Today I am writing for the owners of commercial real estate (CRE) and why presentation is so important for showing your property.
I'm also hoping to share some great tips for what the CRE agent should be advising their clients.
Being a professional photographer for well over 2 decades (stutter, stutter… can it be that long?) I have learned that the camera can either hide OR emphasize imperfections; and I can only do so much with Photoshop. The trick is, if the property looks good, the camera will love it…if you make it look great, the buyer will love it also! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked up to, and into, a property and just stood there shaking my head. Sometimes I don’t even bother to take interior shots…and I know instantly it’s going to take me hours of Photoshop work to make the outside look decent. Being a photog, I can shoot around a lot of problems, but that prospective buyer will have an up close and personal encounter with the mess.
Residential real estate agents speak of curb appeal on a daily basis. They know that first impressions and staging is vital to achieving the desired price, and a quick sale. It is a standard part of their dialogue to inform the owners of the importance of staging tricks. In fact, the most successful residential agents are the ones with the best advice for homeowners on what they can do to attract (and to hook) buyers. Commercial realtors should take note of this!
If you want your property to be at the bottom of his wish list, after he’s exhausted all other options, then by all means, leave the landscape untouched, forget that paint or pressure washing and don’t bother to haul the junk off!
If, however, your property has had the bushes trimmed, a fresh coat of paint, clean carpets and glistening windows, that prospect will put a star beside your address and move it to the top of the list. He’ll probably even pay more because it is more valuable to him.
2. FROM THE TENANTS POINT OF VIEW?
Business owners, who are considering leasing a property, are (rightfully) focused on running their business and, with most commercial leases being NNN (triple net), a prospective tenant who sees himself in the first month of his tenancy with a paint brush and pruners in hand, cleaning up the landlord's property isn’t going to be over excited.
3. PRICE POINT & CURB APPEAL:
When I listen to CRE agents talking about why a particular property isn’t moving, I often hear them speak of price point. While I agree, competitive pricing is the single most important factor, I am compelled to insert "presentation" into the conversation. In reality, curb appeal and price point go hand in hand. If it looks like a dump, the price point is going to tank and the owner is ultimately going to be disappointed. Conversely, if the property is pleasing to the eye, both the agent and the owner will, most likely, be very pleased.
4. HIGHLIGHT THE FEATURES
Every property has its highlights, without proper staging however, any unique architectural or landscape features could easily be overlooked. These features could very well be what sets your property apart, and is all the more reason you should take care to clean around them, de-clutter and highlight them.
5. SAFETY DURING SHOWINGS
No one likes to think about the litigious state of our country, but lawsuits are rampant and, even with insurance, no one needs the kind of stress a lawsuit brings. De-cluttering your property makes it easy for prospective buyers or tenants to move freely without risking personal injury while they are looking at it. With camera in hand, I have been in some very dangerous situations climbing over and through junk trying to get a decent image, all the while imagining a prospective buyer doing the same thing. It's not always a pretty picture...pun intended!
6. GIVE BUYERS THE VISION
The ultimate goal a seller (or landlord) can hope for is that the buyer can visualize his or her business in your location.
If they can walk freely throughout the property imagining where they will put this and that and how they will impress others with their dream, they will take that visual home. They will convey it to family and friends, and even investors, and ultimately, they will HAVE to have that property…at your asking price!
This might seem a little over the top for lower priced properties, but staging an office in such a way that the prospect isn’t looking at vast, open spaces should be a serious consideration. On higher-end properties, renting office furniture and good lighting might be a very profitable consideration. Referring to residential again, model homes have been a well proven strategy in real estate sales!
That, my friends, is how and why curb appeal, staging and presentation can enhance your commercial real estate. Happy cleaning!