If you own or manage a retail shopping center, you understand how important it is to maintain the appearance of the building. Trash in the pathway, unruly hedges, and dirty facilities can make a bad first impression. After all, no customer will want to visit a shopping center that looks neglected. Here are some strategies you can use to make sure your property is well maintained.
1. A large retail shopping center will have a more complex maintenance process than a smaller one. We suggest you keep multiple files and notes about certain maintenance issues. Try to document the property's maintenance inspections. If you regularly keep track of this and other issues it can come in handy in the future and protect you from lawsuits.
2. Public liability insurance is an essential part of managing the risk and liability of owning a shopping center. There is a chance customers will slip and fall while walking in malls and shopping centers. Some people will also make fraudulent claims about getting injured while on your property. You can also install cameras in common areas so you can identify any fraudulent slip and fall claims. Besides getting public liability insurance and cameras, you can invest in quality mats at every store's entrance. You should also have a predefined process for identifying and tracking any issues that involve a customer getting injured. Or any incident where there is a potential public liability.
3. The maintenance crew should check each section of the retail shopping center to make sure it is clean. The size of the property and the average number of tenants and customers who visit every day can have an impact on how often you will need to maintain the building. If you outsource the building's cleaning to a commercial cleaning company, there should also be a contract that outlines what they will clean and at what time.
4. Security and lighting play a crucial role in maintaining the appearance of any retail property. You need to hire specialized contractors to test your security team and make sure your lights are working properly to keep the general public safe. We also recommend you store the information about periodic inspections and which issues were resolved for future reference.
5. The fire safety measures within the building need specialized maintenance procedures based on the building's design and the existing building codes. The safety equipment such as sprinklers, isolation doors, hydrants, smoke detectors, alarm systems, and exit signs should be kept in good condition. You can also train the staff to handle these tasks. Develop an evacuation plan that will show occupants where to safely exit in case of a fire or an emergency while they are on your property.
6. Another suggestion is up to the state and federal safety codes. This will make the public and tenants confident that the establishment cares about their safety.
7. Make sure the maintenance crew cleans the shopping center's parking area often so there isn't a lot of litter. The property should also have clear signage and a parking lot attendant depending on the location. Since the parking lot is the first and the last thing your visitors will see, it is important that it is safe and clean at all times.
8. As more and more customers visit your retail property, the more you may have to spend on cleaning and maintenance tasks. That is why it is important to adjust the rent to accommodate the rising maintenance costs so your tenants can absorb some of the additional expenses.
Overall, the right operating and maintenance strategies can have a significant impact on the net income generated from your retail property.