Photo of two young entrepreneurs preparing to move in to newly leased industrial space


If you’ve invested in rental property, or if you’re considering getting started, you already know you need top quality tenants. But for new property owners, or for anyone who was recently burned on a bad tenant, how to find and keep great tenants can seem a bit daunting.

So here are our top tips.

The Basics

Finding and keeping good business tenants is different than dealing with renters for an apartment or single-family home, but some of the basics are the same across the board.

  1. INVEST IN DESIRABLE PROPERTY – First, make sure you have property that tenants will want to lease. Even if your residential or commercial property needs improvements, make sure it’s in a desirable location and has the potential to draw the kind of home renters or business tenants you want to attract. If you need to invest in improvements before leasing the property, be sure you can recoup the costs within a timeframe that’s feasible and that makes your investment profitable.
  2. ATTRACT THE RIGHT TENANTS – How you present your property is crucial for finding the right tenant. Which characteristics will be most appealing to your ideal tenant? That’s what you should highlight when you list and market the property. When meeting a prospective tenant, how do you present the property’s features that matter most to them? Knowing how your property stacks up against the competition, and having readily at hand the property’s key benefits and advantages, will help you present it in the best light to the right prospects.
  3. SELECT FOR THE LONG TERM– Finding tenants that are a good fit for your property is the most important factor in finding successful long-term tenants. Sure, you want tenants who pay on time and keep your property in good shape. But having great tenants who are a great fit for your space will make all the difference in long-term success. Whether for residential or commercial space, finding tenants that fit is the key to an arrangement that’s in the best interests of everyone involved.
Extra Considerations for Finding Great Business Tenants

Finding responsible and stable tenants is a top priority for any property owner. But finding great tenants for commercial property, whether that’s retail, office, restaurant or industrial space, has an extra set of demands. If you want profitable, long-term tenants for your commercial property, keep these tips in mind.

  1. UNDERSTAND THE MARKET – Make sure you have a good understanding of what businesses in your area are looking for. Listening carefully to your current and prospective tenants will help you understand their pain points and what challenges they face. Getting involved with your local business community, through the chamber of commerce, business associations, or civic organizations, helps keep your finger on the pulse of local businesses and business trends. It also helps to do some research and learn what your competitors are offering, so that you can position your own property in a way that makes it stand out. Finally, keep your eyes peeled for local businesses that might be needing to move or expand in the near future. Do you have something that might be their ideal space?
  2. MAKE IMPROVEMENTS THAT MATTER – Look at your property from the perspective of an ideal tenant. Is there anything you could change that would make a significant difference in attracting and keeping that business? Even small improvements can sometimes make a big difference, so take a good look around. Are there any energy efficiencies you can add? How’s the building security? How about a facelift here and there? Could you easily spruce up the exterior? Add indoor plants or artwork to common areas, like lobbies and hallways? Keep in mind that interior and exterior improvements don’t have to be costly to make a big impact.
  3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO – It might sound hard to say no to a business that’s offering money to lease your space, but being selective up front can save countless headaches – and often time and money – down the road. You want long-term leases with successful businesses that are a great fit for your space. If a business seems to be on shaky ground, or if an owner seems overly demanding or difficult, or if there are any red flags that suggest there might be problems in the future, it’s better to say no and hold out for a tenant that would be a great fit.
  4. REWARD REFERRALS – When one of your current tenants sends a new business tenant your way, remember to take the time to say thanks. Even something as simple as a thank-you note, or a gift certificate to a local coffee shop, shows your appreciation and strengthens the relationship.
  5. SUPPORT TENANT BUSINESSES – The real secret to finding and keeping great tenants lies in recognizing that this is a relationship. And, like all relationships, it needs ongoing support. So dine in your tenants’ restaurants, shop at your tenants’ stores, and encourage friends and colleagues to do the same. Follow your tenants’ businesses on social media. Share their news and special events. Pop in periodically just to say hi. At DMG, we also feature one of our tenant businesses every month with our “You Rock!” Tenant of the Month trophy and video profile. (Check out the latest video here.) If you attract tenants that are a good fit for your space, and take the time to support the businesses they run, you will be building the foundation of a successful relationship for years to come.
One Final Tip

Finally, consider hiring an experienced property manager, especially if your property is out of town. Local property managers are well-connected and have a keen understanding of the local market. Everything from marketing to leasing and contracts and maintenance will be handled much more efficiently with an experienced property manager at the helm.

If you need help filling your residential or commercial space with quality tenants, get in touch with us today. DMG / Property Management can help you find and keep top quality tenants, so you can focus on your investments, your business, and your life.