It’s an all too common scenario in the retail shopping center business. You’ve got a retail space for lease in your shopping center that you’re having a hard time leasing to a quality tenant. Either it’s too big, too small–or, it’s oddly configured from a previous tenant and doesn’t lay out well.

Many retail landlords face this challenge, so what’s their solution? Below are a few ideas outside the box that are a great way to find quality tenants for your vacancies

Specialty Retailers and Take Out Only

Small retail space for rent is often a great match for specialty retailers and take out restaurants. For example, one of the newest trends we’re seeing are vape shops and traditional smoke shops, which can be a great fit for your smaller sized units. Additionally, these business owners are generally happy with lower commercial rental rates that come along with renting these spaces.

When it comes to oddly shaped rental spaces, restaurants are easy to adapt. Take out restaurants, for example, don’t require the same retail sales floor area, and a creative configuration can add to the restaurant’s atmosphere and ambiance.

Break it up

Is your space oversized? Break it up! When leasing a commercial property, you can leave a large space “vanilla shell” and market it as “sub-dividable,” giving the flexibility to market your commercial space rental to a wider variety of retailers and restaurants. This will give your prospective tenants who may be looking for commercial space rentals the option to configure the space to what they envision their store or restaurant to look like.

Hire the Right Professional

When it comes to leasing a commercial property to quality long-term tenants, there’s nothing better than a tenacious leasing agent. Driven, highly motivated agents who are in the business of making deals aren’t afraid to pick up the phone and make endless calls or think outside the box on how to lease your property to the right business. They are your boots on the ground and will go the “extra mile” necessary to fill your most challenging units.


Everything sells (or leases) at the right price. What if you’re at your rock bottom price?

Lease incentives can make your vacancy stand out. For example, you can offer a prospective tenant a “tenant allowance” (TI) to cover their build-out expenses and amortize the cost over the base term of the lease. Alternatively, you may offer a certain number of months’ “free rent” during the first year of the lease, and add it to the end of the lease term. This may make leasing a less than ideal space more palatable to a prospective tenant while securing your tenant with a longer-term lease that pays at the full rate after the “rent holiday.”