In real estate management, the best success story—and a clear sign you’re doing your job right—is when tenants don’t just move into the space; they stay in the space. Retaining tenants is crucial for the success of your commercial real estate properties.
The post-pandemic world has redefined the work environment. Thanks to the convenience of online meetings and at-home offices, working from home continues to remain an attractive option for former office-goers, creating a reduction in office occupancies and emptying once-bustling workplace properties.
And yet, our property managers are continuing to experience successful tenant returns.
Despite the shifts in how and where work can be done, our tenants throughout the country are returning to offices or occupying a new property. Not only are our tenants returning or starting anew, but they are also highly satisfied with their tenant experience. This year, we were named a 100% Club Winner in the 2023 Kingsley Excellence Awards for commercial properties based on perfect tenant satisfaction scores in 2021 and 2022.
There are key factors that contribute to tenant satisfaction. From more green space to safety features to updated amenities and lively social events, landlords are incorporating new features to encourage occupancy and boost overall satisfaction.
Here are three tips for how to build (and keep) tenant satisfaction high, which can positively impact the likelihood of lease renewals and overall income generated by the property.
Tip 1: Incorporate elements of connection. When an employee works from home, they are often removed from the traditional in-person office culture that can boost connectivity and morale. You can fill that void for your tenants by creating opportunities to inspire connection with others through in-person events at the property. As the saying goes: “If you build it, they will come.” Exercise your muscles in hospitality and put on a service-minded hat to foster an environment of fun and engagement.
As part of our AT&T Tower project—a LEED-EB Gold Certified, Class A office in downtown Minneapolis—our team hired a tenant engagement coordinator to boost tenant satisfaction and host tenant events—which were a huge success. The number of people in the office tripled.
Tip 2: Provide access to new and attractive amenities. By including and offering amenities that are aesthetically appealing makes work easier, you can directly speak to tenant needs and boost satisfaction while increasing use of the office space. A few examples of unique amenities that landlords are now incorporating into their real estate management practices:
- Outdoor spaces. Think rooftop patios, garden spaces adjacent to the building, easy to view sunshine and greenery, skyline views and pickleball courts…all elements that connect people with the outdoors while simultaneously making an office feel less like an office and more like an oasis. These types of created spaces helps build an attractive, nature-filled, welcoming atmosphere that help people feel at ease.
10 West End—a Class A office property we helped develop in St. Louis Park, MN, boasts a beautiful one-acre park right out the front door and a breathtaking 1,800-SF sky deck overlooking the Minneapolis skyline, helping employees get spectacular views throughout the workday. Pacifica Vista Commerce Center—a Class A office and industrial space in Carlsbad, CA—boasts garage doors that open to reveal a useful breakroom area and bocce ball court for tenants to utilize. An impressive Class AA office building property we are currently developing—Ryan Tower in Plano, TX—has also incorporated pickleball courts to encourage fun and friendly games amongst building tenants.
- Easy access to the building. Increasing the property’s accessibility helps remove hurdles that could keep people at home. A location near public transportation, bike paths and convenient parking increases ease and efficiency for tenants. As part of the Highland Bridge Medical Office project in Saint Paul, MN, we partnered with the city to incorporate a sidewalk right off the busy parkway in front of the building to increase pedestrian accessibility, helping patients get the care they need and deserve without the stress of navigating logistical confusions.
- Safety & security measures. No matter the location, it is vital that tenants feel safe and secure on the property premises. You can evoke that valued sense of safety by making proactive decisions—and communicating those decisions to your tenants—that provide extra precautions and protection while reflecting your prioritization of tenants’ health, wellbeing and security. Installing air filtration systems, security cameras and other tools to help protect people can provide peace of mind and establish trust between you and your tenants, increasing overall satisfaction.
During the construction of the Highland Bridge Medical Office, our REM team collaborated with our construction team to determine the most effective security measures for our space and where to put security cameras to keep tenants protected. Additionally, one of the buildings we manage in Minneapolis—City Center—achieved the WELL Health-Safety Rating, which is a certification that empowers building owners and operators to prioritize the health and safety of tenants, visitors and staff through operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans. (You can read more about WELL certifications here.)
Tip 3: Build a trusted relationship with tenants. By prioritizing your tenants’ needs (especially regarding building maintenance and upkeep) you help build a relationship based on consistency and communication, which increases tenant trust and satisfaction. Through tenant satisfaction surveys, you can ensure you are keeping your finger on the pulse on areas where you can improve, allowing the opportunity to quickly intervene and remedy any areas of dissatisfaction. Flexible lease terms—such as expansion for space, relocation in the building and move-in/move-out date terms—are another way to boost tenant satisfaction and provide an incentive to re-sign a lease.
We are focused on transforming spaces into places where tenants can thrive. Our real estate management approach is strategic, flexible and intentional, bringing unmatched insights to property and leasing management that create highly satisfied and loyal clients while increasing property value.