The Art of Getting High Quality Tenants


Good investment properties in St. Louis are underpinned by well-placed tenants. That’s how real estate investments work; professional and specialist brokers and agents can help with that. It directly follows that an investment property will be enhanced by well selected tenants on a reasonable lease term and occupancy document.

There are some factors here to consider if you want to boost your investment property leasing opportunities. Select a local specialist property agent that can help you with tenant placement strategies. Don’t let your investment property ‘stall’ or ‘stagnate’; get involved and focused into the tenant mix. A quality investment property is one where the sum effect of all tenants will help boost property performance overall.

Tenant Attraction

To attract quality tenants, you need a marketing plan to capture the right people and the best levels of interest. Don’t let vacancies persist. Establish a promotional package to pull in the leasing enquiry. That is a specific process, and an important one at that. So, what can you do here?

Leasing Marketing Plan

This is essential to enable the landlord or investor find the right tenants for known and upcoming vacancies. In that way, the greatest return for the asset is possible. By planning and setting tenant and leasing objectives in advance, you can have a guide as to the amount of time you can afford to invest in the lease enquiry or prospective tenant.

A good leasing broker or agent can ‘filter’ the priority tenants away from the tenants that have no ‘future’ in the investment property. Accomplish your leasing objectives with a tenant marketing plan and campaign strategy. It enables you to appraise your property to assure that you meet your investment objectives.

An Example of a Leasing Marketing Plan:

  • a specific marketing objective
  • an ideal tenant profile
  • groups of targeted tenants
  • rent and incentive strategies
  • a tenant retention plan
  • a selection of marketing material
  • direct marketing in the location
  • a controlled ‘spend’ for the required tenant targets

So, what can a professional leasing agent to do to help you here?  They can help you develop a  target tenant profile to analyze the appropriate characteristics of a specific tenant; that then helps you understand the tenant prospect. Here are some other ideas:

  • understand the nature of  a tenant’s business and their leasing needs and wants;
  • determine who is decision maker involved in making the buying or leasing decision;
  • set the buying influences if a purchase alternative is available;
  • determine the market influences that have an impact on the  businesses buying and leasing decisions;
  • understand the business or tenant’s competitors;
  • the financial requirements for leasing and occupancy;
  • the tenant’s business history and sales volume;
  • the financial strength and credit history.

Marketing Strategies for Difficult Properties

Are you holding on to a property that you just can’t get rid of? You don’t want it just sitting in your inventory waiting for someone to come and grab it. Traditional marketing is clearly not going to work as you have been unable to grab any attention thus far. Before taking any steps, you must first identify your target market. That will ensure that your message is getting into the correct hands. With that being said, what are the best ways to grab your buyers’ attention for such a difficult property?

Blog Sites

While you may have already gone down this road, blog sites are important in real estate. It allows you provide a more involved description of the property and show a passion for it, giving credibility to you as a broker. This will not only work for difficult properties but help build your brand. When someone is looking for property, you already have a wealth of knowledge built up that is published online putting you one step ahead of the rest. Customers don’t have to question your abilities.

YouTube Tours

You may have struggled to get prospects to come out to the site so why not bring it to them. Use a high-quality camera and pair it with some attractive music or even an agent as way to spark their interest. You may receive some calls later on asking for more information.

Graphic Art

Hire a graphic artist to better display what the property can provide. Yes, simple pictures may be able to do the trick but you’re here because those don’t work. Maybe incorporate humor, inviting colors, etc. Be more personable in your approach.

Facebook Advertising

Have a salon that you have yet to rent out? Facebook is an amazing resource for connecting with others. Post on your timeline. Join groups for haircare stylists around the city to get the word out. 1.3 billion people actively use the site so you would have a large reach if you use it correctly. It’s informal and effective because the message will surely be received.


No matter how you approach it, don’t go about it expecting to fail. Not everything is going to work but be persistent. If you have experience in the field, a close is in your future.


My Tenant Isn’t Paying Rent

You receive a signed lease from your new tenant. Months later and you are no longer receiving rent payments. Don’t begin to take legal action until necessary. So, what are the steps to take to reconcile the issue? It somewhat depends on what is written in the contract that was signed. Below I have a listed some recommended steps to follow when a situation like this arises.


1.       Late Rent Notice: Some renters provide anywhere from a 3 to 5-day grace period. If you didn’t receive anything during that time, provide a late notice warning of late fees (or whatever was agreed upon).


2.       Direct Contact: Reach out to the renter if you haven’t received a response after prompting them with a late notice. Are they just having a bad month? Look at what was set up in the contract to protect both parties in case an issue like this arose. What can you legally do to ensure that you are not being robbed of your space? Let them know that if you do not receive rent by 0/0/0, they will be receiving an eviction notice.


