About The Leasing Department

Your in-house property team, outsourced. 

The Leasing Department provide a range of leasing and property services including network planning and site sourcing, negotiating lease terms and conditions, lease performance analysis and business strategy. 

These services extend across the entire retail property lifecycle from the:

  • Business strategy and design phase
  • Securing a first tenancy or rolling out a network of sites to support a growth strategy
  • Assisting clients through the design and delivery stage to commencement of trade
  • Managing initial lease negotiations and the execution of a lease until its eventual expiryas well as all lease events in between, to
  • Exiting a premises upon expiry, lease assignment or a strategic departure.

We draw on our extensive experience in retail management and the property industry to save our clients time, money and stress by finding the best sites available for their business, negotiating the best lease terms and putting a property strategy in place for their business success.

This depth of knowledge across both the retail and property sectors gives us a distinct advantage in providing expert services to retail tenants. In FY2016 alone, our expert negotiation skills resulted in lease savings for our clients of over $3 million.

Our clients include established and start up retail businesses in all major metropolitan and regional centres throughout Australia.

Tackling retailer’s biggest nightmare: rental overheads

Read the blog series:

Retail’s biggest challenge   |   Never pay recommended retail price   |   Maximise lease events   |   Negotiate mid-term

Our Expertise

Our areas of expertise are outlined below under three distinct headings including: network planning and site sourcing; negotiating lease terms and conditions; and performance and business strategy.

Network planning and site sourcing

Whether our clients are looking for their first retail shop, or ready to grow and open new sites, we align our search to their growth strategy and business objectives. Our services include:

Location intelligence

We ensure our clients’ next retail location is a smart choice for their business using simple demographics analysis or extensive geo-spatial demographics and data analysis to support site location recommendations.

Network planning

We work with our clients to develop a longer term property plan that identifies multiple, potential sites and prioritises them to maximise return on their investment over time.

Site acquisition

We work closely with our clients to understand their business objectives and document their exact site requirements. Using this criteria, we then connect with our extensive network of landlords and agents Australia wide to source and secure the very best sites available for their business.

Negotiating lease terms and conditions

Our primary role is to negotiate the best commercial terms possible for our clients’ lease, and ensure all minimum lease requirements specific to their business are in place. We represent them in all lease event negotiations including:

New leases

We negotiate all aspects of our clients’ new lease to maximise the return on their investment over the life of the lease. We ensure specific requirements such as ‘right of entry waivers’ and ‘step-in deeds’ are included in the terms when appropriate and their rights as a tenant are protected throughout the process.

Lease renewals

Ideally negotiations for our clients’ lease renewal commences 12 – 18 months before their existing lease expires. By taking a proactive approach to their lease renewal, we assess opportunity cost and leverage those scenarios to achieve the best terms possible.

Exercising lease option terms

Exercising lease option terms is a process. We manage it from start to finish, and ensure options to reduce (or minimise increases to) base rent and improve the occupancy cost ratio (OCR) during this small window of opportunity are taken. Securing the tenure over our clients’ premises can be at risk if the process is not completed in line with requirements of the relevant legislation in each state or territory.

Market rent reviews

We take the stress out of what can be a very challenging process that differs in each state and territory. We seek to achieve a base rent outcome that realigns base rent with market conditions and places our clients’ business in the best possible position to be successful in the next lease period.

Mid-term negotiations

We can negotiate with landlords on a range of matters relating to our clients’ lease during the term of the lease. We have extensive experience in all types of negotiations that can arise during a lease term from: landlord disputes; surrendering a lease; extensions to a lease term; change of uses; and assignment of leases.

Performance and business strategy

Our clients’ lease is often the most important asset they have. Without it, they are out of business. If it performs poorly, it will be a significant liability on their P&Ls. Our key objective therefore is to ensure we increase the value of our clients’ lease and ensure it sits alongside other significant assets in their business.

Lease performance analysis

We analyse the OCR and other retail metrics and compare them to industry specific benchmarks to gain a clear picture of how our clients’ business is performing; and how that performance compares against similar businesses.

Strategic planning for improvement

Based on the findings of the lease performance analysis, we develop strategies to improve performance and realign lease terms to meet market conditions.

Business strategy input

We offer input to our clients’ business strategy at any stage of the business’s life to ensure property decisions remain aligned to company goals and objectives and market forces, and the lease remains a valuable asset for the business.

About our team

Kyle Swain

Founder and Retail Property Consultant

Kyle is a retail property specialist with degrees in Property Economics and Business Administration. With a solid background in retail management with the former Coles Myer Group, and extensive experience across a range of property roles, Kyle has a unique skill set that positions him as a leader in tenant side leasing and property services.

Kyle founded The Leasing Department specifically to assist retail tenants to improve bottom line performance, and is committed to delivering strategically aligned property outcomes which provide a platform for our clients’ business to achieve financial success.


Carmen McCrone

Marketing and Business Manager

Carmen is a senior communication and marketing professional with extensive corporate communications, marketing and brand management experience in the property, engineering, and financial services sectors.

She understands the vital role each business discipline plays in driving outcomes that build successful brands and businesses. Carmen is responsible for all The Leasing Department’s client touch points and customer channels from our website to social and business media channels including LinkedIn and Instagram. She also plays a key role in managing operational matters relating to the business.


Our clients

Our clients are from many retail categories including territory specific retailers such as LPOs, newsagency, pharmacy and franchise businesses as well as food and beverage, general merchandise, sport, fashion and other speciality retail. Across all these categories, we work with a diverse range of retailers from single store owners to multi-site, portfolio clients.

Whether it be a small, one off retail store, or a large retail portfolio, we believe every retailer can have their own leasing department.

All NRA members are eligible for an initial complementary consultation with The Leasing Department to discuss issues and questions relating to their retail lease. Following initial contact, members may choose to formally engage The Leasing Department to act on their behalf.

Contact the National Retail Association Industry Services Team on 1800 RETAIL (1800 738 245).