In a down market with potentially high vacancies, there are many opportunities for landlords to incentivize existing clients to renew a lease and to ensure that the market is aware of their product.  On the flip side, tenants will be looking for “deals” and incentives and real estate brokers will need to work hard to bridge the gap, getting creative to keep all parties happy.

In a commercial real estate market such as Boston, there are a few things landlords should consider to help garner sales and communicate value when vacancy rates are high or growing:

1.  Make sure you have a solid marketing plan.  Brokers and prospective tenants first and foremost need to be educated about your property.  If your buildings are clean, well-lit, secure, handicap accessible, LEED certified, well-managed – you should be advertising your competitive standouts.  In today’s marketplace there are numerous things you can do outside of “traditional” marketing to get the word out.  Try a business blog or dabbling in social marketing mediums.  The opportunities for online visibility are endless and it’s more important than ever to get your message out there.

2.  Make your floorplans available in CAD so prospects and space planners have great planning and configuration tools if they need them.

3.  Consider more shared amenities: conference rooms, wireless Internet, free parking, cafes – amenities go a long way when it comes to perceived value.

4.  Re-focus your thinking on the value of a fully rented building versus old market rates.  Often times market perceptions are no longer truly what the market is willing to bear.  Base your offering on true costs and your own unique situation.  Those of you willing to restructure leases and provide incentives will likely fill your vacancies.  In the long run it will be easier to re-finance or keep your building’s perceived value high for likely investors.

Even in down markets people need places to live and work.  Quality products that are well maintained and managed will always attract and retain residents.  If you are willing to step outside the box every now and again to consider creative plans, Boston can continue to provide for a very successful marketplace.