Changing Commercial Spaces: Six Strategies For Staying Ahead

Updated: May 16, 2019



Commercial settings vary as widely as the different types of tenants or vendors working — or potentially living — within them. This abundance of possibilities creates a multitude of opportunities for those working within real estate. As trends change, the ways in which people work, shop and live in spaces also fluctuate. For example, e-commerce and flexible work arrangements are changing the way people buy and work — factors to be considered when dealing with real estate.


In order to make the most of the opportunities available, investors and developers need to consider some of the alternate approaches available, in order to see what makes sense at a location. To help you make the most of your property, Forbes asked members of Forbes Real Estate Council to share some ways people can adapt to the changing use of commercial space. Here's what they said:


1. Diversify Tenants

There are different ways to adapt depending on the type of property and space. For instance, with regard to retail space, an investor can diversify the tenant mix with more service-oriented businesses that do not compete with e-commerce, such as food and beverage businesses or beauty salons and spas. - Catherine Kuo, Elite Homes Christie's International Real Estate


2. Take An Anti-Development Stance

Sometimes the highest and best use is to take an anti-development stance with property and convert it into "experiential" space suitable for agritourism, festivals, concert and event venues. When you retain a beautiful property in its most natural state, never underestimate the human need to be with nature, in beautiful surroundings, with people you love. - Greg Clement, Realeflow


3. Apply Business Psychology

Adapting to the changing use of commercial space will be a critical component for commercial investors to consider in order to stay afloat and navigate the changing dynamics of the business owner, as more and more businesses opt to open online. An effective way for them to adapt is to apply business psychology to better align their competing needs. - Cheryl Abrams Davis, Re/Max United Real Estate


4. Consider The WeWork Model

Embrace the change and be part of it. The best example I can give here is the WeWork model which took the CRE by storm. It took some time for many in the industry to come to terms with this new and innovative way of renting commercial space. Some building owners have embraced the idea and are trying to cut the middle man. Others have simply accepted the fact and understand change is inevitable. - Evi Kokalari-Angelakis,Golden Key Realty Group


5. Go The LEED-Certified Route

Industrial assets have traditionally been viewed as less visually appealing. In the past few years, this capital has begun to come with green policies and requirements, with company environmental goals such as reducing their carbon footprint. A LEED-certified building can not only help with these goals but may assist in energy and maintenance savings. - Adam Abushagur, TAG Industrial | Marcus & Millichap


6. Create An Enticing Space

Commercial space is more and more being converted to residential space or live-work space. An effective way to utilize this changing environment would be to create more spaces to entice workers to leave their homes and remote jobs to create a community atmosphere. Locations such as WeWork have really shown that people do like a business setting, but they want it to be home-feeling and free. - Ralph DiBugnara, Home Qualified


Article by Forbes Real Estate Council




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