The managing of a retail shopping center is a challenging process. There are many things to do every day, not the least of which will be retail property performance and maintenance.
The higher property use factors that apply to any retail property mean that maintenance will be higher in many respects; wear and tear, together with damage will happen more frequently. An experienced maintenance manager should be employed to track and rectify maintenance issues quickly and effectively. That manager will be part of the shopping center management team and work closely with the Center Manager.
Here are some ideas to help with the maintenance inspection process in a shopping center:
- The larger the shopping centre, the more detailed the maintenance process. It is necessary to document all property maintenance inspections so that you can track any events or issues of damage. Files, photographs, and notes should be kept for every type of maintenance category.
- Public liability insurance will be important part of the management of risk and liability within the property. Slips and falls are quite frequent events within retail shopping centres and malls. The frequency of fraudulent claims is also quite high. Every shopping centre should have a defined process when it comes to identifying and tracking matters of public liability and injury. The use of cameras in common areas help when it comes to identifying fraudulent slips and falls claims.
- The common areas within the property should be checked frequently for factors of cleaning, maintenance, and presentation. The size of the property and the numbers of customers and tenants visiting will have an impact on common area presentation and maintenance. It directly follows that the cleaning contract for the property should have response methods for any cleaning event or spillage.
- Lighting and security are critical issues within retail property performance. Specialised contractors would normally be appointed to test and repair any lighting or security issues quickly and effectively. It directly follows that issues of this type will have direct impact on public safety and property usage. Log books should be retained for tracking inspections and any identified issues.
- The factors of fire safety within the building will require specialized maintenance issues that are integrated to the factors of retail building design and the existing building codes. They will include particular systems including hydrants, sprinklers, smoke detectors, isolation doors, alarm systems, exit signage, and evacuation plans. Specialised contractors should be deployed to control and maintain these things.
- Public safety should be high on the agenda when it comes to property operations and maintenance. Tenant occupancy and customer visits to the property should be supported by effective fire safety and maintenance systems. This then also should be supported by specialized contractors that understand current building codes and building safety legislation.
- Car park usage in a shopping center will involve other factors of security, signage, access, cleaning, and design. The car park is usually the first and the last thing that retail shoppers see when visiting the property. Ensure that the customer gets the very best impression of the property when using the car park. When they move from the car park to the entrance doors of the malls or common areas, the customers should do so in a safe and secure way. It directly follows that security and lighting will be integrated into the car park function.
The high numbers of customers visiting a retail property every day put large demands on property cleaning and maintenance. The outgoings for the property are consequently high because of that. That then flows through to the rental structures and outgoings recoveries. Set your rents based on outgoings standards, comparable rents, and the expenditure budget. Help the landlord to recover property outgoings from tenant occupancy wherever possible. Net income for the property will be impacted by maintenance strategies and property operations.