What people expect from a workplace is changing. You can see evidence of this anytime you go on the internet, where you’re almost sure to see a clickbait article with a title like “The 10 Most Amazing Things About The New Google Headquarters”, with pages about how they grow all their own food in a greenhouse or robots who bring around organic donuts or a waterslide section, or whatever. If you are the owner of a non-owner-occupied commercial rental, this might make you despair. How can you compete with all these amazing office spaces?
Luckily, there are retrofits you can do with a bridge loan from Socotra that make sense, are affordable, and can help attract new tenants. These bridge loans can help you do the work and keep you afloat while you are retrofitting. It’s a crucial way to obtain the equity-based capital you need to successfully rehab your commercial rental property to meet a changing workplace.
Smart, Energy-Efficient Lighting
To say that efficiency and sustainability are “trends” is to unfortunately lump them into the same category as pet rocks, fixed bicycles, or mustaches grown simply to be commented upon. That’s not the case, though. As ideas about what we should do in relationship to the earth evolve, owners of commercial properties have to adjust in order to attract tenants. Businesses want to be able to attract employees, cut down on their bills, and do the right thing. This can start with energy-efficient lighting.
In commercial spaces, lighting takes about close to 40% of energy usage, a huge margin. This can be dramatically cut down by installing LED lights, which are expensive, but coming down in price. These are up to 20% more energy-efficient than fluorescents, and can last for 50,000 hours. There are a few other things you can do with your lights to make them more efficient, and for less costs.
- Install “smart” lights that know when to turn themselves on and off, and know when to dim and when to brighten.
- Install dimmer switches so that you can cut down on energy used but still keep employees lit up.
- Put in more individual lights near where employees work, so that if just a couple of people are staying late, they can have lights on without having to keep all the overheads on.
Windows occupy a weird place for people trying to be energy efficient. On the one hand, the natural lighting means that you won’t need as many electrical lights, cutting down on those bills. On the other hand, you can lose 35% of your heat through poorly-insulated windows, making your office less energy efficient. On the third hand, in warmer climates, like much of California, this isn’t much of a problem, and the benefits of installing more windows outweigh the energy costs.
Of course, the actual cost of installing a window can be high- close to $5000 per. But in addition to lowering bills, the look created by having more natural light is a huge draw to businesses. Employees, especially young ones, look askance at the artificially-lit cubicle farm that, for decades, was the essence of office life. Businesses know they can attract more high-quality employees if they have an office that feels more natural and friendly. Installing more windows can help you attract these kind of businesses.
An Open and Adjustable Office
So you have windows, but if you have the same kind of office layout you might not be able to rent to the kind of businesses that pay well and are primed for growth (tech, biometrics, life science). These are businesses that combine programming, engineering, experimentation, raising venture capital, and a thousand other things. They don’t need a static office. That’s where the adjustable office plan comes in.
An adjustable office is one that is easily convertible depending on the space needed. Walls are on tracks, so what one day is a few small offices can the next day be combined into one big room, or a garage can quickly be converted into a lab. Think of the modern office as a vast cafeteria whose tables can be moved around in any combination, depending on who wants to sit where on any given day. A business that is going to be designing and testing products, and who may start hiring en masse will appreciate the ability to shape the workspace according to their needs, and not the vision of a designer years ago.
None of these are particularly cheap, but modern businesses demand efficiency, beauty, and flexibility. If you want to attract the kind of tenants who pay well, and who will be around for the long-haul, you have to make your commercial rental space reflect their needs. A bridge loan from Socotra, California’s leading equity-based lender, can help you do that. Contact us today to learn more.