Marketing an office building can seem like a difficult task, particularly since there are so many different factors that make a property attractive to tenants.
Even if you’ve spend thousands of dollars upgrading the facilities, adding tenant amenities, and deciding on the perfect price, there is no guarantee that you’ll fill all available space. In addition, the rapidly changing market means that investors must know how to cater to office tenants who may be both lucrative yet require specialized layouts, equipment, or other amenities.
However there are three main steps you can take that will help you create a compelling marketing plan, maximize available office space, and meet investment goals.
Know your market
Before you draw up a marketing plan for your office building, you first need to conduct a regional and neighborhood analysis so you can choose rental rates in line with the market rate and position your property effectively.
The following factors influence the office market in a particular region:
- Future projects
- Current vacant space
- Assess competitive difference between your property and competing properties; include size, location, amenities, quality of building, and rental prices
- Employment trends
- Mix of residential and commercial buildings in the area
Attract and retain tenants
There are certain standard requirements that upscale office tenants require. Extensive internet and networking features, for example, is a must for most offices nowadays. Other premium amenities include state-of-the-art flex spaces for offices and meetings, concierge services, and multimedia rooms. Green building features are also viewed as more attractive by tenants.
Ideally, savvy investors will have identified their ideal office tenant before renovating an office space; in this way, marketing becomes a matter of advertising these features prominently.
You can also identify the features in your building and decide which tenants would be most attracted. For example, if your building has small individual offices then it might be particularly attractive to startups or entrepreneurs. If, on the other hand, you have a Class A building with all the amenities, make sure to provide all the services commensurate with a Class A building and then market the building to Class A tenants.
It’s also important to consider the tenant mix when marketing office buildings. A medical office building will naturally cater to doctors, but you can diversify your tenant base by adding a medical laboratory or specialty doctors.
Low lease rates, free rent for a limited period of time, longer lease terms, and a tenant improvement allowance are incentives that owners commonly use to attract tenants. Although these may initially appear costly, in the long run, vacancy costs end up costing more, and any costs can be amortized to the lease rate over the term of the lease.
Ask your local broker
Whether you decide to list your office building with a broker or not, make sure brokers in the area know about your property. Every successful broker has numerous connections not just with other brokers, but also with a wide web of professionals who might know tenants suitable for your building.
Often a broker will refer a client to another property – even if he won’t receive any compensation – because that space is the better fit.
The other possibility is to choose a broker acting as a tenant representative.
You don’t pay a fee since they represent the tenant, not you. You’d still get to take advantage of the broker’s years of experience and market knowledge, which could help shorten the time it takes you to fill your office building to maximum capacity.
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