The 7 Rivers region has a pretty good handle on housing occupancy, with vacancy rates hovering around 5 percent for the past few years. But most landlords and property managers would be prefer to get it to zero—and keep it there.
To achieve and maintain high occupancy rates, whether multi-tenant housing or business space, you need to keep your eyes open to what’s happening inside and outside your buildings. Following are five steps to help you achieve that goal.
#1 Maintain positive relationships with tenants. A quick response when called upon and a friendly relationship with current tenants will help in two ways. First, it will help you keep them happily in your building; second, it will make them ambassadors for your company. Plus, they’ll be added eyes and ears in the building and can share any rumblings occurring among the tenants.
#2 Market your product. Ambassadors are great, but it’s really up to management to market your property. One of the most cost-effective ways is to do it online. Begin by (1) making certain prospective tenants can find you by optimizing your site for search engines (SEO) and (2) making it mobile-responsive if it isn’t already. The entity that helped you develop the site can also help you with those tasks. Additionally develop a presence on social media and post beautiful photos and topical news. Not sure where to start? Facebook is still king.
#3 Mind lease expirations. You’ll need to stay ahead of lease expirations in order to monitor your tenants’ upcoming space needs. Doing so early will give you a better chance of keeping them in your building and avoiding any unpleasant departures. Staggering your lease expirations, if possible, is also a good idea so that they all don’t come up for renewal in the same month.
#4 Research your market. With high occupancy rates, lease terms and costs can be a moving target. It’s important to know how your competition is pricing their property and how they’re handling their leases in order to stay competitive.
#5 Hire a Realtor. If you have or anticipate a vacancy, or you simply don’t have time to find and sign a new tenant, call an experienced commercial Realtor. They’ll already have a good sense for what the competition is doing and, oftentimes, a network of clients they know are looking to make a move. You can simply turn the work—and worry—over to them.