If you are building or remodeling your shopping center, the last thing you want to do is alienate your tenants. After all, you are making improvements aimed at improving your relationships with and profits from the businesses that will lease the space, not the opposite.

But without careful planning, construction can easily backfire. If you are not careful, your construction contractor can actually alienate your tenants and customers, costing you valuable profits. Here are 6 steps you should take to prevent your shopping center construction contractor from costing you business.

1) Communicate With Your Tenants

Above all, your tenants should be aware of the construction plans and process. If they are not, they will not only seem clueless when their customers ask them about it, but they will also become frustrated with your plans. That won’t cost you business immediately, but it may be a deciding factor once their lease is up and they have to decide whether to stay within your shopping center or move elsewhere.

Fortunately, the solution to this potential issue is simple: keep them posted about the proposed timeline for the project, what the finished construction will look like, and why you’re embarking on it in the first place. Chances are it will benefit your tenants, and if they know that from the beginning, they will be much more likely to buy in.

2) Inform Your Customers

Similarly, your tenants’ customers will probably want to know about why one of their favorite shopping locations is suddenly under construction. Of course, this audience does not need to know nearly as much about the projects as your tenants. But letting them know via posters and notifications when it will be finished, and what the finished version will look like, will get them excited about coming back.

3) Plan Your Parking

Contractors who park in your most desirable parking spots and lots are sure to kill your business. To prevent that from happening, communicate with your commercial contractor on when and where they can park throughout the project, establishing clear rules that help your customers and tenants retain their usual spots as much as possible.

4) Establish Daily Construction Schedules

Ideally, your contractors should not operate their most noisy equipment during working hours. No one likes sitting in a food court, only to have lunch disrupted by a jackhammer. Instead, work with your construction partner to schedule their loudest activities outside of your shopping center’s open hours, or at least during its busiest times.

5) Emphasize a Clean Site

Especially if your shopping center remains open during construction, a construction site that seems unsafe or dirty can be a serious turnoff to your customers. Why would they come to you and risk injury? That’s why in planning the project with your contractor, you should emphasize that the work site needs to be clean and safe at all times – both for your own and for your customers’ good

6) Check in Regularly

Finally, all of the above can be accomplished in the planning stage. But that does not mean you should not check in regularly with the project and your contractor. Over time, they may lose sight of some of the above, as their main emphasis (getting the project done on budget and in time) may not line up perfectly with the above goals. Schedule regular check-ins at the project site to make sure that your tenants and customers remain happy, and address any concerns they may have.

Of course, all of the above steps require a commercial construction partner that knows and can adjust to your needs. If the contractors does care about or not play along in any of the above steps, you run the risk of your improvement project actually decreasing your business and goodwill from customers and tenants alike. To talk to a construction company that knows your needs and will work with you to ensure they are met, contact us.

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