In Property Management Basics II: The Highest Standards, we illustrated how building trusting relationships with our tenants enables the Property Managers to effectively manage our properties by having another set of “eyes and ears” at the centers and to gain invaluable feedback in order to keep a pulse on the properties. Developing and maintaining positive tenant relationships is a primary initiative that enables Weingarten Realty to have some of the highest standards in the industry. The valuable relationships built with tenants at both the national and local levels also results in tenant retention and an enhanced ability to attract new tenants to our properties.
Weingarten has integrity and honesty in our dealings with tenants, which we prove by being very involved and responsive. The fairness in our interactions has positive results. Many businesses, when evaluating a renewal at a location, will ask their local/regional managers and facilities personnel about their experiences at the shopping center and a positive landlord relationship with “boots on the ground” often facilitates a renewal.
Many of the national tenants at our centers, who work with different landlords and property managers at various locations, state that Weingarten Realty managers are some of the best in the business. They highly regard the manager’s responsiveness and follow through on action items.
Our fair and honest interactions benefit many local or small shop tenants as well. In their very busy world, being able to rely on their questions being answered and issues being addressed is satisfying. When potential tenants are perusing the center for future leasing, they often talk with the local businesses on site. Having tenants with positive experiences will ensure that affirmative statements are made about the management of the center and lead to new lease deals.
Weingarten’s tenant relations initiative takes many forms. The managers visit each tenant face-to-face several times per year as well as take extra time to schedule and perform in-depth visits with various tenants through our PARTNERS program and Global Meetings.
PARTNERS visits focus on how the tenants are doing at this particular store: Do they need another location? Do they have suggestions for future tenants? Do they plan on renewing? What thoughts do they have about the center and its upkeep? These meetings serve as a reminder to our tenants that their input is valued. The information also has significance to our leasing team who use the gathered information to help in the leasing efforts.
Global Meetings are performed yearly with various national or regional tenants throughout our portfolio – all face-to-face. Both the property managers and leasing teams meet with corporate and regional representatives and discuss the many integral parts of their business and how Weingarten Realty can ensure our properties serve their business needs. These meetings result in new and renewed leases, expansions and reductions in space, any property/space issues and resolutions, and above all, a renewed and strengthened relationship between retailer and landlord/developer.
Taking a proactive approach is encouraged to resolve any issues. With new businesses coming into our centers each year, we meet with the directors and regional personnel to learn more about their business so we can better serve them and improve our properties. With our long-time tenants, many of these visits and meetings are performed with the same representatives year after year which further solidifies alliances that are strengthened over time.
In a business arena full of emailing, texting, tweeting, and Facebook discussions, where relationships are formed and continued without actual human contact, making face-to-face relationship building an initiative with high priority continues to keep Weingarten Realty ahead of its competition.