When you lease or manage a shopping centre, it is essential to correctly market the property into the local community. Failure to market your tenant mix and retail offering correctly will degrade the sales process for the tenants and eventually reflect in the rental decline for the landlord. A byproduct of this problem will be a rise in vacancy rates within the property.
Far too many landlords today disregard or neglect to apply sufficient focus on the marketing process for the property. As to who should pay for the marketing process is always a debate. Sufficient planning at the early stages of tenancy mix development should control the problem. A good Retail Centre Manager will handle the issue from the start and implement a complete marketing program for the property.
Essentially the tenants to the property should contribute towards the marketing strategy and budget for the property. This should be done through a marketing levy that is applied to the leases for each tenant. On that basis the tenant agrees to the contribution process as part of the original lease negotiation.
The money that is recovered from the marketing levy should be separately administered and managed away from the building operating costs and outgoings. The marketing money has nothing to do with the landlord’s income.
It is normal to have a tenant delegation or committee to be part of the marketing processes and decisions in distributing the funds each year as part of the marketing strategy. That being said, it is also important that the landlord is represented within the committee. A successful Retail Property is built from the cooperation between the landlord, the tenants, and the property manager. Each party has a vested interest to protect.
Here are some tips to apply to the marketing process for your Retail Property:
- Ask the tenants about the trends they are seeing in the shopping patterns with customers.
- Find out what shoppers are looking for through dedicated research and surveys.
- Define your primary and secondary market of customers that come to your property. The primary market will be where you get 80% of your business. The secondary market will be the remaining 20%. You would normally direct most of your marketing focus on the primary market.
- Be aware of the shopping seasons and the impact of holidays and community events. These will have an impact on your property. Take the time to build your marketing program around these events and dates.
- Take the time to get to know your shoppers and extend their involvement in your property by starting competitions, and letting community groups set up short term booths in the common areas.
A retail property that is well marketed has benefits for all. The reality of the situation is that the marketing capability and process should be established from the outset of property establishment and should be integrated into the leasing strategy and tenant mix.