10 Things to Look For in an Industrial Property

10 Things to Look For in an Industrial Property

Thinking of investing beyond residential and retail real estate? Try industrial property investing! Industrial properties are large allotments of real estate and infrastructure that are used for a variety of warehousing, manufacturing, and commercial purposes.

And they make excellent investments for a multitude of reasons. Almost everything we use on a daily basis—food, shampoo, clothes, laptops, showers, ovens, toys, bikes, cars, and so much more—come from industrial properties!

Industrial Warehouse Industrial properties are stable investments for two reasons. The first reason industrial properties make sound investments is because they cater to a variety of applications. Some popular uses for these spaces include manufacturing and production, distribution, retail, and office space. Whatever your industrial investment goals or needs, there is definitely an existing space to help you get started.

The second reason that makes industrial properties excellent investments comes from the perpetually high supply and demand for industrial processes and employment. With food, sanitation, and infrastructure at the heart of every city and suburbs, there will always be a huge workforce ready to rent and run industrial projects on your site.

If you’re thinking of purchasing an industrial property, this article is for you. We’ve compiled a no-nonsense guide to industrial properties to help you exactly what you need! Read on to learn about 10 critical factors to consider with industrial properties.

1. The Industrial Property Class

Knowing the class of an industrial property will give you surface-level insights to the value of the investment at hand. Industrial real estate is graded with an A, B, or C classes according to their age, condition, and location. Classes are also graded according to the social and economic factors and predictions of the property’s location. Property classes can help you manage your expectations when it comes to planning for future renovations, tenants, and business traffic. Take a look at each class and how its grade pertains to the property quality.

Class A Industrial Property

Class A Industrial Property is the highest grade of industrial property. In this class, you will find the most expensive, pristine, and desirable properties. Class A real estate is new or recently renovated, is in excellent physical condition despite its age, is situated in a great location, and is bustling with economic activity. These types of properties generally rent to high-earning tenants in locations that experience very low vacancies. It is common for these types of properties to be professionally managed.

Class B Industrial Property

Class B Industrial Properties are secondary to Class A when it comes to age and/or quality of the property. Class B properties may be older, may contain less desirable amenities, and may be situated in less economically active locations. The tenants in this property grade generally earn less than Class A property tenants. Although it’s more common for these properties to managed by retail investors, professional management is not unheard of.

It is important to note that Class B properties can be re-graded to Class A properties after renovations. Some investors apply to rezone these properties during the renovation process as mixed-use real estate to hedge their risk and expand their application. The practice of rezoning industrial properties is common in emerging cities experiencing booming population and economic growth.

Old industrial propertyClass C Industrial Property

Class C Industrial Property score lower in all possible grading factors compared to Class A and B properties. Class C properties are almost always old—at least 20 years or older—and  are inferior in physical condition and amentitiy availability. Class C real estate is located in rundown or undesirable areas. These types of properties need a lot of maintenance, renovation, or in some cases, complete remodels. These types of properties have high vacancy rates and  low-income tenants.

If at first you are dissuaded by this property gradeI, we urge you not to overlook Class C properties. These types of properties may be promising investments for seasoned real estate investors looking to cataylze growth in a particular area. Just like Class B properties, Class C real estate can be re-graded, although they will require larger time and financial investments.

Lastly, this type of property may prove advantageous for a real estate investor who owns and operates their own business. If you intend to conduct your own business on the property, you don’t have to worry about renovations, resale value, or rental value right away. You can forego a lot of renovations and run your business as you please.

2. The Industrial Property Type

Just like how there is a class associated with each industrial property, there is also a type associated with each property. Industrial properties are classified into 8 types according to their physical condition, layout, and amenities. The type of industrial property will dictate the types of tenants you will rent to, as well as the businesses they own. Here is a quick overview of the different types of industrial properties.

Bulk Warehouse Properties

Bulk Warehouse Properties are massive plots of land with lots of building square footage. Bulk warehouses are used for storing for inventory. They have high ceilings for installation or movement of large equipment. They can also have many delivery ports for trucks, trains, trailers, or planes.

Flex Warehouse Properties

Flex Warehouse Properties are a lot like bulk warehouses, except they are generally smaller in overall square footage and ceiling height. The main difference with flex warehouses is they can serve several applications in addition to storage, such as manufacturing, office space, and more. These types of properties are great for start up companies, small companies, etc.

Heavy Industrial MachineryHeavy Manufacturing Properties

Heavy Manufacturing Properties are intended for ongoing, high-capacity productions. Heavy manufacturing real estate often has heavy-duty manufacturing infrastructure built into the building. Such infrastructure includes electric power sources, water lines and filtration, ducting and ventilation, storage tanks, and exhaust. These facilities may or may not come with built-in production equipment like cranes, production lines, lifts, compressors, and more.

Light Assembly Properties

Light Assembly Properties are used for assembling products made on heavy manufacturing sites. Light assembly properties are a less intense version of heavy manufacturing properties. They may have comparable infrastructure and tools, but these properties focus more on assembling ready-made components instead of processing raw materials. This type of property tends to have less production machinery and instead more quality-checking, packaging, and distribution equipment.

Cold Storage Properties

Cold Storage Properties refer to large facilities with freezer and refrigeration spaces. This type of real estate is mostly used for food storage and distribution, but can also be used to store other perishable goods. Like warehouses, these types of properties tend to have many ports for various types of delivery vehicles.

Telecom and Data Centers

Thanks to cloud computing, e-commerce, and data security, Telecom and Data Center Properties are a booming type of industrial real estate. Telecom and data centers are enormous properties equipped with large-scale electrical, power, and ventilation systems to maintain an optimal environment for computers, servers, and electrical equipment.

Industrial Showrooms

Industrial Showroom Properties buildings are a unique amalygmation of retail inventory and display. These spaces are commonly rented to tenants that sell and store large retail equipment like gun cases, refrigerators, furniture, and more.

Research and Development Space

Another great type of industrial investment property are Research and Development Properties. Research and Development properties are expected to remain in high-demand as software, computing, and electronic technology continues to be popular. This real estate appeasr similar to flex warehouses, except they usually are situated in large campuses or parks with landscaping and huge parking lots. Research and Development  may have specialized equipment built-in or incorporated onto the property, such as computers, servers, or laboratory equipment.

