There are different things to watch in renovating a shopping center. The results of the project will be impacted by a number of key issues and risks will be involved. (NB – you can get plenty of retail renovation ideas in our Snapshot program right here – its free)
A retail property is more intense from a presentational perspective, and the wear and tear factors are higher than in any other category of investment property. So planned property upgrades should be occurring in an ongoing way across the life of the asset.
What’s the targets here?
Ultimately you do not want to have too many struggles with retail occupancy and rent collections on the way through the renovation; planning is required and controls should be put in place. The risk of the project has to be managed. All of the stakeholders to the project have to work together.
Here are some key factors to consider in the first instance as part of planning the property upgrade:
- Involve the tenants – Help the tenants understand in advance what will be happening in the property upgrade and how it could impact them. Ultimately they have businesses to run and they do not want a fall in turnover or sales to occur. Establish a plan where the impact on the tenants will be kept to a minimum.
- Boost the marketing of the property – When the renovation is about to start, get a comprehensive marketing campaign underway in the property, online, locally, across the media, and directly into the customer demographic so that all customers are fully aware of the activities that are about to commence. A well informed customer will very likely tolerate some shopping inconvenience if they are aware of the ‘big picture’ in the renovation.
- Get the contractors or project managers involved – The builders and project managers should be encouraged to do give you a strategy of works where renovations can be done in the property out of hours and at times where noise and dust from the project will not impact tenants and customers.
- Internal marketing – You will find it necessary to move tenants around as upgrade works occur, and you will find it necessary to work close to tenant areas as part of the project. Marketing material and marketing strategies can be incorporated into the zones where works are underway. Ultimately you don’t want the customers to the property to feel as though they are visiting a ‘construction site’ when they do their shopping.
All of these elements show the importance of maintaining a good customer experience in the property as the renovation and upgrade works occur. Help the customers through the project works. The tenants and the landlord will appreciate it. There is an important equation to be managed here with all the stakeholders.