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The Best Ways to Find Retail Tenants for Shopping Centers

The retail tenant prospecting process in commercial real estate brokerage is quite unique and special. The retail section of the property market requires understanding and dedicated focus if a reasonable income is to be extracted from sales and leasing activity. So let’s look at some ways to do that and how you can get involved in this valuable segment of the property market.

Understand the Retail Facts

You must get into the local area and the retail property activity to know what is going on. Get to know the retail property owners and the business owners that have something to do with retail within your town or city.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

Check out the properties. Understand what is happening within local shopping centres, and retail shopping centre precincts. Check out the variety of shopping centres and determine why some are better than others; inspect those properties. Talk to the retail tenants as part of that process, and in that way you will learn the facts of retail trade from the people that understand and are involved in it.

Seek out the Retail people and information

The owners of the large shopping centre complexes, and the retail shopping centre managers will tell you so much about the trends of retail shopping currently and the overall property performance as they see it. Build business relationships with these people. They will also tell you of the expectations they have when it comes to market rental, retail sales, and tenancy placement and selection. The information that you glean will help you significantly with investment sales, tenant mix alternatives, and tenant leasing processes.

So where do you start?

There is a requirement here to recognize retail business viability, business types, and tenancy mix choices; some businesses are better than others in retail property performance and that awareness takes time to develop. All retail elements come together when you consider the factors of retail shopping centre performance.

Appreciate what customers are looking for when it comes to retail shopping in your location and in your city. Visit the local shopping centres to assess factors of tenancy mix, retail sales, customer interest, and property presentation. You can learn a lot from inspecting the properties and talking to the people.

Look at the numbers of tenants in a retail property and compare them by service or product group. Can you have more of one tenant type in a property? Of course you can, but in doing so you really must understand customer numbers, how they enter the property, how they move through it, and what they are looking for.

Get back to the basics of business when it comes to Retail Property analysis. Everything hinges around creating customer interest, boosting retail sales, maintaining property presentation, and having local customers return to the property frequently.

Is this the segment for you?

If you have chosen the Retail Property market as your section of the industry to concentrate within, then the opportunities available to you are large and significant providing you commit to the points mentioned earlier.

In summary, here are some of the main strategies to help you specifically to tap into retail tenancy activity, tenancy movement, and retail leasing opportunities:

  1. Assess the local area and particularly the competing properties in the retail segment. Assess all of the shopping centres for customer interest, sales, vacancy factors, and presentation. A good retail shopping centre will usually be well managed, and leased. Your assessment should identify those differences.
  2. There will usually be a deliberate marketing strategy and initiative behind every successful shopping centre. Identify the marketing strategies active in each case and determine why they seem to be working for the particular property.
  3. The Retail Marketing process requires a business strategy and promotional money. There will usually be a marketing budget behind every successful shopping centre. The tenants within a successful shopping centre will be involved in the marketing process through a marketing fund. The landlord may also be contributing to the marketing process. Determine the differences in marketing across the different shopping centres.
  4. Talk to tenants locally. As you visit the local shopping centres talk to some of the tenants and ask about trade and customer interest. Retail tenants are the fundamental foundation of shopping centre performance. They understand what is happening when it comes to customer interest and retail sales. They can usually identify when shifts and changes are happening in retail spending. If you want to learn about retail leasing, then get to know their retail concerns and retail findings. In doing so, remember that there are differences with retail sales across business types, shopping centre locations, and towns or cities.

The keys to finding more retail tenants are in knowing who they are locally and how to talk to them.

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