Industrial Property Location3. The Industrial Property Location

This aspect is an extension of the class and type of property that really needs a lot of consideration. Location plays a huge role in the current and future value of your property, as well as the future success of the business that will take place in your industrial property.

It is important to the logistical factors of location, like nearby employers, workforce, industry supply and demand, and projected economic growth.

It is essential to research the economic activity and expectations of the area by which your property resides. Understanding the growth and activity of the local economy will give you an idea of how future construction and infrastructure projects will affect prospective tenants, customers, and employees who need to travel to your property. Informing yourself of the infrastructure and nearby construction will also give you realistic insights regarding how your suppliers, customers, tenants, or employees will reach your facility.

To contrast considering how the local economy will affect the value of your property, we urge you to think also about your residential neighbors. Consider how your industrial business may affect nearby residences, if any, as well as natural habitats.

4. The Condition and Maintenance of the Industrial Property

These components are also extensions of the class and type of industrial property that need in-depth consideration. You will need to assess the class and type of your industrial property to ensure your property will be a responsible, safe, and productive place to conduct business. In addition to knowing the amounts you’ll have to pay for routine care, you’ll also have to have an idea for how often you’ll need to maintenance, inspect, lease, and renovate your property. Just remember—keep a detailed log of all the work done to your property. Having thorough records will help you through future instance claims and appraisals.

5. The Legal Implications of the Industrial Property

There is an endless number of legal issues to consider before purchasing an industrial property. Identifying the class and type of the property will help you out a lot when it’s time to legally safeguard yourself with code renovations and industry-specific insurance.

To eliminate the chance of future lawsuits, set yourself up for success by assessing the safety conditions of your workplace. Some common legal issues associated with industrial properties include ADA compliance, as well as noise, light, or environmental pollution.

Before renting out your industrial site, ensure your property is up to date with American Disabilities Act codes and regulations. This is a simple, but huge way to avoid the headaches of a discrimination lawsuit.

And when it comes to pollution of any kind, you need to perform your due diligence by inspecting the machinery, refuse, and sanitation processes of your facility. Performing noise and light pollution due diligence means considering the type of tenant you expect to lease to and how their productions will affect the surrounding residential quality of life. Note there may be noise and light ordinances in place where your property may be located. Performing environmental due diligence means informing yourself of the property’s past usages and any possible environmental accidents such as chemical spils. Your job afterward would be to complete any cleanup or renovations that would prevent further environmental harm.

6. Industrial Property Taxes

Industrial Property TaxProperty taxes are pretty straightforward and easy to calculate for a given area, but it does require some initiative on your part. You can investigate the property taxes of your city by exploring the local government’s website.

In short, the local government will assess the value of your industrial property and tax it accordingly. This brings us back to how crucial it is to understand how the class and type of an industrial property affects its value. A property that is overvalued with accrue high property taxes, and inversely, an undervalued property will have lower property taxes.

An interesting and sometimes overlooked aspect of this is tax breaks for your industrial property. There are several cases in which your property could benefit from a tax break, including depreciation deductions, non-mortage deductions, and more.

7. Industrial Property Insurance

Considering the many use cases for industrial property, there is no doubt you will need at least one type of insurance for your property. Whether it be manufacturing, storage, or research and development, there is always the chance for something catastrophic to happen. Survey the types of insurances you are required to have as well as the types of insurance available to you. You’ll need to carefully determin the amount of coverage you need for the land, building, and machinery located on your property.

Some common industrial insurance packages include fire, flood and water damage, electrical outage, machinery accident, lessor’s risk, commercial property, and commercial general liability insurance.

And just like with condition and maintenance tasks, don’t forget to keep a record of any renovations and maintenances to fulfill insurance qualifications.

8. Industrial Property Loans and Financing

A loan for an industrial property has specific processes and requirements that differ from other real estate loans. For example, an industrial property loans are typically given to business entities with a loan-to-value ratio between 65% – 80%. Industrial property loans also have widely-varied repayment lengths with long-term amoritization schedules. Of course, there are other aspects particular to industrial property loans that will require further investigation.

9. The CAP Rate of the Industrial Property

Taking all of the above factors into account will give you a very realistic insight into the CAP rate of your industrial investment property. The Capitalization Rate (CAP rate) of a property refers to the financial returns you expect to receive from your real estate investment. If you plan on investing seriously in industrial real estate, you’ll want to consider properties that have promising returns given the value, location, and market demand for the property. You can calculate this rate using a CAP rate calculator. This calculation will take into account the revenue, expenses, vacancies, and value of the property.

10. Your Risk Tolerance

Now that you’ve assessed all the possible factors concerning industrial property investments, it’s time to take a realistic look at your own risk tolerance. Industrial properties are large capital investments that can easily be destroyed by in-house accidents, natural disasters, lawsuits, or financial mismanagement.

For every dollar you decide to put into an industrial property, ask yourself if you are willing to lose it. If the answer is yes, proceed with caution. If the answer is no, consider investing in another, perhaps less risky type of real estate, like duplexes, AirBnBs, or real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Conclusion

Industrial properties are an exciting venture, but require lots of planning and a thorough understanding of the local economy, industrial use, and financial responsibility. We hope this article has helped you cover your bases when it comes time to consider a future investment in industrial real estate.

Workplace Safety Ideas for Building Owners and Tenants

Workplace Safety Ideas for Building Owners and Tenants

Feeling safe at work should be a must! Workplace safety “refers to the working environment at a company and encompasses all factors that impact safety, health and well-being of employees.” For both building owners and tenants, safety should be of the utmost importance. But how can you be sure that this is true? 

In commercial spaces, sometimes this can, unfortunately, end up lower on the priority list. Let’s be sure this isn’t the case! Of course, no one wants for it to happen, but it’s best to be prepared for the worst of scenarios. Here are some helpful tips for workplace safety.

Find People Who Will Respect Your Building

When talking about workplace safety, a critical aspect to consider is people. As a building owner, it is absolutely crucial to find tenants that will respect the workplace. Because your tenants will be in the space without your supervision, you need to trust them. So, do your due diligence and make sure your tenant is trustworthy and ask your broker for their opinion about the tenant. Experienced brokers have seen it all, and they can give some insight on if they think a company would be a good tenant.

