This blog is written by a landlord of commercial real estate in Gulfport, Mississippi. Seaway Business Park is a private company, and we watch over every aspect of our business park, which is a 29 acre commercial office and warehouse complex. We have family businesses in the area dating back to the 1940s. This gives us a unique perspective, and we are excited to share the tips and tricks we have learned over the years. Enjoy!
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
The Most IMPORTANT Part of Being a Landlord is...
Important Part of Being a Landlord Is…
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As landlords, we are always searching for our next tenant.
After all, we must seek new deals in order to expand our business and to
fill our vacant spaces.
We look for good buys on raw land and buildings. We market our existing office spaces and
warehouse spaces. And we solicit to
prospects that we think would be a good fit for our business parks.
However, the most
important partof our jobs as
landlords is really quite simple.
It even sounds a little too simple. Without this single action, we would not be
able to stay in business.
That one thing is: KEEP
YOUR CUSTOMERS HAPPY!
Sounds easy, right?
There have been numerous studies that find that signing up a
new customer is 5x-10x more expensive
than keeping an existing customer. Some
studies find that it costs even more.
In our business, we strive to keep tenant turnover as low as
possible. We lose cash flow for every
month an office space or warehouse space is vacant.
Plus, vacant spaces in commercial real estate cost money
(utilities, taxes, insurance, overhead, etc.).
Not to mention, you have additional expenses in marketing vacant
spaces. Wouldn’t it be better to just
keep your current customers happy so that there is no need for a vacant space?
Of course, sometimes, vacancies are inevitable.
Businesses expand, downsize and occasionally close. If you can’t accommodate a tenant’s needs at
lease expiration, a vacancy will happen.
But we have had countless prospects come to our business
parks because, quite simply, they are unhappy
with their current landlord.
So, the main question is: How do you keep your customers happy?
To illustrate some of the things we do, allow us to tell you
a story of a transaction that took place.
Recently, we completed an expansion
with one of our existing tenants.
The regional manager in charge of
the real estate transaction was repeatedly thanking us for being so helpful
throughout the entire process and kept complimenting us on how smooth of a
transition we made their expansion (which included quite a bit of construction
in a different building).
What did we do that was so exemplary?
We constantly followed up to give
status updates. Whenever a question came
up in construction, we promptly asked our customer for guidance so as not to
delay their move-in. We asked if they
were happy with the progress and the work being done.
We answered any questions our
customer had as quickly as we could. We
offered to have our janitorial service clean up after the construction crews
were out of the office and warehouse.
In other words, there was no single
thing that we did that made someone say “Wow!”
We treated our customer the right
way and tried to go the extra mile.
Did the lease say we had to have a
janitorial service clean up after the construction? No. But
that was a minimal expense and our customer will definitely remember it.
In fact, the regional manager asked
us if we had any property in our neighboring state, as they have a store relocation
coming up in that area.
Not only did we secure repeat
business from one of our existing tenants, but we might have secured a future
And all of that came from keeping
our customer happy.
This expansion story is just one example of how we strive to
keep our tenants happy.
We also make a point to address maintenance issues
promptly. After all, summers in
Gulfport, Mississippi get quite hot, and nobody wants to sit in their office
when the A/C is not working.
Meet with your customers and ask them for suggestions.
Make sure everything is okay with your tenant’s space needs.
Thank your customers for their business (maybe even a
holiday card or gift basket).
Keeping your customers happy is an ongoing process.
Don’t think that you can send a gift basket when a new
tenant first moves in and forget about them until the lease renewal.
Being a good landlord means focusing on your existing
clientele throughout the lease term and not just looking for the next deal
after you sign a lease.
Use common sense.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
Keep your customers
Please feel free to leave comments. We promise to read them all. You can also email us with any
questions/comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. As a reminder, we provide office space for
rent and office/warehouse space for rent in Gulfport, Mississippi. For more information, visit our website at www.seawaybusinesspark.com or call
us at (228) 575-7731.