Monday, April 30, 2012

Commercial Properties in South Florida

Commercial Properties

The best way of explaining what commercial properties are, is to define what they are not.  Commercial properties consist of any form of real estate other than residential or land.  Commercial property is primarily used as an investment vehicle, where a Landlord and Tenant relationship is established, and the Landlord or Property Owner is able to generate income from leasing the commercial property. Owners of commercial property may prefer to sell the commercial property shortly after purchasing the real estate (called "flipping"), or they may keep the property for long-term investment.

Property Management

Many people purchase real estate strictly as a financial investment, and little to no knowledge of how to manage commercial property.  When this happens, the property owner typically hires a commercial property management company to not only manage the commercial real estate, but provide maintenance and leasing services as well.

Types of Commercial Property

The classification of commercial property can be divided into the following property groups:
  • Retail
  • Industrial Warehouse
  • Office
  • Apartment
Here is some information on the top two types of commercial property:

Commercial Property Type: Retail
retail shopping center
Retail shopping center
Retail properties can range from small strip centers to inclosed shopping centers to outdoor retail outlet malls.  Tenants at retail commercial properties typically are responsible for paying not only base rent and sales tax, but responsible for paying their pro-rated share of the property owner's operating expenses (under a NNN lease a/k/a triple-net lease)

Commercial Property Type: Industrial Warehouse
industrial warehouse
Industrial Warehouse
Industrial warehouse properties can range from small self-storage lockers to single-bay warehouse to multi-bay industrial warehouse facilities.  Industrial warehouse properties can also provide special features such as:
  1. Dock height
  2. Garage doors
  3. Air-condition
  4. Three (3) Phase Electric

Commercial Property Available For Lease

Sharpe Properties, which provides property management, maintenance, and leasing of commercial properties throughout the South Florida area, has several commercial properties in both Miami-Dade and Broward County, consisting primarily of retail strip centers and industrial warehouse properties.

If you find a commercial property available for lease by Sharpe Properties, whether it is retail or an industrial warehouse, please either call the commercial property management office (305) 693-3500 or send an email to

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What's Signage Worth to Disney and Starbucks?

Can you tell the difference between coffee from Starbucks, McDonalds, or Dunkin Donuts without recognizing the name or logo on the company's storefront signage? While each of the above companies may think their coffee is better than the competition, they all spend a ton of money on marketing and advertising to promote their brand and identity.

starbucks logo
How successful would Starbucks be if they could not have their company logo displayed outside each and every store they opened? Could Starbucks still markup the price of their coffee if no one knew they were drinking Starbuck's coffee?  We will soon find out.

The Power of Walt Disney

Many people visit Walt Disney for the fun and excitement of discovering Hidden Mickey's. However, that is not the only thing hidden throughout Disney Parks.

Hidden McDonalds

Similar to Starbucks, the fast-food giant McDonalds rely's heavily on its brand identity.  When driving down any street in America, or even the world, one would expect to see McDonald's famously recognized Golden Arches along a store's pylon sign, or on their storefront.

This is true all across the world...except in Disney World; where magical pixie dust can wipe away most company's desire to have their company brand, logo, or image displayed along their storefront windows.

McDonalds has had stores throughout Disney Parks for many years now, but similar to Hidden Mickey's, the famous Golden Arches are mysteriously gone.  See photos below

Mcdonalds in Disney World
Mcdonalds in Disney World

Mcdonalds in Epcot
Mcdonalds in Epcot

Mcdonalds in Animal Kingdom
Mcdonalds in Animal Kingdom

McDonalds Menu in Disney Parks
McDonalds Menu in Disney Parks

Starbuck's Storefront Signage in Disney World

Starbucks recently announced on Monday that they have entered into a partnership with Disney World to open a retail store inside each of the six (6) Disney theme parks located in California and Florida.  From this partnership, both companies can benefit:

Benefits for Starbucks:

  • Prime real estate for retail store
  • Limited competition from competitors such as Dunkin Donuts
  • Large customer base

Benefits for Disney World:

  • Guests can go straight to Disney Parks without stopping off at other locations for breakfast
  • Improved quality of coffee at the Disney Parks   

At Disneyland California, Starbuck's will open up stores under the name of Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe, after the characters in the Three Little Pigs.

