[fa icon="calendar"] 09.08.2016 / by Michelle Heatherly
As a commercial property owner or property manager, you will see a fair share of your tenants leave you. Sometimes there is nothing you can do, but often there are steps you can take to keep your tenants happy and prevent them from vacating.
Here are a few ways you can increase your tenant retention for the remainder of 2016:
Ongoing communication is key. Make sure to communicate with your tenants on a regular and consistent basis. You don’t have to call them every week, but keep them in the loop for things that are going on with the property. If you have any scheduled maintenance or renovations coming up, let them know in advance. They won’t mind being inconvenienced every now and then as long as they have time to prepare. Written notices, emails, phone calls and in person meetings are all ways to help get the word out about property happenings.
Know Your Tenants
Without knowing exactly who your commercial tenants are, how do you know if you are keeping their best interests in mind? You should keep an ear to your tenants’ businesses and see if there is anything you can do to help. For example, if one of your tenants is trying to go green, see how you can reduce energy usage in your building to help them meet this goal.
Ask For Feedback and Make Improvements
This goes along with a previous point, communicating. Asking your tenants for feedback will give you a window into how they are doing and what they would like to see.
At Demetree Real Estate Services, we utilize a tenant communication portal called Building Engines for maintaining dialogue with our tenants. Periodically, we also administer tenant satisfaction surveys to measure and gauge tenant sentiment on their leasing experience with us.
When obtaining feedback, you may discover that certain units get poor Wi-Fi reception or that the cleaning and maintenance staff is not consistent.
Keeping the front entrance and common areas clean is an often overlooked part of tenant retention. Also, keep the parking lot, grassy areas, and landscape maintained so that tenants feel welcome in your building.
It may seem simple, but sending your tenants a simple anniversary or holiday card can go a long way. Give them a handwritten note or even a small gift when they move in to show your appreciation. It may seem like a small gesture but it will separate you from other landlords and make them feel like their business is valued.
There are so many things you can do to add value and build your relationship with tenants. Host tenant appreciation events like a breakfast where you provide coffee and donuts or an afternoon ice cream social. Offer to write and send out a news release for new tenants or for large events or milestones of current tenants. Post tenant information and promotions on your social media networks and share content from their networks. A little goes a long way.
Offer A Renewal Incentive
If a tenant gives you their notice, take initiative and identify why they are leaving to see if you can entice them to stay. In some cases, it may be an issue you can’t do anything about, such as space. In other cases, you may be able to work with them on issues such as rent prices or amenities.
You can also be proactive in preventing your tenants from leaving by offering renewal incentives such as reduced CAM fees or improved amenities. Even if your tenants are not planning on leaving or are on the fence, offering a reward for resigning can help seal the deal.
Retain Your Tenants Throughout 2016
In most cases, it is much easier and more cost effective to retain an existing tenant than the acquisition cost of having to go market the property and find a new one to replace them. Finding new tenants is time consuming, not to mention expensive. Plus, you have no way of knowing if the new tenants will be as good as the old ones. The tips we mentioned above will help you retain your commercial tenants throughout 2016.