Thursday, December 3, 2015

Does it Always Pay to be Nice?

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Does it always pay to be nice?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yes, it always pays to be nice.


You never know what opportunities will come up in the future.

Why would you burn any bridges?  What are you accomplishing by doing this?

Although this post could be geared towards business in general, personal relationships, etc., we will highlight how this affects commercial real estate.

As landlords of commercial real estate, having “repeat business” is not something very common.  Sure, brokers routinely score repeat business as people’s business needs constantly change and so to will their commercial real estate needs.

In our experience, however, when a tenant leaves, they have left for irreconcilable differences.  The price was too high, the location was not right, they closed the business, they relocated to a new city, the space was too small, the space was too large, etc.

We are never happy when a tenant chooses to leave our property but we understand that these are business decisions and are not personal.  Thus, we treat former tenants with the same level of respect as prospective and current tenants.

Because we choose not to alienate our existing tenants, we have been fortunate enough to secure repeat business on two occasions:

Occasion #1

About 15 years ago, a tenant was leasing an office space to train door to door salesmen.  They held daily meetings in the morning and then hardly used the space.

They would have 20-30 cars on a daily basis.  This caused a parking issue.

Several neighboring tenants complained, and we did our best to play referee.

After the initial lease term ended, both sides decided to part ways amicably.  This was the best decision for both parties.

About 8 years ago, this tenant came back to us with a different business.

They have been with us ever since.

Occasion #2

Roughly 6 years ago, one of our tenants informed us they would not be renewing their lease.  They had been with us for two lease terms, and we were shocked that they were planning to leave.

They told us that they needed a nicer space, new paint, new carpet and a lease to purchase option.  We were able to accommodate their first 3 requests but could not provide them with a lease to purchase option.

A couple of years ago, we heard back from this same tenant.

Their new location was not working for them and they were ready to come back in an even larger space than they were previously.

They told us during lease negotiations that they enjoyed being a tenant so much and were pleased that we did not try to take advantage of their situation when they left our property before.

All signs point to this tenant being with us for a very long time now, as we performed a custom build-out and they have invested into the space heavily.

Hopefully, these 2 examples illustrate why it always pays to be nice.

And this does not just apply to former tenants, it also applies to prospects who choose another property as well.  We have had situations when a prospect chose another property and called us after their initial lease term ended at another commercial property.

It’s not easy to be told “no” – whether this is when a prospect chooses another property or an existing tenant tells you they won’t renew.  However, a "no" today is a potential "yes" in the future.

Remember, all tenants who do not lease from you are potential future tenants.  And it always pays to be nice to them.

Please feel free to leave comments.  We promise to read them all.  You can also email us with any questions/comments at  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 or call us at (228) 575-7731.