Although the Starbucks logo will not be displayed along their storefront, the Starbuck's name will be listed vertically on storefront posts on both sides of the coffee store entrances.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

6 Business Costs to Keep an Eye on as You Grow

If your business is successful, it will grow and reach even more customers, earning more money in the process. Because there is also a real potential for costs to rise, it makes sense to ensure you keep an eye on as many as possible.

Here are six areas where costs have a habit of rising considerably if you don’t watch them closely.

Rental of business premises

You need to know your business premises are a cost effective solution for you to run your business. You may need to move to bigger premises in the future, but these will cost you more to rent each month. Make sure you don’t move beyond the ideal size for your business, otherwise you will spend more than you have to.

This can be a tricky decision of course, the key is to find a premises which gives you the right amount of growing room, but without wasting too much on rent. Remember that moving a business can be costly too. A good commercial real estate agent should be able to advise on what your options are. Even if you are not planning to move immediately it is worth having a rough plan.

Internet access

When you start a business you may only need a small plan to give you the access and website hosting you require. But if your business grows, the same plan may not be suitable anymore. Make sure you compare deals on a regular basis and find a provider that is better able to cope with larger businesses. Even if your current deal is scalable, i.e. it can grow with you, it doesn’t mean you will get the best deal.

Staff time

As you grow you will inevitably need more members of staff, and with that comes a management cost. It is easy mistake inefficiency as a signal that you need to hire and if left unchecked you can easily end up with under utilized staffs and high wage bills.

Every time you decide to hire a new member of staff, first have a good look at your business processes and ask yourself “If I wasn’t allowed another member of staff, how would I cope?”

Transaction costs

As you grow you will naturally change your scope of customers – you will probably be taking more payments and you might well also start doing a lot more overseas business.

If you make a lot of income from exporting your goods or services you need to watch the foreign exchange rates carefully to ensure that small movements don’t erode your margins. When you are busy growing a business it is hard to find time for this.

Of course terrestrial transaction costs, such as payment processing are a cost that can escalate too. As you grow it is important that you periodically review these costs and renegotiate as needed – remember, the bigger you get the more bargaining power you have.

Waste costs

Whatever you get rid of in terms of waste, you need to ensure the costs don’t spiral out of control. Look for the most cost effective waste services you can, whether that is skip hire, recycling or anything else.

The cost of power supplies

Every business needs electricity at the very least. When you start your small business from your kitchen table, you won’t need to worry about finding a good business deal. But once you move into proper business premises it will pay to find a great deal on energy supplies that is put together specially for businesses. Get the best deal you can and don’t be afraid to search elsewhere regularly, just as you will do for internet access.


Every business has overhead costs that keep it running. But even these costs are not set in stone. Make sure you keep an eye on every cent you spend on your business costs otherwise you won’t know when you are overspending and losing profits because of it. With practice this will become easier to do.

Author Bio

This guest post was written by Ricky from Thanks for reading, please check out our currency widget to keep up to date with the latest exchange rates.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Marketing your Real Estate Properties Online

Whether you own a commercial real estate company or just manage a few properties in the local area, SEO in real estate can boost the success of your company. Simply having a real estate website with little to no content won’t do you much good. Rather, you need to provide tenants (and landlords if relevant) a reason to rent / lease properties through your website. Because commercial real estate is a highly competitive industry, to have your website listed on the first page of Google search results, you need to nail down your marketing to outrank the competing local real estate companies.

Know your Target Audience

SEO Puzzle
To increase your organic traffic, you’ll need to establish some target keywords. While you could just pluck out some vaguely relevant terms, it won’t necessarily draw in visitors that may have an interest in your service or properties. Establishing worthwhile keywords takes time and research.

