There are many benefits to being a commercial property landlord – as well as many responsibilities, of course. It is important that you make it work for both you and your tenants, but one of the greatest risks that you face as a commercial property landlord who lets out their property is void time. This is the time between tenants when no-one is occupying your property, and, hence when you are getting no income for it (and potentially still paying your mortgage on it).
As an added consideration, empty property business rates only last for three months, meaning that this relief will not be available to you if your commercial property is empty after this amount of time. Once that the rate change period has passed, you will almost certainly be required to start to pay business rates again. It is worth remembering, however, that there are exceptions to this rule and you should look to check whether this applies to your property or not.
The ideal situation is, of course, that you find new tenants for your property to move in as soon as your previous tenants move out, but this is not always the case – and, not always possible. Here at Boxpod, we want to see landlords with their commercial properties occupied as much as possible (that’s why we’re here, after all) and so in this article, we are going to discuss how you can reduce your commercial property’s void time.
Finding New Tenants
The obvious solution to avoiding void time is to fill your commercial property with new tenants. There are always businesses that are looking for somewhere to be based, but the key is finding and attracting them, and then making it happen.
Here at Boxpod, we like to get involved in the ‘finding them’ part of the equation. We have the job of the matchmaker – we are the people who introduce commercial property landlords to potential tenants and help them to get talking. We also give you control over your advert, a public profile, and statistics relating to how well your advertisement is performing.
As a commercial property landlord, advertising is essential and the most likely way that you will find your tenants.
Condition and Working Environment
Once that you have got your commercial property out there, you then have the task of making it attractive to potential tenants.
You should be checking the condition of your property. Potential tenants want to move into a property that is in good condition and fully functioning, causing minimum disruption to them. You should carry out maintenance before any new tenants move in, to help to avoid any serious problems and make any necessary repairs preferably before you even begin to advertise the property for rental.
We also recommend that you do your research to find out what your target market is looking for in a commercial property.
If you are renting out office space, for example, you may want to ensure that your layout is modern and inviting, it is accessible, it has the right level of security, or that it maximises natural light. If, on the other hand, you are renting out a retail unit, you might want to think about how to ensure that there is good storage space, the property’s layout, or green credentials.
Take the local area into account and what businesses there might be looking for – the more attractive you make the property, the easier it will be to find tenants, the less void time you will have, and, of course, the more money you will be able to ask for.
How to Make Your Commercial Property More Attractive to Tenants
It goes without saying that every business has its own specific needs when it comes to renting a commercial property. There are, however, a number of factors that can make a commercial property more attractive in general, helping you to improve your chance of finding commercial tenants quickly and reducing the amount of void time.
Some ideas include:
Good quality flooring and lighting – these can make your property look great and attract a higher calibre of tenants. Small details such as having good flooring and lighting can make a big difference to the work environment, making it look clean, professional, and up-to-date.
Floor plan – depending on the kind of business that you are looking to attract, you might want to change the floor plan – perhaps by adding mezzanine walls – or removing them. Do you think businesses will want a big open plan office, or lots of smaller, more private offices? Do you need a large, open storage area, or a kitchen area, for example?
Wellbeing – businesses are increasingly looking for commercial properties that fit with their ambitions of creating a healthy work environment. Good light, good ventilation, and lots of plants, for example, can also be important features in a happy and productive office. Try to make the space look and feel as healthy as possible.
Green – sustainability and green credentials are becoming increasingly important to businesses, and a lot of the way that they can deal with this is through the place where they are housed. Whether it is as simple as keeping energy bills down or looking to fulfil their ESG pledges, many businesses look to their premises to help. There is no downside to making your commercial property as eco-friendly as possible when it comes to attracting new tenants.
Keeping commercial property void time to a minimum is a priority for landlords who are looking to make money on their investments. In order to do this, it is essential that the property is in good condition and advertised as such to make it as attractive as possible.
When it comes to advertising, we can help here at Boxpod. So, if you have a commercial property to rent, why not take a look and see how we can help you to find your ideal tenants?