While most people look to rentals and house-flipping at the thought of real estate investing, many people fail to realize that commercial properties like strip malls and shopping centers also exist and can potentially have a stronger ROI in the long-term. Plus, considering the surge of entrepreneurs and business startups, there will be no shortage of tenants looking for physical locations when the global pandemic finally subsides.
However, one tall order that a lot of strip malls tend to fail and miss the mark with is increasing their foot traffic and, as a result, a lot of the stores suffer from poor sales performance and being unable to meet their due payments. And so we find ourselves in this predicament; if houses sell better after a few improvements and renovations, does the same logic apply to commercial properties like strip malls?
Yes, But You Need The Essentials First
The quick and straightforward answer is yes but with the exception that you’ve got the essentials patted down first. Much like a duplex property, you can’t expect it to sell if it’s situated in a not-so-desirable neighborhood or other factors that might cause it to rank lower in the eyes of potential homebuyers. In the case of strip malls, you will also want to guarantee facilities and features that draw people into the establishment.
- Strong Location: Firstly, you don’t just purchase the first strip mall you find available and listed on the open market. You should always make it a necessity that it’s in a strong location where cars frequent and are easily accessible by multiple communities and neighborhoods. In doing so, you can guarantee that people will pass by the strip mall every day and consider going every day as well.
- Attractive Anchor Store: Secondly, you want a strip mall that already houses a very attractive anchor store that receives multiple loyal visitors. For example, a grocery store would make a great anchor store because everybody needs food. So, when people go shopping for groceries, there’s an increased likelihood of them looking around the strip mall and visiting other stores too.
What Property Improvements To Focus
We assume that you’ve already gotten those essentials checked off your list beforehand, but if your situation says otherwise, then we strongly suggest meeting those criteria first before considering property improvements. However, for the rest that is ready-to-go, here’s the property improvements you need to focus on:
#1 Landscaping And Beautification
Commercial properties still subscribe to the concept of curb appeal and aesthetics, and if your strip mall or shopping center looks a bit run-down and unappreciated, people will be less likely to park and have a look around. So, invest the necessary amount of time, effort, and resources to make the property look brand-new and welcoming.
- Decorative Flower Arrangements: A good place to start is with decorative flower arrangements. You can have them lined up right outside every store, or maybe even create a large-scale flower arrangement on a roundabout. As a good rule of thumb, we recommend adapting your choice of flowers to the seasons because it keeps things fresh and promotes curiosity. So, be on the lookout for spring planters and flowers.
- Entertainment Hubs: Aside from flower arrangements, we strongly suggest having dedicated entertainment hubs and flex spaces for community events and a place to sit down. You want to encourage people to stay, walk around, and visit every store, so the best you can do is have some space for them to rest in-between trips. Plus, you can use this section to hold community events to create hype and talk around your strip mall.
#2 Fixes And Maintenance
While we’d like to think that commercial properties like strip malls come served to us in a silver platter, in reality, we get handed over a lot of maintenance work and fixes to complete. And, if you were to set these aside and not address them directly, you’re also losing out on a lot of money because of inconveniences. So, take the time to inspect every store and see what costs you’re going to make.
- Parking Lot & Walkpath: Apart from the interior, far too many investors forget to give love to the outside, the parking lot & the walkpath. We recommend sealing the cracks, refreshing the signages, and giving different features a retouch with their paint. As a result, you’ll be giving the entire strip mall a much-needed facelift.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Strip Mall Investment
In conclusion, investing in property improvements on your strip mall will undeniably boost foot traffic, so take your time to renovate and plan everything out. Remember, commercial properties don’t come cheap, and if you want to make the most out of your investment, these fixes and quality of life upgrades are imperative to your success.