What Is Tenant Involvement?
As a property manager or landlord for commercial premises, you want to keep your tenants as happy as possible. A happy tenant will likely be a loyal tenant – one who spreads positive feedback and improves your reputation.
However, it is difficult to keep commercial tenants happy if they are not kept in the loop and are not involved in decisions concerning the property.
An involved tenant, on the other hand, is much easier to satisfy. They make it easier for you to understand, and meet their expectations.
Read on to learn about tenant involvement within commercial real estate, and how it can benefit both you and your tenants.
What is “Modern” Tenant Involvement?
Tenant involvement generally occurs when tenants work with those managing their leased property, for example, their landlord or property manager. It sometimes even includes tenants working with community groups in addition to those managing the leased property.
Tenant involvement allows tenants to be included in decisions about the property they are leasing. It allows them to stay in the loop and have their say on a variety of relevant matters. Such matters include the property conditions, services and policies.
Tenant involvement is only successful if all parties are committed to the process. All parties must be on board – willing to share ideas, information and knowledge.
Today, many tenants prioritise a property that is conducive to the technological world – one that can facilitate a technologically-savvy lifestyle. Many modern tenants also prioritise ethical property. Sustainable and environmentally-friendly properties are increasing in popularity.
When done right, tenant involvement can greatly benefit the tenant, the property manager and even the community and environment. It ultimately makes it easier for the property manager and tenant to ensure that the tenant’s needs and wants are met, given the available resources.
What Does Tenant Involvement Look Like in Commercial Real Estate?
Tenant involvement in commercial real estate involves the tenants participating with property managers to promote the interests of their company. Commercial tenants want to ensure that the property is conducive to their company’s values and goals.
Given a global trend towards hybrid working, many companies are looking for premises that will be able to facilitate a hybrid workplace.
Moreover, there is a recent trend of companies promoting environmental, social and governmental (ESG) sustainability goals. These ESG trends have influenced commercial tenant involvement.
When it comes to environmental concerns, commercial tenants are increasingly prioritising a property that enables and facilitates recycling. Additionally, tenants seem to prefer properties that reduce pollution and are energy efficient.
With regards to social concerns, commercial tenants prefer a building that is safe to occupy. They don’t want to have to worry about any health or safety problems popping up.
Moreover, tenant’s governance concerns generally include a preference for property management that is transparent and objective.
Essentially, many commercial tenants are looking for more than four walls and a roof when it comes to their leased premises. Many of them are hoping to lease a premises that they will be satisfied with in the long run.
These tenants usually want the opportunity to form a good relationship with their landlords that benefits both parties. This way, tenants ensure that they can get the best possible use out of the premises while landlords can boost tenant retention and take steps to improve their property management.
How To Facilitate Tenant Involvement
We get it – it's hard to get people excited about things, especially things that, on the face of it, seem to involve more work.
However, tenant involvement ultimately makes it easier for the property management to ascertain and meet the tenant’s needs. Often, a more hands-on approach to commercially-leased property can make the lives of both the tenants and the property manager easier, not harder.
- The first step to tenant involvement is communication. You should make sure that you, as the property manager, set up many good channels of communication between you and the tenant. Moreover, you should actually use these channels. Respond to any feedback from tenants, and follow up on your promises.
- Use newsletters or announcements to reach out to your tenants and keep them in the loop. You should also consider involving any of your service providers for tenant announcements.
- You don’t have to keep things virtual. An in-person event with free food is a great way to interact with one another and lay strong foundations for a good working relationship.
- Respond timeously. You don't want to discourage tenants who are reaching out to you by taking too long to respond to their concerns.
- Make sure you track any issues that have been reported by tenants. If there are any updates on those issues - inform the tenant. Even if there has been no change, you should explain the reason for the delay.
What is the Tenant’s Own Responsibility in Being Involved?
Tenants need to think about what they want from the commercial premises and consider how their involvement can help them achieve this.
First, a tenant hoping to be more involved in property management should indicate this to the property managers. It will encourage property managers to keep the tenant updated on property matters.
Tenants should be contactable and have good communication with the property managers. They should make sure that they read any announcements and updates regarding the property.
If tenants believe that there are any areas that need improvement, they should inform the property management. Moreover, if any changes are made, tenants should provide feedback to the property management, be it good or bad.
Furthermore, if the tenant is struggling to communicate with property management, they should request that property management set up a communication channel. This should enhance communication, enabling the tenant to become more involved.
While the property manager can post announcements and ensure the tenant is in the loop with everything going on, it’s up to the tenant to truly get involved. They have the responsibility to read announcements, ask questions and voice their concerns if they want anything to change.
Our world is constantly changing. So too are the needs of a modern commercial tenant. Involving your tenant in property management can make it easier for you two to work together to meet their needs.
Equipped with a greater understanding of tenant involvement, you should be one step closer to happy and involved tenants.
If your organisation is looking for a tool to involve all tenants in property management for better decision-making on workplace and property strategies, have a look at Falcony | Observe.
We are building the world's first operational involvement platform. Our mission is to make the process of finding, sharing, fixing and learning from issues and observations as easy as thinking about them and as rewarding as being remembered for them.
By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.
More information at falcony.io.
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