If you are a small local real estate company you can limit your target audience to just those visitors looking for property in your market area. The same applies if you are the landlord of commercial properties within a certain area or district. Using “2 bedroom apartment for rent” as keywords could draw some visitors to your website, but having such a common keyword increases the number of websites nationwide that are competing with you on Google's search results pages, diminishes the likelihood of being ranked high by Google. “2 bedroom apartments for rent in [town/district]” would be a far better keyword to target which could provide you with more relevant traffic, bringing visitors who actually have an interest in property within your local area.

Be careful not to focus on too many keywords per page, as a rule focus on one keyword per page, although targeting one or two synonyms of your keyword on the same page is by no means a bad thing. If you have properties in separate towns, create individual pages for them so you’re not targeting multiple locations on one page and confusing the search engines.

Be a Go-To Tour Guide

For many buyers/tenants it’s not just the property they’re interested in, to some people the location of their potential new home can be more important than the bricks and mortar. Providing information on the local area can help you to make the properties on your site more attractive, whilst bringing in relevant visitors.

The best place to share your local knowledge is on your website’s blog. Many companies fail to utilise their blog to its full potential, keep the information you’re providing relevant and beneficial to your target audience. For example, writing a post on “The Best Schools in [town/district]” is a great blog post for a real estate site. The chances are, people reading the post will be looking to move to the area with children. If they find your post informative they may venture into the property section of your website to see what you have available within the area.

Real estate is an incredibly competitive SERP so ranking for big terms is probably a no-go unless you have a considerably strong/authoritative domain. Rather than thinking of vanity keywords, think of the people who would actually be interested in what your site has to offer. If you’re targeting people who wouldn’t walk into your real estate office then the chances are you’re targeting an audience with little value to your business/properties.

About Guest Blogger:

This guest post was written by Stephanie Staszko who writes for Bathshop321, retailers of cheap bathrooms, which are perfect for a quick bathroom makeover. Always make sure you have a fully functioning, attractive bathroom fitted into your property, whether you’re selling or renting – a shoddy bathroom can put off potential buyers/tenants!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lease Space at Renovated Shopping Center in Miami

Sharpe PropertiesSearch for Commercial Property
Miller Heights Shopping Center facade renovation update
Miller Heights Proposed Facade

Miller Heights Shopping Center site plan

For More Information...

Management Office (305) 693-3500

Endcap Space

Type:          Approx. SF:
Store                1,900 SF
Covered Seating  400 SF

 Huge 50 ft tower in front of endcap provides large tenant signage area

 400 SF (20 x 20) outdoor covered and lit seating area directly under the Tower

Inline Space

Type:      Approx. SF:
Minimum        300 SF
Maximum    8,500 SF

 Large signage area 

 New roof

 Great visability with all clear impact glass storefront windows

 9375 SW 56 Street
   Miami, FL 33165

 Miller Drive
  & 94th Avenue

 1st Retail Center 
heading West on
Palmetto Expressway Miller Drive Exit 
 Traffic Light with 
Left-Turn Lane for 
East-bound traffic
Renovation Project:

Building Facade

Parking Lot



 Large Elevated
  Tenant Signage

 Impact Glass  
  Storefront Windows

 Brand New 
   Insulated Roof

 Large 50ft Towers

Shadow Anchor

ICSC Appointments

Sharpe Properties will be at the upcoming ICSC Event in Las Vegas, from May 20 - 23.  

Please contact us to schedule an appointment
Management Office:
1060 East 33rd Street
Hialeah, Florida 33013

Phone: 305.693.3500


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5 Essential iPhone Apps for Managing a Rental Property Portfolio

Apple’s iPhone can help keep you organised and productive in so many ways. This includes your professional life. If you are a landlord or property manager, you can easily keep on top of your job in managing a rental property and portfolio with some great apps you can download from the iTunes App Store. These very useful apps are excellent to have right at your fingertips on your iPhone.

