Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Caution Raised in Rush to Lock In Mortgages

Lately, it’s hard to keep up with news reports of mortgage interest hikes. Canada’s major banks have raised longer-term mortgage rates twice in the past two weeks in anticipation of a rise in the Bank of Canada rate.

Should potential homebuyers be worried? In an April 14 article by the Canadian Press , CIBC economist Benjamin Tal questions how much the Bank of Canada rate can really rise over the next year, given the influence of the US Federal Reserve on Canadian interest rates. By most accounts, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke doesn’t appear to be keen on raising rates in the US, given their slow housing recovery.

Mortgage professionals are concerned that consumers might feel pressured by news of rising rates to lock in to mortgages with restrictive contracts. For example, a recent story in the Financial Post points out drawbacks of a mortgage offer by BMO that significantly undercuts current rates posted by other major banks.

CENTUM Canada warns panicked mortgage shoppers to take a deep breath – and take time to read the fine print on mortgage contracts. If you are an inexperienced negotiator, an independent mortgage broker can assist you in securing competitive rates. BMO does not work with outside mortgage professionals; however, most major lending institutions work with mortgage brokers at no cost to homebuyers.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Marketing Your Shopping Centre to Attract New Tenants and Sales

When it comes to retail shopping centre property performance, it is critical to optimise the tenancy mix and reduce the threat of vacancy. This means that you must market your shopping centre to new and potential tenants in the local area.

The landlord wants a stable cash flow and a lower vacancy profile. The marketing process for the property works well when you systemise the process of property marketing and set some performance indicators that you believe you should or can target.

Marketing to new and potential tenants can incorporate the following strategies:

    Selectively approach other tenants in competing properties and around the local area. Give them details of your shopping centre together with contact information should they wish to discuss leasing in the future. If you have any vacancies at the moment or coming up soon, then this information upcoming vacancy information can be provided to them by direct mail or e-mail each a few months.

    Keep in contact with the franchise groups and organisations that may be seeking alternative premises or premises in which they can expand the network. They will typically have a tenancy profile that suits their business needs. When contacting these groups for the first time, get a briefing on the ideal tenancy profile that they require.

    Within your tenancy mix you will have a number of tenants that are regarded as critical to the future of the property. These quality tenants should be encouraged to remain in occupancy by giving them the special offers of lease prior to the expiry of their existing lease documentation.

    If your property has anchor tenants around which the specialty tenants trade, ensure that the anchor tenants are suitably stable for the long term. Typically the lease for an anchor tenant will be for a longer lease period of 10 or 20 years. They may also have options for ongoing occupancy. Importantly all these dates must be checked and attractive so that the suitable early negotiation can occur if and when the time arises.

    Every retail shopping centre should encourage involvement with the local, community, charities, clubs and organisations. The mall or common area in the shopping centre can be adapted to community displays and stalls to encourage better customer visitation and sales

    The existing tenants within the shopping centre should be supported in their occupancy during the term of the lease. If they feel that the property is being poorly managed or neglected, it is likely that they will spread the word to the greater retail community surrounding; they are also likely to deter new tenants from occupation.

These simple facts are simple marketing ways to keep the property in line with the expectations of the tenants, customers, and landlord. A successful property will be achieved when this balance is maintained and optimised within a business plan of property performance.

If you want some more tips and ideas to help your commercial real estate agency and convert more opportunity into listings and commissions, you can get a free ebook of tips and tools at http://www.commercial-realestate-training.com

John Highman is an experienced Commercial Real Estate Agent, International Speaker, and Sales Coach.

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