A shopping mall is a vibrant and demanding type of property to manage as many of us know (for the right reasons, I hope). Property performance is established, monitored, and changed through all-encompassing multiple levels of property control and planning. That is where the retail center manager and the leasing strategist for the property are of importance to the daily activities. In any larger retail property you will also have a marketing manager integrating ideas into property performance.
Defining Retail Management
So what is a retail property management in today’s terms? It’s a fine balance of ideas and actions that requires care and effort. In any business day, a retail property will have many challenges across the tenant mix, customer access, cash flow, and property maintenance. A business plan for the property brings everything together. In every financial year a business plan should be set for the property and updated monthly and quarterly given current market indicators.
Unique Property Factors
So every retail property has unique factors to take into account and manage, and that is where skills and retail property knowledge are so important in achieving property performance. Here are some of the big issues to watch for and or control:
- Lease documentation – When you have a larger number of tenants, there are many more leases to understand and work through. At the start of a property management, take the time to comprehensively go through all leases, licences, and supplementary occupancy documents. When you understand the leases, you have a basis of controlling rental cash flow, growth of rents, and the overall tenant mix.
- Shop Vacancies and Vacancy Risk – In most retail properties the flow of rental will be critical to property performance budgeting, expenditure, and completing required loan payments. On that basis vacancies in the tenant mix should be predicted, resolved, and controlled. To do that effectively it is best if the property has a tenant retention plan and a leasing program where pending and upcoming vacancies can be communicated to the brokers in the area to market and resolve.
- Property Maintenance – The contractors in any retail property will understand the functions of the plant and equipment better than anyone else. Prior to the beginning of a financial year, contractors for the property can give commentary on the major components of plant and the required maintenance routines to keep safe and code compliant property function.
- Renovation, Cleaning, and Refurbishment – A retail property can be very expensive to maintain, renovate or refurbish; appearance factors can impact the way customers see and use the property. Cleaning, common area upgrades, and mall appearances are expensive matters to keep under control.
- Retailer Marketing – In any retail property the specialist tenants and the anchor tenants should be making contributions to the property marketing fund. Each year the marketing strategies are set for the property taking into account the seasonal holidays and local community events. In that way the property moves closer to the customers that it serves. Sales should be boosted by a positive and comprehensive marketing fund and the implementation of an annual marketing strategy.
You can see from these things how important it is to cover off on all the retail issues in a shopping centre or mall property to boost sales for the tenants and hence underpin property performance for the landlord. It’s a special equation of property cooperation and involvement between vested parties.