Being a commercial landlord in a post-pandemic world poses the challenge of how to provide occupants with secure, sustainable, and flexible spaces. Raghmah Solomon – founder, and female pioneer behind Vortex Design Solutions – uses great design to reimagine spaces in innovative ways, making buildings more attractive to potential tenants and helping landlords win the race to fill their space.
Here are Raghmah’s top tips on how to win the race to fill your space:
Speak to your tenants
Asking your tenants monthly for their feedback on what they love about your property and where you could improve is paramount to creating lasting relationships and retaining long-term tenants. Their feedback will give you a great idea of whether you are fulfilling your role as a landlord well and if anyone is planning to leave your building.
List all the features of your building
When you list the features of your space in advertising, make sure to list them all, to give potential tenants a solid understanding of the value your space offers them. Wi-Fi facilities, parking, back-up generators, meeting rooms, and how close the space is to schools, universities, and shops, all help to broaden the scope of your potential customers.
Unconventional features are valuable
In general, air quality, light, and space are the three main components that tenants look for and will make your building more attractive. How you handle a maintenance request, who currently occupies the space, sustainability concerns such as LED lighting, and maintaining plants to improve the building’s air quality, are all valuable features to tenants.
Speak to your designer
Designers often spend the most time with the client, learning their needs, their tastes, their dislikes, and what they value the most in the design. They also spend time with building contractors and engineers, to make sure that all the needs of their clients are being taken care of from the beginning. The location of power outlets, the type of fire and air conditioning systems, and how to redesign for maximum sustainability are a good designer’s chief concerns.
Invest in good quality materials
With commercial spaces now having to comply with strict sanitising laws, it is important that any materials used can withstand regular rigorous cleaning with minimal deterioration.
Analyse your space
Post-COVID, all the materials chosen for a space must prioritise hygiene and sustainability. The look of the products that simulate the ‘real-deal’ surfaces, such as timber or marble, have increased in quality to such a degree, that often you would need to touch them to know the difference. They are often longer lasting and easier to clean.
Embrace minimal layouts
Exclude excessive décor items where dust can collect and hang art to create interest instead. Taking a simplistic approach will create a clean and calming environment that still provides visual interest.
Use closed cupboards
Due to our increased concern over germs and bacteria, all open shelves need to have doors to limit the settling of germs and the collection of dust.
Holistically implement COVID protection protocols
Sanitising stations, touch access panels, and everyone wearing a mask must be ensured throughout the building through a collaboration between tenants and landlords. From the time the tenant enters the building, through all staircases, lobbies, and common areas up until they reach their tenancy doors, every clean building measure must be clear and standard for both parties.
As a landlord, the layout of your building has a large impact on your occupancy rate. And higher occupancy rates that are stable over a longer period are what determines a healthy bottom line. Spaces need interior fitting plans that are functional, flexible, and above all, safe for all your tenants.
In many ways, running a building is like running a business and you need to constantly monitor how your decisions and tenant fitouts will affect the other tenants to make sound, holistic decisions to ensure the longevity of the building, its efficacy, and its functionality as a whole.