3.       Eviction Notice: if after the two prior actions they have yet to pay rent, you can now take legal action to resolve the issue. You may warn the tenants that if they do not pay, it will make a negative impact on their credit record. It’s their last chance to make it right.


4.     Eviction Process: If the time in your eviction notice expires without payment, you may proceed with court action. I highly recommend involving a lawyer especially if you are unfamiliar with this.


5.    Credit Bureau Reporting: They owe you money thus you have the right to report the ‘bad debt’ onto the tenants’ record which stays there for 7 years.



Don’t get taken advantage of. Understand your rights and know that not everyone is honest. Some people are going to try to force your hand. If you have a high-risk renter, keep in contact with them so they know someone is watching.


*information sourced from*

Marketing in Commercial Real Estate



In commercial real estate, marketing is especially important. It doesn’t just involve the property themselves. You’re competing with agencies from all over the country so if you don’t make yourself stand out, you may fail. Real estate is more than just buying, selling, and renting properties. It’s personal. Who is your target market? Find your niche and focus on that.
What type of marketing is best to utilize? It depends on who you are trying to hit, but you should never rely on just one channel. Let’s take at what’s important when marketing not only properties but your business in commercial real estate.

First, sit down, write a plan, and execute:
• Who is your target market?
• What is your budget?
• Who are your competitors and what do their marketing plans look like?
• How will yours be different?


Website Development
This is one of your first lines of defense. They see your property posted online and it’s linked to your website. They like what they see and click the link only to find out the website is straight out of 2005. Personally, this would turn me away. When I am shopping online the website is part of the experience. It helps build legitimacy with potential customers. When links don’t click, if it appears messy, or things are hard to find, I am less likely to stay on the site for a longer amount of time in order to contact an agent.

Social Media
I cannot say this enough. It’s now widely accepted throughout the real estate world and it’s an efficient way to reach a large audience. You can join groups on Facebook in order to contact your target market. Directly contact people and start a community conversation. Share your personality.

Print Marketing
Invest in high-end marketing options such as glossy brochures, flyers, direct mail, etc. Keep up with this. The more potential customers that are receiving the well-known, “junk mail”, the more likely they are to remember you and contact you when they need a broker. The rule is every 6 weeks, start a new campaign. Switch up between the different types so it’s not repetitive, but your name will continue to get out there. Print media is not dead.

Outreach Campaigns
Be a guest writer on a well-known journalists’ site. Reach out to the local news

Email Campaigns
We know this all too well. Create content that speaks directly to the customer to ensure it’s not immediately deleted. Whatever message you are trying to get across, make it short, sweet, and exciting. Otherwise it will just be trashed.

Performance Based Advertising
This uses cost-per-click based campaigns on sites like Bing, LinkedIn, Google Adwords, and Facebook. You pay only when there are measurable results and

Measuring success
• Brand impressions
• Website visits
• Leads generated


If the plan is executed correctly and is persistent, the specifications of the building are irrelevant. As it has been stated before: if you build it they will come.

JC Penney: Retail Done Wrong

JP Penney has recently released information of them closing 138 of their retail stores. Along with that we have Macy’s, Sears Holdings, Kmart, and a few others looking to shut some of their doors. What does this allude to? One simple thing: companies need to offer more. JC Penney was once the go to department store for high school dances, the summer season, and office clothing but other department stores and online experiences may have taken over the market.

This begs the question, is this the end of retail? No. It only means that retail stores need to understand that shopping is a personal experience that many are not currently providing. After visiting a few JC Penney stores, I found a clearer explanation as to why they may have a problem with keeping their stores open.


If shoppers are going to venture outside to shop instead of simply going online to make their purchase, they are looking for an experience. They want clean, exciting displays. They want salespeople who are willing to put on a show for them. They want knowledgeable advice from salespeople who are willing to help. JP Penney among other brick and mortars are struggling to offer this.


As I stressed before, shoppers want salespeople who know their product. When shopping online, it is up to you to do your own research. Will the product come as advertised? Is it in the same quality as the photo shows? Is this a trustworthy, brand, or website? While it may be somewhat of a convenience, purchasing online is always a gamble. With a specialist in front of you who can speak to product of interest, you know what you are getting before you buy it. And you get it on site.


It’s somewhat simple to design a website that is easy to use and pleasing to the eye. While there definitely will require upkeep, this will all be on the back end. With a brick and mortar there is a lot of overhead and front facing upkeep and you rely on employees to do their jobs accordingly to keep up the brand. If the displays are dirty or things are out of place, why would anyone want to visit your location?


How often have you walked into a store and there was a team of associates but no one offered to help you? They were either avoiding you at all costs or simply cliqued up with their other friends. If you visit a store you are either; wanting to browse, wanting help, or know what you want. If any of these are true, you especially don’t want to feel like you are inconveniencing the associates by visiting their store. That will not make for a pleasant experience and will ensure that you won’t come back again.  


