How to Seek Tenant for Shopping Center

4 Replies

Hello All,

I just recently started managing a shopping center. All of the units are occupied except one in the middle. I hired a commercial broker in the past to assist me in finding a compatible tenant but it was unsuccessful. Besides posting the unit on websites such as Loopnet & Costar, what other suggestions could you provide me with? The unit is 1500 sq. feet & neighbors 7-Eleven & Metro PCS. 



Hi Farah,

I am a commercial realtor, myself. Banners, signage, online listings generally gets us lots of hits. On top of that, networking with other agents helps, as you can refer prospects to one another.

Another thing that you can do is cold call. I feel that with the progress of technology today, people will reach out when they are ready to relocate or expand their business. However, older agents swear by it, that cold calling still works.

Good luck!

Hi Farah, The most important way to lease retail is a sign on the store window and if the municipality allows a 4' x 8' project leasing sign. You can also attend an International Council of Shopping Centers event where retailers go to expand their store count and developers can fill spaces with quality tenants.  You can also go to the local Chamber of Commerce and the local economic development organization sponsored by the municipality or county.  Another great way to attract tenants is to incentivize  your current tenants by giving them a discount on rent for a month or two for each fully executed and delivered lease signed at the property.  Your other retailers want to see the space filled because it means more traffic for their store.  And they know the benefits of locating at the shopping center as much or more than you do.  I wish you the best with your shopping center investors.

Depending on the shopping center and if it's something that would be attractive to national tenants, I would look at joining ICSC and getting the list of the retailer members. Most of your national tenants will be in there, and often they have space criteria; size, demographics, geographic location, etc. I've had luck just going through that list and cold calling. What I've seen, in my market, is that the companies still expanding are in the quick service food industry. A google search of emerging quick service restaurants will provide you a list of some prospects to call on. Good luck!

Loopnet, Costar, Facebook, Signs, Website are all passive forms of marketing. They have their place, but you also need to implement an active marketing plan. Cold calling by phone, emailing, facebook messaging, and street canvassing at other similar shopping centers.  Many/most small business owners have a facebook page for their business - go to their page and send them a message via messenger. Don't go formal in my messages - I don't even say "To whom it may concern", rather I get right into the message - something like "If I have a space for a lease and wanted to see if it would be of interest to ABC Co., who would be the best person to speak with or to email information to?" My response rate is very high - I suspect b/c they can see your profile and tell your a real person and retail business owners are always curious to see what's out there, from my experience.  Good luck.

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