Demetree Real Estate Blog

How Can You Keep Retail Tenants Happy on Your Property?

[fa icon="calendar"] 07.28.2016 / by Rory Williams


When managing commercial properties, your success depends on the relationships you have with your tenants. If you can’t attract or keep high quality tenants, you will not see the type of cash flow you are probably hoping for. Keep in mind that your tenants’ business is your business and the property needs to allow them to run their business in the most efficient and effective way possible. Here are few critical areas to pay attention to:

Dealing With Building Disruptions and Maintenance Matters

Even though a property is well built, it will definitely require maintenance at some point. As a property manager, your tenants concerns are your concerns. This means that you need to address any maintenance issues as soon as they arise. Ignoring the problem and hoping the tenant will take care of it will only cause frustration and lead to arguments. Addressing and correcting these issues promptly shows that you are aware of and concerned with your tenants’ needs. Also, keep in mind that untended maintenance issues can lead to legal problems if somebody is injured on your property.

Occupation of Tenant Areas

Though you do have the right to inspect the property at any time, it is always polite to give your tenants at least 48 hours’ notice so they don’t feel they are being intruded on. Working around your tenants’ needs and schedules is essential to keeping them happy.

That being said, you should inspect the property monthly at the very least to make sure there are no unreported maintenance issues. Not only does this prevent issues from becoming more costly, it also shows your tenants that you are attentive and care about the property.

The Permitted Use of the Premises

In order to make your relationships with your tenants run as smoothly as possible, make sure to communicate with them exactly what your expectations are as early as possible. Your tenants need to know exactly what the terms of the lease are before they sign any paperwork. Make sure you detail what will be considered property damage and an approximation of what it will cost to repair it. This way, everyone is on the same page and there will be less room for confusion or frustration when issues do arise.

Lease Renewals

If the value of your property increases before a tenant’s lease is up, you may be tempted to raise their rent as much as possible. This is a risky move, though. Your tenant may either not be able to afford the increase, or they may just be annoyed that you raised it so drastically and look for another retail center with cheaper rent. While this may seem like natural law to you, remember that turnover costs can run into the hundreds and even thousands in some cases. Keeping high quality tenants should be a priority and offering them rental rates that are slightly below market value can be an effective retention strategy.

As a property owner, the success of your business depends on the type of tenants you can attract and retain. While screening applications is a good start, you’ll want to take some extra steps to ensure they stay put. Keeping your tenants happy all boils down one simple rule: “treat others how you would like to be treated.”


Topics: Retail Centers, Tenants

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.