By Stephen L. Burger,
CPM, CRX, CRM
A presence. That,
in two words, is the basis of best practices in the fine art of tenant
retention in in the office space. As I have written in this blog, the central
mission for any professional property management organization is to enhance net
asset value. One of the key components of that mission is to find and retain
creditworthy commercial tenants.
And when it comes
to retention, success is based on maintaining a constant, positive and
proactive presence with your tenancy, whether it is a corporate tenant
or a residential occupant. The same rules apply.
Let’s do a deeper
dive into each of those highlighted adjectives. Best practices in property
management dictate a constant presence with occupants. It
is essential to walk your assets on a regular basis, to be seen. There is no
better way to communicate a hands-on management style to your tenants than
simply showing up.
It should be
noted here that face-to-face interactions with your tenants is a practiced art.
Some tenants like to be in constant communication with management. Others
prefer a need-to-know approach. Know your occupants and serve them based on
their preferences, not yours.
Of course, there
is a practical application for this as well. Regular physical inspections of
your properties are the best way to ensure quality control of the building or
buildings. As John Santora of Cushman & Wakefield stated at IREM’s recent
Washington, DC summit, “If a property manager has to introduce himself to the
receptionist, he’s not doing his job.”
with building occupants must also be positive. This is especially true in
times of emergency or crisis, but really it applies always. A building
manager’s stock in trade when it comes to problems that might arise is
solutions. Your attitude toward tenant issues, whatever they may be, can either
fuel the flames of discontent or settle nerves by conveying an attitude of calm
and measured control. The proper answer is Choice B.
Work to be proactive.
Whenever possible, solve problems before they arise. This obviously relates
back to having a regular presence in your building(s) and knowing what’s going
on. And even when you are reacting to a phone call or an email, do so,
proactively. Don’t sit on a complaint,
and if there must be a delay in response due to priorities, have the courtesy
to keep those waiting apprised, not of your situation, but of theirs.
There are many
other methods of maintaining a positive presence with commercial occupants.
Tenant appreciation days and holiday parties are not unheard of. New York City
building owner Larry Silverstein hires chamber musicians to play in his lobbies
during the December Christmas season. These are all nice, but in all of your
dealings, however they crystallize, remember the goal is to build long-lasting
For more on
tenant retention, please click here.
for tenant/management interaction have you found work best? Email me and let’s
keep the conversation going.
Steve Burger, CPM
EUGENE BURGER MANAGEMENT CORPORATION
As president and COO
of Eugene Burger Management Co., Steve
Burger is directly responsible for the overall quality, depth and
consistency of management services provided in all 15 regions in the EBMC