Jan. 7, 2004
How to Get Them. How to Keep Them. (Part 1 of 5)
Start talking about tenant retention strategies and suddenly you have everyone’s attention. Empty space is a drain on the bottom line, and attracting and retaining tenants – whether it be in retail, multi-family, or office properties – is foremost on the agenda of most building owners today. There are more than 45,000 shopping centers in the United States, and with a total leasable retail area in excess of 5 billion square feet,* owners and developers of new and existing shopping destinations are eagerly trying to anticipate the needs and desires of tenants. Among the innovative ways to meet and exceed expectations are tenant kits and first-rate strategies to improve communication between owner and tenant, as well as between tenant and shopper. Similarly, owners of apartment complexes and condominiums are searching for the right formula to find and keep renters’ interest. Examining the startling costs of turnover, Kathleen McKenna-Harmon tells Senior Editor Regina Raiford Babcock, “It is six times more expensive to bring a customer in than to retain the ones you’ve got.” Eager to avoid the expense, owners and managers strive to provide tenants with the perfect mix of curb appeal, design options, flexibility, and affordability.After observing the climbing vacancy rates, office building owners are thrilled to see some stabilization occurring. However, with the number of vacancies leveling out somewhere between 16 and 18 percent,** the race is still on to entice new tenants and satisfy existing ones. Some old-school ideas have been reborn and, with a stronger emphasis on customer service, quicker response time and more informed communication result.Although it’s not a new idea, polling tenants for their opinions has never been more important. Discover a few of the additional benefits you and your tenants can reap with this benchmarking tool. After all, how can you really know your tenants are satisfied unless you ask them?Buildings takes a cold, hard look at how to attract and retain tenants, talking with some of the most informative and innovative companies and experts on the following pages. It’s time. Set in motion a new action plan. Transform your organization. Unveil a customer-centric strategy.Lease more. Rent more. Profit more. And start today.– Jana J. Madsen ([email protected]) is managing editor at Buildings magazine.* Scope USA 2002 report, International Council of Shopping Centers ** Office Market Trends North America Winter 2003-2004, Grubb & Ellis Research

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