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. …

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!

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!

Subletting Your Office Space: Should You Do It?

Subletting Your Office Space: Should You Do It?

For many businesses, the option of subletting a portion of their office space sounds desirable. From the money received, from the rent of the other business, it can help offset the cost of their own lease. However, the decision to sublease office space is not always as desirable as it may seem. In some instances, it is an excellent option, whereas, with others, it should not be done. Let’s discuss when you should consider subletting your office space and when you shouldn’t.

When Subletting Your Office Space is a Good Idea

There are many great reasons to think about letting your office space. After all, you can save a significant amount of money when you let another business into your space. Below, you will see some of these great reasons to welcome another business into your office space.

After Downsizing

Have you recently downsized your business? Or, perhaps you have allowed some employees to work from home. No matter the situation, downsizing your on-site workforce can create a great deal of room. So, if you have enough room in your office space for another business to move in, consider subletting your office space. Even if you only have five to ten desks open, it may be the perfect size for a small start-up. Anything you make from their rent can help minimize the costs of your own space, which is very helpful.

When You Have a Large Amount of Extra Space

Many businesses decide to move into a larger office space that they can grow into. This is an excellent idea as it can save a great deal of money by avoiding moving the entire office later on. However, this can lead to office space that is not used. This can either waste money on rent, or you can sublease the space to another business. If you decide to sublease your extra office space, be sure to design the space to separate the two businesses. This means you should seclude the extra office space for the business that will be subletting your office space. Perhaps building a wall or setting up a temporary barricade can seclude the two businesses well.

subletting your office space

When You Are Moving to Another Location

Some businesses grow out of their space before their lease is up. While this is a sign of a successful business, it can still cause a problem with getting out of your lease. An excellent option for moving into a large space early is by subletting your office space. Lease the entire space to another business while your business moves into a larger location. Although this does not get you out of paying for your office space, it should cover what you owe your landlord for the time being.

When Subletting Your Office Space is Not a Good Idea

Despite sounding like a great money saver or a way out of a small space, not every business should sublease their office space. There are some instances where it is not a good idea to do this. At the end of the day, if you are ever unsure about subletting your office space, it is a good idea to contact your lawyer. Have them look over your lease and the laws in your city to make sure you are following the laws and your contract.

If Your Lease Prohibits Subletting

Some landlords prohibit subleasing in their tenants’ leases. This is usually because they want to approve who is allowed in their building. While this is completely understandable, it can prevent you from leaving your office space. It can also cause you to waste money on empty office space. However, following the contract you have with your landlord is the most important thing. This way, you don’t have to face legal consequences or fees.

Your Business is Growing Quickly

As mentioned above, many businesses move into larger spaces with plans on growing into it. However, just because your space is too big now, it doesn’t mean you won’t grow into it within a few months. Take a look at the rate in which your business is growing to be sure you have enough time to sublease your office space. If you predict your business will grow into the space within a year, we recommend not subletting the space. This is because most businesses will look to sublease a space for six to twelve months. In this instance, it is best to hold off and embrace your growing business.

Your Business Handles Private Information

Perhaps you have plenty of space to welcome another business into your office. But, if your business handles private information such as bank account numbers, health information, or legal matters, it may be a privacy concern to have a business sublease form you. The privacy of your employees and your customers should be a top concern. So, be sure your business will have the necessary privacy if you sublease your office space.

We hope this is helpful, if you’re considering the idea of subletting. And if you’re ever looking for a new office location, or trying to find a tenant to fill your currently open office space, let us know! That’s something we can certainly help with!

How to Get More Leads as a Commercial Broker

How to Get More Leads as a Commercial Broker

Leads are one of the most important things for the success of a commercial broker. When your leads convert into clients or property sales, you will make more revenue for yourself. So, it is vital commercial brokers take steps to increase their lead generation. In this blog post, we are going to cover just a few ways to get more leads as a commercial broker.

Invest in a Quality Website

A website is one of the biggest lead sources for a commercial broker. When a website is high-quality, loads quickly, and looks professional, it can generate a majority of a broker’s leads. Although it can be costly to hire a website developer to put your website together, it will be well worth it. On your website, you can put information about your experience, your current listings, and even testimonials from your previous clients. Then, when prospects land on your website, they will be much more likely to generate a lead. Additionally, what you spend on putting your website together and the yearly cost for a domain is tax-deductible as a business expense. So, be sure to invest in this helpful marketing tool to get more leads.

Be Active on Social Media

Another helpful lead generation tool is social media. There has been an increasing trend amongst commercial real estate brokers using social media to promote their listings. Almost half of the world’s population has social media, which means it’s imperative for brokers to use it as a marketing tool. Social media presents a great opportunity to connect with people who are not already your clients and be on the top of their minds if they ever need your services as a broker. You can use hashtags, tag your location, and comment on others’ posts to increase your audience.

