The inherent value of the commercial property sector has not gone unnoticed by moguls and investors, so competition for tenants may be fierce. Individuals with appropriate capital are snapping up vacant space all over the country with a mind to lease them out.
Thankfully, Imperial Building Solutions have years of experience in the refurbishment of commercial properties. We’re here to offer advice to ensure that prospective tenants are keen to base themselves in your building.
Undertake a Full Fit-Out
You would not attempt to rent a home that was in need of improvements. The same applies to commercial property.
Put yourself in the shoes of a business, excited to take on new office space at significant expense. Would you consider taking on a property that has not undertaken a full fit-out when an alternative is available, thus saving substantial time, effort and expense?
As a landlord, you need to consider which office fit-out category you want to pursue.
- Category A fit-outs focus on the fundamental qualities of a building. The infrastructure of the property will be reviewed and refitted, ensuring that a property is bare and ready to be populated by a tenant. Power, heat and lighting will be provided, but the rest of the building can be populated by the tenant.
- Category A+ fit-outs are increasingly popular for landlords. Think of this as a combination of Category A and B fit-outs, ensuring that a property is ready to be used and utilised by the tenants almost immediately. Category A+ fit-outs bring the property to life without the need for specification from the tenant. This makes the area look a lot more appealing to the tenants looking to get into the property quickly and sets it apart from other properties.
Imperial Building Solutions specialise in all the office fit-outs at appealing price points. To ensure that your commercial property looks its best, feel free to contact us and request a quote. Imperial will undertake work that ensures your building is irresistible to tenants.
“Know your audience” is among the very first rules of business. The same applies when looking for tenants to populate a commercial building. Do your due diligence, and tailor the offering of your property to appropriate users.
Things to consider include:
- What business models are most commonplace in your area, and how are they set up? Would prospective tenants benefit more from vast open-plan spaces or multiple smaller, private rooms?
- What additional services, such as gyms or childcare facilities, would your target audience be attracted to? Install these yourself, or explain the potential to install them to a tenant
- Why are businesses leaving their existing premises (if applicable)? What pain points are they experiencing that you can improve upon?
- Are tenants looking for long-term or short-term leases? Would all parties benefit from a break clause within the arrangement in case things are not working out?
- How will you handle the vehicular needs of the building – does the property offer sufficient parking spaces and access to commercial buildings?
Do not make assumptions about this. Roll up your sleeves and do some market research, gaining answers directly from your potential tenants. If you understand what is most important to your building users and meet these needs, you are more likely to enjoy a fruitful, long-term relationship.
Of course, knowing what your tenants want is just part of the puzzle. You also need to meet these expectations. This is where Imperial Building Solutions shine. Browse our portfolio of previous office fit-outs and installations to take inspiration for your commercial property.
Once you understand who you want to attract to your commercial property, you need to gain their attention. Just hanging a For Sale sign is not enough. Take an active approach, ensuring that anybody seeking a property is aware that you have the perfect building for their needs.
Techniques to consider here include:
- Promoting directly to commercial landlords in a variety of industries
- Widespread social media campaigns, including the use of influencers
- Advertising in the industry press of your target audience, not just property websites and magazines
- Incentivise word-of-mouth recommendations from your staff team and friends
As more potential tenants become aware of your vacancy, it becomes increasingly likely that you’ll find the perfect occupants. No business owner ever rented a property they did not know was available. In addition, though, ensure that you make the property look as appealing as possible.
If you take the time to fit out and decorate an office before taking photos, you’ll surely experience a rush of interest. In many respects, the approach to renting a commercial property is the same as a residence – the less work required to personalise and accommodate tastes and needs, the better.
The cost of the monthly rent will be a crucial factor in whether tenants choose to lease your building. Naturally, you will be looking to turn a profit on your investment and to charge a rental value consummate with the area in which you’re located. If competition is particularly fierce, however, ensure that rivals are not undercutting you.
One way to offer financial appeal to tenants outside of rent is energy efficiency. An SME will likely be keen to conserve outlay wherever possible, and an increasing number of businesses are emphasising environmentally friendly practices. Consider the installation of double-glazed windows, wall and floor insulation, solar panels and energy-efficient lighting.
In many cases, you’ll be able to take advantage of tax breaks and government schemes to finance these environmental concerns. Even if this is not the case, you’re likely to find tenants keen to sign on the dotted line and commit to a rental rate that you place before them.
It may feel overwhelming to battle through the red tape involved with these discounts, though – or even to fully understand what financing options are available. Rest assured, a third party that undertakes a refit of your property will know where to apply and how to achieve maximum cost-efficiency.
Invest in Smart Technology
In addition to the eco-friendly approaches discussed above, think about setting up your commercial space with smart technology. In the 21st Century, this is growing increasingly commonplace. A commercial building that already boasts wireless lighting, for example, will attract tenants as it will not need a refit a year or two down the line.
There are many reasons for a business to consider smart lighting – which, in turn, is why a commercial property landlord should also investigate its installation. Smart lighting can save money, especially when attached to motion sensors and bolster security.
Smart lighting can also be programmed to mirror the circadian rhythms of the human body, improving efficiency. More income for your tenants means they’re increasingly likely to remain in your building!
Of course, lighting is not the only form of smart technology available to businesses today. You could consider equipping your property with smart locks and other approaches. The more smart technology your property offers, the more it will be future-proofed – and the more control you will be able to maintain from afar.
Undertaking an office fit-out or refurbishment ahead of seeking commercial tenants is the perfect opportunity to upgrade to smart technology. Imperial Building Solutions would be delighted to discuss these needs with you if applicable.
If a business chooses to rent a building in a set area, they’ll likely be keen to become part of the community. Make your property appealing by leaning into this, partnering up with other local enterprises.
This could involve regular catering or deliveries from local restaurants, cafes or delis. It could mean opening an account with a local taxi business, ensuring a fleet of cars is typically available to the property occupants. Maybe it just means subsidised pricing with other facilities. Think back to the childcare facilities and gyms that we previously discussed – if you cannot build these into a property, maybe an external company will offer a partnership.
Of course, any of these approaches will have financial implications. They can be built into the rental cost of the building, though. It’s certainly preferable for you as the building owner to maintain these relationships and partnerships. Tenants come and go, but your building is sticking around. By establishing relationships with suppliers, you have an additional selling point to attract tenants. In addition the building looking immaculate and having undergone a recent fit-out, the best possible deal on regular utility expenses has already been struck. This is one less thing to think about.
The final point is perhaps the most important. The relationship between a commercial landlord and tenant is currently believed to skew in favour of the latter. If your business tenant experiences a downturn in fortunes and cannot pay their rent, the authorities are unlikely to force the issue for a prolonged period.
Think carefully about to whom you lease your building, ensuring that you’re confident they will not leave you high and dry from a financial standpoint. Open a frank and transparent dialogue before signing any contracts. If you have any reason to doubt the veracity of a business model, look for a different tenant – or, at the very least, request a sizable bond.
Naturally, once you are ready to welcome tenants into your commercial property, Imperial Building Solutions will be delighted to aid you in preparing it through refurbishment. If you’d like to discuss our services, do not hesitate to get in touch.