Thursday, May 20, 2010

Improve Your Value: Landscape Your Commercial Property

Years ago, two commercial developers were working tracts of land adjacent to one another along a busy highway. The area was bustling, the economy was good, and people were expanding businesses. Knowing they were going head-to-head, each development team to a different track to make sure they made their money.

Developer A built a business park that was simple, maximized his space, with basic no-frills buildings and parking lots. Everything was up to spec and regulation, but the park was very sedate – one might say boring. Sidewalks and a few simple shrubs littered the area, but beyond that – it was basically all about the big box buildings. Rentals for the large spaces were below-cost for the area, making them attractive to the fiscally smart eye of many local companies and businesses.

Developer B did the opposite. He kept the amount of buildings to a minimum. He hired some unique architects to give buildings signature looks. He also blew the bank on landscaping. Not only did he put in beautiful flower beds, he built several lakes, and even a fitness trail running threw his grounds. A FITNESS TRAIL! Fountains and water features doted the landscape. His rents were higher then his neighbors, and he felt justified in passing on a steeper square-footage cost.

Ten years later – guess who is sitting pretty?

Developer B.

While many cost-cutting robber barons jumped onto A’s plan – they weren’t stable tenants. Companies and business drifted in –and-out of the sites. He kept slashing rent, cutting his overhead, till he sold for much less then he ever made.

Developer B on the other hand, had an industrial park that was beloved by the community. Employees loved working there, and employers found a certain cache and status form their tony new digs. In fact, the park became a haven for people who didn’t even work there! People would walk through it, sit by the ponds (man-made), use the fitness trail, and eventually he was able to develop some unused smaller land into commercial mixed-use real estate. Now, he’s buying out his old competitor and making over that site.

Humans are attracted to beauty. We are attracted to water. We like pretty things. Spending money on landscaping, no matter how grandiose or simple is never a bad move. Regardless of whether you are renting homes, commercial real estate, or business property – make it attractive to customers, tenants, and FUTURE tenants. Give your property a name and an edge. Sure, a bed of azaleas might not seem like a investment that will make a great return, but it is!

If you are interested in working with a creative and professional commercial real estate landscaper, give us a call at 704.504.0980.

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