In the current real estate market, it has become challenging for retail property owners to consistently attract and retain new tenants. However, it's still possible to locate new businesses to occupy your commercial spaces using more creative and proactive sourcing and leasing strategies.
Today it's no longer effective to wait for potential tenants to come to you. Instead, it's becoming increasingly necessary to pursue tenant sourcing more aggressively by researching and contacting prospects.
One method traditionally used by leasing agents is to target tenants at competing shopping centers. This technique has become even more popular in recent years, as emerging companies looking for retail spaces are harder to find. However, the downside to this method is that it makes it more difficult to retain tenants, as other leasing agents will likely be using the same methods — perhaps against you in the future.
Similarly, consider persuading your existing tenants to open second locations at different retail spots. This can be a particularly effective technique because a business relationship between you and your tenant has already been established, making it more likely for the tenant to be willing to enter into a second lease agreement with you.
Use new and creative listing mediums
In the past, property listing information was released to the brokerage community, and the amount of information available to the general public was tightly controlled. Today this type of information has become less proprietary, and listing data is available to a broader range of people.
Consider using a variety of online databases to post information about your retail property, such as SpaceList, LoopNet and Tweetlister, a product connected to Twitter. If you're considering trying out online auctioning, consider listing the property on eBay, which contains a dedicated category for commercial real estate.
Another great way to attract attention to your retail property is to hold broker open houses. While it's customary to provide refreshments at these types of events, some companies even include promotional giveaways. However, it's important to check local brokerage laws to make sure your giveaway does not violate any of them.
In the past, it has been considered unorthodox to hold open houses for the public when it comes to commercial properties, but many brokerage companies have found success with this method. They may invite shoppers and local residents who may be considering opening a business or moving from another location to see the property. To advertise for this type of open house, try sending press releases to nearby commercial real estate news outlets and local newspaper editors, and posting the event on any appropriate online forums.
When you need to bring more tenants into your retail property, don't be afraid to be aggressive and use some new methods. Implementing a new strategy could lead to the long-term success of your commercial real estate investment.