On the other hand, as a tenant, be sure you find employees who will respect the space as much as you. After a few years in a space, a bit of wear and tear is normal. But, employees need to understand your company is leasing the space and help you by keeping the space in order.

Hand sanitizerCleanliness is Key

When an area is dirty, more germs and dust can be in the air. This can be harmful to the occupants. This can create a stuffy environment that may be hard to concentrate in and can increase illnesses. So, as a building owner, it’s important to either hire a cleaning crew, or require your tenants to clean their space themselves.

As a tenant, we recommend adding hand sanitizing stations around the office, warehouse or mixed-use space. Right now, germs are definitely a top concern for employees who come to work. So, having hand sanitizer readily available can be a great workplace safety precaution. Also, making sure soap dispensers are always filled is important as well.

Cleaning Up Clutter as a Tenant

When an area is cluttered, it is more likely that someone will trip or injure themselves. With injury comes complications (like lawsuits!), so it is important to maintain clear pathways. Stowaway any unnecessary items and provide employees with the proper workspaces.

Pro tip: Clean as you go! Whether it’s another day at the office, or the floor is being remodeled, never leave the clean-up for just the end. By maintaining it throughout the day or project, you are ensuring that it will never get out of hand. This provides safety for everyone that is occupying the space.

Workplace safety meeting

Provide Proper Equipment for Employees and Tenants

Depending on the role and industry, an employee may be required to operate tools or equipment. They should be provided proper training for all aspects of their job, but it is crucial for them to be comfortable using the equipment. This can help maintain a safe workplace. As a tenant, use this opportunity to give the employees proper training. It can help deem the workplace as a safe one and avoid any troubles. Other employees will also feel safer knowing that their colleagues are properly managing their equipment. This is only half of the battle, though. Employees need to be sure they are using the correct equipment for the job. If they need a tool that they don’t have access to, effectively communicating this to their managers can help. No employee should be asked to complete a task without the proper resources. It not only creates tension but can make an unsafe environment.

Workplace and Equipment Safety For Building Owners

As a building owner, specifically for warehouses and mixed-use spaces, it may be in your interest to make sure any equipment is properly functioning. Even if your tenants have proper training, broken equipment can cause significant injuries. So, before switching tenants, consider getting an inspection done on any equipment you have in your space. Whether this be an automatic garage door or production line equipment, make sure it’s safe for your tenants.

Fire Safety Tips

Fire drills seem to always come at the most inconvenient of times. Right before that important meeting, while you settle in after lunch, or as you make that extra cup of coffee midday. Still, these are the simple procedures that can really make a difference when it comes to safety in a corporate building.Fire Safety Inspector

Unfortunately, a fire can start in an instant, and completely inhibit the safety of employees. Buildings should be up to code and inspected by fire safety professionals frequently. As a building owner, this is a highly important task for you. If your building doesn’t have the necessary number of fire exits or there are fire hazards, you may be putting your tenants at risk. So, contact a fire safety professional to inspect your property as often as necessary. We recommend making sure they are certified by the National Fire Protection Association before hiring them.

Workplace Safety For Both Business Owners and Tenants

There is definitely a lot to consider when it comes to workplace safety. In this instance, it is best to be over-prepared. Safety is never a joke and isn’t something that should be taken lightly. In commercial spaces, a lot can go wrong. By following these tips and creating a plan to make sure everyone is on board, whether they be your employees or your tenants, will keep people safe.

2021 Commercial Real Estate Predictions and Insights: Part 2

2021 Commercial Real Estate Predictions and Insights: Part 2

This is the second half of a two part series on 2021 Commercial Real Estate Predictions and Insights. You can find the first half of this series here: 2021 Commercial Real Estate Predictions and Insights

Insight 4: An Industrial Real Estate Explosion

Whether it’s a retail conversion or new construction, there’s going to be a massive need for industrial real estate. With e-commerce being the top choice for shopping, we expect to see at least 250 million commercial square feet dedicated to industrial space in the coming years. According to CBRE, $1 billion in e-commerce revenue necessitates a need for 1.25 million square feet of warehouse space. So, all major cities will need expansive warehouses for packaging, storing and shipping consumable goods.

Prediction 4: Industrial Real Estate 

Spacious, gateway areas close to ports and bustling cities (particularly in the southwest and southeast) are expected to see a surge in commercial industrial conversions and population growth. Population growth will likely boom with the onset of industrial expansion and greater job availability. But, it should be noted physical labor alone cannot accommodate the anticipated burgeoning growth. To maintain efficacy, streamline productions and reduce operational costs, industrial real estate lessees will depend on autonomous robots, software scheduling and updating and virtual security.

Insight 5: Socially Distanced Multifamily Living2021 CRE for sale

In 2021, affordable housing is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. However, this won’t halt the demand for multifamily living. This year we anticipate multifamily investments to increase by 33% with over $148 billion in revenue. Shelter-in-place mandates made urban cities unappealing for many. Urban areas have turned into undesirable locations that suffer from high rent, high-cost public transportation, and other costly downsides. Additionally, dense populations often have inadequate indoor and outdoor space to social distance. When it comes to amenities, there are many unavailable or unusable entertainment “amenities” like restaurants, theatres, venues, etc.

After feeling the pent-up effects of the lockdown, many city dwellers (who likely work remotely now) have packed up and moved to less dense, suburban areas where they can stretch, relax in ample space. This is mostly to enjoy the natural amenities for the time being. Seeing many cities are not completely abandoned, multifamily investors working to retain tenants need to prioritize community engagement after the pandemic is over. Hopefully, this will make up for emotional connectivity and urban romanticism lost from in-person interactions.

Prediction 5: The Modern Multifamily Experience is Virtual

Multifamily investments in suburban and rural areas will likely grow as remote employees no longer need to live close to their work headquarters. For example with Salt Lake City, areas like Layton and Bountiful will likely be desirable locations. This is because they’ll offer affordable housing solutions that also await industrial prospects like warehouses and distribution centers.

While social distancing remains in effect, virtual engagement in the form of mobile apps will be a must for urban and non-urban multifamily complexes. App initiatives like polls, rewards programs and virtual meetups instill a sense of connectivity.

