When renting out commercial space, from high-rise apartments to industrial warehouse parks, your primary goal will be a steady occupancy. Finding new people for a space can be much more expensive than holding onto a tenant thinking about leaving, while properties without tenants essentially lose money. The true test of a rental property owner is to keep the occupants you have.
Some owners talk daily with their tenants and know them by their first name, even as others keep a professional distance. The important thing is for your tenants to be happy with you and your style. Happy tenants stay longer and make managing and owning easier. Are you ready to keep your commercial property tenants as long as they can?
1) Everyone likes fair prices
Look at local prices, especially for what tenants in your type of rental space expect to pay. You should keep a competitive rate for the area, going higher or lower based on what your property offers. If a rate increase is needed, let your current tenants know well in advance. Coldwell Commercial Elite Real Estate Services likes giving some kind of reward or thank-you for any tenants who stay with them through a price increase.
2) Make renting easy for them
Renting doesn’t have to be difficult; commercial renters prefer an easy process. Upside Innovations suggests providing an online system to pay rent or request maintenance. Also, consider readying lease negotiations well in advance. Most agreements allow you to start this process before expiration, so set a notification for yourself a year or two out from renewal.
3) Be available for their complaints and problems
Remember that what you’re learning about now could be an immediate concern for them. A fast response improves your reputation with tenants and shows you want them to be comfortable. If they don’t hear back from you after sending you a question or concern, even if you don’t know what to say, they’ll start to believe you don’t care about them. Don’t let them lose trust in you! Tenants understand you can’t be available 24/7, but give them some way to leave a message. Respond and ask for patience if needed. On the other hand, your tenants might simply have questions about their rental space or the lease agreement.
4) Provide a welcoming space
Is your rental clean and in good condition? Will the tenants or their employees feel comfortable there? Are there any maintenance or repair concerns? The best time to handle maintenance is before they become a problem. Regular in-person visits to tenants gives them a chance to bring up issues, allowing you to fix the problem quickly and look great. Checkups and an ongoing plan will let your tenants know you care about their health and safety. But before you stop by to check on the place or bring important questions to your tenants, always call ahead and let them know you’ll be there.
5) Keep in touch with your renters
How often do you simply ask about the comfort of your tenants or employees? Calling regularly to check-in is another great way to let them address issues they were hesitating to ask about. If you need to change or improve the property, let tenants know and ask if they or their employees have concerns. The same goes when you must wait for maintenance or do the work in multiple steps. Chat in person, email, or set up a meeting near the property – whatever works best for you and them. Don’t just ignore your tenants after you worked hard to find them. We recommend monthly or quarterly newsletters to keep in touch regularly. Let tenants know about new cleaning schedules, local construction, and rule changes before they start.
6) Great impressions are everything
Anyone they meet while renting with you, such as locally hired maintenance crews, needs to be a great representative for you. You could end up looking bad if you don’t find helpful and friendly people working on your property. Have you considered offering your renter’s local deals or information on discounts? Let them think of this as a reward for doing business with you.
7) Show you care about their stability
In the current world climate, many businesses are struggling. If tenants can’t provide their full rent one time, you should know by now that lots of people are having difficulties. While setting boundaries with payment is incredibly important for your sanity and business model as a landlord, you can put your tenants’ worries to rest and avoid forcing them to leave by creating a flexible payment plan.