Retail Property Location Keys

Retail property performance and success is something that is highly geared to location and the physical issues relating to the site. Retail property is usually positioned and developed only to suit and serve its target market but presentation and image are a large part of the equation.

Poor retail property presentation breeds poor property performance, it’s that simple. The customer likes to feel good when they shop and they want to enter and leave the property with minimum inconvenience. When you have a happy customer, it directly reflects right down to the levels of rent and the numbers and types of tenants that the property has. This gives the landlord a level of security in the asset, knowing that everything is working in the correct way.

A successful retail property is a combination of many key things such as:

  • Location, location, location
  • Lease terms and conditions
  • Tenant mix and offering
  • Vacancy minimisation
  • Refurbishment strategies
  • Customer experience
  • Property maintenance
  • Customer visitation
  • Customer spend

Consider this. A landlord wants a retail property to give sound and stable rents for the duration of the leases. Rent and occupancy volatility must be minimised. The tenants in that retail property also want the property to attract and maintain customer interest for the long term. All of these factors come together in an equation of unique balance.

Let’s focus here on the location factors for a good retail property. The old adage ‘position, position, position’, still rings true.

So exactly what position and location criteria can the property investor set or target for their ideal retail property? This list may help.

  1. Are the road and highway access points to the property good or hindered?
  2. Are there any traffic lights that direct people to and from the property safely?
  3. Are the gardens and landscaping around the property well cared for and designed?
  4. Are any tenant’s business signboards and bulkheads well controlled so that they do not give the property at ‘trashy’ image?
  5. Does the local public transport system access the property effectively and will the customers feel that the drop points for the transport are safe and effective?
  6. Review the car park. Is it well designed and suitably signed to that customers can safely and easily access the main property building and tenancy areas?
  7. Are there physical barriers such as a creeks or rivers that isolate or restrict the customers to the property?
  8. Are there any bridges to the property that ‘funnel’ the traffic and could they create traffic jams at peak times?
  9. Is the exposure of the property to the passing traffic prominent and positive? Can the property signage be easily seen and can it be improved?
  10. Is there a major pylon sign on the property that ‘brands’ the property correctly?
  11. What is the lighting around the property perimeter doing, and can it be improved in any way?
  12. Visit the property at night to see what image the property gives from any illuminated signs and features.
  13. What is the identity or name of the property and can it be clearly seen from the road. Is it modern and adequate? Does the name need to change? Ask the local community about what they think of the property name.
  14. Does the parking around the property support all the Customers and Tenants well? Is the car park large enough for the peaks of trade during the average week? Does it need re-design or functional changes? Does the car park need better lighting?
  15. What customer services exist within your property? Are they adequate and modern? (Parking, Toilets, Malls, Seating etc.)
  16. Is the internal property layout ‘Customer’ friendly? Can Customers easily understand where they are and can they shop in comfort?
  17. What do you do or offer to extend the customer visitation time to your property?
  18. Is the tenant signage conforming to good design (or Centre standard) rules? Is it well maintained?
  19. Are ‘sight lines’ open and un-cluttered to the retailers shops?
  20. Are the shop frontages and displays clean and welcoming to the customer?
  21. Look at the shops in clusters and zones to see if the areas work well and offer the customer ease of entry and passage.

All of these location factors affect every retail property. Use them in your inspection strategy on any retail property analysis for leasing and tenant potential. Also use them as part of your location assessment for the future opportunity of the property.

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