Improving tenant satisfaction is a top priority for property managers, especially as the workplace continues to evolve. There are several ways a commercial property manager can go above and beyond to improve tenant satisfaction. The goal is to build a strong, positive relationship with tenants, ensuring they feel valued and heard.
How can your property management team go beyond the lease? And is there a return on investment (ROI) for doing so? Read on for 10 ways you can go beyond the lease to focus on tenant satisfaction in ROI-positive ways.
1. Prompt and efficient maintenance
One of the key factors that can improve tenant satisfaction is the efficiency and effectiveness of the maintenance team. Quick response times to tenant requests and regular preventive maintenance can greatly enhance the tenant experience.
Tenants want a building where their concerns are addressed quickly. If they wait days or weeks for small problems to be fixed, they will look for another property. Losing these tenants will negatively impact your building revenue.
Resolving work orders quickly is crucial to better tenant satisfaction. You can improve response time to tenant requests by setting service benchmarks for your team, prioritizing work orders, and empowering your engineers to address requests on-the-go, no matter where they are in the building.
2. Communication and tenant engagement
Clear, consistent, and open communication can help to build trust between property managers and tenants. Regularly update tenants on any building changes, maintenance schedules, or security issues.
Additionally, amplifying satisfaction means your tenant engagement strategy should take a cross-channel approach. No two tenants are the same. Therefore, property managers need to communicate with tenants on their terms, using the channels tenants prefer. And all your communication channels need to be used in a seamless, consistent way to interact with all tenants effectively.
Solicit tenant feedback. Listen to their feedback. Let tenants know their feedback is heard and valued. That said, an annual survey isn’t enough to truly understand tenant satisfaction.
It’s important to keep in continuous communication with your tenants, including asking for feedback via pulse surveys. Technology can help simplify the process.
3. Amenity enhancements
Consider offering more amenities or upgrades that could make the commercial space more comfortable or convenient for your tenants. This could be anything from improved common areas, better parking facilities, bike racks, or perhaps a fitness center or café.
Recent research shows that those who don’t have new amenities on the radar could be leaving money on the table. In a recent study, JLL found that come 2025 there will be 12% higher demand for buildings with tenant amenities. Over the next few years, property teams might want to consider exactly what amenities will lead to a positive ROI for their buildings. To do that, you’ll need actionable insights gleaned from tenant data.
4. Flexible lease terms
Offering more flexible lease terms can help tenants feel more accommodated. Options such as shorter lease lengths or space expansion can provide a sense of relief from long-term commitments. If possible, these should be considered.
The business environment is constantly changing. A lease that allows for adaptability gives tenants a sense of security and assurance. Flexibility can be offered in many ways. Shorter lease terms can be offered, as well as options for expansion or contraction. Clauses allowing for early termination under specific circumstances can also be included.
This kind of adaptability helps tenants align their business operations and strategies with their physical space requirements. Also, by showing willingness to negotiate lease terms, you demonstrate an understanding of the unique challenges each business might face. This can foster a relationship built on trust and mutual respect, thereby enhancing tenant satisfaction and retention.
5. Building community
Investing in community-building initiatives can have a significant impact on a property’s financial performance. Organizing networking events, lunches, workshops, etc., can encourage a sense of community among tenants. This can increase tenant satisfaction as they feel more connected and engaged.
Building a sense of community within a commercial property can significantly contribute to a positive ROI. When tenants feel like part of a community, they’re more likely to develop a sense of belonging and satisfaction. That can directly influence their decision to renew leases. Community-building can be fostered through networking events, collaborative spaces, or shared services, which not only allow businesses to connect with one other, but also foster a vibrant, engaging atmosphere.
Additionally, a strong community can act as a magnet for prospective tenants, adding to the property’s appeal. This heightened demand can allow for competitive rental rates and boost revenue. Also, satisfied tenants are more likely to refer other businesses, indirectly contributing to marketing efforts and lowering acquisition costs.
