Thinking Outside the Box With Office Spaces

 June 21, 2024

By  Guy Gray

American entrepreneur and investor Tim Ferriss once said that “it isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.” This is true, as all of the research and creativity in the world won’t lead to real results unless action is involved. This applies to every evolving industry, including commercial real estate. 

Office spaces are a clear example of the next to “act outside the box” over the past few years. What many may see as volatility we see as opportunity. To help you do the same, this article will cover ways to draw in new office tenants, repurpose office spaces and otherwise invest in the office space segment of commercial real estate as it stands today. 

Drawing in New Office Tenants

First is the issue of attracting new tenants to your office spaces, which is feasible with a little innovative thinking and creative solutions. Instead of adhering to conventional leasing models, for example, you can consider unconventional strategies that differentiate your space and not only appeal to prospective tenants, but attract those who weren’t even considering office space in the first place. Here are some specific ways to draw in new office tenants:

  • Flexible lease structures: The more appealing you make lease terms, the more attractive they will be to new tenants. But term flexibility is just as important as tenant needs are ever changing in modern businesses. Consider tailoring your terms to meet client needs, as well as add options like short-term leases, co-working spaces or shared office arrangements. All of these promote tenant retention and accommodate more prospects.
  • Enhanced amenities: Invest in amenities that both enhance tenant experience and promote productivity. One of the biggest reasons the remote employee movement has stuck around is the higher productivity rates while working from home. However, fostering a better environment at work negates this. From on-site fitness centers and wellness programs to collaborative spaces and recreational areas, prioritize amenities that speak to your tenants and foster a sense of community.
  • Tech-friendly environments: Create smart, connected office spaces that optimize efficiency and convenience. Features like smart lighting, automated climate control and integrated communication systems enhance the workplace experience and attract tenants—especially those that are tech savvy.
  • Customizable interiors: Give tenants the flexibility to customize their office spaces to suit their unique brand identity and operational requirements. Adopt modular design principles with adjustable floor plans to account for diverse preferences and facilitate seamless reconfigurations as they’re needed.

Only four percent of companies never plan to have a physical workspace, according to Resume Builder, so this is an area to definitely focus on today and in the future.

Transforming Underutilized Spaces

To maximize value from your current spaces and respond to shifting market dynamics, it might require some transformation. This can help retain current tenants who no longer see as much value from their office space as they once did. Here are a few ways you can transform your underutilized office spaces:

  • Mixed-use developments: Explore opportunities to integrate your office spaces into mixed-use developments that combine commercial, residential and recreational elements. If you’re able to transform your property into one that is vibrant and appeals to a diverse range of tenants, you can capitalize on different asset classes.
  • Adaptive reuse projects: Consider alternative uses for your spaces and building itself, such as boutique hotels or creative workspaces. Adaptive reuse projects not only breathe new life into underutilized properties, but also contribute to urban revitalization and sustainability efforts. 
  • Co-working and innovation hubs: To get employees back into the office, the focus for office space tenants has been collaboration. Productivity and creativity increase when more people are involved, so consider offering flexible workspace solutions that foster collaboration and entrepreneurship. 
  • Consider market trends: Commercial real estate software like Quarem provides robust market research tools that let you see what other office space properties are doing and replicate what works. From negotiating lease terms to investing in new assets or remodels, a CRE tool can be a great benefit in this scenario.

Investing in the Future Despite Uncertainty

Commercial real estate investments come with uncertainty as the landscape continues to evolve. But strategic investments in office spaces remain essential for long-term success. By embracing innovation, repurposing underutilized assets and reimagining the role of office spaces, you can position yourself for portfolio growth and navigate the uncertainty with confidence. Commercial real estate software is key here, as it supplies you with accurate market data, customizable dashboards and rich reporting capabilities that will better inform you and stakeholders and you consider what to do with new and existing office space properties.

Ready to see how Quarem can help with your office property investments? Request a demo of our commercial real estate platform today and see its property management features in action.

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About the author 

Guy Gray

Guy Gray serves as Chief Operating Officer overseeing our technology and client services teams. He is responsible for guiding Quarem application development, networking and security, as well as new client implementations.

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