Top 5 Tips For Running Effective Tenant Meetings
The landscape of commercial real estate has changed dramatically in the last few years. An increase in remote and hybrid work, coupled with the ever-increasing importance of technology, means that landlords must be able to meet tenants' ever-changing demands to remain competitive.
Now, more than ever, you must take the time to listen to tenants and touch base with them. One of the best ways to do so is through regular tenant meetings. This will help you improve your tenant's experience through tenant involvement.
What Is A Tenant Meeting?
If you are a property manager, asset manager, or tenant experience manager that is involved in leasing commercial premises, chances are you will be communicating with your tenants about the premises on a fairly regular basis.
Sometimes, this communication will take the form of a tenant meeting, which is a meeting between a commercial tenant and the property manager in which the parties discuss property-related concerns.
Why Is It Important?
When done right, a tenant meeting is a perfect opportunity for you to connect with your tenants more deeply and facilitate tenant involvement. A tenant meeting gives your tenants the time and space to share their opinions, concerns, points, and feedback.
It also forces you to take the time to truly listen to your tenants about their experiences. This helps you understand their needs as tenants and show them what you are doing to meet these needs.
A tenant meeting allows you to come to tenants and meet them where they are, on their terms. It allows you to show your tenants that you value them and are doing all that you can to ensure that they are getting the most out of the property.
What Should You Aim To Highlight In These Meetings?
Each commercial tenant is different and will have different concerns, needs and ideas. Therefore, every tenant meeting will be different.
However, there are some things you should focus on and emphasise in most, if not all, tenant meetings.
You need to highlight that you are here to listen to them and intend on taking action in response to any concerns raised. You should also keep them up to date on any developments. Briefly go over what was covered in your last meeting and what you have done since then.
If you have started working on a solution to a problem, or have already fixed it, let the tenants know. Moreover, if you have not yet acted on some of their concerns, don't ignore them. Remind them that you remember and value their concern, and explain why you have not yet started working towards a solution yet.
Top 5 Tips To Make Sure That Meetings With Your Tenants Are Effective
1. Come Prepared
Don’t just show up at the meeting and try and wing it. It is always obvious when someone isn't prepared, and tenants will see right through you.
A little preparation goes a long way. Remember, every commercial tenant is different. While some might prefer a detailed agenda circulated before the meeting, others might prefer a more relaxed approach.
Regardless, you should always take some time before a tenant meeting to consider and jot down what you will discuss. This will stop you from getting sidetracked on smaller issues and not addressing bigger, more pressing ones.
2. Take Minutes And Share Them With Everyone After The Meeting
You should not only be writing down what you want to talk about at tenant meetings. You should also have a written record of what was discussed at the meeting. It is always a good idea to take minutes of the meeting and share them with everyone after the meeting.
This shows your tenants that you are taking their concerns seriously by taking record of them. It also makes it easier for you to remember what was discussed at the meetings, act on these issues, and relay any development to tenants at the next meeting.
3. Find The Right Balance Between Major And Minor Issues
When done right, a tenant meeting will find the right balance between major and minor issues. Tenants might have small issues that might seem unimportant in the face of bigger, more pressing ones.
However, these small issues and annoyances can seem important to the tenant, and you mustn't brush over them or dismiss them.
On the other hand, you don't want to get so sidetracked on these smaller issues that you lose sight of the bigger picture and don't get around to dealing with the big issues.
Finding the right balance between the two is an art, and something you should keep in the back of your mind at all times.
4. Embrace Digital Tools
To adapt to changing tenant needs and expectations, you should embrace technology and incorporate it into your tenant meetings.
Don't be scared to conduct a tenant meeting through a video call, or email agendas instead of using hard copies. Ask your tenant what digital tools they are familiar with and would like to use during your meetings.
You can use an app to track meetings, update tenants on things that you’ve addressed, and make announcements.
In addition, involving your tenants to give feedback via a mobile app may be more convenient for them and they can record any issues as they occur. Then you can discuss these issues at regular tenant meetings and address them.
The most important thing you can do at a tenant meeting is to listen to the tenant. You might think you know where a tenant is going with something but never interrupt your tenant.
Absorb all the information they give you. Listen to what they are saying. Ask questions if you are not sure about something and restate their main points to ensure you understand them fully.
Good tenant experience is crucial for retaining tenants in the long run. Holding regular tenant meetings is a great way to touch base with your tenants, listen to their feedback, and address any issues. It shows that you care about their feedback and are actively working on providing the best possible experience for them.
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