If you're an investor looking to buy some commercial properties or large apartment complexes, you know that you need to get and keep the spaces on the property occupied if you want to earn money. That usually means ensuring the units are in good condition and advertising constantly until each spot is filled, be these offices or apartment units. But the property's landscaping could be affecting your chances of finding and retaining tenants. Here are three issues with landscaping that could be driving people from your property.
Good drainage on the property is essential for:
- preventing localized flooding
- keeping the plants in good shape
- reducing the chances of mold growth and pest invasions
Ensuring good drainage means keeping drains free of clogging leaf debris, working the soil under the landscaping so that water drains well, and having ways for rain runoff to get to the drains without flooding walkways. If you constantly have parts of the parking lot submerged in deep puddles, people will not be able to park in that section, crowding other sections instead (not to mention it will be impossible for them to walk through that section of the lot). If the soil around the complex is always soggy even when the weather's been good for several days, fungal infections can take over the plants and make them look terrible.
People don't really like living or working in a soggy, flooded, smelly area, and they're going to leave your property if they find a better place. Ensuring good drainage eliminates these issues.
It's common for newly built complexes and newly re-landscaped commercial centers to have small trees and a general lack of shade; this is understandable because the new plants are still growing in. But an established complex or one with obviously old landscaping that doesn't have any natural shade can be off-putting. Electricity bills can be higher to offset the feeling that the area is too hot (especially in the parking lot), and in general, no shade just looks bad to a lot of people.
Be sure that your complex plants fast-growing trees, especially on the south and west sides, and that you have some shaded hardscaping as well, such as tables and benches with umbrellas or vine-covered pergolas. Those mitigate the shade issue a bit, though having trees is something you still want to aim for.
High Water Bills
Another problem that can pop up, even if the landscaping in the complex looks beautiful, is high water bills. Your tenants shouldn't be paying for complex water use on their own water bills, of course, but eventually you'll pass those high costs on to the tenants in the form of rent increases.
As you turn over annual plants, install drought-resistant plants that don't require a lot of water. Gradually but consistently replace other parts of the landscaping, such as lawns, with drought-resistant cultivars that reduce your water bills.
If you want more advice about redoing your complex's landscaping to attract and retain tenants, talk to landscaping companies that can help you develop plans. With good design and good implementation, you can have a property that tenants want to stay in.