Facebook tends to have the highest return on investment out of all social media platforms. However, many commercial brokers prefer to use Instagram, as it is a photo-focused platform. With that being said, Instagram is a great platform to use to show off drone footage of a commercial building. You can also or go live to show an exclusive walk-through of your listing. Additionally, social media is completely free if you are not paying to boost your posts. So, this is a budget-friendly way to generate more leads for yourself.

get more leads

Network at Local Events to Get More Leads

A classic way to generate leads is to attend local events. If there are any business-related events in your area, consider going to network. Introducing yourself and letting people know what you do can help you get new clients. Business owners or investors are typically a commercial broker’s target audience. So, when attending a networking event, you have access to a room full of potential clients. However, at these events, you don’t want to be too pushy. If someone expresses interest in using your services to buy or sell a property, then hand them your business card or give them your information. This is to ensure you appear as professional as possible, rather than appear as though you are only there to generate sales.

Ask Your Previous Clients for Reviews and Referrals

The recommendations from your previous clients can be very helpful for your business. If you have not done so already, sign up for some free business listing websites with review functions. Then, ask your clients to leave you feedback once your sale is over. After this, you can post their reviews to your social media pages or on your website. This will give you great credibility and will encourage people to consider using your services.

Consider Joining a Nationally Known Franchise

Another tactic to increase your leads as an independent broker is to join a widely known brokerage franchise. Being a broker under a large name, such as SVN, can boost your credibility greatly. Additionally, it can help you to get more leads as someone searches for a local franchise. Many franchises also have a marketing budget, in which they help their brokers get more leads. This is a route that many independent brokers decide to take when they are having challenges generating leads. However, if you enjoy working independently, this is not a necessary tip.

If you are in the Salt Lake City, Utah area and are looking to join a local brokerage franchise, feel free to look into SVN | Alta Commercial. We are accepting resumes from licensed brokers to see if they would be a fit in our office. Our team looks forward to hearing from you!

How do CRE Brokers Get Paid?

How do CRE Brokers Get Paid?

A common question people ask in the commercial real estate industry is “How do brokers get paid?” Although the payment to a broker is involved with every commercial real estate transaction, it seems many people lack clarity on the subject. Truth be told, the process of getting paid as a broker can get a bit complicated. The fact that commission rates can vary also contributes to the confusion around how brokers get paid. Whether you’re interested in becoming a broker one day or you’re thinking you might want to work with one, this blog post will explain how brokers get paid for their work.

How do CRE Brokers Get Paid?

What many people do understand is that commercial real estate brokers get paid based off commission. The commission is typically paid by the seller of the property, but the buyers of the property may also owe the broker a payment as well. Who pays the commission depends on who the broker is representing in the transaction. When representing both parties, both the seller and buyer will pay the broker a commission fee. If there are two brokers involved with the deal, they will split the commission between each other. However, the amount in which the broker is paid varies due to anti-trust laws.

anit-trust laws impact how cre brokers get paid. Anti-Trust Laws

Due to anti-trust laws, it is illegal to set a commission rate across a market or industry. This means the commercial broker and their client need to negotiate a commission rate before agreeing to work together. Negotiating a price for a commission can be great for both the client and the broker, as the costs of different properties vary greatly. Additionally, some properties are easier to find than others, which changes how difficult the broker’s job is. According to our partners at SVN | Southgate Realty, most commercial brokers get paid between four percent and eight percent of the sale price from the property. However, this may increase or decrease based on the complexity of the deal. So, be sure to consider how hard the broker will need to work when negotiating their commission rate.

How Does Commission Work?

In commercial real estate, a property can be sold or leased. The amount a commercial real estate broker earns is based on the price of the property. So, if the broker and the seller agree on a seven percent commission rate and the property purchased was $1,000,000, the broker would earn $70,000. However, if another broker was involved to represent the buyer of the property, the $70,000 would be split between the two.

For commercial real estate, because leases are typically paid on a monthly basis, there is a different way to calculate the commission of a broker. With leases, the broker is paid based on the length of the lease agreement and the monthly rate. For example, if a property is leased for three years at $15 per square foot, and it is 2,000 square feet, the lease value would be $90,000. We find this from 3 years x ($15 x 2,000 SF). If the seller and broker agreed on a seven percent commission rate, the broker would make $6,300.

Who Pays the Broker?

The person who usually pays the broker(s) involved with commercial real estate transactions is the property owner or landlord. Almost always, the seller or landlord will pay both brokers who are representing clients in the commercial real estate transaction. This is because the landlord wants to get the property off their hands and needs the help of the broker to do so. If you are looking to purchase a property, do not skip out on using a broker because you think you will get a better deal. Brokers are very resourceful, and you typically won’t spend any money on their services when you are buying the property.

Looking for a Commercial Real Estate Broker in Salt Lake City?

We hope this blog post cleared up any confusion you had about how brokers get paid. If you are looking to buy or sell a commercial property in Salt Lake City and need assistance from a broker, please feel free to contact us. Our highly skilled and experienced advisors will help you get an excellent deal and can answer any questions you may have. We always strive to make the transaction process as easy as possible for our clients. So, please feel free to reach out so you can work with one of our advisors today!