7 Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Your Commercial Property Right Now
Maintaining a commercial property is no easy job. It requires keeping up with seasonal landscaping, maintaining a clean exterior as well as basic building maintenance. And, really, so much more. It can almost be a full-time job.
All of the extra work can pay off, though, especially at a time when vacancy rates are still high, according to the National Association of Realtors®. It's more important than ever that commercial property owners keep their property values on track.
Here are a few small things you can do to increase the value of your commercial property.
1. Keep up with seasonal upgrades
Each season brings a new reason to take care of the outside of your building. During the summer months, this means basic landscaping, and in the winter this maintenance is still necessary. Take a look at your property each season and investigate ways to make the exterior look presentable. This can include things like painting shutters, keeping your gutters clean, and adjusting your parking lot lighting to avoid it being obscured by blooming shrubbery.
In the winter months, make sure ice doesn't build up on the roof edges by diverting any hot air that might be causing an issue. You should also have a snow removal plan in place that will ensure your walkways stay safe.
You might also consider adding a few tasteful decorations around the holiday season. If you match the theme or degree of other properties in the area, this can help establish your business as a valuable part of the community.
2. Clean the ductwork
Dirty ductwork and vents may cause microbial growth, which could be a health hazard for your tenants. They can also make workspaces dirtier, leading to more work for your cleaning crew.
Preventing duct contamination can be as simple as complying with manufacturer schedules for changing filters, cleaning coils, and other components of your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Consider investing in quarterly duct and vent cleaning by an HVAC professional.
3. Offer covered parking
Most commercial buildings provide only uncovered spaces for employees and visitors. Whether it's a parking garage or a carport, offering covered parking as an option can make a big difference. This also means that when it's time to sell, your building will be worth more than competing properties with uncovered parking.
One modern idea for offsetting the upfront cost of construction is to cover the structure with solar panels. For instance, Rutgers University installed 45 solar panel-enabled parking canopies at its Livingston, N.J. campus. The panels generate more than 60 percent of that campus' annual electricity.
4. Paint/repaint parking spaces
If you haven't repaved your business's parking lot in several years, or if it never had spaces painted in the first place, it may be time to put down a layer.
At the least, make sure your parking spaces are clearly visible to anyone visiting. Not only will a new coat of paint making lines more visible help employees know where to park, it can give your exterior a much newer look than if the pavement is worn and the paint is faded.
If your parking space isn't too big and you don't want to hire a professional, you can easily buy or rent a parking lot striper and do it yourself. Lines should be as straight and parallel as possible, and each space should be at least eight feet wide to give the cars plenty of room on either side.
5. Upgrade the lobby
Like the exterior, your building's lobby makes a lasting impression. As you consider interior renovations, place heavy emphasis on this area of the building.
Modernize your lobby, taking inspiration from other commercial office spaces. Small touches such as plants, soft lighting, and artwork can dramatically improve a space's aesthetic.
While you're at it. Let some light in. You don't want to make a negative impression with a dark, dreary lobby. In addition to updating your overhead lights, make sure blinds are kept open to let in natural light.
6. Make your building safer
Whether they mention it or not, your employees care deeply about their personal safety. Workers will likely be exiting the building after dark at times, especially during the winter months.
Here are some ideas to enhance employee safety:
- Hire a receptionist for the lobby to check IDs and admit guests.
- Install a FOB or keycard system for entrance into your building for authorized employees and maintenance workers only.
- Ensure that your parking lot is well lit.
- Tour all interior areas of your office space taking careful note of floors, carpets and tripping hazards.
- If security has been an issue, consider adding exterior cameras or perhaps even a gate on your lot.
7. Update your signage
Your sign represents your business better than any advertising or marketing you could do. Make sure it isn't faded and that it's easily visible after dark. If your building is difficult to find, consider an illuminated sign that will capture attention in rainy weather or after dark.
When you provide a well-maintained, attractive building for employees, they'll look forward to coming to work each day. This will reduce turnover and improve morale, making for a more productive workday for everyone.A Realtor®—a member of the National Association of Realtors®—can help you find the right place to grow your business.