Interviewing and Employing a Commercial Property Manager

job interview between two business people
Ask the right direct questions in a job interview for a commercial property manager.

In commercial or retail real estate, the employment of a commercial property manager is quite special and detailed.  If any errors are made in the choice of person, it can directly impact the property portfolio for the agency and or the performance of properties for each landlord.

Given that a successful commercial or retail property portfolio is the source of significant new business and commissions for the agency, the choice of property manager is ever that more important.

There is no quick fix when it comes to the employment interview.  In many respects it comes down to the choices that you make as the office manager after you have reviewed all of the information provided by the candidates.  Importantly, you need to ask the right questions.

Commercial and Retail Property management is quite specialized in many different ways.  The skills required of the selected person are far more advanced than those that apply to residential property management.

Here are some of the critical categories that should be incorporated into the interview and questioning of a potential candidate in the role of property manager.

  • Lease documentation implementation and interpretation
  • Tenant communication skills and control processes
  • Maintenance routine awareness and essential services
  • Vacancy marketing given the potential upcoming vacancies and lease expiries
  • Income optimisation given the existing tenancy mix and lease profile
  • Lease negotiation with potential new tenants to the property
  • Rental strategies as they apply to the property type
  • Expenditure management given the property size and type
  • Landlord reporting processes on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis
  • Financial analysis and reporting from detailed property management records
  • Data entry and data interpretation relating to tenancy schedules, expenditure performance, and income analysis.
  • Tenancy mix management and business planning processes

All of these issues are quite detailed and special.  In retail property there can be others to add to the list; importantly the staff member that you choose for the property management role should be a good communicator, well organized, and proactive.

Landlords look to their property managers for both ideas, and control.  Those property managers need to follow the instructions and the targets of the landlord so that the property is ready for change or sale as the case may be.

So where do you find this person of great skill and quality?  They are out there, and they do command a reasonable income.  That being said, a good property manager will bring in significantly more fees to the agency over time from sensible property strategy and good landlord relationships.  A stable and well managed property will incur extra fees through rent reviews, lease options, and vacancy marketing.

It should be said that one experienced and good commercial property manager can nurture and train a new person into the role.  It all comes down to the right choice of people.  When you interview new staff for the role of commercial or retail property manager, take care and take the necessary time to formulate the correct decision.  Look for the levels of experience and diligence that the job requires.

Commercial Realtors - How to Prospect for More Commercial Property Listings

business man using the telephone and a laptop computer on a desk
Cold calling is a good part of prospecting.

When the commercial property market gets slow or tough, the agents prospecting process for new listings should get more active and comprehensive.  It is the quality listings that bring in the right sort of enquiry.  In slower markets it is the enquiry that helps agents get the commissions they require.

So each and every salesperson in a commercial real estate agency should be diligent and thorough when it comes to servicing property enquiry and finding quality listings.  The time on market relating to both sales and leasing will tend to blow out to many months and perhaps even a year in some cases with some difficult property types today.  Again I go back to the point that quality listings really matter when the property market is slow and tough.

Far too many agents and realtors struggle with open listings.  Whilst it may be nice to have an open type listing on a property, you have absolutely no control on anything when it comes to open listings.  The client cannot be trusted, and the client is likely to be an adversary in the entire marketing and negotiation process.

We need exclusive listings to control our market.  If we want to build market share, it needs to be built on the back of exclusive listings.

So the prospecting process is critical to the growth of our market when times are tough.  Every salesperson needs to take a serious look at the amount of prospecting that they are doing on a daily basis.  Order takers serve no purpose in tough commercial markets; we need the tougher salespeople that are prepared to drive better enquiry, exclusive listings, and quality properties.

So where do you find this magic person?  Are they looking to be employed or perhaps are they ready to be moving from another agency?  As in any agency principal will know, finding the right people to employ is always a daunting challenge.  That being said, it is always necessary to be on the lookout for good salespeople or those with the potential to be so.