6. Sustainability initiatives
Implementing green initiatives can not only lower operating costs but also improve tenant satisfaction. As environmental consciousness continues to rise, businesses increasingly prefer spaces that align with their own green policies and values. Implementing sustainable practices, such as energy-efficient lighting, heating, and cooling systems, recycling programs, water conservation methods, and green spaces, can enhance tenant satisfaction and wellbeing.
These initiatives not only contribute to a healthier, more productive working environment but also often result in lower utility costs, a benefit appreciated by cost-conscious tenants. From an ROI perspective, sustainable buildings tend to command higher rents and enjoy lower vacancies, given their growing appeal. Additionally, the reduced operating costs from energy savings contribute directly to the bottom line. Thus, investing in sustainability initiatives can improve tenant retention, attract new tenants, enhance property value, and ultimately, boost the overall financial performance of the property.
Tenants need to feel that their employees, property, and data are safe and secure. Implementing comprehensive security measures such as advanced surveillance systems, access control, alarm systems, and security personnel can provide tenants with a sense of safety and peace of mind.
When tenants trust that their working environment is secure, they are more likely to remain satisfied and renew their leases, which can enhance occupancy rates and stability of rental income. Additionally, well-secured properties are more attractive to prospective tenants, which can minimize vacancy periods. Also, investing in security measures can potentially reduce insurance premiums and decrease the risk of property damage, both of which contribute to cost savings.
8. Technology use
The use of technology in commercial buildings can drastically enhance tenant experience, leading to a strong ROI. Leveraging a building operations platform, for example, can streamline processes to make interactions more efficient and user-friendly for tenants. This could include a tenant portal for easy rent payment, maintenance requests, or a communication platform for instant updates and feedback.
Similarly, implementing smart building technology – such as a building automation system or automated heating, cooling, and lighting systems, or IoT devices – can provide a more comfortable and personalized environment, enhancing tenant satisfaction.
From an ROI perspective, these investments can result in increased tenant retention and potentially higher rental rates due to the added value these technologies provide. And many technological improvements contribute to operational efficiency and cost savings as well. Overall, the strategic use of technology can lead to better tenant experience, improved operational efficiency, and a more profitable portfolio.
9. Tenant improvements
Tenant improvements play a critical role in enhancing the tenant experience in commercial buildings. Tenant improvements allow occupants to customize their leased spaces to suit their specific business needs, creating an environment that enhances productivity, efficiency, and overall satisfaction. By offering a tenant improvement allowance or working closely with tenants on their customization requirements, property managers show a commitment to meeting unique needs and fostering long-term relationships.
Properties that accommodate tenant improvements are generally more attractive to prospective tenants, command higher rental rates, and experience shorter vacancy periods. Also, the cost of tenant improvements can often be recouped over the lease’s duration through these higher rents. Satisfied tenants are also more likely to renew their leases, reducing turnover costs and maintaining consistent revenue streams.
Transparency is a vital aspect of property management that can significantly enhance tenant satisfaction. Being upfront and clear about lease terms, costs, building policies, and any potential changes helps to eliminate misunderstandings and builds a foundation of trust.
Transparency also extends to being open about how tenant concerns and maintenance requests are handled, ensuring tenants feel heard and valued. Fostering a reputation for transparency can make a property more appealing to prospective tenants. Transparent communication can also increase tenant retention, as tenants are more likely to renew their leases in an environment where they feel respected and well-informed. This reduces turnover costs and ensures more stable revenue.
The ROI of investing in tenant satisfaction
Investing in tenant satisfaction can yield a large ROI. Enhancing tenant satisfaction through various strategies outlined above can directly impact revenue generation and cost savings. Higher tenant satisfaction can lead to increased lease renewals, therefore reducing the costs and income disruptions associated with tenant turnover.
A satisfied tenant is also more likely to refer other businesses, thereby reducing your marketing and tenant acquisition costs as well. Buildings with property managers who prioritize tenant satisfaction also tend to be more appealing to prospective tenants, commanding higher rental rates and minimizing vacancy periods. A commitment to improving tenant satisfaction is not only a win for the tenants but a financially sound strategy for property managers and owners, leading to increased profitability and property value.
Learn more about the ROI of investing in tenant satisfaction in the research report, “Property management trends & technologies for 2023.”