The commercial and retail real estate leasing market is always offering different ‘channels’ of service opportunity. Think about what you are doing now for your clients, and consider how you can improve that. Take the time to make your leasing service offering special and comprehensive.
Decide if you want to work for landlords or tenants, and then go ‘deeper’ in how you provide those services. Choose the client types that you understand and know something about. Package your listing and marketing strategies around your client focus on leasing. Clarity is a good thing as you plan your client services in leasing office or retail property.
So, let’s say you are choosing to work with landlords to help with leasing needs in a particular property type. The first factor to consider is the ‘commission’ and ‘stock’ potential. Make sure you are choosing a property segment that has the opportunity for you from a leasing perspective, and then ensure that you have the property knowledge to suit.
An Example of Quality Leasing Services
Let’s go further. In this case for the example, I will choose ‘retail’ as the property type. That type of property will be single shops, large retail shopping centres, and strips of shops (or small convenience shopping centres) in local and suburban locations. In most towns or cities there are plenty of properties in those categories to work on. Local property landlords need help with tenant and property issues.
To ‘sweeten’ your service offering you need to look at your ‘leasing solutions’ from the client perspective. Exactly what can you offer your client that would be of some ‘investment help’ in retail leasing? Look at the property segment for ‘volatility potential’, and then you will know how you can help. Try some of these for starters:
- Helping with the logic behind a tenant mix change or expansion – When a property contains several tenants, the placement of those tenants should occur so that you are creating occupancy efficiencies and also customer attraction. In a retail property that is quite important as an outcome. When you attract more customers to a property, you have a reasonable chance of strengthening the income potential for the property with better retail sales. You also can reduce the threat of upcoming vacancies.
- Tenant retention planning – As the name suggests, this is all about keeping good tenants in a property for the long term. To do that you can ‘shape’ lease negotiations to encourage a tenant to stay in the property for the longer term. That may be a five- or seven-year lease.
- Finding tenants early before upcoming expiries create income issues – When you investigate a tenant mix you will find critical dates relating to upcoming lease terminations and or tenants moving. It is always nice to have some small amounts of vacant space in a shopping centre that may be coming up, so you can move businesses and tenants around. Understand that a successful retail property must be ‘attractive and changing’ to encourage customers to shop. Work your tenant mix to make the mix more ‘attractive’ and interesting for customers. Work with the upcoming vacancies and watch them into the ongoing 18-month time frames or future. That period will help you plan and negotiated with key tenant placements and or prepare the landlord for changes and opportunities.
- Business plan or strategically plan the asset and its future – Top leasing agents know how to make things ‘better’ in property from a leasing perspective for their clients, and thereby achieving some targets such as improved occupancy, better market rents, and lower vacancies. A business plan for that purpose will help greatly.
- Find ways of stabilising the rental in a property – Don’t ‘escalate’ rents in a property for the sake of just helping the landlord with their income stream. Understand the balance between successful tenants and a successful property. Certainly, poor quality tenants should be moved on, but ‘aggressive’ and high levels of rent will be counterproductive in the future of the property and with occupancy. Help the client see the benefit of ‘stability’ in setting and negotiating market rents with sitting tenants.
- Attract more tenants to a particular property – Your leasing database will be a major service advantage for you in offering leasing services. Let your daily prospecting activities include a segment of ‘tenant contact’, and in that way, your tenant database will improve. Use that database in your discussion with landlord clients in retail shopping centres.
- Reviewing lease documents and licences for strengths and weaknesses – Many leases and licences in a retail property will be ‘different’ so be prepared to read and interpret those documents. A successful shopping centre is the sum or product of many things, but lease documentation and the lease covenants will be part of that. Offer a specialist review of the leases in a property, so you know the facts of tenant occupancy, and then help the client see changes and opportunities that evolve from lease change and tenant movement.
From all of these things, you can see some definite ways to improve or ‘sweeten’ your service offering as a retail and commercial property leasing expert. The message here for you is to ‘go deeper’ with your leasing solutions for your clients. Sell your services with relevance and depth.