According to Deloitte, companies can continue to improve the value and connectivity of their assets. This can be done by “deploying smart building design and maintenance capabilities and offering more relevant services to tenants and end-users”. Such services include:

  • Tenant-predictive analytics
  • Smart-building technologies
  • 3D property visualizations
  • Facility and maintenance monitoring systems

Commercial real estate broker

Insight 6: Socially Distanced Vacations

While the demand for hotel and vacation space is steadily increasing, it’s going to take a while for hotel investments to return to pre-pandemic volume. The public is anxious to relax somewhere that’s not their home. But, they are also hesitant to vacation in once-popular, high-traffic areas. The rate of recovery for hotel occupancy is closely tied to the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

For now, drive-to destinations like campgrounds, parks and natural attractions are popular alternatives to hotel stays. Interestingly enough, rural and interstate hotels do not have any issues with vacancies, compared to their urban counterparts.


Prediction 6: Hotels Will Have to Wait

While all varieties of hotels have experienced some form of loss from 2020 vacancies and closures, economy vacation real estate experienced the least amount of disturbance. We expect economic vacation investments to continue to face the least revenue, unfortunately. Additionally, we expect vacancy and recovery hurdles when compared to their upper-scale and luxury counterparts.

Hotels in urban areas that rely on business travel are expected to recover the slowest. Fortunately for urban, upper-scale and luxury hoteliers, business recovery is predicted to experience the sharpest incline of revenue per available room. However, this is once vaccinations are widely available. In the meantime, hotels can work on boosting their competitive edge by investing in the future of hotel vacationing with technology. Some desirable technological integrations are mobile apps and virtual on-demand entertainment.

Insight 7: The Reign of Colocation Centers

If you’re looking for a long-term, dependable commercial investment, consider colocation. E-commerce, cloud servicing and online content consumption are crucial to our workplaces, shopping experiences, living arrangements and vacation plans. Commercial real estate has a definite need for server and hardware storage to host all these vital services. So, it’s no wonder data center REITs are becoming a popular commodity within the commercial real estate market.

If you’re looking to sharpen your competitive edge, you should know enterprise companies want to maximize power and efficiency by looking for data centers with “clean energy” initiatives. Providing secure, stable, clean and environmentally-conscious data storage environments may be more than a marketable feature. Furthermore, it may also be tax-advantageous.CRE blueprint

Prediction 7: Data Centers Aren’t Going Anywhere

We anticipate colocation tenants to look for flexible short-term leases in the foreseeable future. However, with online and cloud technologies driving innovation, commerce and networking, we assume they will eventually buckle down into long-term leases. These will likely be in affordable, budding, rural cities.

Our 2021 Commercial Real Estate Predictions

There’s a lot of promise for 2021 commercial real estate predictions. So, whether you’re looking to buy your first commercial real estate, improve your existing real estate assets, there’s sure to be an opportunity in the coming year. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact our team. The SVN Alta team is here to help you so you can make a smart investment or have a great sale.

2021 Commercial Real Estate Predictions and Insights: Part 1

2021 Commercial Real Estate Predictions and Insights: Part 1

After the 2020 peak of the coronavirus pandemic, the commercial real estate market is ready for positive change and growth. This year, we expect to see auspicious changes within office, retail, industrial, multifamily and colocation spaces. All of these rely on investor abilities to adapt their spaces and services using technology. In this two-part series we are sharing seven exciting insights for 2021 commercial real estate predictions based on CBRE’s and Deloitte’s Market Outlook reports. In this first part, we will cover the first three insights. Part two will be published on February 11.

Insight 1: 2021 Commercial Real Estate’s Technological Leap

Almost a year after shutdowns went into effect, many remote companies are still figuring out how to balance home and work life. With the coronavirus still looming in our everyday life, social distancing, thorough sanitization and virtual connectivity remain a top priority among investors. Not to mention, these are priorities to employers and employees. With vacancies and short-term tenancies abound, investors are looking for ways to increase the value and attractiveness of their assets. This is all while recovering losses from the previous year. In an effort to reduce inefficiencies, streamline processes and cut overhead costs, commercial real estate investors are virtualizing many in-person tasks. Such processes include the digitization and automation of property tours, access and security. Additionally, this helps with amenities and industrial jobs.

Prediction 1: Commercial Real Estate Needs Tech to Thrive 

Commercial real estate companies will accelerate their use of technology within their assets to improve tenant experiences, overhead processes and building maintenance workflows. Such improvements include the integration of mobile apps and cloud-based tools. These will help improve tenant experience and assist property managers.

Insight 2: Rethinking Office Space2021 commercial real estate office

In 2020, we observed a multitude of businesses shift to remote workflows, with commercial office investors racing to keep up and offset torrential losses. For 2021 commercial real estate predictions, the modern office space stands between the crossroads of flexibility, functionality and quality. According to Deloitte, companies are “incurring higher operating costs because of the additional health and safety measures they are implementing . . . operating costs could increase by at least [$19.4] per square foot.” This equals 5.8% of the average annual office rents at the beginning of 2020.

Flexibility with 2021 Commercial Office Space Leasing

When it comes to 2021 commercial real estate predictions around office space, investors should be cautious. As vaccinations roll out and public fear of the pandemic diminishes, companies are rethinking how and when they will use office spaces. The lockdowns and shelter-in-place mandates of 2020 showed many companies their employees don’t need a full-time physical workplace. Still, companies realize they need a physical workspace to promote company culture, host innovation meetups and conduct critical face-to-face meetings. To future-proof their assets against long-term vacancies, investors and tenant companies alike will need flexible leasing terms. Ultimately, this means increased rent rates and short, shared lease terms. 

Multi-Concept Office Functionality

Considering the shared nature of flexible leasing, offices need to be adaptable for use by a variety of companies. Investors are looking for new ways to maximize the use-case potential of their office spaces by creating simple, modular offices. If a commercial office investor wants to make the most use of his or her asset, they should aim to address the needs of multiple industries. But, these should include with accessible, shareable spaces. 

