Keys to Maintaining a Positive Relationship with a Small Business Tenant
You do not have to have a good relationship with your commercial property renters, but it is generally a very important part of maintaining a business relationship that benefits both parties. Many times small businesses (especially start-ups) are getting by on small margins and just like residential renters, they may be supporting themselves on a month-to-month basis. For this reason, many will look for commercial real estate that will allow them small perks when it comes to their leases. They may look for looser payment terms or possible extensions among other things. When considering a small business tenant, it is a good idea to consult with your property manager as odds are pretty likely they will be the party that is knocking on doors if the rent is late or a check bounces. Experienced property managers can help you make the decision to accept or decline a small business tenant no matter the size of their portfolio.
There are other reasons to play nice with your tenants as well. Just because your tenant is a small business start-up doesn’t mean they cannot take to the web to describe the ins and outs of your relationship just like a jilted lover. It is generally a good idea to maintain a high level of customer service with your tenants. The benefit will come in their word of mouth and in greater rental space as their companies take off. A happy tenant is also more likely to take care of the rental space in your commercial building and notify of potential problems with HVAC or plumbing before they do significant damage to the space.
Property managers can also help with client relations in the form of promotions and seasonal giveaways. They can organize recycling events and blood drives with goodies for the tenants. They have to be PR specialists as well and can make tenants more receptive to requests through happy hour meet and greets or general announcement meetings with catered food.
A good relationship with your small business tenant will be beneficial for both of you – the tenant will have a nicely maintained building with amenities that allow them to conduct business in a comfortable environment, and the landlord will generate income from the filled vacancies in his/her building as well as the added benefit of good word of mouth from existing tenants. The property manager will serve as the bridge between the two parties to ensure both are getting what they need out of the deal.
The bottom line is a skilled property manager like HighGate can step in and mend a troubled relationship or positively impact a new one with any tenant you might have, which can improve your revenues now and in the future. The services rendered and value of having a good manager on your side far outweighs the cost to employ them because most investors simply do not have the time to perform all of the requests from tenants in a busy office building. A good manager can also motivate a tenant to respect the property and care for it like they would their own, which will help you protect you investment.