Any job interview with a potential new salesperson should comprehensively and deeply explore the subject of prospecting.  Any new salesperson in this market must be prepared to prospect on a daily basis and do so in a comprehensive way.

A good prospecting model for this market looks something like this:

  • Researching the right property targets to prospect into
  • Incorporating a prospecting model into the daily diary process
  • Using a database for comprehensively connecting with clients and prospects over time
  • The ability to pitch and present their services as a specialised commercial property agent
  • The ability to not just list property but also market, inspect, and negotiate through to a satisfactory end result

When you look at the varied tasks required of a commercial agent or realtor today, prospecting still remains number one when it comes to daily tasks and activities.  Find the right people that can do this exceptional task to the right level.

Keys to Budget Creation in Commercial Property Performance

two wrenches joined together
Maintenance costs are a big part of the property budget.

A budget in commercial and retail property management helps keep the property to an expected level of financial performance in both income and expenditure.  That being said, it can be a challenge to establish a budget with a property that you have just taken over.  It is hard to establish a property budget for the landlord when you do not have the financial history of the property over the last few years.

To prepare for a property management budget process in a commercial or retail property, the following information will help you greatly:

  1. Get copies of the property financial records over the last few years.  That will include the income activity on a tenant by tenant basis broken down into a monthly separation.  You should check to ensure that all of the rent reviews and rental escalations were correctly charged at the right time.
  2. The income for the property is not just the base rental.  There are many other income issues that can occur on and with each of the separate leases.  They may be for factors such as outgoings recovery, storage rental, car parking, licensed areas, energy, cleaning, and special activities approved by the landlord.  On that basis every lease should be checked as part of the preparation for the budget process.  Ensure that you have been charging all of the appropriate rentals and outgoings recoveries.  It is not unusual to find elements of income that have been overlooked during the previous financial year.
  3. The expenditure for the property for the previous financial year should be reconciled to remove any errors or omissions.  In this way you will know that you will have a base of accurate expenditure to work from in establishing a new budget.  Expenditure can be broken down into a number of different things; this should be done so that you can differentiate between costs which escalate at different rates.  It may be that the municipal council rates are expected to escalate in the next year at a different rate than everything else.
  4. Look for any items of a capital nature that were included in the property expenditure in the last 12 months.  They are not normally to be considered as recoverable when it comes to a property budget.  Capital items are normally removed to a separate expenditure category.
  5. The property should be inspected to ensure that any immediate items of repair or replacement are known.  It is wise to have a discussion with the maintenance contractor's for the building as part of the preparation for the property budget.  They can assist you with estimates of operational costs and operational replacement.

There are many other items that can be added to the list subject to your local area and your specialised property type.  Importantly the budget process should be correctly prepared for and comprehensively worked through.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Commercial Property Agents - Win More Listings with Empathy

business woman climbing ladder with determination
Commercial Realtor's - Climb to the top of your market.

Every client in commercial real estate that we present or pitch our services to wants to be understood.  The only way you can do this is ask the right questions and then really listen to the answers.  They call it empathy, and it is one of the major skills of a top agent today.  Some less successful agents fail to do it well if at all.

Put yourself in the shoes of the prospect or client.  Wouldn’t you expect the salesperson to really show an interest and connect with the clients concerns and facts?   After all, how can you match your property services without aligning to the clients thinking?


Many times you will find that a salesperson just does not do that alignment to the level that the client wants or needs.  They simply forget to find out what is going on in the clients head, and how they are thinking.  Step into the client’s life and find out what they are thinking and how they see the facts of the property market; see how it impacts their property.

We can be too obsessed with presenting our ideas.  When this happens, we miss the listing and some other agent wins the deal.  Many clients will say that the unsuccessful agents did not really understand or listen.

Your visit with the client is not ‘eagerly anticipated’ by them; you are just another salesperson that ‘could’ help them.  Your offering and your recommendations are not relevant until you connect and lift that connection to a new level with the prospective client.  They call that empathy.  Many real estate agents could do with a ‘dose of it’ every day before they enter the client’s offices or place of business.

