5 Key Tips for Keeping Your Commercial Tenants Happy

Ask 10 different commercial landlords for the number one secret behind their success in the industry and you’re liable to get 11 different answers. There’s no manuscript written in ink – everything is constantly changing. But with that said, some sound principles go a long way toward fueling long-term profitability.

One of those keys is keeping tenants happy so they stick around.

Why Happy Tenants Are So Important

The last thing a commercial tenant wants to do is to find a new property, pack up all of their belongings, change their physical address, and do the never-ending tasks that are required when moving locations. But they will, if they’re unhappy or dissatisfied.

The good news is that the opposite is true as well. A happy and satisfied tenant doesn’t have any reason to go elsewhere and will, in an ideal situation, stick around for years. In other words, they become beacons of reliability for landlords.

5 Ways to Keep Tenants Happy Where They Are

Keeping tenants happy isn’t rocket science, though it does require some specific action steps. Here are five specific ways you can keep your tenants satisfied for years to come:

1. Maintain Open and Regular Communication

Just talk to your tenants. This sounds simple, but don’t neglect it. Regular check-ins can help you catch and address small issues before they become big problems. Ask them how things are going in their space. Are they having any issues? Is there anything they need? These conversations show your tenants that you care and are proactive about their satisfaction.

Also, be responsive. If a tenant reaches out with a concern or problem, make sure you get back to them quickly. This is where having a commercial property manager on your team helps. It allows you to be highly responsive without having to be the person who picks up the phone or responds to the email.


2. Keep the Property in Top Shape

Your property needs to look good and work well. Regular maintenance is key. This means fixing things when they break, of course, but also taking care of the property so issues don’t come up in the first place. This could involve anything from keeping the parking lot clean and well-lit to making sure the elevators are running smoothly.

Upgrades are also important. Stay on top of trends in commercial spaces. Sometimes, a few upgrades can make your property more appealing and functional for your tenants. This could be as simple as fresh paint, new lighting, or updated restrooms.

3. Offer Competitive Lease Terms

Be fair and competitive with your lease terms. This doesn’t always mean being the cheapest option around, but it does mean offering good value. Understand what’s typical in your area and for your type of property. What are other landlords charging? What perks or benefits are they offering?

Also, be flexible when you can. For example, if a long-term tenant needs to adjust their lease terms due to changes in their business, see if there’s a way to work with them. Keeping a good tenant might be worth more in the long run than sticking strictly to the original terms.

4. Build a Community Among Tenants

If your property has multiple tenants, try to foster a sense of community among them. This can make the space more enjoyable and vibrant, which is good for everyone.

Host events or meet-and-greets. Encourage businesses to support each other. If you have a mix of businesses, think about how they can complement each other. For example, a coffee shop next to a book store could collaborate on promotions, benefiting both businesses.


5. Be Proactive About Renewals

Don’t wait until the last minute to talk about renewing a lease. Start these conversations early. Check in with your tenants a few months before their lease is up. Ask them about their plans. If they’re thinking about leaving, ask why and see if there’s anything you can do to make them reconsider.

Also, use this as an opportunity to discuss any updates or improvements they’d like to see in the space. Sometimes, making a few changes can be the difference between a tenant leaving or staying for another few years.

Keep Your Retention Rates High

Retaining commercial tenants isn’t just about having a nice building. It’s about building relationships, being attentive, and creating a space where businesses can thrive. Keep the lines of communication open, maintain and upgrade your property, offer fair lease terms, foster a community, and be proactive about renewals.

These steps can help you create a desirable and profitable commercial property with happy, long-term tenants.

About Nina Smith