Retail Shopping Center Performance Tips for Brokers and Agents

In reviewing the performance of any retail shopping centre there are many things to look at. As a type of investment, the typical retail property is dynamic and active in many ways. A true property professional will review all the facts before getting involved in property marketing or any sale or lease. Many things should be understood first before any action is taken.

What makes a retail property so different? It is integrated heavily into and involving the stakeholder’s interests; the stakeholders are the landlord, the tenants, customers, financiers, managers and leasing specialists. In an ideal investment situation the retail property manager would be balancing the tenant mix to improve retail sales and lessen the vacancy rate, and then to take steps to improve the landlord’s net income. Within those two issues there are many things to look at.

It can be said that retail property managers are perhaps the most specialised in the property industry. Their knowledge, skill, and systems will have a major impact on the property overall. On that basis the retail management fees paid today in a quality property should be substantial to cover the time required in property control and optimisation. The management processes and leasing activities in a retail property are intense. Mistakes or omissions made can impact the property in many different ways.

So here are some basic factors to help you get started in checking and optimising retail property performance from the aspects of the leases and tenants. You can add to the list based on location and property configuration:

  1. Tenant mix – review the tenant mix in all respects. That will include lease documentation, critical dates, tenant offering, sales performance, and lease longevity.
  2. Lease terms and conditions – in a property you will have many leases. All of them will have lease terms that are unique to the premises and the lease situation. You must know about the leases before any sale or marketing proposal is contemplated.
  3. Sales figures – most good retail properties will be tracking sales turnover by retailer. This will be done as a standard term and condition of the lease. The numbers will show segments of trade and the MAT average over time. MAT stands for Moving Annual Turnover and it will show how the sales figures are trending in retail segments in a shopping centre. It is a valuable analysis. It helps you see weaknesses in trade, tenant mix, lease structure, and clustering.
  4. Vacancy factors – given that you have leases in a property, you are likely to have vacancies as well, together with the threat of a vacancy with tenants getting to the end of lease occupancy.

Looking at all of these things you have the basis of understanding just how the tenants and leases impact the property and its current cash flow of rental. From that point onwards you can look at other associated issues such as outgoings, net income, and customer interaction.

Commercial Real Estate Agents – Technology Tips and Tools You Must Have to Succeed Today

In commercial real estate you will need some technology tools to assist your progress in commercial property sales and leasing. When used fully and correctly they will drive more opportunity towards you and help you keep it under control.

At the bare minimum in today's commercial property market you should be able to work with all of the following:

  • Mobile smartphone with your personal diary and database
  • Computer for presentations and property information
  • Database that is easy to use and comprehensively captures the inquiry
  • Website that promotes your listings and your business
  • SMS technology for sending messages to clients and prospects of new listings and updates
  • Email contact and the use of attachments such as brochures and flyers
  • PDF documentation and formatting of promotional material
  • Creation of adverts and marketing material on your computer
  • HTML email that updates all your contacts of recent listings
  • Auto responders for automated contact via email
  • Internet placement of advertised properties
  • Use of word processing for reports and information memorandums

Some salespeople will have a PA to do this work for them and that is fine; It is the fact that you or someone working for you is doing it that really matters.

Presentational and communication tools today are part of business in commercial property. If you use the tools to their fullest capability then your market and the prospects around you will see it.

So let's add a few extra technology tools to the process now that you may not use. They have something to do with the internet and they are all critical to the online profile you would like to have.

  1. Start to grow your personal profile on the internet by establishing an online community of contacts. You can do this with something like LinkedIn or similar internet based community tool. Importantly you should separate your business life and personal friends to two different sites as they are looking at you from different angles. Most professional business people will have a profile on the web that is searchable and is likely to be looked at by business prospects before or as part of business contact. Establish your profile on the internet the way you want to be seen.
  2. Establish a blog in your name so you can write short informational grabs about property industry trends in your area on a regular basis. Everything you write should be linked back to your main office website and your listings. It is remarkable how this simple regular practice will help lift your personal profile on the World Wide Web as long as you do it regularly.
  3. Write short online articles about commercial real estate and publishing them to a recognized internet articles directory on a regular basis. There are some very good article directories on the web and many of them take articles on commercial real estate. That is where you need to go to write about things of interest in commercial investment property. Each article you write should be linked back to your website and personal profile. It is the link back to your site that is really critical to your branding and internet profile.

These extra 3 things will assist your profile on the largest and most important part of the promotional stage in commercial property; the internet. More than ever before the internet and your profile in it will be essential to your success and image in your market. Get ahead of your competition and start the 3 extra processes above before they do.