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Three tips for retaining good commercial tenants

By Greg Bell

A good commercial tenant is worth much more than the monthly rent. They can also represent financial certainty, calm in uncertain times and a reliable signal your asset will remain in a good condition. Keeping and building up the landlord-tenant relationship, then, is of great value both professionally and personally. And it's mutually beneficial: When both parties are satisfied and the future feels stable, landlords and tenants alike can focus on developing their own businesses.

Most commercial leases last three to five years, with various renewal options at the end of the original contract. Extending the lease beyond this initial duration will require strategic investment in the relationship with your tenant.

It'll often be worth it. Re-signing tenants will save you the costs of turning over space. The windows of time between tenants' occupancies of your properties can feel like periods when money is simply flying away left and right. There is the lost rental income, cost of professional cleanings, fixing minor damage, refitting space if need be and the costs of re-listing the property. Then there's the price tag on the time spent coordinating it all.

So there is measurable value in working to keep great tenants happy and motivated to renew their lease. Here are some ways to do it.

Add amenities
Are internet speeds in your space fast enough to handle multiple colleagues conducting Zoom meetings? Could new appliances add a modern touch? Should new shelves finally be built in a storeroom? Adding the little touches that make life easier for your tenants will be reassuring and a sign of care. Not sure what your tenant needs? Just ask! Not all wishes will be granted, of course, but if you can find some ways to solve problems for your tenants, you'll create potential reasons for them to stay.

Quickly respond to maintenance requests
Has a toilet backed up? Is a window broken? When tenants raise these concerns, it's imperative to respond fast. Doing so helps solve small problems before they become larger issues and thus builds rapport. Even if a plumber or handyman can't get to the building quickly, let the tenant know what's happening so they can plan accordingly.

Let the tenant benefit from routine upkeep
Not all maintenance and upkeep has to happen between tenants. Continued efforts to maintain or even upgrade your space, undertaken with care, will signal to tenants that they can count on a great home for their business. Perhaps you plan to change carpeting every so many years, for example. Or want to upgrade a part of the space now that cash flow allows. Or maybe you arrange for a professional cleaning every year to keep your space pristine. Allowing the tenant to enjoy these upgrades and services will go a long way toward keeping them happy and in place.

Whether you're purchasing or selling a commercial property, it's vital to have a professional guide you through the process. The commercial sales team at Ray White Surfers Paradise are experts in closing commercial sales and maximising our clients' return on their initial investment. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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