Tenant Mix and Tenant Placement

Every retail shopping centre property is different and should be assessed individually to ensure that you locate the new retail tenant well in the tenant mix. When you get the balance wrong it will impact your foot traffic, rental, customer interest, vacancy factors, sales, and other tenants. So what should you do? Gather all the right property information and take the time to assess what you find; this is well before you make a placement change or tenancy decision.

The old adage ‘position, position, position’, still rings true with retail property tenant mix. Each property is a mixture of good, average, and bad locations. To assess this and improve it you should immediately understand:

  • the entrances points to the property
  • visitations needs and decisions of the average customer
  • the way in which people travel into and through the property
  • the car park interaction, access, and usage
  • public transport impact on the property
  • common areas of the property where people congregate
  • the time spent in the property by customers
  • the days of the week that people prefer to shop
  • what people want when they shop
  • the most popular tenants and the reason why they are so favoured
  • Are your most popular tenants leaving in the future and if so why?
  • the most unpopular tenants and the reason why they are so disliked or avoided
  • signage impact and placement across the property at all points of entry and exit
  • tenant lease duration and termination dates
  • existing vacancy factors and threats that could destabilize the tenant mix

All of these factors will put you on the track to a reasonable property assessment and improvement. A visit to other nearby shopping centres will also help you to identify what impact those properties are having on your property.

Customer surveys and questions taken on different days of the week will help you know what the community thinks about the property and its benefit to the customer.

Always walk around the property!

You have to have a good understanding of what works and does not work in the property, take a walk around on different days and at different times over a period of a couple of weeks. Ask people questions about what they think of the property and its history. Observe the levels of stock that the tenants are holding. An abundance of old stock on sale could be a sign of trouble; similarly a lack of stock for some tenants is also a reason for concern.

Here are 10 key facts to look at in the physical property inspection. They are:

  1. Are the road and highway access points to the property good or hindered from all or any directions? Know what happens at the property at peak traffic times and at the end of the day when people are travelling home. How can you capture that passing traffic?
  2. Look for road closures and changes that exist and also those that are in the planning process at the local or regional planning office. Are there any physical barriers such as creeks or geographical barriers that channel people and customers to or away from the property in a particular direction?
  3. Is the banner and pylon road signage exposure of the property of good quality and can that signage be easily seen? It is possible that fresh signage will help or reposition the property in the mind of the shopper. Take pictures around the entrances to assess the visibility of the signage. Remember that night illuminated signs should also be assessed.
  4. Is the property easy to locate for the community? It is possible that you will also have customers from outside your region visit the property, so how will they find you?
  5. Is public transport available? If so where and at what frequency? You will need to understand just how many people use that method of transport to get to the property, on what days and at what times.
  6. What is the identity or branding of the property and can it be clearly seen from the road. Is it modern and adequate? Does that branding means something to the shopper and will it leave a positive impact?
  7. Look at the car parking to see what works and doesn’t. If the shopper cannot enter the property easily and get those convenience items quickly it will restrict your trading and growth. Does the parking around the property support all the Customers and Tenants well? Does it need re-design or functional changes? Does it need new and fresh signage? Remember that the car park signage is the first thing that most people experience when they visit the property. If the public cannot see or understand the signage then you are setting up for a problem.
  8. What customer services exist in and around the property? Are they adequate and modern? (Parking, Toilets, Malls, Seating etc.). Make sure that they can be found when people need them. The quality of the common areas and services will leave an imprint in the customers mind.
  9. Look along the shop lines and entrances. Are ‘sight lines’ open and un-cluttered to the retailers shops? This will impact on sales and how the customers move through the property. The shops have to be seen and the entrances should be welcoming. Include in this visual assessment a review of tenant’s signs and lighting; no shopper wants to visit an unwelcoming shop that is dim and dark. Pay particular attention to the lighting from the front to the back of the shop as it should be of similar high quality illumination. Many poor retailers destroy their customer shopping experience (and sales) by neglecting illumination at the rear of the premises.
  10. Are more customer services needed in and around the property and if so what? Asking customers what they want or could see as an advantage in the property will help your tuning of the tenant placement and mix.

