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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.