New Hampshire’s Largest City

Manchester is the largest City in New Hampshire with about one hundred eleven thousand people [111,000].  Manchester is located in South Central New Hampshire in the Merrimack Valley.

The number one challenge for any commercial property owner is to keep vacancy rates low. The best way to keep vacancy low is to attract and retain quality tenants – but how is this done? It’s not as simple as negotiating a lease or sending out an online advertisement – there are many market challenges to understand, and marketing plans that need to be thought-out before you can successfully bring in quality tenants.

  • 1.  Know Your Market
    Understanding what’s happening in your market, and particularly, in your neighborhood, will help you when deciding what lease rates and amenities to offer, and other important criteria. 
    • Lease rate comparison.
      When competitors offer significantly lower lease rates, it can be difficult to compete on pricing alone. If you are not in the position to lower your lease rates, consider offering additional amenities such as covered parking, security systems, paid-for utilities, or complimentary high-speed internet. When deciding the appropriate lease rate for your building, consider asking a commercial real estate agent for a market comparison that will outline your main competitors, their offered amenities, lease rates, and any sign-up offers. Doing a tour of competitive buildings will provide you with hands-on market knowledge.  
    • Location highlights.
      Location is the number one sell-factor to tenants, yet is the only piece that cannot be changed or controlled. Be honest with your location highlights: something that you perceive as undesirable may in fact be a selling point to a potential tenant. While some tenants prefer a quiet setting, others thrive in high traffic areas. Note your building’s most recognizable cross streets, its proximity to highways, public transportation, or other area retailers and traffic generators.
    • Property highlights.
      A thorough market analysis will give you a list of competitors and their amenities. Research the differences between competitive listings to understand their offerings compared to their lease rates. If most of your competitors are offering low rates but no amenities, you may want to compete by adding additional property highlights such as valet parking, utilities, or a shared reception desk.
    • Demographics.
      Running a one-, three- and five-mile demographics report on your property will provide you with necessary insights into the surrounding population.  While many businesses prefer higher populations, others may prefer particular household income levels, age groups, or property values. Being able to provide this information can be crucial to attracting new tenants.

Understanding Tenant Needs
Potential tenants have a variety of needs depending on their business type. Learning more about these needs can help you market your property to quality tenants.

General Offices
When renting general office space, location and building features are important in attracting the right tenants for your building. How easy will it be for employees and clients to get to the office? While most office renters will not require close access to highways or high traffic areas, some may prefer to be closer to restaurants, airports, or shopping.  Businesses that invite clients to the premises will be interested in outdoor signage and business directory listings so that clients can easily locate their office. Offices for businesses requiring unskilled labor often need to be easily accessible via public transportation. Conversely, other companies, such as software
developers, may prefer an affluent neighborhood and class “A” buildings. Prestigious firms like law-related fields, agencies, and investment services may also be interested in architecture, a building’s sustainability ratings, fountains, valet parking, and other features or amenities.

Medical Offices
Medical office tenants are most concerned with the layout of their office space and location. While a physical therapist needs a few examining rooms, a lobby and one open space for equipment, a family practitioner needs no open space but many small examining rooms. Proper electrical connections for equipment such as X-ray machines may also be needed.  Distance to hospitals, laboratories, specialists, and other medical offices play a role in medical office tenant decisions. Many doctors like to be close to hospitals and specialists in case they need to refer a patient quickly.

Retail tenants are primarily concerned with demographics. Location is key: retail businesses need a site that contains adequate parking, outdoor signage, and easy access into the center. Retail businesses are also concerned about nearby competitors and traffic generators. It’s not ideal to rent space in the same shopping center as three other businesses of the same type, so make sure to target your potential tenants carefully. Smaller businesses that require heavy foot traffic prefer being near big-box stores, restaurants, and other retailers.  To attract tenants in your retail properties, emphasize your proximity to population dense areas, area traffic generators, and other retailers.

5 Tips to Decrease Vacancies
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