Real Estate Genie:

Real Estate Genie is $1.99 on the App Store and is a well rounded tool that helps you to make all the most important real estate decisions. There are mortgage calculators built within the app, a tool for capital gain analysis and other additional features.

Rental Manager:

Rental Manager is another app that costs $1.99 at the App Store and is excellent for any landlord or property manager to have at hand on his or her iPhone. It gives you a simple way to manage your rental property and provides information on rental rates. You can also view a graph that details the rental property’s capital rate gain and trends. The app features an easy to use and comprehensive interface and a design that was created by experts in the real estate field.


RentNotices is a free app that serves as an online rent court agent. It enables you to handle a process of filing a claim against a tenant who has defaulted on their rent without having to spend your precious time in a court to collect a judgment. It is a great app that helps you to save time, energy and money in filing your rent notices and should be in every rental property manager’s iPhone.


RentWorks is a great app that all rental property managers and landlords can find useful. It costs $1.99 at the App Store and is a tool that makes it highly convenient to track all of your rental properties, whether you have two or 20. Within the app you can view information about the rent history for each property as well as the renters who reside at each. There is a great rental property income tracker and calculator built within the app as well. Overall, RentWorks can make the life of any landlord or rental property manager far easier. You will appreciate having it right at your fingertips on your iPhone.

Real Estate Dictionary:

Real Estate Dictionary is a great app that is useful for anyone who is interested in real estate or getting into the field in any capacity. This includes rental property managers and landlords. For 99 cents, you can have this app on your iPhone and familiarise yourself with all the necessary real estate lingo. There is a search engine built within it and you can save all the terminology you want to remember.

About Guest Blogger:

Andy is the co-founder of, an Australian credit card comparison website.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top 5 Ways To Make Your Website User-Friendly

Top 5 Ways To Turn Visitors Into Sales

One of our recent posts examined ways to drive potential customers to your website using Search Engine Optimization (SEO); and by following those simple tips, you should soon see a spike in your traffic statistics.

After attracting visitors to your website, the next stage, as in any retail platform, is turning visitors into sales. In other words, turning "potential" customers into "actual" customers. Today we’re going to look into five ways in which this can be achieved.

Hey, Good Looking

Brownstone commercial propertyYour website needs to look its best at all times. You never know when a visitor will come calling...or visiting your website. Dress your content up with relevant pictures and graphics.  Even include a video if it fits. Be careful not to overdo it though.  Since it's a website, not a work of art, avoid masses of garish color in favor of a color scheme that is easier on the eye. The key here is to find the right balance between style and ease of use.

Make It Quick

The average web user only spends a few seconds looking at a page before moving on. If your pages take ages to load, then you might reach the end of your visitors’ attention span before you get the chance to dazzle them. There are numerous ways to speed up your pages, and you can start by not overusing pictures or videos, and by breaking up content... where possible.
JPEGmini has a website where you can upload any jpeg photo, and it will automatically reduce the photo's file size...without diminishing the photo's quality.

The Three C’s – Content, Content, Content

Content is the key to turning visitors into customers. If you are property lawyers, for example, then your content should include details of your commercial property services, and your expertise in conveyancing. Make it short, make it interesting - but above all, make it relevant!

Bring Out Your Dead (Links)

You should check and double check all of your links. There is a link at the top of this post; say you clicked it and it took you a dead end. Would you come back? It makes your website, and by extension your company, look unprofessional if you have dead links on your website.

Google search for a dead link checker, and you will find many websites than can provide this service free of charge.

Make It Easy To Say Yes

You never know when the customer is going to bite, so make sure that it's as easy as possible for them to find your contact and sales details. If they have to hunt around, they may change their mind. Easy to use navigation menus and search facilities are great for this.

About Guest Blog Author

my move property lawyers
My Move Property lawyers is an up and coming conveyancing company for property lawyers in the UK

Monday, April 16, 2012

Relevant Blog Topics Improve Search Engine Rankings

When trying to improve the SEO strategy of your blog, it is essential to regularly add content so the search engines recognize that your site is both active and reputable. However, it is not beneficial to simply add any content to your commercial real estate blog – topic selection is of key importance.

