Demetree Real Estate Blog

3 Tips for Property Managers to Retain Tenants

[fa icon="calendar"] 08.16.2016 / by Rory Williams


As a commercial property manager, you need to have a portfolio of consistent, long-term tenants to attract clients. You can achieve this by taking time to understand your tenants’ businesses and how your space can contribute to meeting their goals. Here are a few general tips to help you develop a positive, long-term relationship with your tenants:

1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Commercial tenants usually do not require as much attention as residential ones, but they will still have requests from time to time. Quick responses will assure your tenants that you are aware of their needs and make them feel comfortable. If you consistently ignore or are slow to respond, your tenants are more likely to become frustrated and look for other options.

Through consistent communication, you may also discover repairs or improvements that are needed before your tenants even make a request. For example, conducting regular third-party surveys may allow you to dig deeper into your tenants’ wants and needs. Even if they are hesitant to speak to you directly, they may be more willing to share their thoughts through an anonymous survey.

2. Reduce Energy Costs

Tenants are excited by new energy efficient buildings that are starting to come on the market because they offer several benefits:

  • Less carbon impact
  • More cost efficient
  • Generates its own power
  • Produces energy that can be sold back to the local municipality

Make sure to emphasize to potential tenants what the cost savings will be if they sign a lease with you. For every one point improvement on the EPA Energy Star score, your energy costs will be reduced by as much as .83 percent. Sharing this information, along with concrete figures on how it will impact the bottom line, will go a long way in attracting the right tenants.

If your building does not happen to feature a new energy efficient design, you can help your tenants reduce costs with individual metering. Typically, when tenants are aware of, and have control over, how much energy they are using, they will cut back.

3. Know Your Submarket

Nearby amenities such as restaurants, parks or coffee shops cost property managers little to nothing, but can be huge incentives for tenants to sign a lease. For example, an office building that is nearby to public transportation or affordable lunch spots will be much more attractive than a building that is hard to get to and offers no conveniences to tenants. A good idea would be to keep a list of nearby amenities available on your website and circulate this list to all your tenants. Not only will this keep them informed, it will be a great way to communicate and build relationships with tenants that doesn’t involved responding to complaints!

Also keep in mind that different types of tenants will respond to different types of amenities. So decide what type of tenants you would like to attract and try to emphasize amenities that would appeal to them. For example, internet or technology based companies that hire younger employees may be more attracted to an area with lots of restaurants or pubs while more conservative businesses may place more value on nearby gyms or daycares. You’ll need to know your submarket and what they value in order to market effectively.

Building Your Portfolio

When a tenant moves out, it can take up to two years to recover lost income. This is why building owners look for property managers that have good track record of retaining long-term tenants. Following these tips will get you started on the right track toward establishing lasting relationships with your building occupants.


Topics: Property Management

Rory Williams

Written by Rory Williams

Rory is the managing partner of Demetree Real Estate Services, a diversified real estate organization focused on investment, development and real estate services. He has experience running the operations of a private real estate portfolio with 5MM square feet and operations in 8 states.