Enhanced Office Quality

In a time where remote work blurs the lines between work and home life, companies are also rethinking teamwork processes to design cohesive culture across remote teams. Among all the types of spaces, Class A properties will have the most demand for quality improvements. Commercial office investors can attract lessee companies invested in their employees’ wellbeing. Typically, this can be done by enhancing their offices with modern, clean and premium amenities. After a pandemic, such features include:

  • Rigorous sanitation schedules 
  • Impeccable, monitored air-quality
  • Open, airy rooms with lots of light and sunshine
  • Contactless food and beverage stations 
  • Contactless office tools

Prediction 2: Vacant Office Spaces Rebound by Catering to Company Culture Initiatives

Dense cities with tech firms like San Francisco and New York are expected to see a continued decrease in demand for office space since employees are working remotely and moving to more affordable areas. Despite the increase in remote employees, suburban commercial office usage is still expected to return to pre-pandemic normalcy as communities restabilize. However, urban areas will rebound at a slower pace than the suburbs. In order to stay relevant and desirable, office companies must present their locations as safe hosting options for team-building and collaboration across a variety of industries.

For 2021 commercial real estate, we expect to see commercial office space scale the quality and use-case potential of office spaces with a multifunctional design. The most notable changes in office space for 2021 concern future leasing flexibilities, rent increases (to compensate for flexibility and 2020 losses), and contactless technological amenities.

Investors doing CRE calculationsInsight 3: Retail’s Mixed-Use Pivot

The most interesting commercial real estate evolving during this period is in relation to malls. Before 2020, many retailers were already shifting to e-commerce platforms. Additionally, malls were already undergoing a rapid decline in popularity. Then, the virus forced lagging retailers to adopt the e-commerce models or go out of business.

Malls are immensely promising commercial ventures for urban areas. However, converting them into mixed-use spaces requires a good amount of zoning law workaround. For investors, mall storefronts may need to adjust their usage to improve community engagement to combat the losses and costs incurred by storefront vacancies and rent drops. 

For urban-dwellers, converting malls into community spaces like medical, grocery, recreation and cultural centers is an opportunity to address the growing demand for essential retail and housing, as well as create a safe gathering place to combat the isolation of social distancing. Some quick, adaptive features malls can put into effect immediately include:

  • Contactless shopping flows like self-service checkouts
  • Contactless entry and exit points
  • Sanitation stations
  • Delivery services for essential goods 

Prediction 3: Urban Malls Repurposed and Suburban Shopping Resumes

There will be a decreased demand for retail space in dense cities and a moderate to large demand and growth for retail spaces in suburban areas. The difference in growth is largely due to the available amount of living space and population density.

Retail spaces in urban areas are expected to convert into essential retail storefronts within the next couple of years. With more room to spare, suburban areas should expect to see a natural rebound for all types of retail spaces, particularly experiential storefronts like shopping and dining throughout the year. There is no estimated timeline for malls to convert into mixed-use properties. Due to its complexity with zoning and local ordinances, it may be a long process that may outlast the hotel industry’s comeback (more on hotels starting at insight 6).

… Visit our blog again on February 11 to read the second half of this series. …

Exterior Renovations for a Retail Space to Boost Foot Traffic

Exterior Renovations for a Retail Space to Boost Foot Traffic

One of the great challenges for commercial retail spaces in 2021 is finding ways to get customers in the door. Whether restricted by social distancing mandates or simply stymied by an online ordering culture, brick-and-mortar businesses are facing challenges in attracting customers like never before. To continue to thrive, retail spaces must find ways to add value to the consumer experience above and beyond the products and services they house.

Fortunately, there are a number of trendy exterior renovation projects that can boost foot traffic in a retail space, creating the competitive advantage for which SVN has been known since 1987.

1. Simplify the Signage    

Stanley Building

Customers in 2021 have notoriously fickle attention spans. They do not want to spend time looking, reading, and thinking before making a decision. They want to see it, make their decision, and go on with their lives.

If a store features hard-to-read fonts and text-intensive messages as part of its permanent signage, consider simplifying this to something more digestible for a crowd that is likely to offer a cursory glance, at best.

Spend time developing a simple logo and brand and incorporate this as the focal point of the signage. When thinking about logos, ask the question: Would this make a good app icon? Subway and Best Western are two major retail chains that have recently modified their logos to be more app-friendly, with signage at physical locations being updated to match this change.

2. Add Some Architectural Decor

Awesome Architectural Door

Although customers like the consistency of a simple, recognizable brand, there is something to be said about using individual creativity to catch the attention of passersby. The country is in a bit of a DIY renaissance, with custom craftwork and artisanship in high demand, so features that can make a business stand out in the midst of a cookie-cutter crowd can be beneficial. 

Some creative decor ideas that can spruce up a retail space’s exterior include architectural grilles, ornate columns, and/or artwork made of recycled metals or other sustainable materials. 

3. Improve the Parking Lot

Commercial Parking Lot

A parking lot that feels unsafe, illogical, or is in a state of disrepair will be a major deterrent to foot traffic. Freshly landscaped islands, filled potholes, angled spaces, and re-painted space lines are all great ways to make a parking lot more inviting, an important first step in getting customers in the door.

4. Give Customers a Look Inside

Commercial Window

Using a large display window or wall not only allows customers to see product offerings, but it can be influential in creating an open and inviting atmosphere that appeals to passersby. As contemporary retail shopping needs to be more of an experience than a buy-and-sell transaction to appeal to modern customers, giving customers the ability to look inside and see what value a business can add to their lives should be a primary consideration.

5. Make Accessibility a Priority

ADA Compliant Parking Lot

An important aspect of increasing foot traffic is making sure that a business can accommodate all potential customers. Without ramps, handrails, and benches to assist disabled clients, a business is immediately eliminated from consideration by this demographic.

6. Install an Automatic Door at the Entrance

Automatic Door

Automatic doors make customers feel like they are getting the red carpet treatment. In addition, the accumulation of germs on door handles has gotten a lot of attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, so this small renovation can help make customers feel safe by ensuring a contactless entrance. 

Conclusion

Getting customers in the building will be a riddle that contemporary retail spaces must continue to solve to remain relevant in 2021 and beyond. By using the six exterior renovation ideas listed in this article, businesses can increase foot traffic at their physical locations to secure the competitive advantage for which SVN is known.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

What is Tenant Representation and Do You Need It?

What is Tenant Representation and Do You Need It?