Here are the rules of empathy in commercial real estate agency:

  1. Seek to understand the prospective client fully before you get to the point of the discussion or your recommendations.
  2. Ask questions about the past so you can know how the prospective client got to own or occupy the property.
  3. Drill down on the situations of the present that the client sees are a challenge or of importance to them today.
  4. Create a picture of the future by asking the client about where they want to head with the current situation.

These simple questions create a momentum of empathy with the client.  The four points can be a checklist to take you to the next level and much closer to your recommendations or ideas.

Every piece of information that the client gives you should be noted and explored.  By really listening you can drill down to the next level of information and find out the trigger points that frustrate the client in the current property challenge.

Need more ideas to help your listings and market share in commercial real estate?  You can get them here at our website.

Commercial Agents and Realtors - What is Your Client?

business man shaking hands
What is your client relations like?

There is a big difference between commercial real estate clients that are adversaries and those that are an ally.  One could say that the relationship was set by the actions or lack of such by the salesperson.

Yes, I know that some relationships with clients are difficult for reasons that we cannot control; however far too many relationships are not established on solid and sound business principles.  You must set the rules for a great relationship with all your clients; in that way you will get referral and repeat business.

The Right Clients and Prospects

This commercial property industry is all about relationships with the right people.  It is wise to remember that as you prospect or present for a new listing or a new client.  Build the relationship; that’s what it’s all about.

Here are some facts that we forget:

  1. The client wants to trust us with what could be considered their biggest challenge; their commercial or retail property.  The trust only comes when they can see that you really are relevant to their needs and your confidence, skills, and property knowledge can solve the challenge that they have before them.
  2. The client wants to be our friend and expects the same back from you.  They have trusted you to take on a big challenge and they want the feedback and the solutions to move forward.  Constant and relevant contact is a part of the process when you take on a new listing.  Be different and be connecting with your clients; help them with all the difficult decisions.  You are the property expert remember!
  3. There is no excuse for letting your services and property solutions result in a poor relationship with the client.  You simply must do a great job (not an ordinary one) for the client.  A disgruntled client can do a lot of damage to your credibility personally and for the agency.
  4. Great clients are built from great service and positive solutions.  We can fail to service our clients if we have too many at one time or if we take low grade clients such as those with ‘open’ type listings.

Your goal as a salesperson with all of your clients should be to create allies that can help you build your market share and spread the word about your exceptional skills as a commercial property expert.  That is how top agents grow their market share.
When you get a listing, work it to the fullest of the market and the opportunities that exist.  Don’t let anything distract you from your clients and their needs.  Nothing is more important than client service.  They pay your commission and support the agency.

Need some more tips to help you with your clients and prospects in Commercial Real Estate?  You can get them right here at our website.

Top Commercial Realtors - Start Listening to Win More Listings

business man talking to a business woman.
Top agents really listen.

In commercial real estate, how many salespeople do you find that really do not listen to the prospect, or gear their sales pitch to something that is not matched to the client?  Unfortunately the problem is all too common.  Listening is one of the great skills of top agents today.

Everything we do in commercial property sales, leasing, and property management must be closely aligned to the client in many ways; if we cannot do that then the client will not either understand the big picture or accept any of our recommendations.

In the commercial property industry today there are many variables that happen on a daily and weekly basis; all of them can impact a property listing or a property performance.  

Here are some of the things that regularly change in the industry:

  • The time on market for property listings in the local area
  • The best methods of sale or lease in the prevailing market conditions
  • The availability of buyers or tenants to inspect and look at property listings
  • The delay factors for finance and or due diligence in a property transaction
  • The competing properties on the market today in close proximity to a listed property

So if these are the variables, it is tempting to just do a ‘dump and burn’ of information with the client when we pitch or present.  We expect them to listen to us!  Wouldn’t it be better to listen to them first?

Asking Questions

Asking the right questions will allow you to listen to the client and identify their focus and challenges.  All the clients that we work with have unique challenges with their property.  Nothing is similar in and with any property.  Questions are the key to align your solutions and services to the property owner or property investor.

