What Landlords Can Learn From The Yankees

As many of you know, I am a season ticket holder for the Yankees. As a season ticket holder benefit,  my daughter recently had the opportunity to run the bases after the game. She's five and likes the Yankees because I do, and we simply had an amazing experience.


The event was flawless.  They asked us to line up after the game and there were probably 60 people ahead of us.  Everyone moved through the line quickly, the kids ran on the field, had their picture taken near third base, and then received a t-shirt on the way out.  Every kid left with a smile on their face.  On the way home, my daughter was already talking about next year, bringing her younger brother, and how it was the best day ever.

The Yankees have already said that they will be cutting payroll in 2014.  Mariano Rivera will no longer be the closer, and if this season to date is any indication, there's a good chance that they will not be a very good team.  However, I know that if I don't renew my season tickets, my daughter will be disappointed that she didn't get to run the bases again.  By allowing her a unique and memorable experience, they built loyalty with her. Plus, she's telling all of her friends, so she may even be helping them sell more tickets.

Landlords have a similar opportunity with tenants.  By providing great building service and amenities, many landlords gain loyalty from key decision makers and stakeholders.  Companies that are provided with a great tenant experience are much less likely to leave a building when their lease is up.  In many cases, tenants will even pay a little more to stay in a building they like that's owned by a responsive landlord.  We have found that amenities like upgraded food service, car wash service, dry cleaning and tenant appreciation events, like a tenant barbecue or ice cream social, go a long way with the employees, but it's the way a landlord responds to their tenants' issues that is the key.

Landlords who understand that they are in a customer service based business will continue to outshine those that have adversarial relationships with their tenants.  We all know landlords that go out of their way to embrace their tenants, and we know others that look to ring the cash register whenever possible.  I recently had a client tell me that there was no way they were leaving their building because their landlord had been so great to them.  However, the loyalty he built quickly vanished after we received his first proposal which was significantly above market.

I guess that means that I will continue to pay for my season tickets as long as they keep a competitive team on the field and keep my daughter happy.