Think about it this way; if you simply start throwing information about whatever strikes your fancy on your blog, you’re going to confuse your brand image. You’re also going to tell Google and its search spiders that you have no idea what you’re doing. In this case, the “lots of content for the sake of SEO” strategy is simply going to backfire on you.

So, how do you ensure that what you write about on your commercial real estate blog is relevant to your SEO strategy? You pick the right topics. Anytime you have a topic idea for a real estate blog, take some time to sit on the idea first, and keep the following considerations in mind:

Will the topic really resonate with your readers?
As a commercial real estate blog, you likely attract readers from a variety of different backgrounds. After all, commercial real estate is a broad industry that involves managing various property types.  If you tend to deal primarily with one type of commercial property—warehouses, for example—you can gear posts to that specific niche. However, if you manage many different types of commercial property, you may want to keep things more general to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

What are your readers in search of?
Pay attention and try to learn something about your readers by looking at your website statistics, or the comments that they are leaving. What kind of needs do they have? Can you answer their questions or provide information that will help them to run their businesses? You need to provide your readers with information that is useful to them—not just write about topics that you find appealing or that have to do with your business. You can even use Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool to find out what people are searching for. Type in some phrases you think potential tenants might be searching for and see what else Google suggests.

Are you incorporating the news?
Industry news, when presented quickly, and accurately, has a tendency to rank highly in search. Spin that industry news topic so it is more relevant to your blog and your subscribers. For example, one of the top news stories for commercial real estate on April 12, 2012 addressed this year’s commercial real estate pricing trends. A blog like this one on SEO for this niche of the real estate industry could help guide prospective clients (property owners) to use this to their advantage, for example.

How can you fit in your keywords?
Now that you’ve provided your readers with information that will keep them coming back for more, figure out how to work your keywords into the content. However, be careful not to let keyword considerations make your writing awkward. Simply fit them in where you can that it seems most natural. The fact that you’re regularly posting fresh content to your site combined with the traffic you begin to generate as you provide useful information to users will really be what bring your rankings up.

About Our Guest Blogger:

Today's post comes from AppFolio, giving you property management software to help you effectively market, manage and grow your property management business.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

3 Ways SEO Can Help Draw in Potential Tenants

Search engine optimization skills are great skills to have.  Between marketing for your own handmade crafts to marketing for your local business, there are plenty of ways to use SEO to your own advantage. Now, if you’re looking to draw in potential tenants for your rental properties, here are three ways you can do so:

Market city

residential home rental property
Whether you own five different rental properties in the same area or a whole apartment complex, you can benefit from being able to market the city they’re located in.  For example, if you own condos in Dallas, Texas, you could work on boosting your keywords for terms such as Dallas, Texas rental properties or rental properties in Dallas.  When you can reach out to a whole city, you’re able to reach out to everyone that is interested in living there.

Future tenants

Tenants usually sign a lease for a certain period of time, but it’s not uncommon for them to break out of it due to a job opportunity or because they aren’t able to make the payments to live there.  Since we can’t predict the future, it’s always nice to have a list of people we can use for backup or the next opening.  By marketing for a local city, you can take names of people and put them on a waiting list if there is a high demand for your rental properties.  You can come up with an e-mail system that allows potential tenants to e-mail you when they’re interested in a property.  They can then decide on when they’d like to move in and find information in order to answer their curiosity. Knowing you have some people for backup is a great feeling and can also help you avoid long and costly periods of time without tenants.

Free advertising

The Internet has to be one of the best ways to market for things; if not the best. With all the different websites like Craigslist and rental property sites out there, SEO is a great way to advertise even more extensively.  SEO offers you the opportunity to find keywords that are highly searched and allows you to market for them at no cost.  By creating a website and advertising for it, you can avoid all the costly newspaper ads and realtor fees that realtors would charge you to find tenants. As you can see, knowing how to market a website can be very beneficial.  Since finding trustworthy and responsible tenants can be difficult to do, it’s helpful to increase our list of potential tenants to choose from.