Here is a simple strategy of questions that can apply to the client connection process before you get into the solutions and facts that you believe will help the client.

  1. The Past – What has happened in the past with the property to get it to where it is today?
  2. The Present – Why does the client need to do something today to move the property or solve a problem?
  3. The Future – Where does the client want to be or go in an ‘ideal world’ and when they get the outcome that they seek with the property?

With these questions you will find the answers that will help you match your sales pitch and property solutions to the client.  Ask the right questions and start listening.  When they give you information you want, take notes and refer to the notes with the importance that they deserve.

When you fully understand the facts, you can align your property information and the trends of the market to the client and the way they are thinking.  In this way you can improve your conversion rates in any sales pitch or presentation.  Its common sense really.

Do you need more tips to help your commercial real estate activities as an agent or realtor?  You can get them right here at our website.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Prospect for Commercial and Retail Property Tenants Today

retail shop front on street sidewalk
Prospecting for Tenants is really important in retail property.

When the property market is slow and tough, the tenants in any commercial or retail property become critical to the cash flow for the landlord.  Whilst some may say this is the normal case at any time, a tougher property market will create huge pressure on the landlord when it comes to balancing the factors of income and expenditure on a monthly and annual basis.  The business plan for the property becomes even more specific and special in the strategy of ongoing occupancy.

Internet Impact on Retail Sales

It should be said that many businesses are going through change due to the impact of the Internet on their products and services.  In some cases, retail tenants are disappearing from shopping centres for this very reason.  This does not mean that shopping centres will disappear, they will just change.  Leasing executives look for the influences and match new tenants into the change factors.

So a commercial or retail property requires a tenancy prospecting strategy.  This can be implemented by the property manager, or the leasing executive.  Either way the strategy should be implemented to prevent income decline.

A good prospecting model for new tenants looks something like this:

  1. Close attention to the existing tenancy mix should occur on a weekly and monthly basis.  Look for tenants that are under pressure or requiring change.  That could be expansion, contraction, or relocation.  Your good tenants should be encouraged to remain in occupancy at all costs.  As to how that may occur, is always subject to negotiation and alternative premises availability.  Importantly the tenant should be encouraged to stay in the property if you believe they are good for occupancy over the long term.  A good tenant should be looked at in balance with the entire tenancy mix and with any anchor tenants that are in the property.
  2. Identify any competing properties in nearby close proximity.  They will be a source of alternative tenants for your property.  Look for any pressures that may exist in those other properties and that may encourage tenants to leave.  Direct contact with other tenants in other properties will always be a wise strategy.
  3. Make connections with franchise groups and franchise brands.  They are likely to need alternative premises from time to time.  Importantly you can understand their occupancy needs and specific leasing strategies.  They may be suitable to merge into your property at the right time when the right vacancy occurs.
  4. The local business community should be networked in an ongoing way.  Other tenants and other businesses will provide the necessary churn and change when it comes to filling vacancies.  Direct contact every day with new businesses and business identities should occur.
  5. Look outside of your regional area to the national businesses and tenants that could be considered suitable prospecting targets.  Merge them into your prospecting perspective.  There will be other tenants in other cities that may have not yet considered your city for suitable occupancy.

Prospecting for new tenants should occur on a daily basis.  That is the only way the income for a property can be protected.  If you manage or market the vacant space across a number of properties, it is important that you specifically look to solving the vacancy challenges as they can be predicted or arise.  Monitoring the tenancy mix and developing a strategy is all part of the process.

You can get more free tips for commercial realtors at our main website right here.

Commercial Realtors - Cold Canvassing on Foot Builds Better Market Share

female commercial real estate agent walking street to cold canvass
Cold canvassing on foot.

In commercial and retail real estate leasing you can and should cold canvass on foot in your farming territory.  Every business and every tenant will be a potential prospect for leasing business.  See the people, and find that opportunity that you are looking for.

At the times when the property market is tough or slow, the cold canvassing process is even more important.  Personal contact with the business owners and on site managers will glean much information about their business, and also that of the other businesses in the area.

