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The most effective way to let a vacant space

The most effective way to let a vacant space

The most effective way to let a vacant space

Demand for office space to reduce by 15% forecasts Green Street

Over the past few years the horsemen of the apocalypse rode in, one by one forcing us to reinvent what the future city needs to become. First came e-commerce, closing down brick and mortar retailers, then came covid, keeping us at home while putting even more pressure on retail and all kinds of hospitality, and finally recession and the energy crisis are here.

Needless to say, commercial properties in general, and office spaces in particular, are likely to find themselves in a market with extreme competition. And with that, the USPs that worked in the past will become commonplace – well-thought-though office space and modern amenities a heartbeat away from amazing restaurants and stores are not going to be as hard to come by as they used to be.

The question is, what’s the most effective way to let commercial space under the current market conditions?

Options are many, varying from CAT A+ and onsite visits, 360 photographical capturing of the space, to e-styling and renders. One thing’s for sure, one size doesn’t fit all.

After hundreds of vacant space projects and countless conversations with property owners and leasing agents over the years, here’s what we’ve learned.

The questions that will help you choose the right solution for your vacant space:

What is the current state of the space? If it’s spotless – photographs and onsite visits will do the trick. But if the space is a bit worn down, or branded by a previous tenant, showcasing the future potential of the space and how it can be adapted to the new tenant’s needs, is crucial. 

What’s the deadline? We often get contacted for renders of vacant spaces, when all other attempts have failed. The onsite visits didn’t garner much excitement, the photographs didn’t do the job, neither did the low-res renders. The learning is, if time is tight, invest in high-quality visualizations from the start.

Are you asking a price premium for a great location and space? Simply put, a premium price requires premium communication and sales material. Readers of Blink by Gladwell, will remember that people will almost always know the difference between high and low quality, even if they can’t put their finger on what makes them feel that way. It’s all about getting the details right, from the furniture people dream of, to creating the atmosphere of starting the work day with a hot cup of coffee in a space that inspires creativity and protects productivity.

What’s the size of the space? One of the major deciders for what solution to use is the size of the space. Is the space small enough to cover with one image? If so, e-styling or photography is probably the cheapest option, but it comes with some restrictions. If you need to showcase various aspects of the space, an overview, the reception, a meeting room etc., renders give you full flexibility to choose perspectives and how to dress it or where to put the focus. Planned right, the synergies of modeling, will allow for an equally cost-efficient solution to e-styling.

What length of contract are you looking to close? Do you need to communicate the flexibility of a property to showcase how a company can grow or shrink the space to their needs? This is where office selectors, digital dollhouses, project websites and similar make their entry. A sizeable upfront investment, but one that keeps on giving for years. When the time comes to reskin the solution to feel fresh and updated, most of the work has already been conducted and paid for.

Getting the most bang for the buck

Having selected the best solution for your vacant space, the next question is how to get the most bang for the buck. When it comes to renders, here are the top three tricks of the trade from some of the most seasoned leasing agents we work with:

Your property is located in a new area, perhaps even under construction. Showcasing proximity to public transport, future landmarks and restaurants, and recreational areas is crucial. They may not be directly connected to the property or space, but the space will never be considered if the area itself isn’t embraced by the potential tenant.

You have a broad target audience. Could your next tenant be anyone from a client who needs a formal luxurious setting to an art collective or start-up incubator? Nothing beats showing the same space with entirely different interiors. Opposite to popular belief, trying to aim for a style that doesn’t offend anyone is a sure way to make sure no one loves it.

You have a picky target audience, and perhaps one that has a hard time seeing themselves in the space. Use vignettes, i.e. closeups in images that evoke emotions so that it’s easier to imagine what spending time there would feel like. It’s a great way to harvest maximum value from 3D modeling, achieving a low total price for the renders while covering different aspects of the space.

Letting vacant spaces in a nutshell

To sum up, choosing the most effective way to let a vacant space depends on many factors ranging from the current state of the space and the deadline to the asking price, location, audience, and size of the space. There’s no one size fits all, but we’ve found that an upfront investment in high-quality visualizations will give you the most value for money when it comes to the long-term marketing of a premium space, offering a chance to focus on the unique details as well as important landmarks an in the surroundings.

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