Creating a Tenant Retention Plan

When it comes to leasing and managing a retail property today, it is essential that you stay ahead of the tenant issues and changes. Regular ongoing connection with all the tenants in your property will help you achieve this simple and yet effective goal. Whilst your focus may be on just a single property, you…

When it comes to leasing and managing a retail property today, it is essential that you stay ahead of the tenant issues and changes. Regular ongoing connection with all the tenants in your property will help you achieve this simple and yet effective goal.

Whilst your focus may be on just a single property, you should expect that the other landlords and real estate agents in the area will be seeking to attract your tenants away from your property. On that basis you need to protect the tenant mix profile and the rental income. A tenant retention plan is a great idea.

Here are some tenant management strategies that you can implement as part of your specialized leasing and or management services:

  1. Make it easy for your tenants to contact you. Give them all the necessary points of contact that you can respond to efficiently and effectively.
  2. Any conversations and meetings that you will have with a tenant should be documented as soon as possible. Any critical agreements and discussions should be evidenced back to the tenant in writing or on email.
  3. The discussions that you have with your client (the landord) as part of tenant management should be documented. Particular instructions and actions required should be evidenced back to the landlord through an email or letter.
  4. Within the tenancy mix, you are likely to have anchor tenants. The anchor tenants provide surety to the income profile and the lease stability for the property. Get to know your anchor tenants and their intended business operations. Stay close to them throughout the year so you can see if they are experiencing any changes or pressures in operation. Any anchor tenants that are experiencing difficulty can have a flow through effect to the specialty tenants in the same property.
  5. As a general rule, you should be meeting with all your tenants on a monthly basis, and more frequently if circumstances require. All of those meetings should be documented. At the end of each month the results of those meetings can be incorporated into the report to the landlord about the tenancy mix.
  6. Properties that contain a number of tenants should feature a tenant retention plan. The tenant retention plan is a key component of the overall business plan for the property. At the beginning of each financial year, the rules are set regards the tenants in occupancy, current vacancies, predicted vacancies, rental standards, and leases to be negotiated.
  7. Stay well ahead of any rent reviews and options that apply to the tenancy mix and the current leases. The critical dates for those activities should be worked on well in advance. Talk to your client on a regular basis so that the necessary lease decisions can be put into place. Early negotations are a good thing.
  8. Inspect the awards occupied by each tenant regularly. Make sure that the current and prevailing usage of the promises complies with the permitted use of the lease.
  9. Maintenance issues and events in any property should be responded to efficiently and effectively. Give priority to those things that are a threat to property usage and customer visitation. Any risk to the landlord's position as property owner needs to be minimized.

Get to know your tenants comprehensively and keep the relationship going for the long term. That will then help you when it comes to the required leasing and management processes that underpin the property. You will also help you with minimizing vacancy activity.