Guest Blog Author:

This is a guest post written by This websites allows its users to run background checks on anyone within the United States.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Using Social Interaction in SEO to Gain Leads

The world of business is changing. With the use of social media, SEO strategies and online advertising campaigns, many companies are seeing the benefit of marketing online. Even colleges have seen the advantages of teaching SEO and marketing in their business courses.

In real estate, social media and SEO can generate leads for property sales, renting and commercial office space. With proper social interaction, real estate owners and property managers can find renters and buyers easily. For those who are new to social media and SEO, learning the right strategy is extremely important for successful lead generation. Below are a few ways proper planning can yield high results within social media and SEO.


Social Media and Social Interaction:

As of late, social media and social interaction has increased in importance for those reaching out in their market. Google has placed an emphasis on the use of social media in their analytics. Those sites with a heavy social interaction are now reaping the rewards with increased traffic, better placement in search results and higher conversion rates among site visitors.

In real estate, social interaction on your site is important. By creating rapport with your visitors, you can spark interest in your properties. This turns each visitor into a prospective renter or buyer. Below are 5 common ways to create social interaction and improve SEO for your site.
  • Blog: By creating a blog section on your site, you create an outlet for reaching out to your visitors. This generates the possibility of visitor comments while building your credibility in your market.
  • Social Plugins: By adding social plugins to your site, your readers have the ability to "Like" or Tweet your content. This creates social interaction as well as credibility as your traffic is able to see the interaction from other visitors.
  • Relevant Content: In SEO relevant content is required. By keeping the content of your site relevant to your market and target audience you build credibility and social interaction that will assist in converting your traffic.
  • Guest Posting: Link building is a large part of SEO. Both inbound and outbound links are imperative to increasing page rank and increasing traffic. By allowing guest posting as well as guest posting yourself, you can generate more traffic and leads.
  • Using Proper Keywords: Many sites fail simply because of their keyword choices. In SEO it is important to use proper keywords for your business. Keywords should reflect what you want your site known for. For real estate this can include "real estate", "rentals", "office space", etc.

Utilizing Social Networks:

Social networks have become a business tool with limitless possibilities in lead generation. With millions of members using Facebook and Twitter, you have the ability to reach potential clients with minimal effort. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to use social networks when you are attempting to generate leads. Below are a few of the right ways to use social networks.
  • Post Often: One of the biggest mistakes made by companies in social networking is the lack of updates and posts. By posting new updates frequently, you will hold the attention of your followers.
  • Be Personable: Even though your social network page is meant to generate leads, you still need to remain personable in order to engage your followers and sustain credibility. Many businesses lack the needed interaction which results in a lack of interest with social network users.
  • Create Interesting Posts: Nobody will comment on a boring subject. In real estate you can offer posts on a wide range of subjects that will offer your followers a chance to comment, "Like" or re-Tweet your post. This will help get your page out to more users and generate more leads.
  • Keep advertising to a Minimum: There is nothing wrong with advertising your office, however over advertising on social networks can harm your chances for generating leads. Most users will delete "Friends" that have nothing to say other than their latest property for rent.
  • Reply to Comments: Receiving comments on your posts is the reason you post on social networks. This shows interest in you and your office as well as builds credibility. Replying to comments however is just as important. This will create a conversation between you and your followers, build higher credibility, and personalize your social page.
The commercial real estate market is competitive. With proper SEO and social interaction, you can create more leads and get your foot in the door. It is important to properly maintain your SEO strategies, utilize social networks, and use all the available outlets for reaching out to prospective clients.

