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Improving communications with commercial tenants

By Greg Bell

Are you communicating effectively with your commercial tenants? Open lines of communication, clear hierarchies, and scrupulous accountability can mean the difference between an eager renewal of the lease for an even more favourable term, or the speedy exit causing you to go tenant hunting once again.

You can keep turnover rates down, collect rents on time, and encourage a healthy, positive community environment in your commercial buildings only through carefully thought out and maintained channels of communication.

Allow communication via a range of appropriate channels

The best way to ensure open lines of communication is to create a communications plan for your commercial property, a copy of which can be presented to each new tenant as they begin their tenancy. Include what channels they can use to reach you (email, text, phone, social media, or ticketing system) and what types of reports or complaints are appropriate for each.

For example, a minor issue like a light burnt out in a common area should be subject to the opening of a ticket in your support system. A major issue like a burst pipe can justify a text message to a phone number that is continually monitored by maintenance. A complaint about a loose dog roaming the complex may require an email, while a break-in could warrant a phone call.

You may even wish to utilise social media platforms to allow tenants a fast way to reach a member of your property management team and as a way to swiftly disseminate information in a crisis.

Perform regular outreach to ensure tenant needs are being met

In order to meet tenant needs, you must ask what they are. Make yourself available to tenants twice yearly; once before their lease is due for renewal, but also once at the opposite time of the year. You'll be more likely to have a calm conversation unaffected by concerns over upcoming negotiations at this latter meeting.

Strive for a one-on-one discussion with each tenant privately, and also offer a meeting that allows all tenants a chance to be heard and discuss matters as a collective. You can also do anonymous surveys and polls to gather honest feedback about what is important to your tenants and what you could be doing to make your property a better fit for them. 

Get to know your tenants, their wants, needs, and concerns

Keep a comprehensive profile for each tenant. Include their contact information, business information, history of tenancy, number of times they have renewed their lease, current lease termination date and net rents, and service history. To this you can add your own personal impression of their likelihood of lease renewal, as well as their overall satisfaction level.

Through constant, compassionate communication, you can strengthen your relationships with your tenants and reduce turnover. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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