Offices ‘leading recovery’ in London’s commercial property sectorJune 30th, 2014 Category: Commercial
Despite highly publicised failures, the office space market is spearheading the recovery of London’s commercial property sector – a recuperation that is spilling out of the capital into the surrounding areas.
According to Money Observer, although one of the UK’s most iconic office blocks, the Gherkin, went into receivership back in April, the wider market is in “rude health once again”. This means investors could find an alternative and attractive investment in the non-residential property market.
Furthermore, companies occupying a few floors of an office block may seek a better deal elsewhere as the market gets more competitive, which could allow them to expand and grow their businesses.
Many industry experts expect the sector to remain healthy during 2014, with George Shaw, manager of the Ignis UK Property fund, predicting that demand for both retail and offices will remain strong in central London.
So, what can building owners do to ensure they attract new tenants and encourage existing occupants to stay put?
Before advertising a vacancy, a property owner should do their homework and find out what kind of companies operate in the area. If the district is saturated with firms from the financial sector, for example, then it is highly likely prospective tenants will be from the same industry.
Once an owner understands what type of occupant is likely to be attracted to the property, they can then cater the office space to suit that particular type of tenant.
For example, sections of the office could be cordoned off to create meeting rooms or board rooms to allow tenants to conduct private gatherings or interviews. Waiting areas could also be created, which will add a touch of professionalism to the office.
Cosmetic touches such as these can transform a bog standard office into a company’s nerve centre, where all their needs are catered for.
Nobody wants to work in a building that rarely has working lifts or plumbing, which means properties need to be well maintained in order to keep tenants happy, and more importantly, willing to renew their contract.
Building owners should regularly inspect their properties to prevent any major issues from arising and they should ensure the occupants have up to date contact details so if something does arise it can be dealt with swiftly.
A well-maintained property will also help to attract new tenants. First impressions are important as they are hard to change, so if a prospective occupant walks into a building that looks more like a war zone than a workplace, then they will be unlikely to want a second viewing.
Countless studies have linked a clean working environment to increased staff morale and productivity, which means building owners could gain points from tenants by hiring contract cleaners.
By simply ensuring communal areas, such as kitchens and toilets, are impeccably clean, occupants stay happy and the property will be appealing to prospective tenants.
Contract cleaners can be hired for daily chores or they can be brought in to do major jobs, such as a spring cleaning of the entire building, which could complement any planned maintenance or renovation works.