The term “tenant representative” is a common one in the commercial real estate world. You have likely seen brokers advertising their tenant representation services in the past. But, does everyone need a tenant representative? Perhaps you are highly experienced in commercial real estate purchases and are unsure if you need help. But, if you do need a tenant rep, the downside of not using one can be significant. To see if you truly need a tenant representative, continue reading this blog post.

What is a Tenant Representative?

First, what is a tenant representative? A tenant rep, also known as a tenant advisor, is a commercial real estate agent who helps tenants, not landlords. They help tenants find the best property for their needs. A tenant rep will also represent their client in a commercial real estate transaction. This way, the tenant doesn’t have to negotiate the terms with the landlord and their agent.

A tenant advisor also helps answer their client’s questions. These may include, “How much space do I truly need in a property?” Or, “What kind of property does my business require?” No matter what question a tenant has, their representative should be able to answer it. This can be incredibly helpful so you don’t get stuck in a deal that you regret later on.Discussing Commercial Real Estate

Is Tenant Representation Required?

Many people wonder if tenant representation is a requirement in their state. The answer is, you do not have to use a tenant representative in any state. It is a right for every person in the United States to work with a tenant rep, but they do not need to use one. The decision to use a tenant representative is entirely up to you. But, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire this help.

Investors or business owners shouldn’t overlook their right to use a tenant advisor. They can help you in numerous ways, and the return on investment is much higher than you may expect. There are several other benefits of using a tenant rep, so it is likely in your best interest to use one.

The Benefits of Tenant Representation

The primary benefit of tenant representation is they will be on your side and will work in your best interest. Most landlords know how important it is to hire someone to help them sell their property. Since they will have someone to represent them, you should have someone represent you as well. This will ensure the commercial real estate transaction will be successful. Some other benefits are listed below.

Find Properties More Easily

It can be very difficult to find your own property if you don’t know what to look for. Between the multiple different types of properties to the different locations you need to consider, expertise is necessary to make the right choice. You may have an idea of what type of property you need and where you would like it to be, but there may be better locations or properties available. So, they can bring all of the properties that suit your needs to your attention.

In addition to knowing what type of property you need and the best locations, they also have access to commercial real estate databases. There are several databases for only commercial real estate brokers. With the experience and knowledge tenant representatives have, they can help you find a property more easily.Commercial Office Building

Get a Better Deal on Your CRE Property

Tenant representatives help their clients negotiate a great deal with the owner of the property. Doing this yourself without any experience can be very challenging. The landlord’s representative is a skilled negotiator with likely many years of experience. So, going up against them yourself can put you at odds of getting a good deal on the property or your rent.

When you have a tenant rep on your side, they will do all the negotiating for you. They will use their expertise to lower how much you spend on the total purchase or on your monthly rent. This can potentially save you thousands of dollars. So, rather than taking the chance of doing the negotiating yourself, hire an expert to assist you. Not to mention, it will save you a considerable amount of time and stress.

Having a Tenant Representation is Free

Perhaps one of the best benefits of having a tenant representative is you don’t have to pay for their services. Rather, the landlord of the property you choose will be responsible for the payment. Because the tenant representative shows their client the landlord’s property, the landlord pays them. Even if they have their own representative, they have to pay them both for their services. But, your tenant representative is still on your side and will help you get the best deal possible. So, if you are considering working with a tenant rep, you have nothing to lose.

Need Tenant Representation in Salt Lake City?

A tenant representative has an unlimited return on investment because you don’t have to pay anything. They have your best interests in mind, and they are who you need on your side. So, it is in your best interest to work with one.

If you are in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, please feel free to contact us. One of our brokers can represent you in your commercial real estate deal. Our team is ready to take on new clients and are excited to work with you!

What Does the Future Look Like for Office Space?

What Does the Future Look Like for Office Space?

Before COVID-19, offices and shared coworking space were doing very well across most markets. However, with the movement to stay at home, many offices were empty by the middle of 2020. And, many office space are still on the market after many months. But, does this mean it’s the end of office space forever? Thankfully, according to some studies, it’s not. So, in this blog post, we discuss the possibilities for office space in the future.

The Future of Office Space

Many people are concerned about the future of office space. This is for a great reason considering vacancies continue to rise each quarter since COVID-19 came to the US. However, just like with most commercial real estate properties, investors can see success with their space. It may take some strategy and creativity, but it can certainly be done.

Shared office spaceWhich Industries Will Always Need Office?

According to the Department of Labor Statistics, there are many industries that report not being able to work from home. Not to mention, for the industries that can work from home, a portion of the employees still report to the DLS that they cannot. So, even during and after the pandemic, many employees will need to come into the office to work. Below, you will find the primary industries that report they must go into the office to fulfill their job role. This information can help you choose which city to invest in, depending on if these industries are prevalent there.

Construction and Architecture

As you know, construction must be done in person. However, construction workers rarely come into the office to do their job duties since they must be on the worksite. This is why many investors brush off the idea of buying office space in an area near construction companies. But, construction managers do need an office to do their work.

For the most part, the managers and executives of a construction company need offices to do their jobs. In the same vein, those in the architecture field need offices as well. This is due to the software and technology they need to do their jobs. For this industry, upper-level employees need special equipment and tools to come up with blueprints. They also need meeting rooms to collaborate and plan their team’s work. By being remote, many mistakes can be made in the planning process, so it’s vital these meetings happen in person. Any mistake can cost the construction company thousands of dollars. So, this means this industry typically requires office space.

Engineering

Engineering is another industry that requires its employees to work in the office. Just like construction and architecture, engineers require specialized equipment and software at their desks. There are many different subindustries for engineering, and many require engineers to sit at their desks planning, designing and strategizing. The software and tools needed for many engineers to do their jobs often cannot be brought home, which makes it impossible for them to work from home. So, for areas with many engineering firms, it’s a great idea to invest in an office space.

Sales Offices

Many sales offices are open for their employees. These businesses are usually niche-specific such as electronics, paper products and even furniture. No matter what they sell, some employees have noticed how difficult it is to sell products to people over the phone or Zoom. At the end of the day, it’s very difficult to sell a product when someone can’t see it or feel it for themselves. Despite the boom in online shopping, there are many things people prefer to purchase in person. So, sales offices often need to meet in person.

Working from homeWhat About the Success of Remote Work?

