How tenants can find the right space post pandemic
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
The tenancy needs of many businesses are changing significantly post pandemic. How do you find the right space, for the right deal, right now?
Answer the following questions.
1. Review your business, what did it reveal?
What have you learned about your business through the pandemic? How have your needs changed? Has your business model changed to cater for more online services, or are you still predominantly relying on your bricks and mortar? Perhaps your client base or target audience has shifted.
Make sense of what the next phase of business looks like, and what the future could look like. Think about flexibility, and the need to avoid complacency - as South Australians experienced first hand, when the state rapidly went from being COVID free to a hard lockdown for a week.
2. What are your financial needs?
Many businesses have taken a financial blow during COVID-19, so you might find yourself in a position where you need to cut costs. Perhaps you can no longer afford a large premise and need to condense your workspace, or you require more flexibility and a shorter lease term. Also, research what is now a ‘fair’ market rent post pandemic to ensure you secure the best possible deal.
3. What type of location do you need?
Does the success of your business rely on a specific location or access to transport hubs? Perhaps being in close proximity to other complimentary businesses or on a visible and accessible main street makes a huge difference to the revenue you can generate.
On a larger scale, is being in the CBD important, or are you instead better positioned on the city fringe or suburbs? Does your location also need to accommodate for a mix of working between office and home?
4. How has the floor plan changed?
Our needs have certainly changed during COVID-19, including the requirement for ‘smart’ and flexible workplaces. Social distancing is also important, so your workplace may require greater separation and privacy, such as more space between desks. If you have more employees working from home, you might even be able to reduce your occupancy and floor area. Considering the rise of telecommunication services, will you also require more video conferencing facilities?
More importantly, with the pandemic situation constantly evolving, you’ll need a space that gives you the ability to adapt. Your business strategy and employee work behaviours may be different in six months’ time, so you don’t want to be in a situation where you have to change up your environment again.
5. What technology do you need?
How have your tech demands changed? With the rise of remote working and online communication services, connectivity and information storage/access is critical. Keep an eye out for properties that support strong internet networks and provide better access to devices.
6. Do you need storage?
If your business has boosted its online presence or transitioned to web-based services, especially to deliver products, then you’re going to need larger and higher quality storage and distribution facilities that are easily accessible. Your distribution spaces will particularly need to factor in drop off and pick up facilities.
7. How will you facilitate collaboration?
While working from home has its benefits, it reduces collaboration and workplace culture. So, consider how you get your team together to safely foster creativity and teamwork. This might be in person, through video conferencing services and online communication tools, or a mixture of both.
8. What are your safety obligations?
What do you need to implement to ensure a safe workplace? Employee health and safety is now top priority, and you may need to consider Internet of Things systems, like automated doors and elevators or phone-based building access, to limit points of contact.
Obviously, the physical safety regulations still apply – is the space well maintained and functioning properly with good air quality and minimal hazards?
9. What are your lease agreement needs?
Considering your situation and finances, how long can you now commit for? Do you require flexibility or a shorter lease term? As many landlords will seek long-term, reliable tenants, discussing your leasing needs early is imperative to finding the right solution.
10. Do you have a team in place?
It is crucial that you seek support and advice from commercial property experts who can help you make these major decisions.
The team at Broadway Property helps tenants through every step of the leasing process.
Contact us to discuss your needs. No obligations.
Managing Director, Broadway Property
Director, Broadway Property