Retaining tenants and renewing commercial leases is a complicated science, especially considering COVID-19 has catalysed a shift in end-user needs and expectations.
Leasing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Leasing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions have helped landlords and leasing teams create and manage lease payments and renewals for a while now. But let's say you don't have a dedicated platform to help you strategically prioritize and chase renewals; or say, perhaps, that you are missing some of the key data points necessary to formulate comprehensive tenant profiles. Maybe you need new methods of personalizing outreach in the wake of COVID-19.
The right tenant experience platform can strategically support leasing teams by:
- Simplifying the process of prioritizing renewal targets
- Providing more of the critical data required to understand what specific tenants want, think, and do
- Helping to formulate and execute tailored retention plans
- Galvanising relationships with tenants based on personalisation and goodwill
We have developed our four-step action plan based on our experience with tenant outreach, and in consultation with leasing professionals. You can use our methodology from end-to-end, or take specific elements to refine your own approach. The template is designed to work with our tenant experience technology suite, including our Analytics Dashboards, but it may still be useful alongside other systems.
Four steps to success in tenant retention
Here is our four-step action plan for better tenant retention (complete with a template you can copy and use):
1. Complete the tenant profile section
If you use a leasing CRM, the information in this section will likely be stored there, and will be regularly updated. If not, you can use a combination of fact-finding tools and resources to compile your tenant profile, including:
- LinkedIn (for company overview, jobs, and insights)
- Company website (for key leadership, news/press)
- Crunchbase (for company industry, size, funding type, and more)
- Google Alerts (for news/press)
We like to elucidate "recent news" as a separate section, because it can provide ideas for re-engagement campaigns. For example, your target company may have recently announced a new commitment to sustainability, with specific targets. That will dictate if they renew with you, because the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) goals of your asset(s) must satisfy their criteria. If they do, great! Now you can hit them with content geared directly to this topic.
2. Complete the company data/feedback section
This section is populated using usage data from your tenant experience platform (and your Analytics Dashboards solution, if you have one). If you don't yet have a tenant experience technology suite, you might be able to capture some of these numbers and insights via your CRM.
The Key Tenant Data column examines hard, quantitative numbers over a three-month period. These data help you to identify what users at your target company typically do: the content they prefer to read, the events they have joined, and the services and amenities they use. Our Leasing Dashboards, part of our larger Analytics Dashboards, provide you all of these metrics.
The Employee Feedback column supplements the quantitative data with qualitative feedback — what users at your target company want, think, and feel. During COVID-19, we examined this feedback through the lens of our Remote engagement solution, but it also pays to look at content, services and amenities.
Using these two columns, you can further devise your re-engagement strategy backed by evidence. You're not guessing about the theme of the VIP event you're going to hold, because you know that a dessert-based spread is likely to be a winner.
3. Deepen your knowledge with a HR intel session
To get the fullest possible profile on your target company and its employees, we recommend a three-step plan (or plan-within-a-plan) aimed at mining insights and suggestions directly from the company HR department.
- Schedule the session with the HR rep for your target company — if unknown, reach out first to the company's key tenant contact (or tenant representative)
- During the meeting, you'll want to cover the following topics:
- Employee demographics
- Departments/teams that work within the asset
- Primary tool for internal communication (Slack, Google Chat, Microsoft Teams, etc)
- Who is responsible for internal, company-wide communication
- General workplace culture
- How can we support you using our tenant experience suite?
- Would you be willing to execute a short-form survey?
- After the meeting, it's always a good idea to send your HR liaison a personalised thank-you gift for their time. We find an artisanal chocolate selection, gift card, and note work best.
The intel uncovered in your HR session will help you fill out your Human Resources worksheet, which is the final part of step 3. You'll use the worksheet alongside your tenant profile section (step 1) and company data/feedback section (step 2) to build your re-engagement campaign.
4. Build your action plan
As said above, you should use your three fact files (tenant profile, company data/feedback, and your Human Resources worksheet) to compile a comprehensive action plan.
The Actionable Solutions column includes the proposed budget for your leasing re-engagement campaign. How much you spend on an individual tenant is up to you. The important thing is that your engagement activities are tailored to the insights you have uncovered.
As you can see from our sample, a good action plan should comprise, if possible, your entire arsenal of technological solutions and customer touchpoints. Think about:
- Content: Run series of "log-in to win" competitions
- Newsletters: Create an additional bi-weekly email blast for the target company, advertising events of particular interest to its employees
- Retail: Organise, with onsite retailers, a run of limited-time promotions
- Tech: Set up an arrival-booking feature to combat fears of safe building re-entry
With the right data, and the right tenant experience platform solution behind you, your options for tactical lease renewal are virtually endless.
If you need help, our dedicated team can provide suggestions for engagement strategies that foster long-term relationships. Or perhaps our Analytics Dashboards product is your key to tenant retention — find out more here.