All of these factors affect every retail property and help it on the road to positive rental and tenant mix success. Once you understand these property issues you can make wise decisions regards the tenant placement. It will help you lease the new vacancies and mix the tenants more effectively.

Tips for Managing Construction Cleanup and Debris

Construction sites generate a lot of debris and waste, most of which is hazardous to human health. Some of this waste is generated directly as a result of construction activities while others are created indirectly. The non-hazardous waste materials on construction sites can range from bricks, rubble, wood, concrete, insulation and wiring waste, nails and rebar, etc. The hazardous waste often consists of lead, asbestos, plasterboard, etc. While construction site clean-up can be done meticulously, materials such as plasterboard release toxic gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, when they are broken down in landfills.

The non-hazardous construction site debris also poses a problem for construction site clean-up because of the lack of space for their disposal. Landfills are filling up at a very fast rate and many are closing down because of reaching their full capacity. It is important to manage and control wastage in order to make construction site clean-up easier for all concerned. There are many ways in which you can do this, which include recycling and reusing.

Recycling construction site debris can help reduce landfill waste. Some of the waste that can be recycled are aluminium, wood, concrete, corrugated cardboard, asphalt, and specific metals. Cleaning up in a recycling project takes place at the job site by segregating the waste according to specific categories such as concrete, metal, or wood, and sending them to the recycling site. Sometimes, recycling can be done on the site of the construction itself. There are instances where all the wastes with recycling potential is collected from the site and segregated later at the recycling facility.

An important way to clean up construction site debris is by reusing them, especially materials left over from a demolition project, such as door frames, doors, window frames, fixtures, etc. Before clean-up itself, these materials must be identified so as not to be disposed of by mistake.

There are different protocols for cleaning up different types of debris on a construction site. To start with, debris can be categorized into some broad areas, which are solid wastes, hazardous wastes, petroleum products, pesticides and fertilizers, detergents, etc. It is important that all employees are aware of best practices for waste management on site and adhere to these.

Areas and containers used for storage must be inspected for any leaks, spills, or other malfunctions. Workers must be properly trained in handling and disposal and must be aware of how to protect themselves when doing so.

When cleaning up different types of waste, it is important to know what to do and what not to do. For example, when cleaning up solid wastes, it must not be dumped where it can drain away to a water body or where there will be runoff from areas at a higher altitude. Hazardous materials are best disposed of with the label on them intact, and following manufacturer’s instructions. The same applies for petroleum and pesticides and fertilizers. Detergents should not be dumped into the system for storm drainage but to a sanitary sewer. Keeping these points in mind can help to successfully manage construction site cleanup optimally.

Tips To Find Furnished Commercial Office Spaces

Furnished commercial office spaces are high in demand. This is because they offer an easy time to get started as a business. These office spaces are also well done in modern designs and offer plenty of options for all kinds of businesses. They are now made available in major cities with most developments focusing on offering an easy time to business people by providing furnished office spaces. It can however be a tedious task to find the best furnished space in your area of interest. New and small entrepreneurs spend months trying to find the ideal office space for their business. A few important tips can help ease the search process for your business.

Choose and Shortlist Areas Based on Budget –

When thinking of investing in a furnished commercial space, you most definitely have locations of interest. The rental charges will vary from one locality to another. It makes it helpful to begin by short listing your areas of interest based on the budget you have set aside for your commercial space. Calculate the monthly amount you can afford. It is extremely important for small businesses and this way you will find your way to the best office space.

Decide On Space Amount –

This is something that should be done before the search for a suitable office space begins. After setting a budget, consider the amount of space you need for the business. Make a list of questions to answer. It will be a simple way of starting the search from areas that have the kind of furnished office sizes that match your requirements.

Consider Business Centers –

By choosing a business center for your business as most companies will do, you will save yourself administrative hassles of running an office. A small business venture will suit perfectly well with this idea and it could end up working to your advantage during the first years of business operation. It is a simple way of increasing business value.

Target Reputable Office Complexes in Commercial Areas –

Another simple way for you to find the best furnished office space is to target office complexes that are reputable for well developed office spaces. Reputable areas will also offer you well equipped office spaces for your needs. When everything that you need is in place, you will enjoy a smooth ride making the business function.

