Shopping Centre Managers – Tips on Marketing Your Retail Property Today
When you manage and lease a retail mall or shopping center, the marketing process is part of the property function and strategy. Every retail property of this type should have a defined marketing strategy that keeps the customers coming back to the property and the tenant mix.
Far too many landlords overlook or ignore the value of the marketing process and just focus on the rent and expenditure control in the property. The reality of the situation is that customers help the tenants pay the rent, and a successful shopping center will grow and consolidate its market rental profile. In the medium term that potentially means improved property values for the landlord.
To get a shopping center marketing program underway there are a few factors to be considered. Here are some of those ideas:
- Planning the year for the property will allow you to understand the factors of community and business involvement. That will include festivities, holidays, and local business cycles.
- Just who visits the property and when? It is an interesting question to consider. Some customers to a property come from unexpected sources such as tourism and local businesses. Be open to the feedback from the tenants on this subject, they will know just who comes to the property, when they do it, and what they buy.
- Tenant involvement should be encouraged in the marketing planning process. Whilst asking the tenants about marketing can open up a diverse set of comments and ideas, some of them will be useful. Remember that a successful tenant mix will build a successful property investment for the landlord.
- Tenants should pay for the main part of the marketing plan for the property. That can be through some fixed percentage of rental paid; the amount can be nominated in the lease for each of the tenants.
- The funds for marketing paid by the tenants have nothing to do with the rental of the property and on that basis should be separated from landlord rental payments and outgoings recovery.
- Landlords should be involved in the marketing plan and the logic of the issues you are implementing. Some larger landlords may choose to contribute to some of the property marketing on an annual basis.
- Customer interaction with your marketing program can be achieved through ‘bag stuffers’, competitions, displays, and mall presentations or special events. The tenants will have some ideas with this.
- Local area relevance in the marketing plan can be gained through working with community groups and clubs. They are likely to have an interest in putting up a regular display or placing a booth in the common area of the shopping mall.
- Always track and measure the results that you get from the marketing campaign. Work well in advance so you can create quality promotional campaigns for all concerned.
- To reduce the potential for disagreement and disputes with the chosen marketing efforts, if funds permit you can use a marketing expert from a consultancy group.
Use these and other ideas to improve your property performance for all concerned. A successful retail property is a fine balance between the landlord, tenants, and customers. The leasing or property manager has to refine and tune that balance.