Retail shopping centers are a very special part of our industry. I have been involved with lots of them (large and small) in so many different ways. I can say that the vibrancy and challenge of a shopping center is something to be worked with, and over time will bring out the very best in skills in your personal performance as a property specialist.
Here are some facts worth pondering:
- Retailers are just a passionate about their retail business as is the landlord in making the property an investment success.
- Good shopping centers are the reflection of a positive partnership between tenants, landlord, and center manager.
- Customers should enjoy your shopping center so that it encourages them to come back over and over again.
Taking that last point, it is worth considering how you can improve any shopping center and make the customer experience even more positive and memorable. Of course there are retail properties from the very small scale to the massive malls; they all serve a purpose and we can specialise in all of them.
Here are some ideas to help your customers visit your retail property more often and enjoy the process:
- Understand that the customer experience starts at the entrance to the car park. To assess this part of the customer equation, take a drive around your local area and look at the impression the property gives from the road in all directions, and the car park entrance points. The words ‘open’, ‘friendly’, and ‘convenient’ spring to mind in contemplating the entrance points to any successful shopping center. What will the customer see as they reach your property and move into the car park? Is the garden tidy? Is the signage clean and welcoming? Will the customer easily know how to move from their motor vehicle to the shops? Look at your signage to understand how a new shopper would enter the property.
- How does your retail property compare to the others locally? Can you say that your shopping center is of greater convenience and of better appearance? If you haven’t got those factors under control, shoppers will move quite quickly to another location.
- If you are fortunate to have public transport near or connecting with your retail property, then review the transport drop off points for convenience, cleanliness, safety, lighting, and access. You may find it useful to communicate with the local council and the transport providers to ensure a successful interaction between their services and the functions of the property.
Looking at these factors it is easy to see that the whole retail experience for a shopper or customer is so important to helping the tenants in the property trade successfully, and also the landlord in growing their property investment. Improve your retail leasing and property management skills at every opportunity.