In any town or city there will be a number of shopping centers serving the same customer base. The retail properties will be of different size and location. All of those retail properties will have leasing opportunities into the future. Real estate brokers and agents can get involved from a leasing and tenant mix opportunity. Specialised leasing services are always required in retail properties.
Many times I hear an agent or broker say ‘The Shopping Center Manager won’t talk to me about leasing needs’. On that basis they think that the retail leasing in that shopping center is too hard to tap into; they then walk away from the future business. The fact of the matter is that a Shopping Center Manager will listen to any agent or broker if they are a ‘retail leasing expert’. In other words, you have to ‘know your stuff’ in retail.
Know the Shopping Center Facts
To tap into the retail leasing requirements and the tenant mix requirements of any retail property, a good deal of retail knowledge is required including:
- Lease standards
- Lease strategies
- Rental alternatives
- Tenant movements and requirements
- Market rents
- Tenant requirements
- Franchise tenant requirements
- Vacancy factors
When you really understand the retail property industry, shopping center managers will listen; it is simply a matter of gaining their attention. A typical manager of a retail property simply doesn’t have the time to do their own leasing; they are far to busy. They need good retail agents to help out with upcoming vacancies and tenant movements.
The advantage that an outside agent or broker can bring to a retail property is that of ‘outside influence’. An agent from outside of the property can source tenants from a broader field, another property, or another city. A successful shopping center requires diversity of tenants in the mix that is then matched to the customer profiles and local area.
So the message here is clear for any agent or broker. If a shopping center manager is hard to connect with, and you know that you can help them in retail leasing services, then you must find a way of reaching them directly. A directed telephone call or letter can open up the chances of a meeting.
In the first approach to the manager of any retail property, use your skill and market knowledge to grow the discussion in a relevant way. Talk about the tenants that you know and the properties that you have been involved with; share information about market activity and rents. You will soon have the attention of the shopping center manager.
In closing on this point; if you know a lot about rents, tenants, anchor tenants, and shopping centers, it directly follows that your leasing database should be large and useful when it comes to filling any property vacancy.