Owning commercial property in a digital age

Owning commercial property in a digital age

The digital age has affected most aspects of life, not only in Michigan but globally. People can now find quick bits of information online, but they can also perform many serious and life-changing actions, such as finding a mate, filing for divorce and even earning a college degree.

For about 96 percent of consumers, shopping online is a common behavior, and many can even go to work digitally in the comfort of their homes. While all of this makes things convenient for most people, it may not be such a good thing for someone like you who owns commercial property.

Be flexible and adapt

Finding and keeping tenants in your office and retail space may be getting more difficult. Fewer people venture out to shop, and more employees are able to work from home. Business owners no longer require brick-and-mortar space for their offices and stores, which leaves you with empty properties and no income. However, there may be ways to adjust your focus so you can draw tenants to your buildings despite the conveniences of the digital age.

It may be necessary to become more flexible with the space you have to offer. Since fewer tenants are looking for office space or retail storefronts, you may be able to repurpose your building to meet current trends. For example, more workers are looking for co-working space, and you may be able to adapt your vacant space to suit that need.

Think outside the box

To avoid having empty buildings without tenants, you may have to devise a plan beyond seeking the traditional tenant. Some examples real estate experts recommend include the following:

  • Instead of single-use properties, invest in properties with multiple uses, such as strip malls, so you have less chance that all your units will be vacant at once.
  • Make sure your properties are tech capable.
  • Cluster your tenants to create customer zones, which will make your property a destination for consumers.
  • Create an experience that will draw customers away from their computers to physically visit your tenants.
  • Always be ready to adapt to current market trends.

You may also choose to move away from commercial retail space into residential space. Multifamily properties always seem to be in demand, and you may even consider purchasing a property that offers residential units along with office space, entertainment, retail units and restaurant opportunities.

If this seems like a grand undertaking, you are right. In fact, any commercial real estate investment is a serious and risky venture that you may not want to enter without some solid advice and guidance from an experienced legal advocate.