When tenants leave a commercial space, filling these vacancies can become a costly endeavor for property owners. Aside from profit loss they endure between tenants (on average, vacancies last 40 days), there’s a slew of other expenses to consider:
With these costs in mind, it’s easy to see why high tenant retention rates are a critical metric of success for commercial property owners. Steady cash flow and fewer administrative and repair costs translate into higher profit margins for commercial properties — and in turn a more sustainable business model.
That leads us to the focus of this blog post. Based on the value that high tenant retention rates bring to the table, we wanted to share some tenant retention ideas for property owners to utilize.
Why infer what tenants want when you could ask them directly? With tenant surveys, commercial property owners can acquire direct feedback from tenants conveniently online. By asking thoughtful questions about the tenant’s experience — Is there anything you feel the property is missing? How can management be improved? — owners can gain insights on where to focus their efforts in order to keep tenants happy. While innately beneficial to owners, surveys are also valued by tenants who appreciate that their feedback is being requested and reviewed.
Tenants are bound to have interactions with property management staff at one point or another, whether it's a leasing staff member that shows the commercial space and handles paperwork or maintenance personnel who come to handle a repair. In either scenario, tenants have a natural expectation that staff will be both welcoming and knowledgeable — and if that’s not the case, they are likely to grow frustrated with this poor level of service. That’s why it’s critical for commercial property owners to hire staff that is enthusiastic about serving tenants and has the experience to follow-through on their responsibilities.
Whether it’s employees in the midst of a meeting or a tenant relaxing at home in their condo, an unannounced visit from property staff can be more than just a surprise — it can often be viewed as an invasion of privacy. This can cause tenants not only to feel less comfortable in the space but also to feel a sort of resentment towards the staff as a whole. Outside of emergency situations, property management staff should make it a point to always give tenants ample notice before they enter their space. That way, the tenant can prepare for their visit and feel more at ease.
Imagine the scenario where a tenant submits a maintenance request, only for days to go by with no response from the property management team. Even if the request is a minor inconvenience, having to follow-up several times before the matter is handled can result in frustration. When a property management company receives this type of request — or is asked general questions — it’s important that staff is prompt and clear in their responses. In general, the more routes you provide for tenants to reach clients (e.g., email, text, an online tenant portal), the more open the lines of communication remain.
While property maintenance will always entail responses to repair requests, it’s also a matter of taking a proactive stance. Tenants are far more likely to renew their lease when maintenance is conducted on a routine basis to keep the commercial property in good condition. This is true as much for the inside of the building as it is for the exterior. Investing in landscape maintenance services like those from Green Impressions helps ensure the property is kept well-manicured, healthy and safe for tenants throughout every season. Learn more about our services here.