Some Commercial Landlords Just Don’t Get It…Still!

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Why do some landlords think that because they receive rent from tenants, they’ve got great relationships with those tenants?

Why do some landlords hire property managers who cycle in and out of their jobs?  And, why should tenants receive calls from their “New Property Manager” every few months?

Why do so many landlords “Yes” their tenants and not follow-through on promises?  Do they believe that if a tenant stopped complaining, they forgot about what they needed and no longer require service?

What steps can landlords take to build mutually beneficial relationships with tenants, and not just provide lip service?

The best landlords don’t need to answer these questions, because they figured this out long ago!

Here’s an idea or two for those old school landlord types:

Start by changing how you engage in lease negotiations.  Lose the “stick it to them before they stick it to us” perspective still held by some old-fashioned entrepreneurial, and even some institutional, landlords.  That doesn’t mean give away your profits!  It means that you will likely benefit by viewing tenants, both existing and prospective, as customers…Yes, CUSTOMERS!  Take a customer focused approach to negotiating.  Transform your organization to focus on words like “Service” and “Excellence”.   I know, for some of you, this is a real novel idea!  Remember…you’ll get more flies with honey!

Build two-way relationships with your tenants.  Do that on an enterprise-wide or institutional-wide basis.  Don’t leave building good tenant relationships to a seemingly friendly property manager after the damage has already been done through uncomfortable negotiations.

In order for such a major shift to take hold, those tenants who attempt to beat the hell out of landlords must also change their negotiating approach. Change must occur in both directions.

Treat your existing tenants like new customers.  They’re more important than new ones anyway, since they’ve already created value for you, and likely will continue to do so.  Prospect your existing tenants – treat them like they’re not yours, court them, build and sustain real relationships with them.  When treated well, existing tenants can be more profitable customers and easier to please than new ones.

Seek to understand how you can support your tenants’ business objectives. Don’t simply consider your tenants as meal tickets.  That kind of attitude shows, and no one likes to be treated that way, no matter how slick you think you are.  Follow the lead of some of the most successful landlords around the country…they’ve been running their businesses like this, and succeeding, for a very long time!

Create an excellent “experience” for all of your tenants.  Don’t simply permit them to occupy your building.  And, that doesn’t mean just buying them ice cream once a year.  Find ways to become a partner to your tenants.

Considering the challenges that so many companies, even landlords, are experiencing in the current economic environment, now is the time for landlords to forge solid relationships with their tenants.  And, NO!…that doesn’t mean agree to lease terms that don’t make sense.  Afterall, landlords are entitled to weather this storm, too!

In hard times like these, some people take advantage of others who need their help and some turn a deaf ear.  Others step up to recognize that by helping others succeed, they’ll likely pave the way for their own greater success when the recovery kicks in.  Remember that companies, and the people who work for them, have long memories.  Give your tenants a lot of good things to remember about their relationship with you.

The best landlords practice these ideas, and as a result, they often achieve greater success than their slower-to-learn competitors.  Now is the time for those other landlords, you know who you are, to benefit by doing the same.

 

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About Real Estate Strategies Corporation
Real Estate Strategies Corporation is a respected corporate advisory and transaction services firm that provides thought-leadership, decision-making, planning, project management, and transaction execution services to finance and senior executives at management team-led public, private, and portfolio companies, and not-for-profit organizations.  Under the leadership of its award-winning CEO, Andrew Zezas, RealStrat’s clients engage the firm when acquiring, disposing of, renegotiating, or enhancing occupied leased or owned real estate in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and throughout North America.  By creating and executing Business DRIVEN Real Estate Solutions and identifying hidden Opportunities, RealStrat drives greater operational and financial performance in support of its clients’ stakeholder objectives, M&A requirements, and exit strategies.

In the current economic environment, RealStrat’s efforts are focused on uncovering, capturing, and re-purposing hidden liquidity and minimizing risk in its clients’ leased and owned real estate.  The firm provides counsel as to competitive advantage strategies in preparation for the eventual economic recovery.  Visit www.RealStrat.com. Follow CFO Studio at http://www.Twitter.com/CFOstudio.

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