Attract Tenants with Green Features and Smart Technology
As a commercial investor, whether you have a single office building or a portfolio of residential rental properties, you know that the key to success and profits is to keep your occupancy rate high.
Look to green improvements and the addition of smart technology as features that will help you attract long-term tenants to your office buildings, small retail spaces and rental apartments. Even modest expenditures will pay big returns in terms of leasing and tenant satisfaction. If you're remodeling, the choices you make will largely determine your building's desirability. Make decisions that benefit the client whenever possible. Individual thermostats and ample electric wiring for all electronics are much appreciated!
Keep Things Looking Fresh
Light, bright, clean surroundings, including fresh paint and new flooring, are also a bonus in the eyes of prospective tenants, but you can also offer a finish-out allowance. Direct access to the outside is a bonus. You should also hire a commercial window cleaner to keep the windows bright, sparkly and clean.
Making a Noticeable Impact With Technology
If you have a building that has been converted to residential space, or a small apartment building, you can boost tenant satisfaction and, possibly, charge top dollar if your included amenity package includes some cost-effective energy-saving features and tech benefits.
Technological advances make such things as security cameras and keyless entry locks not only cost-effective but highly desirable. Adding additional insulation and installing individual setback thermostats helps to lower monthly heating and cooling costs, whether you pay the bills or they are tenant responsibilities. Modern plumbing fixtures and faucets not only save water, but can lower your repair bills -- again, a benefit for both you and your tenants.
Don't Forget the Windows
If your buildings don't currently boast insulated doors and thermo-pane, low-E windows, at least make certain that weatherstripping is as effective as it should be. You might want to budget now to make future energy-saving improvements. Consider installing custom blinds that will help eliminate window drafts.
Going the Extra Mile
Tenants also appreciate the little things. Install dimmer switches in appropriate places, even in office buildings if appropriate, or add motion-activated lighting in hallways and commercial lobbies. Light sensors are good for parking lots and residential driveways, and building safety and security lighting is vital. Battery-operated smoke and air-quality alarms are a great bonus, both in offices and living spaces. For small commercial buildings, Wi-Fi could mean the difference between a fully-leased office building and spaces that are hard to lease. Flexibility is key if you want to attract long-term tenants.
There are many additional factors that can influence lease rates, so if you are considering investing in a small office building, consider the following:
- Tenants appreciate some kind of snack area or common lounge space. If your building has no kitchen, consider remodeling to provide, at minimum, a sink, microwave, refrigerator and small countertop in a common area available for use by all tenants. A room that contains a table and chairs, or even some comfortable seating, would be another advantage.
- Street appeal is important. Even tenants who do not expect walk-in traffic like to go to work in a well-kept building. Safety goes hand in hand with visual appeal
- Attractive outdoor space, even if it's only a tree and some potted plants. A small bench or a couple of garden chairs is a bonus, in all but strictly commercial areas.
Even though tenant expectations vary greatly, gaining some insights into cost-effective improvements will benefit your bottom line. By providing some "extras," you might find that it's not necessary to offer leasing incentives or lower your asking price at all.