Considering the increase in office vacancy we have witnessed since the drastic drop in oil prices and the continued increase in the market for smaller, owner user office buildings it may be time for those who own larger and older buildings to take a hard look at the product they are offering prospective tenants and buyers. All it takes is a “just look around” approach and it becomes apparent that times are changing. It is reflected in every aspect of the real estate business that there is a new attitude toward design and appearance of properties. Probably energized by the “millennials”, the attitude is clean lines and clean looks. It’s even reflected in the renovation of older buildings, most often by new owners.
For those investors who are offering 80’s style buildings for sale, particularly in the suburban markets, it might be time to walk out in the parking lot and take a hard look at your product with a critical eye. An updated entrance, colors that reflect newer design and style, a change in landscaping can all get more prospects in the door to see what you have to offer. Assuming that the buildings have well maintained or updated lobby finishes, common areas, elevator finishes, lighting and restrooms, these exterior changes can be fairly inexpensive when the reward is increasing occupancy and retaining what you already have. That’s what buyers want to see.
To protect their investments, suburban office owners are always thinking about how they can remain competitive. Some improvement in the exterior appearance of their buildings could be a big step forward.