If you need help with this, take a note from Nordstrom. While they are commissioned, every associate has a smile on their face. They are willing to help, approachable, and ensure that you are having the best experience. Everything for sale is in its correct place and every display is neat and organized. With proper management and regulations, every company could offer this to their consumers.

Should I Drop My Broker?

Commercial real estate is a tricky business. Make one wrong mistake and it could cost your business thousands upon thousands of dollars. It’s expensive so want to make sure you are choosing something that has the best value for the dollar. Finding something that is right for you can take time and a lot of effort. You must consider the target market, financials, space, regulations, and the whole nine yards. Bring in a broker and most of the work can be done for you thus clearing out much of the stress you would deal with if doing this on your own. Brokers are necessary in this business, but how do you know if it’s time to let them go?

Unfamiliar with the area

To get the best service, your broker should have the upmost knowledge base of the locations you are trying to score. If you are working in Cincinnati, don’t hire a real estate broker that just moved from San Francisco. If you truly want to succeed, work with a professional who knows every single crack and crevasse of the area.


It should be a personal relationship between you and your broker. Someone who truly knows you will better be able understand your needs. This will lessen the risk for disappointment and ensure that your broker is looking out for your best interest versus just looking for something that would best suit their wallet.


It may sound obvious, but not every agent acts with integrity. Especially if you are new to the business, there is a higher risk of you being taken advantage of. They may not show you all the options, especially those lots or buildings that will not give them as high of a return. Make sure to ask questions. If you have never worked together, do not always take their word for everything.


The internet is your friend. Do research before signing a contract with your broker. Do they have a salty past of relationships with customers or a full inbox of positive reviews? Are they licensed? Don’t jump in to the ocean blind. If they are fresh into their career, do they come from a reputable business?


Clearly there is a lot to consider when working with a broker. Not everyone is malevolent. If you are not ignorant on the subject, your broker can be a great resource in succeeding. Find someone that suits your needs and build a lasting relationship.

Why You Still Need Your Broker

When you are ready to move into a business facility, the realization of a relatively high price is already understood. It may cross your mind forego a broker to cut costs. Flying solo may ideally save money but could end up being more of a financial burden in the end. Below are a few reasons why you should a broker is the best decision when searching for a new facility.

Knowledge Base

Unless you are a broker trying to move into a new office, most likely your knowledge base of real estate is limited. These people are licensed and are familiar with contracts, zoning laws, and even the most convenient locations for your business. Without them, that research would have to be done on your own.

With their experience, they know how to act as a middle man. If you want to communicate something to the owner of the owner such as, “I don’t like your and green striped walls”, they can say it in a way that’s not hurtful but gets the message across.


Upon signing that contract, your real estate agent is legally unable to lie to you. As they are licensed professionals, they are forced to look out for your best interest and not their own. You don’t have to worry if they will take advantage of your ignorance so you can sit back and let them work their magic.


While your broker is out there negotiating, you can keep you what you do best- running your business. Time is money and money is time. If you are busy trying to understand the real estate world while also trying to run your business, you are allotting yourself less time to do what matters most.

Economically It Just Makes Sense

With everything in mind, agents save you money. They understand the market and are experienced in the art of negotiating. They know what lots and locations work best for your needs so you are less likely to get fooled by sellers wanting to make an easy sell.

Brokers can also help give you advice on if leasing or purchasing would be best for your current situation. Sometimes you need an expert opinion and these agents deal with customers like you all the time. They have seen the successes and failures before so they know how to point you in the right direction to avoid you making someone else’s mistake.


Overall, your broker is here to help. Forgoing a broker is like not using your GPS when going on vacation because it will use up your data. You will end up making wrong turns and using up more gas in the end, thus wasting more gas and time than you would have if the navigation system was used. Take the advice and don’t jump into the water alone.

Should I Lease or Buy My New Business Facility?

As a business owner, first you decide your specific needs for a facility. It all just comes down to how you will obtain it. There are several things to consider when looking to move. While affordability is always something to consider, that’s not the only factor when comparing whether to lease or buy. Let’s lay out the differences to assist with deciding on what is best for you.

Advantages of Purchasing

Potential Appreciation

You will own this property. Depending on the market, you have the potential to eventually make a return. Consider inflation and the location. Let’s say the purchase is originally made in an area with low property values because of the effects of crime, population, or low proximity to high traffic streets. There’s not much risk involved unless your business goes under. If the city is revitalized, this assisting with high returns in the long run.


You own the facility. You have the rights to make changes, increase the value, and build a property that suites your tastes and needs. This creates a relationship between you and the property. This is also ties into appreciation as the higher quality of changes which you put into a property, the higher the possibility of a return.