About The Author

This Guest Post was authored by Charles Latch, a business advisor earning his mba online executive degree to learn up-to-date business management and marketing strategies.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Using SEO To Find Commercial Tenants Faster

We all know that the economy hasn’t been great for a while, and businesses are going bust all over the place. This isn’t great for all sorts of reasons, but if you happen to be a landlord or real estate investor involving commercial real estate, you might have noticed the ability to find quality tenants becoming rarer, and vacant properties becoming more common.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can re-double your marketing efforts to ensure that your properties are the ones that get the tenants first. The key is ensuring that wherever your potential tenants look you are there – and of course one big source of potential tenants is the internet.

Can You SEO Your Property?

industrial warehouse
SEO simply means the process of making sure that a given website appears right at the top of the search results when users search for relevant phrases.

You might think this doesn’t apply to you, because you get most of your tenants from online property sites, and maybe you don’t even have your own website. But if you are listing properties online, you can use a few simple SEO techniques to ensure that your property stands out of the crowd.

What Do You Need To Know?

If your primary business involves commercial real estate, you probably don’t know a lot about SEO. Why would you? But you don’t need to be an expert. This is the job for whoever operates and manages the websites you are listing your real estate.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t do a few little things to help.

Keyword Research

This is the key to SEO – you need to know what keywords you want to rank high for. For instance, if you were selling blue widgets, you would want to rank high for “blue widgets”, and maybe some similar variations.

Your first job is to think about what your potential tenants might search for. Obvious choices of course might be “commercial property in Miami”, or wherever your commercial property is located.

As being more specific is better, “Warehouse in Miami” might be a better fit. Perhaps phrases like storage space, convenience store, shopping center location, or retail storefront on busy street might be better options.

Also give thought about the right location. Generally targeting a bigger demographic area will mean there is more traffic (ie, people searching) available, but limiting your target audience to a smaller area will mean that the visits you receive are more targeted.

Finally, go on Google’s keywords tool and try out some of your keyword ideas. The metric you should care about is local search volume. Your goal is to pick a phrase that is suitably targeted, but still has good search volume.

Title and Description

Once you have figured out how your tenants are going to search for your property, you can make sure that you rank for it. It’s simple really. When you list your warehouse or retail store on your favorite property portals, make sure to use that phrase within your headline, and then mention a few of those key words in your description.

Just remember that you need to write for your audience... not just the search engines.  So proof read when you are done.

Link building

You really don’t need to do a lot of link building, because you are going to be targeting a niche demographic by using niche phrases. But a simple way to get some extra interest is to sign up to a relevant business forum for business owners in the area and make your signature link point to your property. Then just browse a little and answer some questions. Don’t just plug your property, but let people see your sig and they’ll look if they are interested.

Tracking progress

When you have vacant properties, make sure you check Google regularly. Search for those key phrases and see if your property comes up. If it’s not there, revisit your listing and see if you can’t improve it slightly.

About The Author

This guest post was written by Ricky Peterson from Mesa Garage Doors; Click here for more information about our range of garage doors and services.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Miller Heights Shopping Center Renovation - Facade Update

Miller Heights Shopping Center

Unlike fine wines... shopping centers do not get better with age

When the Miller Heights Shopping Center was constructed in 1965, it stood out within the community because it was one of the only retail shopping centers along SW 56th Street (Miller Road, a/k/a Miller Drive) in Miami, Florida.  Because a drainage canal originally ran through the middle of the now busy Miller Road, there was only one-lane roads going East and West, and it was difficult for cars traveling westbound to turn left into the shopping center.  Consequently, the Miller Heights Shopping Center was surrounded by a sea of residential homes and communities.

Once the drainage canal was covered by an expanding street, Miller Road became a major thoroughfare within Miami-Dade County.  However, because the area was already populated by an ever-growing residential community, there was little opportunity for the development of other commercial properties within the dense residential neighborhoods.  Thus, despite being located nearly 2 miles West of the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826), the Miller Heights Shopping Center still remains the very first shopping center along Miller Drive when exiting West off the Palmetto Expressway.    

It Was Time For A Change

Aside from a recently renovated pole sign, the look and feel of the Miller Heights Shopping Center remained relatively the same from when it was built.  Despite enduring various hurricanes and fires, the retail center continued to survive.  Customers and patrons continuously filled up the parking lot.  The shopping center also had very little turnover, with tenants preferring to continue operating their businesses at this old but popular building.

