Q: I have a building for lease. I want to make the property attractive for tenant but have a limited budget. Where do I start?
A: When marketing commercial real estate, there are three major concerns that you should address with respect to property maintenance. These are; the overall appearance of the property (“curb-appeal”), Secondary Industry Definition perception of past maintenance, and of course, any safety issues. All three of these items will impact a prospective tenant. That impact can be either positive or negative.
I was recently contacted by a property owner who was having difficulty leasing his building. I agreed to inspect the property with him and make suggestions. Before we got into the building, we had to walk on what was left of a lawn to avoid a bush that had completely overgrown the front walk. Next, there was a dead bird in front of the building entrance door. Believe it or not, the inside was worse; dank smells, peeling paint, debris, inoperative light fixtures, and a lavatory in shambles. What a picture! No wonder prospective tenants ran screaming from the building.
Appearance is critically important. As they say, you’ll never get another chance to make a first impression. However, while your property must be clean and presentable, you want to avoid, wherever possible, costly renovations such as new office space or even new carpeting which are very specific to the needs of your buyer or tenant. This is the art of a great presentation on a limited budget.
We recently renovated an industrial building in Ronkonkoma for precisely this reason. The building was vacant and not leasing. On the exterior we removed accumulated debris and cut the lawn. What Is A Qualified Electrician Dead bushes were removed and replaced. The landscaping beds were weeded and mulched. The parking lot was seal-coated and the stripes repainted. Exterior personnel doors were painted.
Moving indoors, we made sure there were no glaring problems which indicate a history of neglect. For example, stained ceiling tiles often indicate a leaky roof or plumbing issue. Doors that drag, plumbing that doesn’t work, heating and air-conditioning equipment that makes noises or is inoperative indicate a property which has been neglected. In this case, we re-lit or replaced light fixtures, replaced missing or stained ceiling tiles, checked all the other mechanicals, and in general, made sure everything worked. And hopefully, it goes without saying, this is the time to address safety issues. Items such as potholes, dangling electric lines, and greasy floors all should be cured.

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