Shopping Center Strategic Planning Advantages

If you are involved in retail shopping center performance and or leasing you will know the importance of planning the retail center effectively and directly.  In every location, town or city there will be things to consider when it comes to the average retail property, keeping it occupied, and building on the tenant mix.

If you look around your local area and visit the competing retail properties you will see plenty of examples where the landlord or the property manager are cutting corners on property performance.  The age of the property or the levels of sales and market rents can drive economic decisions and budgetary changes to a retail property.  At a point of downturn and after that point, a retail property has challenges in maintaining tenants, filling vacancies, and underpinning market rents.  If a retail property is in a downward cycle, it is really important to get things under control quickly.  That’s where the plan can help.

To help with all of this a good retail property plan will help.  Each year the plan can be created before the start of financial year using assumptions and histories from the property.

Structure Your Retail Tenant Plan

Here are some of the key issues to help you structure a good retail property plan:

  1. History – Gather the facts about the property over the last 12 months.  How has the property performed from an income and also an expenditure perspective?  It is wise to look at industry averages as you do that assessment.  Compare your retail property to the industry averages.
  2. Location – Look at the location of the property and understand what is happening in the region.  Take into account all things of potential impact on the property such as customer sentiment, economic pressures regionally, roads and transport access, and competing properties.  There will be strengths and weaknesses in each category.  Planning and marketing can help you deal with the challenges.
  3. Customer profile – Exactly what type of customer is best served by the property?  How often do they shop?  Why do they shop?  How much do they spend?  The answers to those questions vary depending on the property size, tenant mix, and drawing power.  You can get answers to those questions by undertaking a customer survey every 6 months.
  4. Employment Data – The regional customer profile will be impacted by the employment data and customer sentiment.  Good levels of employment impact the spending patterns and will have a flow through to the tenant mix, and your tenant’s sales.  Watch the regional employment data to see how families are shifting their buying patterns.
  5. Tenant mix – Within your property there will be variables of performance and planning relating to the specialty retail tenants and the anchor tenants.  The anchor tenant(s) will help in pulling people to the property.  Integrate the anchor tenant into the marketing efforts across the selling seasons for the calendar year.  The specialty tenants can also join in with the process.

These simple facts will help you establish a plan for your retail property or shopping center.  Make your tenant mix attractive to your customers, and promote the property well.

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