Retaining Tenants: 4 Tips to Maintain Long-Term Leases
You’ve found the ideal investment property, finished the necessary
There are some things beyond your control, such as a business not profiting or a company needing a larger space that you aren’t able to accommodate. There are also a few simple things you can do to keep your tenants happy for the long-run. While some of these may cost you upfront, you’ll be better for it in the long-run when you have long-term reliable tenants in your space.
Here are 4 simple big-picture tips that will ensure happy tenants and long leases:
- Understand what your tenants need and be accommodating. Understanding your tenants’ businesses and their specific needs will help you make sure their space helps them run their operations successfully. Get to know who is renting from you so you can anticipate their needs and be proactive and helpful. While your tenants should be happy with their space, it’s also important that they feel you are committed to the success of their business and available to help should any needs arise.
- Maintain and update the property as needed. When maintaining commercial space, safety should be your top concern. You should do routine walk-throughs to ensure there are no apparent hazards or dangers. This is especially important if your tenants have customers frequenting the space as it will protect them and you from any lawsuits due to an unnecessary injury on the property. Once the property is safe, focus on updates that will make the most significant impact. Going back to our first tip of knowing your tenants, consider things that would be important to them. For example, if you are renting to a photographer that has a lot of expensive equipment stored on-site, upgrading the security will likely be an appealing upgrade that increases the chances that tenant sticks around. Or, if you rent space to a high-end boutique, they probably will care most about their appearance to customers so updated lighting, paint, and landscaping will likely be appreciated and remembered when it comes time to extend their lease.
- Communicate. Often, unhappy tenants are a result of a lack of communication or a misunderstanding. Starting with the initial lease, make sure you’ve clearly outlined every aspect of the agreement, so there aren’t gray areas that arise down the road. Items that should be addressed from the beginning include lease terms, maintenance responsibilities, and making changes to the property. Create an easy email alert system so your tenants know when to expect routine maintenance – no one likes unexpected disturbances when they are working. If you manage a lot of tenants in one building, consider a monthly e-newsletter that outlines property news all in one place.
- Be professional. This one goes without saying but be sure you are treating your tenants the way you’d hope to be treated. Respond promptly and have a system in place for emergencies. Make reporting maintenance issues and paying rent easy with online bill paying and make every correspondence with your tenants, whether via email, phone, or in person as pleasant as possible. You may not see eye-to-eye on every issue but by being understanding and making reasonable accommodations, your tenants are less likely to look elsewhere.
Feeling overwhelmed by managing your commercial property? At Simply Commercial, we take pride in fully managing every aspect of our clients’ properties. From the big stuff like signing new leases to smaller tasks like facilitating repairs and collecting rent, we’re committed to helping our clients reach their long-term goals. Get in touch with us and let us take the work of managing your property off your plate.