As you have likely heard, remote work is going very well for many businesses. According to one study, multiple industries are far more productive when they work from home. However, some companies will let their employees come back to the office environment once the pandemic is over. In fact, multiple large companies will let their employees choose whether or not they would like to be remote. For example, companies like Twitter, Airbnb and Qualtrics are all giving their employees options to work from the office once they can open their offices again. About 40% of employees report they are willing to come to the office a few days per week in the future. So, office space will still be in demand, even if remote working is instituted.

Get Around the Remote Working Boom: Purchase a Business Park

An option for investors is to purchase a larger business park, and lease out the space to multiple companies. Many organizations will likely want to downsize their office space as employees choose to work remotely a portion of the workweek. Because business parks are designed to house multiple businesses, it is much less expensive to lease them. So, there is a high chance businesses will move to business parks to save money, a crucial effort in today’s economy.

However, do keep in mind that business parks are not authorized to reopen in many states (as of November 2020). So, this may affect the rate in which businesses lease out your business park. But, once your state has approved people to work at their offices, it is a good time to invest in a business park. Utah is one of the states that is allowing people to occupy office space, as long as they follow safety procedures. Our commercial real estate brokerage helps investors in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, and we can help you find a great office space to invest in. Contact us today to get started!

When is Time to Purchase a New Office Space?

When is Time to Purchase a New Office Space?

Having a designated space where you and your employees can perform your daily tasks is important. When you don’t have an organized space to perform your daily duties, productivity can lower. So, purchasing a new office space can be a great business decision. In this blog post, we are going to cover why and when to purchase a new office space.

Why to Buy New Office Space

An office can be defined as a building or a section of a building where a company performs its day to day operations. The office can either be big or small depending on the business. It is a place where employees of a company can come together to conduct meetings and work together. A company can have one main office and also, that same company can have other branch offices that are located in other places.

There are several benefits of having your own office space:

Customer Perception

How you present your company says a lot to customers. In particular, it can impact the individuals’ perception with respect to the professionalism of your business. This standard can likewise be applied to when potential customers come into the office for gatherings. Without a physical office space, most customer interactions would be email or phone calls. Whereas with your own business office space, you have a spot that you can feel confident welcoming customers to. This can be important to big customers as well as to make more sales for you.

Training of Employees

Training employees can be done in different ways. Offices give employees an open setting to gain new skills, build themselves and represent the company. It also gives open access to help from team members and superiors. Training virtually is possible, but it can take much longer than it would in an office setting.Purchase new office space

The Best Time to Purchase a New Office Space

Now that you know the benefits of purchasing an office space, let’s discuss the best time to purchase one. The first few months after launching your business are stressful. At the start, getting an office may not be a priority because your major focus will be securing your first clients for your business. Hopefully, you will move quickly for a few months, and while it’s stressful and tiring, it’s also beneficial for profits. You can work out of a coffee shop or even at home because your only focus would be on how to make your business grow.

With time, things start changing and your business starts to grow. You are going to find you require a new office space eventually. When you start hiring new employees and have no space to meet with them, there is certainly going to be a need to expand. Below are the following ways to know you are ready to purchase a new office space.

During a Dip in the Commercial Market

Typically, most new business owners are worried about finances when it comes to buying an office space. They need a less expensive space that will meet their needs. This is why a dip in the commercial market is a great time to purchase an office. When there is a dip in the market, an office space will be far less expensive to buy. So, you can get a large, big office for your team at a lower cost. When you hear there is a dip in the commercial real estate market, consider seeking out an office space to save money.

purchase a new office spaceWhen You Have a Downpayment Ready

You should only consider buying an office when you can afford it. With that being said, it’s best to have a downpayment ready for an office space. Business can sometimes be unpredictable, so you need to make sure you can afford the space, even during slow months. This is why it is often the best choice to put down a large downpayment, so your monthly mortgage is lower. Having a smaller downpayment can lead to larger monthly expenses, which is usually undesirable.

When Your Team Outgrows Your Current Space

Many times, teams outgrow their current office space as they add new members. In this case, it’s best to buy a new office space quickly. A lack of space can hinder productivity and can cause frustrations amongst employees. So, when your team outgrows your current space, it’s time to look for a new one. For example, if you have an office that suits one dozen people, but you need a much larger team now, you will need a new space. While this can be a pain for business owners, it’s a sign of a booming and successful business.

Buying a New Office Space

If you would like the benefits of an office space or your situation matches the best times to buy, it’s time to start looking! However, deciding to get an office should not be done in a rush. You will hopefully be in this new space for a long time. So, pay close attention to the properties and diligently look for the perfect choice. We always recommend using a commercial real estate broker for help with your search.

If you are in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, our team can help you! Contact us today so we can find the perfect office for your business.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Restaurant Space

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Restaurant Space

Owning a restaurant is an exciting business opportunity and it can generate great income over the years. As easy as it sounds, purchasing a restaurant space is an important task and it should be done carefully. Additionally, there are some factors you should take into consideration when you want to buy a restaurant. Proper planning of a restaurant is crucial so you can save on costs and make more profit. So, in this blog post, we cover what to consider when purchasing a restaurant space.

The Size of the Space

The size of the restaurant is definitely a key characteristic to look at. The square footage you need from a space depends on the type of restaurant you plan on opening. There is a rule of thumb we call the 60/40 rule. When it comes to restaurant size, this rule can make your space much more comfortable. This rule states the dining section of the restaurant is meant to comprise or occupy most of the space in the restaurant. To be specific, about 60 percent of the space should be allocated to dining, while the remaining 40 percent can be shared between the kitchen, storage, and other parts of the restaurant.

Attractive restaurant locationAn example of spacing like this would be a restaurant that has about 7000 square feet. In this situation, 60 percent of the space (4,200 square feet) would be allocated to dining while 40 percent of the space (2,800 square feet) would be allocated to other sections, such as the kitchen or storage rooms.

The Style of the Restaurant

The style of your restaurant will go a long way in determining whether or not your restaurant will be successful. Unfortunately, there are many cases where the restaurant owner overlooks this factor, and they have to shut down. While the style might not be the entire reason they shut down, it could certainly be a contributing factor. So, your space’s style should be in line with the cuisine that is served at your restaurant. When a person goes to eat at your restaurant, they should feel as though they stepped into a different country, a classic American restaurant, or something else that would be appropriate to the style of food being served.

