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.
When it comes to selling and leasing commercial or retail property, the marketing presentation kit that you use has to be optimised for your area and your property type. The marketing kit something that travels with you each and every day as you meet with clients and prospects in a variety of situations. This then suggests that the kit itself should be very useful and relevant to help you close on any listings or marketing strategies.
You never really know when the opportunity will arise to present and pitch for a listing. If you sell, lease, and manage commercial property the kit will need to be suitably versatile. If you work on Office Property, Industrial Property, and Retail Property, then the kit will also be comprehensively adjusted to suit these property types.
In your marketing presentation kit, you should have a selection of the following:
- Provide samples of advertisements that have been used on the other properties of various types. These should be local properties of a quality nature. When the client sees samples of good advertising with other quality properties they are likely to accept your marketing strategy and recommendation.
- Give details of the diversity and depth of your database. The database is a significant opportunity in the listing process providing you explain its relevance to the client. The client is unlikely to discard your agency from the presentation process if you can comprehensively connect them to the relevance of your database in providing the appropriate seller or buyer for the property.
- It pays to have a two phase strategy when it comes to marketing campaigns. Given that most of the marketing is focused on the first three or four weeks of the agency, this is what we call the primary marketing time. At least half of your marketing effort should be directed into that primary window of time. Most of the enquiry will typically come to you during this period. The balance of your advertising money and campaign can be directed across the remaining agency period which is the secondary promotion time. Throughout the campaign you should be tracking the results of advertising in the different types of media used. If something appears to be working well then it needs to be encouraged. If another segment of advertising or marketing is not getting any enquiry, then there is a need to adjust your campaign. There is no point in wasting time or money when it comes to marketing property. The vendor is seeking enquiry results and that is what you should be creating.
- Email marketing of commercial property through the database is a very effective strategy to attract enquiry. It is low cost and also easily undertaken. Show the clients some samples of email marketing and how they can tap into this opportunity.
- The signboard on a property is still one of the most effective tools of promotion. It is relatively cheap, and is usually seen by all the local property owners and business proprietors. Given that most enquiries come from the local area, the signboard is fundamentally important to creating enquiry. Show the client some differences between specially designed signage verses generic signage. Make your recommendations accordingly.
- Subject to the property type and the chosen method of sale or lease, you can show the client three levels of campaign as they can apply to a particular property. For example that can be the gold package, the silver package, or the bronze package. You may like to call them something different but the inference is that different levels of advertising commitment are available depending on the appropriate levels of vendor paid marketing. When you use this strategy, the client tends to select the middle package as a suitable solution.
As mentioned earlier, you may be involved with different property types. Because of this, you should carry within the marketing kit photographs of quality properties within the category of property. The client will generally only relate to their particular property type and the location.