To me, it’s always surprising—and encouraging—how deeply residents care about what’s happening in their local real estate market. It’s practically a sporting event. Most of us know how closely people watch residential real estate. Well, the same goes for other types of real estate, especially retail.
Particularly in their own neighborhoods, when a new retail space becomes available, people want to know what’s happening. Will there be a new restaurant? A clothing store? Home furnishings? A fancy boutique? People want to be in the know. They get excited.
How can you work with your local media to leverage that excitement? And help your tenant explode from the starting blocks like the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt?
At PACE Communications Group, we’ve designed a program for property owners to do just that. Here are five things you can do to promote your new tenant immediately after the tenant signing, during the tenant build out, and through the grand opening.
- Inform Your Local Media About the Tenant Signing. As soon as possible, send a press release announcing your new tenant to your local newspaper or online publication, such as The Patch. Local reporters love to hear about new businesses; it’s one of the things their readers want to hear about. Your press release should include standard information about the store, its offerings, where it will be located, and a place to call for more information. This is a win-win: you get the news out early, and the publication gets the scoop on a new business coming to town.
- Share Personal Stories. If your tenants are willing participants, sharing some personal information presents a tremendous opportunity to generate additional media interest, especially during the traditionally quiet time of the store build out. Beyond details about the store, reporters love personal information about new store or restaurant owners. While gathering information for the press release, talk to your new tenants about their background. Did they grow up locally? Did they attend school nearby? Were they originally from the area and have come back to open up shop? All great information to share with local reporters.
- Uncover Unique Elements. Similarly, listen closely to learn whether there will be anything unique about the store, its products or menu items that you can share with the local media. For example, a wine shop we worked with planned to build an in-store classroom to hold wine education classes. Ok, that was interesting. But, what was more interesting was when the classroom wasn’t in use, the store planned to offer it to the community as a free resource. We shared that with a local reporter, who wrote a story about it.
- Offer Reporters a Sneak Preview. Who doesn’t love a chance to see something new before everybody else? After all, reporters are people, too! And, practically, a pre-opening tour allows reporters time to take in the details and write a well-rounded piece. By inviting the media to walk through the store a few days before it opens is a great way to generate coverage.
- Promote the Grand Opening. As the store’s grand opening approaches, issue another press release to inform the media about opening day. In addition to the logistics, be sure to communicate any offers or promotions that are part of the grand opening event. Here, you’re working with the reporter to inform customers about what’s taking place. This is a great way to help support your tenant’s advertising initiatives. And, you can always follow up with the reporter about how the opening went and how well the store performed.
Using these steps, you can help your new tenant be mentioned in the media several times before it even opens. In addition to the momentum a grand opening typically brings, your new tenant will be off to a roaring start right out of the blocks—like Usain Bolt.