A retail shopping centre is very special type of property. It requires the skillful efforts of leasing, management, and marketing to make it consistently perform for the landlord. All three of these elements are specialised processes that should be merged into a Retail property Business Plan each year. To a large degree this is the job of the centre manager who then reports to the landlord, and then sets the Retail Business Plan in motion.
It is common knowledge today that shopping centres and retail tenants are under pressure economically due to the global economy, levels of competitiveness, and the shifts to online shopping. That being said, shopping centres should adjust their tenant mix and product offering at every opportunity, so that it clearly matches the needs of the shopper and not the needs of the landlord. When you solve the customer shopping equation, you will build a successful shopping centre; for the landlord that means better rent, occupancy factors, and lower vacancies.
In managing a retail property today, there are some clear things that should be optimised and focused on. Here are some ideas to help the centre managers and leasing managers of Retail property:
- Ensure that your marketing program for the property integrates well into the local community demographics. The marketing program should be comprehensively structured and approved prior to the beginning of any financial year. The program should also build on the strengths of the tenant mix and the anchor tenants.
- The shopping centre marketing program should integrate into the celebrations or holidays of the local community and the customers that visit the property. Give due regard to the trends in shopper interest and look for any changes. Also check out the special remote shoppers that move through the property for other reasons; they can be tourists, travelers, or workers from the local business community.
- Assess the impact of local roadways and transport corridors into and around the property. The numbers of people using various methods of transport to get to your retail property should be assessed. You could market your shopping centre into the roadway advertising, plus the buses and trains that service your local area.
- Monitor the movements of income and expenditure over the last few years for the given managed property. The impact of property age on the expenditure will also have some impact on refurbishment costs and repairs. When you understand those costs, you can compare them to similar properties in the same location.
- Build a database of tenants and local businesses looking to relocate to and from other retail properties. Constant contact and networking into this database will help you in times of future vacancy and lease expiry. Vacancy downtime in this market simply has to be minimised to protect the property income and risk for the landlord.
A successful retail property process is today more important than ever before. The income for the retail property should be optimised given the pressures on tenants and strategies for new leases. Keep well ahead of your property challenges and lease expires. In this way you will be a retail property agent of value to the landlord.