Consider Best Lease Terms –

When running a company, rules and regulations need to be followed. Updating your records with the registrar of companies is among the things that need to be done. It will help you lead your furnished office for a good span of time. It is advisable to look for property owners who agree to lease your office space for at least 3 years. Yearly contracts can lead to higher rental rates on yearly basis and it might not be the best option. By making all important considerations, you are definitely bound to find the best furnished office space and within a short period of time for that matter.

Interior Post Construction Cleanup Tips

There is nothing worse than bringing contractors in to do a construction project only to find that once they have finished the job, they have left their mess behind. Construction site cleanup is part of the construction industry and it can be a messy job, but someone has to do it. You can make your life easier by cleaning as you go for starters, and that should help reduce the burden of the final cleanup to a degree. While it’s impossible to cover every aspect of a proper construction cleaning project, a good place to start would be to remove trash and debris on a daily basis, particularly wood and paint particles which can pose as dangerous fire hazards.

There are plenty of construction companies that might make use of a separate contractor to do the cleanup for them since it can save a lot of time and money by bringing in specialists (dependent on the size of the job). It is always wise to do a walk-through prior to the start of cleanup for the supervisor to find out exactly what the construction manager’s expectations are with regard to cleanup. This will also help to prevent a poor final product (when the project is completed).

So, what does construction site cleanup really entail? In general, any scuffs, hand and finger smudges, dust and dirt need to be wiped down off the walls and the same goes for trim, baseboards, windows, door frames and handrails. The ceilings will also need a good dust and the removal of any cobwebs that have sprung up. Doors need to be cleaned down- which may include the front, back, sides and the top, and don’t forget about the hinges. Any masonry will need to be vacuumed and cleaned as instructed. All of the carpeting throughout the project will need to be vacuumed as well. Wood, tile or marble should be buffed, waxed and sealed. You will need to clean the tracks, frames and glass on windows. Be sure to clean any of the light fixtures and ceiling fans dust tends to accumulate. Wall & ceiling vents, and floor vents will also be need to vacuumed, and in the case of floor vents they will need to be removed so that you can vacuum as deep as the attachments will allow. Electrical outlets and switches need cleaned since may they gather dust and hand smudges. That is just the basic cleaning inside, it doesn’t encompass the specific cleaning required in a bathroom, kitchen or the entry way. Not to mention any mirrors and cabinets throughout the house, as well as removing any of the manufacturer’s stickers that are not required.

On the topic of manufacturers, you should not forget the importance of which cleaning chemicals should and shouldn’t be used. Only cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer should be used, as the wrong chemical can cause irreparable damage and will set your project back as you have to replace any damaged items, especially things of delicate stonework like marble, granite and quartz. It is very likely that you will be unable to do all of the cleanup yourself, depending on the type of project its likely you will need to call in the professionals to finish off your flooring as it will require sealing and waxing. Now that the inside is taken care of you can begin focusing on cleaning up the outside.

7 Keys to a Successful Shopping Centre Marketing Campaign

When it comes to leasing and managing a shopping centre, the marketing process is absolutely critical to the tenancy process and the property performance. There is a significant link in a shopping centre between customers, tenants, the landlord, and the property manager. The common bond that allows all of these parties to succeed and grow within the property is marketing.

Look for the Signs

If a retail property is not marketed correctly, it will soon start to flounder and fail. This will eventually reflect in poor sales and flow through to lower levels of rental. The landlord and the tenants both suffer. It is easy to see the pressures of a undermarketed retail property today simply by walking around the property during trading hours.

A successful marketing program for a shopping centre needs to attract customers and generate sales. The program needs to connect with the local community and the demographic profile of shoppers in the area. It may also be that some shoppers will come from other regions for various reasons.

Know Your Shoppers

To understand the shoppers that visit your property, it will be necessary to undertake a survey process on a quarterly basis. That will normally be involving experienced survey personal to interview shoppers throughout the week and at various times of the day. Local workers and tourists may also skew the result of your marketing survey. Be aware of these variations.

Here are some tips to establishing a shopping centre marketing campaign.