Who Do You Know as Prospects Now?

So what businesses should you make contact with?  Just about all of them.  Here is a canvassing model that you can adopt.  It takes time to establish but the rewards are many.

  1. Get a copy of a map of all the streets that contain commercial or retail buildings (also industrial if that is your focus).
  2. Determine the best streets and locations for businesses.  This will be your primary focus for street cold canvassing.
  3. Determine the secondary streets and location for businesses.  They will be your secondary prospecting patch.
  4. You should be visiting 10 businesses per day on each working day.  Take your business cards and leave your business card in each location.  This is very important if you cannot see the proprietor of the business.
  5. Use a simple standard form to collate the information from each business that you call into.
  6. Each business will have a property need.  They may own or occupy the premises that they are in.  They may also have a future or current need for expansion, contraction, or relocation. Asking the right questions will get the facts that you require.
  7. Most business owners will not need your services today; however they will need some property assistance in the future.  On that basis the ‘drop in cold call’ should be regarded as the first part of the connection.  From that point onward you keep going back to those businesses and people that seem receptive to property information and your potential services.
  8. If you work a defined territory or property type, you can create a ‘one sheet’ marketing approach to use as you meet new people.  The single one sheet of paper can have a list of properties in the area that are available for sale or lease.  You can place on the reverse side some information regards rents and prices locally.  The golden rule with this process is that you must attach your business card to the ‘one sheet’. 

These facts and strategies are a simple but very effective marketing process for a single salesperson specialising in commercial or retail real estate.  The industry is built around people, and you must know lots of them.

If you want more free tips for commercial realtors and agents, you can get them at our website right here.

Things to Do with Anchor Tenants in Retail Property

female shopper holding up shopping bags in the air
Help your retail tenants thrive.

When you lease or manage a retail property, you will know that the retail anchor tenant is important to the future of the property.  In most cases the anchor tenant will be in occupancy for a long time, and will have a special set of lease terms and conditions to reflect that fact.  The anchor tenant will make or break the success of the property for all stakeholders.

Anchor Tenant Should Thrive

In an ideal world as a property manager or leasing executive you want the anchor tenant to thrive as a business in the property.  That is not always easy given that things change in the customer profile and shopper demographic.  Keeping a close eye on the changes to shopping trends is really important; the anchor tenant should be doing that themselves and making the necessary adjustments, but the property manager should be closely involved in that process as well.

Here are some tips to help you work with anchor tenants in a retail shopping centre or mall.

  1. Meet with the anchor tenant at least monthly to talk about shopping trends and sales figures.  You need the anchor tenant to be open and frank with you; in most cases they will, providing they know that growth of sales and property improvement are your main targets.
  2. Review trading figures for all the specialty tenants as part of working with the anchor tenant.  It is likely that there will be a link between the two numbers.  Specialty tenants can be grouped into categories so you can see the numbers and trends on a group basis.  Seasonally (summer, winter, autumn, and spring), it is possible that one group will be better than another in sales and growth of sales, then that ratio could change in another season.
  3. Get the anchor tenant involved with specialty tenants through marketing campaigns for the property.  As to who exactly should pay for the marketing campaign is open for discussion, but a good retail property should be comprehensively and continually marketed into the local shopping community.  It is in everyone’s best interests to promote the property; the tenants, landlord, and the anchor tenant all benefit from good marketing staged throughout the year.
  4. Review customer numbers coming to the property each day and each week. Over time you can see some trends in the visits and that will help you focus your marketing campaigns.
  5. Property presentation should always benefit the tenants and the customers.  If a property has been let to decline in presentation, shoppers will soon move their shopping habits to another property.  Property presentation as a point of focus is both common area and tenant related.  On that basis the leases for the tenants and the anchor tenant should feature a refurbishment provision to make sure that the tenancy looks good at all times.

Work closely with your anchor tenants, the property will benefit in many different ways.

Get some more tips for retail shopping centre management and leasing at our website.