Every day that you hesitate to act on your commercial office vacancies is a day’s revenue drained from your income. Follow these tips to quickly fill empty offices, and watch your income rise.
Become Aggressively Competitive
If you really want to reverse a vacancy trend, you need to ask some tough questions about your expectations. Are your offices empty because of current economic conditions, or are you charging too much for your commercial spaces?
New tenants won’t pay boutique prices if you haven’t added upgrades to your property in years. When fresh, shiny office buildings are located in the vicinity of your outdated rental spaces, all of the new builds’ brand new features and decor attract the high-paying tenants.
Research the going rates for office buildings around you to determine if you’re in the right ballpark for the spaces you offer. Tour new office builds and local office facilities that are at capacity to learn what they’re doing right. Consult with local commercial real estate professionals to gain insight into the appropriate rent amounts for your specific types of office suites.
Even if your rates are fair, in a tight economic market, you need to position yourself competitively. Offer special lease deals to attract new tenants. Build loyalty with existing leaseholders by offering one-time or temporary discounts in the name of solidarity through hard times.
Soothe the Senses
Office tenants often view their workspaces as cozy caves where they can escape their harried or mundane lives. Other tenants are boosted by feeling like members of a sophisticated, elegant club when they enter their office buildings.
Update your communal spaces, including board rooms, meeting rooms, kitchens, break rooms, and lobbies. Go for modern, soothing decor. Install features like gurgling water features or a foliage-laden atrium. Make your leasehold improvements with your target market in mind, of course.
If your potential tenants are on the younger side, offer pet-friendly offices, a dog-washing station, and green spaces (with installed doggy bag dispensers) for break-time walks. To attract older, more traditional tenants, create sumptuously appointed board rooms and a private lounge for premium tenants.
Paint, wall textures, trim, and fine art set the tone for your building. Hire a professional commercial interior designer to give your decor a trendy makeover. Even if your building isn’t a class A structure, new tenants are drawn to up-to-date furnishings and decor.
Offer Tenants Their Peace of Mind
Civil disruption is a fact of life across the globe. Your commercial property may not be situated in a high-risk area today, however, you can’t guarantee that riots, increased criminal activity, or other civil disturbances won’t visit your neighborhood tomorrow.
You can guarantee that your building is structured to protect your tenants’ assets and personal safety. First, examine your commercial property for security risks, including overgrown shrubbery, weak perimeter doors, easily accessed offices, and unlit spaces. Address all safety issues and include information about any upgrades in your marketing materials.
Security features that attract new tenants include the following:
- Security/receptionist booths in the lobby
- Increased security patrols of the perimeter
- Hi-tech alarm systems
- Exterior and interior CCTV cameras
- Private camera systems for each suite
- Remote viewing and cloud storage of camera feeds
- Smart access control to the lobby, each floor, and every office
- Updated fire alarm and suppression systems
- Air-lock rooms, safe rooms, and security doors
Your building’s cyber-security is as important to potential business tenants as the physical security you offer. If you provide Wi-Fi or other tech services to your tenants, review your set-up and hire cybersecurity experts to protect your building-wide systems. Offer on-site shredding or incineration services to tenants to reduce the risk of theft via sensitive documents landing in the wrong hands.
Not everyone is diligent about mask-wearing and hand-washing during pandemics and epidemics, but those who do take infectious diseases seriously are hyper-aware of how clean your building is. Take steps to refresh the hygiene features in offices and communal spaces.
Attract new tenants with the following building features:
- Hands-free sanitizer dispensers
- Hands-free sinks, towel dispensers, and toilets
- Socially distant communal furnishings
- Easy-to-disinfect communal surfaces
- Routine disinfection of communal doors, elevators, and surfaces
Hire heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) specialists to evaluate the air quality throughout your commercial building. Adapt your HVAC system with filtration and other upgrades to supply fresh, clean air to each suite.
Order custom face masks with your logo featured prominently. Pass the masks out to tenants and prospective tenants as both safety and promotional items. Brag about your hygiene upgrades on social media and in marketing materials.
Create Niche Work Spaces
All types of businesses require office spaces today. Compete with more recent office construction by creating niche workspaces for contemporary businesses.
Both communal and individual spaces attract new tenants when they’re outfitted with niche features. Ideas for niche workspaces include the following amenities:
- Team and group brainstorming rooms
- Infrastructure to support 3-D printing
- Private, soundproof office rooms
- Test kitchen with professional lighting
- Suites with technology to support media presentations
- Makers’ spaces with ample storage and elbow room
Many modern workers want open, flexible work suites they can adapt to suit their needs. When you provide multi-functional furniture in a highly adaptable office suite, you help the tenant create a space that works as a team-building site, client-hosting site, and quiet room all in the same suite.
Since so many companies rely on social media and online videos for marketing, a big selling point for prospective tenants is a dedicated building space for creating videos, vlogs, sound recordings, and photos. Provide professional lighting, audio equipment, and video capabilities that allow tenants the freedom to make media without disrupting their individual office routines. Develop an appointment system for the media room, or allow tenants to use the media-creation space on designated days based on their suite numbers.
Clearly, you have to act now to start filling up those vacant offices. Adopt one or more of the above tenant-attracting tips as soon as possible to increase interest in your facility and motivate new leaseholders to move into your rental spaces.
Founded in 1915, the Weidel family of companies has grown to encompass all parts of the residential and commercial real estate markets, including brokerage through Weidel Real Estate, real estate mortgages and finance through Princeton Mortgage Corporation, title insurance through Princeton Assurance Corporation, and real estate education and licensing through the Princeton School of Real Estate.