  1. Look at the surrounding area and the expected changes in the regional population. In what ways will that population demographic change in coming years? Are there any expected growth phases, or issues of contraction?
  2. Visit the local council offices to understand the current zoning regulations that apply in the region. Ask about any expected changes to the property development plan, and get details regards the expected growth of population and residential areas.
  3. Competing properties in the local area should be identified and inspected. They will have impact on your property currently and may be taking some of your customer base already.
  4. Identify the points of difference between competing properties and your property. Look at the tenancy mix across any competing property and any weaknesses that can be turned into opportunities for you.
  5. Vacancy factors throughout the region should be identified. They will change from time to time throughout the year as seasonal shopping impacts the retail spending. Asking rentals for vacant tenancies in other properties may have an impact on your market rental structure. Track these numbers.
  6. Your local region and the shopping patterns identified will produce seasonal retail trade. The history of your property and tenants trading figures will give you some hints as to how that variation occurs. A marketing program needs to be built around the seasonal shopping patterns.
  7. Talk to the tenants in your property and ask them about trading patterns and customer numbers. They will share valuable information to help you improve awareness on sales opportunity.

When you take this regional information into account and drill down into the facts available, you can start to refine and develop a productive marketing campaign for your retail property.

Commercial Construction Tips – How to Stay on Schedule

If you are the owner or manager of a commercial construction company you well know it is crucial to stay on schedule when completing a project. When you fall behind on a project you tend to rush everybody who is working on it. As a result the workers and the bosses feel pressured. That is the point on a particular job where people become careless. For the sake of faster time they cut corners. This is when accidents happen; with sometimes tragic consequences. What can you do to avoid having this happen? What is your best course of action? We will look at that a little more closely right here and now.

One thing you can do might sound trivial but is a viable part of your plan of action. That is to prepare a checklist of things you must do to complete your current job. This checklist should cover the whole time-span of your job and spell out all of the steps you and your workers will be taking. We are certain we don’t need to remind you of this; but the checklist should definitely include all safety measures regarding your project. After you are finished documenting your checklist; go over the entire thing with your full staff. Do this for every project; as these steps may well change from one job to another. Make sure everyone is onboard with the list and understands what work will need to be done and also answer any questions in as much detail as possible.

The next thing you can do is to actually create a schedule for each job. Again; this is something that is likely to differ with each one. Therefore be certain to prepare a new schedule for every project. In this schedule you can detail every step to complete over the course of the current project. Give your team an estimated deadline for every step. We suggest a time-frame; as opposed to a one-day deadline. This will ensure you don’t have the rushing scenario we outlined earlier in this article. When you are developing this schedule; be reasonable with your estimated completion time for each step. Do not create a negative work environment where all of your workers are rushing around like chickens with their heads cut off. Doing this only leads to the unsafe work methods we talked about before. This schedule is another thing you will want to discuss with your staff prior to beginning each job.

Another excellent procedure you can take here is to go over the details of your checklist and schedule with the client who is paying for this project. Be certain he is also onboard with everything you plan to do. Lay everything out on the line for him and thoroughly explain why it is critical that your company stick to these plans. Let him know about the possible safety risks if you do not follow the proper procedures at all times. In doing this; you and your staff will feel comfortable with the time-frame to complete the project, then nobody’s safety will be compromised. Everyone will be happy about this.

6 Things to Consider Before You Buy Commercial Property

Choosing to buy commercial property in the UK is a big decision; here are a few helpful tips to make sure that you do not make a costly mistake.

1. Choose Specialized Commercial Estate Agents

Anyone seriously ready to buy commercial real estate in the UK must make sure that a specialist estate agent is chosen. It is inadvisable to go to agents that are one-stop-shops for real estate, selling residential, commercial and even international property. You will get a much better level of service and wealth of experienced from a long established estate agent who specializes solely in offering commercial property to buy.

2. How Many Commercial Property Listings are in Your Part of the UK?

Do your research; find out what the best locations to buy commercial properties are. Often you will find that certain areas will have a high density of commercial real estate for sale, be wary of such pockets lest you find yourself buying a ticket aboard a sinking ship. Although it may cost you more money at times, make it your mission to find an area where companies such as your own have a proven track record of doing well.

