A Basic Guide to Shopping Center Operations and Management

When you manage and lease shopping centers, the inspection process is a regular daily event.  Given the number of tenants and customers moving through a property on an average trading day, there are lots if issues to monitor including risk and liability.

Most shopping centers will have a ‘Maintenance Manager’ and perhaps a small team of specialist trades people or contractors to keep the property and building functioning effectively.  They are part of the ‘property management team’.

I mentioned that ‘risk and liability’ is a big issue every day in the inspection process for many retail properties; that is the case, however many other concerns also evolve as part of running a complex retail property.  Try some of these for starters:

  1. Cleaning strategies and operations
  2. Energy use and consumption
  3. Security within and around the building
  4. Lighting in common areas and around the property perimeter
  5. Access to and from the property
  6. Car parking use and access for customers and tenants
  7. Plant and machinery performance
  8. Tenant use of premises and property
  9. Lease compliances and essential terms and conditions
  10. Rental and lease negotiations
  11. Retail property marketing
  12. Tenant mix strategies and clustering
  13. Expenditure and outgoings controls and budgets

Take all of these issues above and merge into that a number of zones or segments of the property that require control and monitoring.  Most particularly they are:

  • Common areas
  • Tenant premises
  • Loading docks
  • Car parks
  • Transport drop off points
  • Roads and access points
  • Service areas
  • Plant rooms and machinery areas
  • Storage areas
  • Food courts
  • Cinemas

From such a complex and diverse list of issues you can see why shopping center managers and or leasing experts are highly experienced individuals.  Most people working in this segment of the property industry specialise in just retail property and bring with that specialisation a high level of awareness of just what makes a good retail property function effectively for all stakeholders (landlord, tenants, customers, and financiers).

Having spent a good percentage of my time working on shopping centers in one form or another, I highly recommend the market segment to those agents that want to focus on something of complexity and specialisation.  When you really understand retail property investment and shopping centers in general, your experience is of high value to local clients and property owners.  That makes it easier for you to dominate market share in retail property sales and leasing.

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