The Ultimate Guide for How to Find Good Tenants and Keep Them at Your Property
The leasing market can be competitive for commercial real estate landlords. You want to attract quality tenants: successful businesses run by savvy, prosperous business people of integrity. But smart tenants have options when it comes to where to lease.
Here are fourteen things you can do to find tenants for your rental property while continuing to increase its value and profitability.
1: Provide a Variety of Leasing Options
While the coworking office industry is a minority in the commercial leasing space, it’s still a competitor for many landlords. Short-term leasing offers attractive, flexible options—and so can you. Get creative and offer one-, three-, or five-year options, as well as the option of leasing month-to-month or renewing after the contract is finished.
2: Offer Renewal Discounts
Once you get a good tenant in the building, it’s wise and profitable to retain them. Consider offering discounts or creative perks when tenants renew their lease, such as:
- Designated parking space(s)
- One month’s free rent
- Three months of paid utilities
- Cashback for renewal
3: Host Events
For you to thrive, your tenants must succeed. Holding social gatherings especially for tenants builds rapport, creates lasting relationships, a stronger attachment to your location, and a congenial atmosphere in your building. It also provides them with networking opportunities to help their business succeed.
Organizing a successful event takes planning (start here with learning how to host a good event). One idea is inviting a special guest speaker to speak on a business topic of interest to most of your tenants. This special guest could even be one of your own tenants. If the building doesn’t allow for hosting an event, you may consider a local restaurant or meeting space.
4: Keep Your Marketing Materials Up to Date
Your marketing materials are your greatest asset to attracting new quality tenants. If they are viewing photos online that do not reflect your space’s current aesthetics, amenities, and other great features, they may explore other properties because they are not aware of all that you can provide them.
Regularly update your online listings and marketing materials Make sure that photos, videos, and all other information are current, accurate, and enticing. You want to portray your property in the best possible light.
5: Keep in Frequent Contact with Your Tenants
Keep a mailing list of all your tenants’ points of contact and be sure to keep them in the loop whenever building activities could affect their businesses. For example, if the town is conducting utility work on the nearby street, let them know in case there is a chance of a power outage.
Beyond specific notices, also check in with your tenants to see if they have any needs that you could help with. If they need more floor space and a larger unit next to theirs has recently opened up, you can begin a dialogue that could end with a satisfied tenant in a space with larger square footage and increased revenue potential for yourself.
6: Provide Excellent Customer Service
Your pre-sale customer service can become your greatest asset for attracting quality tenants. Why? This can show them a preview of the excellent service quality they will receive when leasing at your property.
Respond quickly and courteously to all inquiries, showings, and requests for information. Your prospective tenants will appreciate the attentiveness, responsiveness, and feel more confident in their decision to relocate their business to your commercial space.
7: Make it Easy for Prospective Tenants to Lease
In addition to a well-maintained property, provide an easy application process and fast turnaround on applications. Have a lease ready to go so there is little delay in getting tenants moved in.
8: Align Your Property with Your Ideal Tenants
If you are offering an office building for lease, your desired tenants will differ from another landlord listing their industrial building. Take a moment to consider what your ideal tenant would look like, what their needs are, and include these in your marketing materials and listings.
9: Keep Up with Maintenance
An impeccable, modern appearance is a huge appeal to tenants. You want to entice quality tenants, and tenants want to entice quality clients. For most tenants, the exterior appearance of the building is important for image and branding.
Keep your property well maintained and in good working order. Tenants want to lease a building that is safe, clean, and functional. If you can show prospective tenants they would be improving the space by moving into it over another tenant's current use of the premises or an empty unit, all the better; this gives them reasons beyond just the bottom line to lease from you.
To gain and keep desirable tenants, commercial real estate landlords should continuously evaluate the appearance of the building for repairs and upgrades. Keep landscaping looking neat and attractive, and good janitorial services inside and outside the building.
10: Price Your Space Competitively
Pricing proves especially important in a hot leasing market. You don't want to scare quality tenants away with an unrealistic price tag, but you also don't want to leave money on the table. Conduct some local market research on other similar commercial properties in your area to gauge an attractive lease price for your own commercial space.
11: Install Building-wide Fiber Internet Connectivity
Fiber internet connectivity gives you a great advantage. Tenants receive faster, more secure, the higher-quality internet connection that is more reliable and affordable than purchasing individual business internet services. Some landlords find it beneficial to offer the internet connection free or discounted as a perk for signing a lease. In addition, building-wide fiber internet connectivity adds value to the property.
12: Offer Great Shared Amenities
The desire for work/life balance is more and more acknowledged. Millennials, in particular, want a more home-like experience in their work environment; this is a main selling point of co-working and shared office businesses such as WeWork. Landlords can meet this need with shared amenities such as a gym, child-care facility, common kitchen space, and/or a lounge or break space.
13: Supply Customized Signage
Good branding is Marketing 101. Tenants need customized branding signage on the building to provide visibility to clients. As a landlord, you can retain control of signage by contracting with a signage company and offering the option of customized signage to tenants at a discounted rate provided by the company.
14: Offer Excellent Parking
Parking is essential, and sufficient parking is a must for most businesses. Buildings with less than ideal parking have a hard time competing for desired tenants, who often choose buildings with better parking options. Maintenance of the parking lot is also important. Make sure signs are kept in good condition, the lot is well lit, parking meters work properly, and parking spots are clearly marked.
With these tips, you can attract and keep the best tenants, increasing your profits through retention. Competing for the best tenants requires the same kinds of activities that add long-term value to your property, so be a great landlord and enjoy the win/win!
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