A typical example of this is when you go to a Chinese restaurant to eat a meal. In a case like this, the restaurant should have a classic Chinese culture feel. The space shouldn’t feel like an American sports bar or a Mexican cantina. It should feel as though it matches the menu being served. This can be accomplished through architecture or decorations. The style of the space truly matters when purchasing a restaurant location. Don’t overlook this factor.

The Parking Options

The parking ratio of a restaurant is another important factor that should be considered when purchasing a restaurant space. The main objective of a parking lot is to give customers a space to leave their cars when they visit the restaurant. Ensuring they have space to park will encourage them to come inside. How many times have you had to leave a restaurant because there wasn’t enough parking for your car? This is why it’s so important to provide enough parking at your restaurant. A typical parking standard for restaurants includes the following:

  • <2,500 square feet of building territory – one space for every 100 square feet of a building region
  • >2,500 square feet of building territory – one space for every 75 square feet of a building region
  • If you have a food truck or a walk-up restaurant where customers don’t stay, allow one space to every 275 square feet of the building.

Having ample parking will ensure more customers come inside and can park their cars comfortably.

inspect a restaurant before purchasing it. The Cost of the Space

When looking for a building to purchase, you must save money where you can. Purchasing commercial buildings can be costly, so look for ways to cut costs to be more profitable. When looking for ways to get a great building for less money, you can consider:

  • Locating your restaurant in the suburbs: This is certainly a good idea if you plan to minimize costs. In the suburbs, you can find less costly buildings available for purchase.
  • Locating your restaurant in an older building that you can renovate: The idea of doing this is brilliant. It saves costs and other expenses that you would have been burdened with if you had to purchase it. Locating your restaurant in an older building will give you the leisure to purchase other things to make your restaurant look way better.
  • Locating your restaurant in a low tax neighborhood: Doing this is cost-effective. When a restaurant is located in a low-tax neighborhood, it saves money because the taxes you pay will be much lower. This can save you thousands of dollars every year. So, find a low tax neighborhood or ask your broker to refine their search to these areas.

Purchasing a Restaurant Space

When purchasing a restaurant, it is advisable to do proper research about the place you want to use. You also need to look for ways to reduce costs. Reducing the cost of your restaurant does not mean your space should be of low quality. It should still look great and feel welcoming to your customers. It is important for you to always have your customers in mind so they are more likely to visit your restaurant often.

If you are ready to purchase a restaurant space in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, please contact us. Our team can help you find the perfect space for purchase!

Buying vs. Leasing a Warehouse: Which is Best?

Buying vs. Leasing a Warehouse: Which is Best?

Many business owners find themselves considering the pros and cons of buying a warehouse. The conversation around buying vs. leasing a warehouse is a common one for business owners because of these pros and cons. Whether or not buying a warehouse is a good idea for a business owner seems to be up in the air. However, we believe it truly depends on your individual situation. In this blog post, we provide insights that will hopefully help you decide whether or not you should buy a warehouse.

Buying vs. Leasing a Warehouse

When you are the owner of a large business that sells products, you likely need a warehouse to operate effectively. Warehouses have the proper equipment and space for you to operate your business and fit your employees. You may need space to store and ship merchandise. Or, you may need a space to actually manufacture products to sell to customers. No matter what it is, selling a large number of goods requires a warehouse to hold them at some point. If you have come to this realization, you may be wondering if the right move is to buy or lease a warehouse. Below, you will find the pros and cons to consider.

Buying a Warehouse

Buying a warehouse is a very big decision for a business owner to make. When you buy a warehouse, it needs to be because you plan on remaining in the space for a long time. Warehouses are a very big investment to make, which means your finances need to be in order before you apply for a loan. However, this doesn’t mean buying a warehouse isn’t a good idea. In fact, it’s a smart investment if you are in the position to make it.

Buying vs. Leasing a Warehouse

Pros:

  • You own the warehouse, which enables you to operate freely.
  • Your property will likely appreciate in value, which earns you money when it’s time to sell.
  • You aren’t paying more than what the property is worth, as the landlord needs to make a profit.
  • When you are ready to move, you can lease out the space if you want an extra stream of income.
  • You don’t have to worry about your landlord increasing the cost of rent before you renew your lease.

Cons:

  • When you own a warehouse, you are responsible for everything, including the roof, utilities, and machinery if anything ever breaks. With renting, these responsibilities are on the landlord.
  • Business success is somewhat unpredictable, so you may grow out of your warehouse, or become too small for it.
  • You will most likely need to take out a loan to pay for the property, so you need to have your credit score and finances in check before applying.

Leasing a Warehouse

Buying a property to operate out of isn’t as common as you may think. Most businesses operate out of a leased warehouse space, in which a landlord owns it as an investment property. In fact, a large majority of the skyscrapers you see in downtown Salt Lake City are owned by landlords and leased out to businesses. For many businesses and their owners, it just makes sense to lease out a space. Many people don’t want the commitment of owning a property, which is completely understandable. After all, when you buy a space, it is likely because you plan on spending several years at the location. This is very forward-thinking for many business owners, as they plan for their businesses to grow quickly.

Pros:

  • You aren’t tied to the property for decades, or have to go through the selling process.
  • You are not necessarily responsible for any issues on the property like air conditioning repairs, pipe repairs, or flooring.
  • If your business is booming, you can decide not to renew your lease so you can move into a larger property.

Cons:

  • You will have to move your entire inventory, employees, and machinery to a new location if you don’t renew your lease.
  • Your landlord can increase the cost of rent before you renew your lease, which is very common.
  • You won’t make a profit on your investment if the property appreciates in value when you occupy it.
  • You are somewhat limited to how you customize the space or operate in it depending on your contract’s terms and landlord’s wishes.

Buying vs. Leasing a Warehouse: Which is Best For You?

We hope this blog post helped you develop an opinion on buying vs. leasing a warehouse for your business. Go over the pros and cons, and consider which is best for your plans and business. If you have any questions about whether you should buy or lease your warehouse, feel free to contact us. We would be more than happy to help answer your questions. Our team helps many business owners with finding the perfect commercial property. From our expertise, we can put you in touch with a property and the ideal contract for your commercial needs.