An office fit-out is often an expensive part of relocating or starting up a new business. Fit-outs can cost thousands of dollars a square metre and tenants can cut these costs if they weigh the options and take some time to consider their needs. If an office space already comes with a suitable fit-out, it can be a cost-saving option for some businesses.
“What we’re finding at the moment is there is less capital from tenants to invest in their own fit-outs,” Raine & Horne Commercial director Mark Terracini says.
“It is easier to lease a property if you have the option to include some level of fit-out.”
He says some building owners are setting up suites that include basic office fit-outs that can be adapted easily for a range of tenants while others are offering assistance with the costs of a custom fit-out. There are financial advantages to leasing fitted-out office space but no business is alike and owners must make sure the fit-out is suitable for their needs. Mr Terracini says while an open-plan space works well for some businesses, some professions such as law and finance require private offices.
Colliers International’s director of investment services and office leasing Tim Mutton agrees. “The obvious thing with the fit-out is it has to respond to your organisation’s needs,” Mr Mutton says.
“We’re seeing preferences for tenants fitting out their own space and we’re seeing more willingness from owners to assist.” He says a cash contribution to the cost of office fit-outs is becoming an attractive incentive to tenants. “What we’re seeing is landlords who are flexible have the most success leasing property and that’s filtered through to happier tenants,” Mr Mutton says.
Landlords can also help their tenants with their fit-outs by offering discounted trades and using previous knowledge to help their tenants use their space more efficiently. “Tenants are becoming savvy to what’s available in the market, they’ve been looking closely at trends such as activity-based working,” Mr Mutton says.
Mr Mutton says one of the biggest mistakes business owners can make is underestimating their potential for growth. “The more time people spend thinking about their future needs as well as their current needs the better off they’re going to be,” he says. “If businesses have thought these things through, owners can customise solutions to work for everybody.”
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