3. Always Perform a Thorough Inspection before you Buy Commercial Real Estate

In order to make sure that you do not make a mistake in your commercial real estate deals, you must make sure that you do a thorough inspection of the office for sale or lease. Many people feel that a thorough inspection is not necessary as they are not going to be living there, this could not be further from the truth, as this is a business premises inspection it is just as prudent to thoroughly examine as a residential property.

4. Are you Buying Commercial Property in a Rural or Urban Setting?

The type of development where you are purchasing commercial real estate is very important, for instance if you are in a rural setting then you will be looking for very different features than if you were looking for a ware house for sale in an urban setting. Another thing to consider if you are in a rural setting is the cost, you can expect to pay lot less to be in a less developed area but if you are in a more developed district, especially a retail shop for sale or lease inside the city center you can expect to pay a premium.

5. Will you be buying this Commercial Property to Let Out?

It is also important to consider whether you are to buy commercial property in the UK for your company to actually move into, or whether you are going to rent it out to someone else. If your goal is to own the commercial property to let, then don’t get hung up on want you would like to see when buying commercial real estate, rather find out what the widest possible market is looking for in a commercial property for lease and acquire something that fits that description.

Commercial Construction Tips – Is the Project Feasible?

Getting a construction project off the ground can be very tricky, as there is a lot that needs to be considered before you even lay the first brick. Making sure that the project is actually feasible in the first place is extremely important, and it should be the first thing that you do when you decide to start work.

So just how can you determine whether the project is actually feasible? Here are just a few tips to get you started.

Speak to an Accountant

Budget is always going to be one of the most important aspects of any construction project, as running out of money at a critical juncture could prove to be a fatal blow for what you have in mind.

When you have an idea of what you want to build and you have some plans drawn up you should talk to a qualified accountant who can help you set out a budget and determine what needs to be spent and where. It is at this point that you will be able to determine if the work is financially viable and if you can deliver it within your budget.

Speak to a Solicitor

There are numerous legalities that are involved in practically any type of building work, so it is important to make sure that you have all of them squared away before you begin working on the project.

Speak to a solicitor who specialises in property development and find out what permissions you need to get and which red tape you need to cut to get the project off the ground. Failure to do so could lead to you doing something illegal, which is grounds for having the entire project shut down.

Speak to an Architect

While you may be able to create your original plans without too much hassle, to really know what is going to have to be put into the project you are going to have to speak to an architect and get their expert opinion.

They will be able to tell you if what you have in mind is even physically possible and will also be able to suggest changes to the original plans to account for any issues that they see.

This is a massively important step, as you need somebody who is qualified in the field to not only sign off on the project and ensure it is feasible, but also to help you in the overall design.

Speak to Your Crew

The final step in determining if your project is feasible is talking to your building crew. You need to know that everybody that you have working for you is able to do the jobs that you need them to do.

If they can’t, you will need to have enough money in the budget to hire somebody who can. Having the right crew is tantamount to the project’s success, so skipping this step or simply assuming that everything you have planned is a risky move at best and tantamount to construction suicide at worst.

7 Essential Tips for Commercial Roofing Maintenance and Protection

Commercial roofing is a critical but often overlooked part of successful business operations. A building’s roof shields it from the elements, helps to maintain a comfortable indoor climate, and protects the people and assets inside. Proper maintenance and regular inspections ensure that this important covering continues to do its job without having an adverse impact on profits.

Check for Problems After Extreme Weather

Surface damage caused by weathering or environmental hazards is usually most visible after heavy rain, high wind, or snowfall. Visual signs, such as standing water or bubbled materials, often signify trouble. Flashing, the material that protects the seam between the structure’s walls and its cover, should be inspected for loose or missing sections.

Schedule Regular Inspections

Biannual inspections are the best way to keep commercial roofing in optimal condition. A professional examination is recommended, although some building owners check for damage and then call their contractors for an in-depth diagnosis. In best practice, inspections are scheduled in early spring and late fall, just after the harshest seasons.