Here is a recent picture of the Miller Heights Shopping Center before it underwent a facade transformation.  Aside from the recently renovated pole sign, the building looked the same as it did when it was first constructed.

Miller Heights Shopping Center before facade renovations

Location, Location, Location... is not always good enough

Despite its aged look and old exterior, being situated along a tremendously busy street, with a traffic light allowing customers to easily enter from traveling in either direction, the Miller Heights Shopping Center continued to fill up its parking lot, and tenants rarely moved out.  It seemed that no matter how bad the shopping center looked in appearance, it never appeared to deter customers from coming.

Yet, as the property management company for the Miller Heights Shopping Center, Sharpe Properties knew the retail center desperately needed a major face-lift.  According to Mason Sharpe, Vice President of property management and leasing at Sharpe Properties, "We are grateful the local community still continues to shop at the Miller Heights Shopping Center despite its old age and dated appearance.  We want to return the favor, by giving the community a shopping center that stands out as being one of the best around."

What Makes A Better Shopping Center?

Change is not always for the better.  If Sharpe Properties was going to upgrade the Miller Heights Shopping Center, they wanted to know what was needed to provide a better quality shopping experience to the community. So Sharpe sought advice straight from the experts... tenants!

International Council of Shopping Centers logo
To provide a great shopping experience for customers at the new and improved Miller Heights Shopping Center, Sharpe had to create an environment for stores and restaurants to attract the customers to the shopping center.  In order to accomplish this, Sharpe attended an annual conference in Las Vegas, provided by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).  At the ICSC Event, Sharpe surveyed national tenants involving food and beverage,  such as Subway, Starbucks, Chipotle, and Panda Express; as well as retail tenants including Verizon, Regis Salons, CVS, and Walgreens; and asked them "what can a shopping center do to help you attract more customers?"

Here is a partial list of items that were most important to national tenants spoken to at the ICSC Vegas event:
  • Elevated tenant signage
  • Attractive tenant signage
  • Shopping Center is "eye catching" during day and night
  • Storefront windows allow customers full visibility inside store
  • Plenty of customer parking

Building Upgrades Made Per Tenant Requests

Based upon the advice provided by the national tenants at the ICSC Event, the Miller Heights Shopping Center facelift will provide:
  • Elevated tenant signage area from 13 - 15 feet off the ground, up to 50 feet
elevated tenant signage area

  • All tenants will have individual lit reverse channel letter signage, with white L.E.D lighting

  • Along with the above tenant signage, the building will be attractive at night by having the top sections for both Towers splash colorful L.E.D lights along the wall, similar to what was done within the picture below:

blue led lights splash along entire wall

  • Replacing all storefronts with high-end windstorm impact-resistant windows from floor to ceiling

hurricane impact resistant storefront windows

  • Expanding existing parking lot that added over 15 more parking spots
Miller Heights Shooping Center - tenant signage

  • Brand new roof (roofing system, decking, and insulation)

Finished Look

After compiling all of the input provided by national tenants over at the ICSC Vegas Event, Sharpe Properties retained the services of Azze Architecture to create the following proposed drawing of how the Miller Heights Shopping Center will look once finished.

Current Construction Status

Around late January, 2012, BRV Construction started the big renovation project, and has made tremendous progress within a short amount of time.  The picture below was taken March 30, 2012 after close to two (2) months of construction.  Within the below picture, the old facade has been removed, cement columns have been created throughout the building, two (2) large towers are halfway completed, and tremendous steel beams have already been formed to created the elevated tenant signage areas that will dramatically improve tenants' ability to grab the attention of all potential customers driving along Miller Drive throughout both day and night.

steel facade structures for tenant signage

More to Come

More progress reports on the Miller Heights Shopping Center renovations will be posted in the future.  For more information, please keep checking our Blog, and visit our website