New Year, New Yield: 5 Ways To Increase Your Commercial Occupancy Rates in 2016


Imagine how good it would feel getting back to work in 2016 knowing you’ve got a plan in place that will result in increased occupancy rates and rental yields for your commercial buildings.

Well, that feeling is more attainable than you might think, and it’s not going to involve a complicated and costly sales and marketing plan.

According to David Gardner, Vice President of

Clipsal and Schneider Electric Partner Business, the real way you can achieve results in 2016 will come from a combination of innovation, adaptability and future proofing your buildings.

Whether it’s a stunning fit-out or an adaptable office design, there are a number of things you can do to get potential tenants itching to move into your building, and to reduce the amount of downtime between tenants.

1. Cost/Time Effective Fit-Outs
According to David Gardner, one of the biggest secrets to boosting occupancy rates and rental yields may lie within the office fit-out phase.

“If you can arrange a fit-out that is quick, effective and caters to the future needs of the building, you’re going to be ahead of most other commercial buildings in your area,” Mr Gardner said.

“You need to consider every aspect of your fit-out, from office layout to office functionalities like power, heating, lighting and ventilation. If you can streamline all of these aspects, you’ll see a boost in your return on investment in no time.

“A product like Clipsal’s OptiLine 50 Cable Management Installation System with a click-in, click-out structure can reduce fit-out time by 50% - allowing you to finalise the fit-out and secure tenants quicker than other traditional methods.

“Opting for a system that also has fewer parts will make it easier and quicker to specify, order and install – letting you have paying tenants in the office in a fraction of the time.”

A quicker and more cost effective fit-out option also ensures that building owners and facility managers aren’t at risk of exorbitant refurbishment costs if tenants change their requirements or if new tenants move in.

2. The Ability To Adapt To Future Trends
In order to secure new tenants, or to keep current tenants satisfied, it’s crucial to put yourselves in their shoes and predict trends that will impact their future requirements.

The biggest future trend you need to be on top of right now?According to David Gardner, it’s fluid and agile workplaces.

“Building owners and facility managers need to break the mould and shift away from traditional static offices. Some of the biggest names in business are already making the move toward agile and flexible offices,” Mr Gardner says.

“Even though many of Australia’s future workplaces are already built, it’s important to consider clever retrofitting options that will allow you to adapt them to future trends.

“There is no use scrambling to change your office space once your tenants request it – that’s going to send your occupancy rates into decline.

“The trick is to make your office space more sought after by creating agile and fluid offices that cater to the businesses of the future. By doing this, you’re almost guaranteeing higher occupancy rates for years to come.

“You need to think about the future to set yourself up for success.”

3. Adapting To Fit Business/Market Needs
Every business is unique, which means every business will have unique office needs. It’s this knowledge that will allow you to move your occupancy rates forward in 2016.

The trick for commercial building owners and facilities managers is to create office spaces that are fully adaptable to each and every business/market need.

“By creating easily adaptable office space, your building will be transformed into a sought after office location and you will see increased occupancy rates and your current tenants will see the value in staying with you,” Mr Gardner said.

“We’re seeing more and more offices equipped with adaptable solutions, like OptiLine 50, being the first choice for many tenants, and the great thing with this is that any additional fit-out costs in between tenants are a thing of the past.

“The blunt truth is that static offices just aren’t viable anymore. Adaptability needs to be at the forefront of your mind in 2016 if you want to see results.”

4. Re-Thinking And Innovating On Traditional Workplaces
In order to keep occupancy rates high, and to have the potential to increase rental yields, you need to demonstrate that you’re offering a well thought out, innovative and functional workspace.

“In order for facility managers, building managers and consultants to get the best return on investment from their commercial building projects, they need to be constantly thinking about what they can do differently,” Mr Gardner said.

“It’s innovation that will set your buildings apart from the competition.

“Static workplaces are a thing of the past, so if you really want to increase your occupancy rates and your commercial rental yield you need to show your potential tenants that you offer something forward-thinking: a fluid working environment.”

By taking the time to re-think and innovate on your current office offerings, you can also justify a rental increase to your current tenants since they will see the value your innovative work environment is creating for them.

5. Ensuring A Happy/Productive Workforce
According to a recent ABS study, Australians are now spending almost 1,637 million hours at work per month – most of which are spent in an office environment. It’s these statistics that make it imperative for you to provide offices that ensure the satisfaction and productivity of workers.

“The happiness and productivity of current and future workers is instrumental in increasing building occupancy rates and rental yields,” Mr Gardner said.

“To have a work environment that you know is going to be conducive to productivity and high quality work is a great selling point for potential tenants. It is also a great justification for a marginal rental increase.

“A great way to increase happiness and productivity inside the office is by creating agile workplaces that facilitate the present and future working practices and patterns of all employees.”

The reality is, the sooner commercial building owners and facility managers consider a new way of thinking, the sooner they can appreciate the benefits of increased occupancy rates and rental yields.

By transforming your commercial buildings into a hub of fluid workplaces that tenants are desperate to be a part of, you’re on track to making 2016 your most successful year yet.

David Gardner is the Vice President of Clipsal and Schneider Electric Partner Business, a global specialist in energy management and automation with operations in more than 100 countries. Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, and is focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green. For more information on how Clipsal’s OptiLine 50 solution can help you create an agile workspace click here.

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