Many a shopping center manager would know the challenges of specifying, tendering, and negotiating a cleaning contract in a shopping centre. There are many things to investigate and watch for as part of establishing the new contract. Without careful consideration errors can be made in expenditure and presentation that will impact the operations of the property significantly on a daily basis well into the future.
(N.B. these ideas on retail shopping center performance are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)
So what is the problem here?
A tidy, well presented, and clean shopping center will encourage return shoppers, broaden customer interest, and on that basis help encourage increased sales turnover. The retail shopping experience is quite special and should not be underestimated; attract your customers and keep them for the long term through a presentational policy in and about the property.
Customers will shift and change retail purchasing patterns if they are unhappy with the overall shopping experience. When you look into your local property precinct there are plenty of other retailers and shopping centers seeking to attract your customers. Why is your property more interesting and attractive than those other properties? There has to be a reason why shoppers will come back to your property.
A successful center?
So a successful retail property is a usually a clean property that is well presented. To get deeper into the issues of retail property performance, some research is required to understand the facts in operations and presentation. Every shopping center is different when you look at these factors:
- Customer volume
- Customer type
- Property design
- Tenant mix and size of tenant mix
- Anchor tenants
- Specialty tenants
- Hours of operation
- Finishes and surfaces to be cleaned
- Tenancy clean
- Common area clean
- The number of people attending the property during the day
So there are things here that should be researched before the property specification for cleaning is developed and put to tender. Don’t look for the cheapest cleaning contract to apply to your retail property. Choose the cleaning contract that suits the asset and the tenant mix. The facts in the cleaning tender process have to be correct in all respects so the people and businesses involved in submitting tenders can do so accurately and with relevance.
Cleaning specification coverage
Here are some ideas and contract categories that can be merged into this tendering situation:
- Floors and surfaces – How will they be cleaned? Some of the surfaces will need special attention, chemicals, cleaning frequency, and unique cleaning processes.
- Glass – Understand the differences between tenant and common area glass. Review the zones where foot traffic is the highest, as presentational issues will also peak in those locations.
- Toilet requisites and wash room supplies – Someone has to tally up all the supplies that you will need for customers and tenants
- Common areas – All areas accessed by customer must be cleaned and maintained comprehensively
- Entrances – How do people move into the property and what challenges will that create for the property?
- Emergency responses – With slippages and spills how will the response occur?
- Food court – A food court in a retail property will require special cleaning allowances and attendances.
- Tenant cleaning – How will the tenants undertake premises cleaning? How will that be paid for?
- Recycling – How will recycling be undertaken at the property and will that potentially be merged into the cleaning tasks for contract staff?
- Time of cleaning – Think about how the property operates now, and look at the times that cleaning should happen for the convenience of staff, tenants, and customers.
- Rubbish disposal – The rubbish will need to be removed from the property so there will be some supplementary contract to add to the standard cleaning arrangements.
- Sensitive areas and environmental matters – Like it or not, certain areas of the property will require special attention. Do a full tenancy and property inspection to identify those areas before tendering specifications are set.
- Budget – Review the cleaning budget based on previous cleaning costs, and compare those to similar properties locally. How will your cleaning costs sit in comparison to other local retail properties? To some degree the cleaning charges for the property will be merged into a recovery process be that directly from the tenants or alternatively through the property outgoings. Understand how that is to occur.
- Car park cleaning – Every retail property will have some car park and transport considerations and may also have zones where public transport drop-off points put special pressure on cleaning. Look at the zones and understand just how they work.
From these points you can see why a cleaning strategy and tendering process for a retail property is so important in the function and future of the property. You can then shape a cleaning contract tender process most effectively.