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5 Tips for Keeping Your Office Tenants Happy

February 6, 2019

Customer expectations have never been higher – and for good reason. Driven by increased access to choices, opinions, reviews, testimonials, and information, these increased expectations impact nearly every industry on the planet. Businesses across the board are responding with enhanced customer appreciation programs and an increased focus on retention.

What does this mean for the commercial real estate market? As multi-use complexes sprout up across Austin to meet demand, tenants have more options than ever before. If they don’t feel their needs are being met, they will be out the door looking for a new home for their business as soon as their lease is up.

Let’s be clear - this is not merely a call to step up the quality (or perceived quality) of your amenities. An experienced real estate professional knows showing appreciation for your office tenants goes beyond simple upkeep of the facilities they use. With these 5 tips, you can keep your office tenants happy and motivated to renew their lease year after year.

#1 Keep them informed

A tenant’s office is their home away from home, so anything that disrupts their routine will disrupt them and their business. Actively share everything related to the building and do so with plenty of advance notice. This includes the following:

  • Construction in and around the building
  • Planned road closures and construction around the property that might affect commute times (ex. closed for a race, parade or utility work)
  • Power or water being temporarily shut off
  • Fire drills
  • Landscaping
  • Parking lot restriping
  • Vendor changes
  • Food truck/service offerings
  • New tenants
  • Tenant achievements

We suggest creating a regular newsletter for your building and distributing it on a consistent basis. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – though it can be;–the important thing is it must deliver value to your tenants.

#2 Recognize their successes

You should definitely talk up the successes of your clients on that building newsletter you created in tip #1 (make sure and get their permission first). Think of it as a low-key networking opportunity on a monthly basis. To take things to the next level, send personal congratulations to your tenants for their achievements! For example:

If they make the ABJ’s Best Places to Work list, send them a little gift.
If they get good press in an article, shoot it over to them with a note.

In general, you should seek out every opportunity to let them know you are thinking about them. They want to know that you value them as more than just another monthly rent check.

#3 Host appreciation events and activities

You’ve probably tried this tip in the past to show your appreciation for your tenants. But let’s get real for a moment – while we might all love the token  holiday breakfast buffet, consider upping your game by aiming for a quarterly affair. Specifically, consider creating a building-wide event that connects everyone in a tangible fashion, not just a table or two full of food where people graze without intention.

  • Embrace your inner party planner:
  • Flower planting in spring
  • Popsicle social in summer
  • Pumpkin carving or painting in fall or even a building trick or treat
  • Food or gift drive in winter

Whatever you create, it should make your office tenants feel appreciated, keep them talking, and ramp up their anticipation for the next event.

#4 Be visible

Being present for your tenants should go without saying. It’s important you make yourself available for them to  come to you with any questions, comments, or concerns they might have. Challenge yourself to beyond the bare minimum with a more proactive than passive approach.

To make a real difference in your building, it’s time to get active. Being truly visible means making a specific effort to be seen as out-and-about around the building – this includes at the amazing quarterly events you’ll be planning. Since this shouldn’t feel like a daunting task, we recommend developing a personal calendar wherein you make in-person visits to each of your tenants on a regular basis.

The trick will be ensuring your efforts seem genuine and real, not just a regular 5-minute chat on the same day every other month. People innately know the difference between a routine meeting “because you’re supposed to do it” and authentic attempts at connection.

Developing relationships and creating opportunity for facetime go a long way. You will find you have more in common with your tenants than you realized.

#5 Give them something to be excited and proud of

In such a hot market, it is crucial you keep your properties in amazing condition. It’s even more important to make sure they are constantly evolving. Sure, people want to work in a clean building, but they also want to see their building keep up with contemporary office trends. Such options include:

  • Upgrade to an interactive touch screen directory
  • Securing a scooter station and/or electronic car charging stations at your property
  • Adding a new piece of in-demand gym equipment
  • Installing unique signage that stands out to ride share and food delivery drivers

A building with a modern look and feel will help your tenants attract and retain clients, which in turn helps you attract and retain tenants.

There are many ideas out there to help you create buzz amongst your office tenants. The goal is to get them talking about your building to each other and their friends who aren’t yet your tenants. To have a genuine impact in their lives, you should show them how much you truly appreciate them choosing your building. In a bustling Austin real estate market, it’s often the intangibles that make the biggest difference between a tenant renewing that lease and leaving for the hot property across the street.

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