18/09/2017

The Time Machine: Future Proofing Commercial Property Investments

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Conversely to received wisdom, the most popular month for taking action or implementing a new target is September and not January. In the world of commercial property tenants, this may be a corporate expansion or seeking a new, higher spec premises. So how do you future-proof your investment to retain occupiers, to attract a lucrative rental rate and to, therefore, raise the value of the asset?

Initial Investment

You can’t pick up a property and place it elsewhere, so the initial decision of the location of a property purchase is the first aspect of future proofing that commercial landlords encounter. An affluent, well-connected location is unlikely to change in the medium term, however, it does attract a premium price tag. Forward-looking prospective landlords are able to predict areas on the rise or areas due to become more well connected.

Technology

Technology is an incredibly fast-moving sector and one which can be daunting when it comes to looking forward. It is often impossible to predict which technologies will become widely used in industry or the corporate world. Different sectors will have different requirements, even if their needs for a basic space are universal. At its most basic level, therefore, the key to future-proofing a space for technology is to allow flexibility. Not every business will require an entirely smart working environment, but if they do, this should be possible within the technical infrastructure that you have in place across a building. Wireless technology and resilient internet connectivity form the basis of a wealth of possible technologies both now and into the future.

Infrastructure

However, infrastructure is more than simply technology. Lighting, heating and cooling are features of a space which are often taken for granted by occupiers but this does not mean that they should be overlooked. Energy efficient systems mean reduced expenditure, and can also mean that a workforce is able to perform more productively. In turn, a tenant is more likely to be retained in your space, reducing the likelihood of a frequent turnover. These systems rely on regular maintenance to remain effective, though. This side of management is often much cheaper and able to be implemented more frequently when managed by a property professional who runs a timetable of these activities across a variety of buildings.

Environment

It’s not just financial gains which can be made by installing energy efficient systems across a commercial, industrial or retail premises. The ecological impact of a building is something which is a deciding factor for many modern businesses when they choose a host building. This is something that is incorporated as standard amongst many new builds but can also be achieved during a refurbishment of an existing building. These features often attract an increased price tag on letting a space, so are often well worth an initial investment. Even comparatively small environmental features can enhance the appeal to prospective tenants; think about recycling systems, bike storage and communal spaces.

Legislation

Rapid advances in technology and trends in working environment are not the only challenges when it comes to future proofing. The regulatory agenda with which landlords must contend is also an evolving aspect and one that is challenging to keep up with. Knowledge of legislation is a major benefit to utilising a professional property manager to ensure that you don’t get caught out.

By choosing, or implementing during refurbishment, basic and core sustainable features to a commercial building, the space is likely to remain attractive to tenants for much longer. The next layer of future proofing is all about retaining those tenants. This is where the technical and legislative knowledge of a management company becomes incredibly beneficial and can raise asset values through enabling enhanced occupier retention and attraction.

To learn more about how Wadham & Isherwood can help future proof your commercial property investment please contact Tim Alden or Nick Reeve on 01252 710822.