ACRE / BOMA OFFICE GUIDE
GETTING CREATIVE TO FILL VACANCIES
Two years after the start of the pandemic , businesses are figuring out how to bring employees back to the office — and analyzing workspace , buildings and campuses plays a large role .
With a bit of foresight and investment , building owners can help employers lure employees back to the office , thereby filling their own vacancies with tenants who appreciate their efforts . Ron Thomas , executive managing director with Cushman & Wakefield , notes several capital improvements that can attract tenants and their employees : onsite amenities such as fitness centers , food kiosks and childcare centers , new or enhanced outdoor space , recreational activities , greater focus on health and wellness solutions , and improved access to nearby amenities . “ In addition , it ’ s important to work with tenants more closely on lease terms and solutions and to offer concessions , such as free rent or tenant improvement dollars ,” Thomas says . “ Creating a differentiated offering is more critical now than ever . Unique ways of marketing to tenants directly and creating highly amenitized work environments will be key to enticing employees back to the office .”
Jon Walker , senior vice president of Kidder Mathews , points out that tenants looking for office space share some key principles with homebuyers . “ Brand-new or move-in-ready space always shows better than the rest and lease rate value is still top of mind — tenants want Class A space at Class B pricing ,” he says . “ Location is most important to the decision maker and key staff , and most companies still want easy
freeway access and access to amenities employees find valuable like ample parking , nearby food service options and pleasant common areas indoors and outdoors .”
First impressions are critical . Tidy landscaping , modern and inviting lobbies , and good seating areas where employees can take breaks are worth the effort . “ Lots of broker incentives have popped up as owners are trying to make sure their buildings are shown ,” Walker says . “ Old , tired suites are quickly excluded from tenants ’ short lists .”
In the wake of COVID-19 , owners should focus on creating healthier environments , according to Jason Goff , executive vice president with CBRE . “ Efforts toward this include providing more outdoor collaboration space , building security , upgraded HVAC infrastructure and added technologies that facilitate responsible office use , like touchless doors and elevators ,” he says .
Brokers and owners are pulling out all the stops to attract and retain tenants . Digital advertising , social media campaigns and virtual tours are now common . “ Exposure and promoting building / brand awareness are critical elements , as is exceptional customer service ,” Goff says . “ Landlords are being proactive and offering sizable renewal concessions to retain and renew tenants well in advance of scheduled lease expiration dates .”
― Jennifer von Geldern
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April 2022 | comstocksmag . com 79