Are you looking to maximize occupancy and improve tenant retention in the new normal?

Social distancing, lockdowns, widespread work from home, and other pandemic changes have changed the CRE industry as we knew it.

While these changes help keep you and your tenants safe, they can severely impact your occupancy rates and tenant retention. People no longer feel safe shopping, going into work, and more – all of which can cause tenants to leave your building.

But, there are steps – like good communication and flexible space management – you can take to make tenants feel safe, resulting in increased occupancy and retention in the new normal. Wondering how you can maximize occupancy rates and improve tenant retention? Read on to find out.

1. Improve Communication

One way to maximize occupancy and retention is to have strong building communication.

With all the uncertainty created by the pandemic, it’s important to regularly communicate with your tenants. Otherwise, tenants will feel abandoned by you and your team. And, they’ll be even more worried about returning to your building – even when it’s completely safe to do so.

To help soothe tenant concerns, you need to communicate with them regularly. Communicating through multiple channels (like text or slack) ensures that tenants get your messages. But, this multi-channel communication can be time-consuming.

An easy way to communicate with your tenants is by using building communication software. With this software, you can send a message through multiple channels – without having to send it multiple times. And, building communications software can save drafts of commonly used messages. That way, you can get important information out to tenants in seconds.

Having good communication can help your tenants feel connected to your building and confident in its safety – improving occupancy rates and tenant retention.

2. Flexibly Manage Your Space

Another way to maximize occupancy and improve tenant retention is to offer flexibility for tenant spaces.

In the new normal, tenants have constantly shifting space needs. They might need larger spaces to accommodate social distancing. Or, they might need smaller spaces to make it through challenging economic times. The uncertain new normal has made tenants hesitant to stay in buildings that don’t offer the flexibility they need.

As such, you need to manage your space flexibly to retain current tenants and boost occupancy by attracting new tenants. To have flexible space management, you need to be able to quickly visualize any changes – like moving a tenant to a smaller space. Or, combining multiple spaces to make a tenant’s space larger.

But, visualizing changes can a long and frustrating process when you have to go through architects.

Instead, you can use space management software that makes it easy to visualize changes. You can create what-if scenarios in minutes to help tenants see how they can change their space. And, with stacking plans, you can quickly see which spaces are available for tenants to move or expand into.

Flexible space management can help you meet the needs of tenants in the uncertain new normal – maximizing occupancy and tenant retention.

3. Proactively Manage Leases

Along with good communication and flexible space management, you can improve occupancy and retention by proactively managing your leases.

When leases come up for renewal, tenants are more likely to leave your building if your team doesn’t get in contact with them beforehand to assess their changing needs. So, tenants have little incentive to stay – reducing your occupancy, retention, and revenue.

To make sure tenants renew their leases, your lease team needs to be proactive. They need to reach out to tenants well before the lease expires. Your team should see if your tenant has any problems, needs any changes, or sees any areas where you could improve. However, it can be hard for your team to stay on top of every lease that’s ending.

The easiest way to proactively manage leases is with space management software. This software has a rent roll visualization, which makes it easy to see which leases expire soon. And, it can send reminders to your team about expiring leases. That way, your team can always get in contact with tenants before their lease ends – increasing the chance your tenant will renew.

Proactively managing leases using space management software is another way you can maximize occupancy rates and improve tenant retention.

4. Maintain Your Building

You can also improve occupancy and retention by making sure you have a well-maintained building.

Tenants want to rent in a building that’s in good shape. And, in the new normal, they want to rent in a healthy building that will keep them safe.

If you aren’t keeping up with routine maintenance, you’re more likely to have assets break down. This requires costly repairs or replacements. And when these assets are large-scale, such as HVAC systems that can impact clean air circulation, tenants will notice– which can prompt them to leave for a better-maintained building.

To keep your building in top shape, you need to conduct regular preventive maintenance to fix problems before they impact tenants.

So, you need to create a preventive maintenance schedule and ensure your team follows it. But, sifting through manuals, warranties, and more to create the schedule can be a time suck. Not to mention the time it takes to constantly remind your team to stick to the schedule.

Instead of manually managing it, you can use preventive maintenance software. This software can help you create an accurate schedule in minutes – not days or weeks. And, with automatic reminders, preventive maintenance software can remind your team for you. So, you can make sure your building is properly maintained in less time.

5. Improve HVAC Management

The last way to increase occupancy and retention is by improving your HVAC management.

Whereas tenants likely used to give little thought to your HVAC system, a clean and healthy HVAC is now top of mind for many tenants. If you don’t manage your HVAC system properly, it could spread disease – making your building unsafe for tenants. This will prompt tenants to look for a healthier building, hurting your occupancy and retention.

To make sure your HVAC system helps keep your building healthy and safe, you need to manage it properly. This involves regular cleaning, switching out filters, and even upgrading portions of your system (like the ventilation system). But, properly managing your HVAC can be time-consuming and expensive.

With HVAC management software, it doesn’t have to be. This software has a central database to store all HVAC info, so you know what maintenance it needs and when it was maintained last. And, the software can send alerts to keep your team on top of maintenance. Plus, HVAC management software makes it easy to order new systems directly from the manufacturer – saving you money.

Improving your HVAC management to create a safer and healthier building is another way to maximize occupancy and retention.

Wrapping It Up

Maintaining high occupancy and tenant retention rates is difficult in the new normal. Tenants are uncertain about the future – which can prompt them to leave your building.

However, with good communication, flexible space management, proactive lease management, and regular maintenance, you can increase the likelihood of tenants staying. And, increase your occupancy rates by attracting new tenants.

Building operations software makes it easy to follow these 5 steps and ensure your building survives in the new normal.

Looking for building operations software that can boost your occupancy and retention? Consider using Prism. With Prism’s platform, you have access to building communication, space management, preventive maintenance, HVAC management, and more.

Want to learn more about managing HVAC in the new normal? Watch our on-demand webinar on the smarter way to manage your HVAC today.