Advantages of Leasing


It sounds weird, I know. But you are not accounting for all the costs included in owning a property. When leasing, you don’t have to pay for the cost of maintenance, repairs, bookkeeping, insurance, and so on. Consider the costs that would be incurred if the roof needs to be replaced. Luckily when leasing the owner of the property must take care of those costs.


If the location ends up not suiting your business, move. Leasing provides mobility. For situations like increased crime rates, decreased property values, natural disasters, and the whole nine yards, just pack up the employees and goods to start over in a better part of the city. Wherein with purchasing, you invest so much and if the realization comes that it’s not appropriate, you’re stuck. Maybe you want to test out a market. Alternatively, if the business fails it’s not another large cost which is left still having to be paid.


Whichever you choose, there’s no right or wrong. Your business may not be looking to stay around for the long run or you may not want to be responsible for the costs of maintenance. Maybe you like being able to have the freedom of having your own space or making a return on the investment. Weigh the costs and benefits before you jump into the deep waters because once you do, you might not have a life vest to help keep you from sinking.

Why Direct Mail is Important


It’s the digital age, everyone is on the internet. Most companies have transferred their focus towards social media marketing and email blasts to reach their target market and retail the SEO. While Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and everything in between have been proven to be a successful way to connect, we tend to forget the traditional ways of reaching customers.
Companies utilize direct mail in many ways:

• Letter packages
• Catalogs
• Flyers
• Postcards
• “lumpy” mail

Here’s why your company can benefit from a forgotten form of marketing.

Higher Visibility
Instead of having it delivered to our homes, junk mail is now cluttering up our inboxes. When sending out email blasts, you are just one along with several other companies who are filling up that customer’s email trying to gain their attention. Eventually they stop paying attention and the effort is useless. Per a study by the DMA, direct mail returned a 3.7% response rate in 2015 versus email at 0.1%.
Direct mail catches the eye of the customer. They can hold your brand in their hand and are forced to open it. While mail servers may filter emails that look like spam, the postal service ensures delivery. While it may be more expensive, it has the potential to pay higher returns in the long run.

It’s Personal
It’s like putting the red bow on top of the car, a handwritten letter, or a phone call instead of a text. Direct mail is more meaningful. Whether it be an advertisement, a letter, or anything in between, direct mail seems like more of an invitation than spam sent to an email. No matter the way it’s done, there was more of an effort put forth and customers will notice that.

It’s Targeted
With direct mail, reach out to customers in your market who are most likely to respond to the campaign. Decide the market that is worth penetrating and make sure you understand their needs before saturating their inbox. Just like email, you want to send out mail that is relevant to the customer and which they will respond to. Target your efforts to create something that’s measurable over time.

Don’t disparage society’s oldest existing form of communication to just to simply “keep with the times”. While most may have turned away from this forgotten form of marketing, the postal service still exists and rain or snow, the customer will receive your mail.

How to Lose Your Customer Before You Even Know Them


You’re walking down the street and see a For Sale sign in the window of an empty store front. The dusty sign is falling off the window but you can read it. You’re familiar because of their common usage on things like car windows, most likely because of their ease of accessibility. You keep walking because it doesn’t seem like anything special. Nothing seemed to catch the eye. So, let us ask ourselves; why is something so basic so important?

First Impressions are Everything 

While this may seem basic, it’s the first line of defense for a company. When a sign is seen to be hanging off the window, it hints at the fact that no one has visited the store in a while. Either there is no demand for the space or the brokerage firm is not running a great operation. Whichever way it goes, that’s never a thought which should cross your customers mind – all because of a store front sign.

Stand Out from the Competition 

While that may not be enough to turn someone away, the sign is not unique. It doesn’t show how they are different from the opposition. Nothing about a store-bought sign will turn heads. Potential customers need to be wowed before doing business. It’s the first interview for commercial real estate businesses. We spend so much time on our marketing campaigns that we forget the broader picture. Brochures, social media, cold calling, and email blasts are the only ways to reach a target audience. Sometimes the customer needs to come to you.

Low Cost, High Returns 

Purchasing professional signs that are unique to the brand may be an initial expense but they can be used over and over. Customers may not purchase initially but they will know your name. You build brand recognition without having to do much and on a large scale. Professionalism is everything so when making a large purchase, companies want to feel they are being taken care of by a reputable organization. When just a phone number is written on the bottom of a flimsy sign, it doesn’t give a great impression. Alternatively, if you have a quality sign representing your firm but it’s not taken care of, that’s even worse for your brand than a general sign. Make the initial investment to avoid the issue.


Commercial real estate is an involved business starting on a very basic level. There are several factors that must be taken in to account to keep brand recognition. Even if you’re not on social media, it’s all in the small details. If you build it, they will come.