How to Romance Your Tenants Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

When occupancy is down,

So are you.

Feeling a little lonely in your building this Valentine’s Day? Not quite the tenant magnet you’d like to be? Experiencing unrequited love for your customers?

This Valentine’s Day, spend some time examining how to woo tenants into your building and build a deep and meaningful relationship with them. (Cue Tony Bennett music)

1. Look Online

Today’s tech-savvy tenants expect an online option to interact with building management. You should assume ALL your tenants are online, and that is where they like to do their research and get things done. According to Sirius Decisions, 70% of all B2B buying decisions are researched and made online before a company representative is ever involved. Tenant expectations have changed.   They expect property management to provide them with modern, online communication tools that mirror the way they do business- online and in real-time.

Additionally, you can and should control your online brand.  When prospective tenants search for your building online what do they see? Good reviews? Bad reviews? An out of date services listing?  CRE firms will help themselves  in the battle to attract tenants and keep them by embracing technology that enables them to find you, as well as following and controlling their brand online.  The brokerage side of the business has embraced this, and management should too – taking care to align information, messaging and tools between the two.

LinkedIn and Twitter are the eHarmony of property management. Tweets, status updates, and group discussions can position you as an industry expert and create another venue for tenants to reach you. Make a company LinkedIn page and encourage your employees to create a profile. Provide an internal process document that governs language to use on profiles so that they are consistent with the corporate page. Identify groups employees should belong to and the conversations they should monitor. Personal accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn create a more accessible and humanized image than a corporate profile alone.

Blogging is another way to attract and retain tenants.  While 40% of all companies utilize blogs, CRE has been much slower to adopt. Don’t count blogging out- it is a powerful tool to get in front of prospects, demonstrate your knowledge, build your brand, and give customers some lovin’.

2. Meet Their Expectations- Real-Time Access to Information and Service On-Demand

Don’t be a wallflower! Get yourself out there – be visible, transparent, and informative. We’ve already established that tenants are online, and that they expect to control access to information and make value judgments before ever picking up the phone to speak to you. Some of those value judgments are going to be related to how “tech savvy” you are as an organization and building/management team. Tenants also expect the option to interact with building management in real-time. The elements and tools you should have in place to help influence those judgments include:

  • Corporate and Property websites: Your property website is the perfect place to make announcements, showcase building services and garner feedback
  • Online Resource Scheduling: Enable your tenants to book conference rooms, elevators, and loading docks- freeing you from repetitive scheduling tasks and allowing you to focus on more valuable tenant interactions.
  • Tenant Handbook: Bring your handbook and other building documents online. This will increase management visibility and improve occupant safety, service and communication.
  • Visitor Access: Tenants in secure buildings expect to quickly and easily pre-authorize visitors for entry into the building and a have a real-time connection to the security guard check-in station in the lobby
  • Online Work Order Management: Tenants want to be able to submit requests, access information and receive communications online (from a web browser or mobile device), quickly and easily. The availability of information and insight into progress ensures tenants feel better about the service they receive and professionalism of the property.
  • Social Media presence: LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. (these provide an invaluable way to both personally interact with tenants, but also proactively take their pulse). Tools like and Hootsuite allow you to manage, sync and update your social media outlets.
  • YouTube: Ever thought about showcasing videos of that fancy new lobby renovation? How about vacant space?

3. Master Communication

Communication is a two-way channel. A communication system includes both tools and philosophy. You need a way for tenants to communicate their issues, including a Tenant Service Request Work Order Software System. You also need a way to share building information, emergency notifications, and new initiatives or changes.

Here is how you should align your tenant communications with distinct systems and tools:Tenant Communications

  • Emergencies: Broadcast messaging, Emergency Messaging Systems
  • Non-Emergency Events: Tenant Portals (property websites, tenant handbook, online building documents)
  • Green Initiatives, Personnel Information, etc.: Blogs, Social Media
  • Building Amenities, Instructions, Vacant Space: Video! YouTube

Email is not enough. A phone call two hours after a service request has been made is not enough.

4. Stay Connected – The Honeymoon Isn’t Over

Give your tenants a reason to renew their vows leases.

Proactively Monitor Tenant Satisfaction. Schedule, document and capture all visits and calls with the tenant contact on site and the lease renewal decision maker. All this information should be stored in a single location – a Property and Tenant management system allows for this capability. It is only valuable if it is easily retrieved and web-based.

Do smaller surveys. The annual Kingsley survey is fine, but you should utilize regular surveys to ask your tenants questions regarding service or decisions you are contemplating. Base decisions on data!

Provide outlets for feedback. People prefer to share information in a variety of ways and it’s important to try to accommodate them. Beyond phone calls and emails, think about things like community forums accessible through your corporate or building website, as well as live help or chat links from your website.

Feeling the love? Read more about Using Technology to Maximize Occupancy.