Stay Alert to Signs of Water Damage

Neglected repairs eventually manifest inside the building. Stained ceiling tiles and discolored walls may indicate deteriorated or damaged decking material, while bulges or cracks could signify more extensive damage. Discolored or rotting window frames also suggest moisture or water damage that may be roof-related, as do signs of mold on the inside or outside of the structure.

Keep Gutter Systems Clean and Clear

The gutter system carries water away from the building. Clogged gutters or drainpipes often prevent proper drainage, causing rain and moisture to accumulate in certain areas. Systems should be cleaned twice per year, although storms and high winds sometimes necessitate more frequent cleanings.

Elevate or Remove Nearby Trees

Overhanging trees pose several hazards. Dead or storm-damaged branches may fall, puncturing or scratching the roof. Trees also drop leaves, pine cones, sap, and other debris onto the surfaces beneath them, often contributing to deterioration. Property owners should regularly remove dead branches threatening their buildings and keep healthy limbs trimmed so that they do not touch the structure.

Ward off Summer Sun

Harmful UV rays may decrease the lifespan of traditional commercial roofing, and hot sunny days typically increase energy costs. Cool Roofs are cost-friendly solutions. Coatings and single-ply membranes offer protection to flat coverings, and pitched types benefit from light-colored tiles or coated metal. These products can decrease rooftop temperatures by 50 to 60 degrees during summer.

Invest in a Commercial Roofing Maintenance Plan

Many contractors offer maintenance packages to extend the life of a structure’s cover. These programs typically include regular inspections, as well as other preventive care services such as resealing. A maintenance plan provides peace of mind, and it makes it easy to detect problems early, minimizing unexpected expenses in the future.

The life expectancy of commercial roofing materials ranges from 25 to 40 years, or more. Proper maintenance, timely repairs, and the right preventive care are the most cost-effective ways to maximize the performance of a structure’s covering.

How To Start A Realtor Sign Installation Business – Tips And Strategies

When you start a Realtor sign installation business, you have access to a wide variety of potential business sources from residential to commercial to vacant land. You will also need to establish the geographical area that you can cover reliably.

In considering how to start a Realtor sign installation business, the first consideration has to be arranging for the production of signage materials. To print custom logos and colors you will need to set up arrangements with a silk screen printing company. This is a specialized process where the pattern is created on fabric with a resist material, then ink is pressed through in multiple color passes. You are also going to want to arrange for storage of the completed signs in a covered dry area with separators to protect their surface when not in use.

The signs themselves are almost universally mounted on four by four standard construction grade Douglas Fir posts, apart from larger commercial real estate signs which occasionally may require four by six posts. The plywood for lettering should be plywood with exterior grade glue and a smooth PTS “plugged and touch sanded” surface on both sides. Half inch thickness should suffice for most applications.

You will need a good knowledge of the area to accurately locate the sign placements. A GPS device is useful here, and you will also want to be able to read County Assessor plat maps if you are going to place signs on vacant land. You will also need to check local sign ordinances in developed areas. Know the restrictions on sign placement in gated communities, within homeowner association controlled developments, and in all areas with covenants, conditions and restrictions (CCRs) such as planned unit developments or town homes.

You also need to have reliable transportation consisting of a full size pickup truck with wood separator fixtures fashioned to secure the standard yard signs during transport.

Once your production capacity and storage arrangements are in place but not yet activated, you need to secure your accounts. In addition to marketing to conventional real estate offices, you will also want to pursue the bank REO (real estate owned) departments that need to liquidate foreclosed holdings and the independent agencies that are selling foreclosed properties in bulk.

Establish your pricing and service by comparison with sign companies in areas adjacent to your service area. Much of your marketing will be establishing contacts in person with the real estate office managers in your area. Be presentable, be persistent, be cordial, and be businesslike. These people need to know they can trust you to promptly and reliably place and remove their signs.

Almost every business today can benefit from an online marketing presence. A digital camera can provide you with promotional photographs for your web site, and templates are available online to simplify the process of setting up your site. Be sure to include a call to action on every page to encourage your visitors to request an estimate by e-mail. Also obtain their name and telephone in your online form to follow up with them consistently. The forms can be found by searching online for reply forms.