Creative enhancements and upgrades: lessons learned in Provence, France and Las Vegas.
Long before ROI became the main-stream media's buzzword du jour, it was the acronym that real estate owners and operators used to determine whether an investment-related decision was a go or a no-go. In crafting a management plan to fit a particular property or ownership group, you might find it useful to look outside of your immediate geographic area and look to foreign property types as well. Often times, I have found ideas for cosmetic and functional upgrades when traveling abroad. Commercial buildings in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Barcelona, Spain; or Provence France have provided some excellent ideas for aesthetic upgrades or fa ade treatments.
Planning and understanding can and should result in a favorable budget, increased income, added value and an impressed owner. But before you ask for the capital outlay, let's look at some of the upgrades or enhancements that are working for property owners in today's market.
MULTIFAMILY PRODUCT BY PROPERTY CLASS
Class A: Class A multifamily properties--typically, newer construction, amenity-inclusive, resort-like properties--are all about the experience. Bring in a life-coach, host social events and create partnerships within the community to give your residents discounts at select bars, restaurants and retailers. Next time you are in Las Vegas, take a look at the common area amenities and in-suite furnishings and fixtures. From floor to ceiling, hotelkeepers know how to maximize their rehab budgets. The features they choose are often durable if not bulletproof. Applying this five-star, Las Vegas resort approach to service suggests that anything is possible.
Class B & C: Class B or C multifamily is generally 1960s and newer. Enclosed patios with concrete slabs and small garden areas, in-unit laundry hookups, updating or construction of fitness and business centers, facade treatments, new exterior paint tones and schemes can breathe new life into an aging asset.
OFFICE/INDUSTRIAL PRODUCT BY PROPERTY CLASS
Class A: Depending on city zoning requirements, many office complexes are primed for a restaurant or caf component, which will not only draw additional patrons to the property, but will create additional income as restaurants generally have a higher rent per square foot than office space. While the planning and permit fees can be costly, the end result can create a buzz unparalleled by any other amenity. Facade treatments
to temporarily or permanently alter the exterior appearance of the property, mood lighting, fresh flowers, concierge service and even gourmet food trucks provide an enriched tenant experience.
Class B: Generally home to manufacturers, fabricators or other such commercial uses, industrial properties have become redeveloped to include usable, walkable common areas. With this use, focus on tenant attraction and retention. Art galleries, breweries, bowling and indoor rock climbing are all uses that can upgrade your tenant profile and assist in repositioning your industrial park.
By providing ownership with a complete and concise look at the project, they will be more capable of making an informed decision. And if ownership opts to forego the improvements, you are all the better for having illustrated your personal care and expertise for the asset and for the business relationship.
MR. DUNLAP IS ALSO THE AUTHOR OF THE FOUR BENEFITS.
AVAILABLE AT IREMBOOKS ORG
NICHOLAS A. DUNLAP, CPM, (NDUNLAPO@DPGRE.COM) IS VICE PRESIDENT OF DUNLAP PROPERTY GROUP, AMO, IN FULLERTON, CALIF.