As year two of the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to a close, it is more important than ever to ensure your company operations are optimized for the new way of work. In light of the widespread adoption of telecommuting that occurred last year, reevaluating corporate real estate needs should be a top priority for most organizations. In this post we share some tips that can help you prepare your real estate portfolio for 2022 and beyond.

 

1. Establish a Permanent WFH Policy

If you haven’t done so already, it is time to put a permanent WFH policy in place. The new way of work is here to stay, and a number of companies have announced that they will allow employees to continue working remotely for the foreseeable future. Whether you decide to let employees telecommute full time or settle on some type of a hybrid workplace model, set the rules and expectations for the long term. Not only will a permanent policy give your employees a sense of normalcy, but you will be able to more accurately reevaluate your office space needs.

 

2. Reassess Your Real Estate Needs

Once you know how many employees will need full-time or part-time office accommodations at each of your locations, you should reassess your square footage requirements. Optimizing your real estate portfolio periodically is a good idea, especially after tumultuous global events such as the coronavirus pandemic. Remember though, while being aggressive in cutting down the number of private work spaces may seem like a good opportunity to save money, hybrid employees will be leery of having to share desks and computers with too many co-workers.

 

3. Know the Market and Your Property

Before you make any decisions regarding your real estate assets, you should take the time to research the market trends and rates in your area. You also need to be familiar with the situation in your building. Find out how many tenants have moved out, what are the current rental rates, and if there have been any new leases. This is especially important if you are thinking about renewing your lease, relocating to another property or market, subleasing or returning any space to the landlord. Understanding what your lease is worth to your landlord and on the market will give you lots of leverage when determining your next move and negotiating the details.

 

4. Renew Your Lease Early

If you are happy at your existing location, you may want to consider renewing your lease early. The office market crash caused by the pandemic has left many landlords with mounting vacancies, and many will be happy to jump at the opportunity to secure an early renewal, even if they have to offer a lower rental rate, an abatement period, or a tenant improvement allowance to secure it. Depending on the incentives you are offered, you may want to lock them into a longer lease too.

 

5. Dispose of Excess Space

While this may be harder than it sounds in the current economic climate, dispose of any space you no longer need as soon as you can to save money on rent. Again, asking your landlord for an early lease renewal is one way to dispose of unused space. Depending on how desperate they are, securing you as a tenant for a few more years will most likely be a good tradeoff for getting some space back. If you have large blocks of unused space and giving it back to the landlord is not a feasible option, you can also consider subleasing the space.

 

6. Hire a Tenant Rep

If you’ve been handling your organization’s real estate needs on your own, now is the time to consider hiring a tenant rep broker. While it is certainly a buyer’s market and landlords will be willing to jump through hoops to secure a deal, it is still worth it to have a commercial real estate expert on your team. Tenant reps can help you with every step of the leasing process, including conducting market research, identifying the best prospective properties, handling lease negotiations, organizing property tours, overseeing your space build-out, and more. The best part? All these services are available to you as the tenant, for free.

 

While we hope you find these tips useful when preparing your 2022 real estate strategy, we understand that managing corporate real estate is a complex process that can be overwhelming at times such as the present. If you need help getting your real estate strategy realigned for the upcoming year, contact iOptimize Realty® today. We will help you assess your current situation and help optimize your real estate portfolio for the new normal.

 

Here are some other articles to check out:

Top 10 Commercial Real Estate Terms You Need to Know

Utilizing Drones For Your Commercial Real Estate

6 Things to Consider When Leasing Office Space

 

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