It comes as no surprise that many commercial building property managers or landlords are having trouble finding tenants to rent their office space. Sites like Craigslist and Loopnet are flooded with new office “for rent” ads each day, and the pressure to fill office spaces is becoming greater. We’ve had the opportunity to connect with a few long time commercial clients to gain their perspective of why office rentals seem to be in such a slump, and are including our learnings below:
- Working from home is becoming more acceptable
With the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, businesses, schools and organizations realized that all of their office jobs could easily be completed at home. Not only that, employers and employees alike realized there were many conveniences to working from home like not having to pay a dog sitter or picking up kids from school.
- It’s a struggle getting people to come back to the office
Not only is it difficult trying to motivate employees to return to the office, but the fact that it’s an employees market makes it harder for managers to have as much hiring leverage as they used to. If an employee feels forced to work on sight, there isn’t much keeping them from finding a similar job that allows them to work from home.
- Economy is causing businesses to be more frugal
Due to uncertainties within the economy, this has also caused employers and business owners to tighten up their expenses in order to save money. Many companies are moving their funds more toward sales and marketing, and cutting back on optional expenses like office space seems to be the smart move.
So if you’re a property manager or landlord, how do you combat the nationwide exodus of on sight workers and find tenants to rent your space?
The good news is we’ve been able to gather valuable feedback from other commercial clients who are winning at the tenants game, and gave us some helpful insights on changes they implemented which resulted in finding more tenants to rent their space. In this article, we’re going to provide you with this insight, as well as some key benefits on why having team members – employees and employers alike – working onsight can increase business productivity. Let’s get started!
Ways to find new tenants for your office building
- Provide reception services
One of the keys to attracting tenants is offering incentives that “work from home” people wouldn’t have on their own. One of these incentives has been the boom of reception services. One client of ours has a full time receptionist to not only greet guests in the lobby, but to also take and direct important calls on behalf of the tenants.
If hiring a full time receptionist isn’t cost effective, consider outsourcing to a virtual receptionist service, which will significantly cut your costs down.
- Offer business mailing address solutions
Having a professional business address is important, so advertising this as an extra service for your clients is another incentive for them renting your space. There are many “virtual mailing address” services already popping up online charging anywhere from $50 to $100 per virtual address.
Advertise this as a “free” bonus for your tenants and encourage them to make their business stand out more without spending extra money for an invisible address.
- Install an on site gym
Staying active is something more and more people are becoming conscious about, and offering a free on sight membership is one way to encourage people to come back to the office.
A commercial office gym doesn’t have to be fancy. One smaller office building we clean for was able to turn a 300 SQ office into a workout space for less than $2,000. They purchased 4 pieces of workout machinery in used but excellent condition, and hung a 40 inch TV screen on the wall for people to watch while they worked out.
The new gym quickly paid for itself in just three months!
- Provide complimentary coffee bar
Coffee is important to people! A coffee bar doesn’t have to include a full serviced macchiato machine, but stocking a designated area with even a Keurig machine and a selection of coffee and creamers is a nice touch. Including hot water for tea or hot cocoa is also an added perk.
- Offer free printing and wifi services
Like hotels, offering complementary printing and copying for tenants is a huge service, especially if people either don’t have a professional printer at home, or it costs them money to maintain. Also providing free high speed business wifi is a perk many tenants enjoy. Many stay at home employees noticed a rise in their wifi bill since the pandemic due to over usage of data, so saving $50 to $100 extra on internet is a big deal for them.
- Turn larger offices into shared team work spaces
Collaborative team spaces are becoming a big hit amongst millennials and Gen Zers, who actually enjoy going places and being around people to conduct most of their work. Common work spaces provide an affordable opportunity for people to pay a monthly fee and have access to pop in and use an available desk space.
The benefits to you as the lessee is that you can turn a medium sized single office for $400 per month into 4 or 5 work spaces and charge anywhere from $150 to $200 per work space each month. Your revenue has potential to increase and you’re making it easier for tenants to work on sight!
- Offer flexible rental contracts
We understand that ideally having a tenant commit to a traditional 1-2 year contract helps our financial forecasting. The problem is that as tenants try navigating the dark waters of their business and the economy, the thought of being stuck in a 1-2 year rental contract is a major barrier to renting a space.
We highly recommend doing a flexible month to month plan, and charging a security deposit. You can even require last month’s rent up front so that you have a full month to replace your tenant.
- Offer complementary cleaning services
Many office spaces require tenants to pay for their own office cleanings, but why not include this into your normal building cleaning?
At Maintenance One, we provide a level of commercial cleaning service that is unmatched in the industry, and have helped hundreds of property managers provide an inviting, clean environment for both their tenants and guests. If you’re looking for a way to increase value for your tenants, give us a call to schedule a free walk through!
- Advertise business networking groups
Business networks such as chamber of commerce networking groups are valuable a resource to businesses trying to spread the word and grow their networks. Some people will even pay monthly or annual fees just to be apart of one.
Hosting a free monthly or quarterly get-to-gether for your tenants to network with each other is an invaluable perk you can use to encourage people to rent your office space!
- Offer free massages or hair cuts
Some commercial buildings are offering premium services on a monthly basis like hair cuts or massages for tenants. If this feels like a larger expense than you can afford, consider offering a limited amount of signups to control the cost. You can also opt in to provide the service at a discounted cost for your tenants.
The benefits for teams working on sight
There definitely are perks in working from home, but based on feedback we’ve received from companies who have had their employees work in the office (even if it’s just a few days each week) there’s also many perks for coming back into the office:
- Better communication
Even though there is software to help streamline remote communication like Slack or Monday.com, in-person conversations will always prove to produce better communication, which will ultimately impact efficiency and performance.
- Increased collaborative efforts
People who work in groups tend to ask more critical questions, solve more problems and come up with more creative ideas than if they were to remain in isolation. Again, we’re not saying that working from home can’t produce the same type of results, but working in person with others often increases those results significantly.
- Better results on average
In the areas of team morale, productivity, critical and creative thinking and meeting goals, having a team work together in person helps improve each of these areas, which is worth the investment in renting an office space.
About Maintenance One
At Maintenance One, our mission is to serve our clients with excellent customer service and exceptional cleaning care for your offices. We are fully insured and have the best well-trained team of cleaning technicians to look after your property and keep your tenants happy.
We make booking a service with us easy and simple, and provide free walkthroughs. Simply contact our customer care team and we will work with you to find a date and time to evaluate the cleaning needs of your property and will provide a no-obligation quote.