It was not long ago that landlords had it easy. Pop in a small building deli so that your tenants do not have to leave the property if they need a quick meal and they were satisfied. Over the past five years, however, there has been a huge shift in the importance of building amenities.
Today, companies are placing a much greater emphasis on employee happiness, wellness, and flexibility. As Mark Cuban said, “everyone is a free agent” in today’s job market. Not only is a business owner required to recruit well — once they have hired that potential “all-star,” how do they retain them?
Utilizing Building Amenities to Gain an Edge
There are numerous ways businesses use their office space to promote company culture and increase productivity. However, what must landlords do to get an edge in today’s competitive and busy office market?
In Downtown Dallas, it is normal and necessary for buildings to have expanded amenity packages. The larger buildings, high density, and parking situation in the area makes it much easier to support and justify a full-service gym, convenience store, or food court.
As tenants tour smaller buildings in suburban markets, they will be in for a pleasant surprise as they notice that even smaller buildings are adding all types of amenities and services in hopes of increasing occupancy.
Below are a few of the basics we are seeing, even in smaller office buildings:
- Upgraded building deli or “grab ‘n go” lunch area — that actually offer good food!
- Fitness facility, complete with towel service, state-of-the-art equipment, trainers, and workout classes
- Shared conference facility — an area that “pops,” not just some spare office they could not lease
- Common area lounge equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi where employees can get away from their desk
A Growing Office Market
Demand for office space in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is at an all-time high, thanks to a booming economy, no state income tax, easy access to international airports, low cost of living, and a solid labor force. Businesses in many different sectors are growing and there have been several corporate headquarter relocations to our city over the past few years.
As companies compete for talent, it is imperative that they offer their employees as many benefits and “perks” as possible. As business owners evaluate their office building options, it is clear that many favor buildings that offer a full “experience” and motivate employees in the workplace. This is causing these types of building amenities and services to become the norm in the DFW office market.
Many landlords are getting more creative, adding the following building amenities to set themselves apart from the competition:
- Putting greens and driving range simulators to entertain the golf-lovers
- Daily food delivery services like Foodsby
- Shuttles to nearby retail restaurants and shops to offer an additional convenience for employees and residents alike
- Beer tap or kegs (free beer!)
Measuring Success Through Implementation
Some landlords are more successful than others with their implementation of building amenities. But providing these benefits to office tenants is not always easy. In some buildings, I see tenants utilizing the amenities frequently; in others, not so much.
Building architecture, current vacancies, building location, and employee type all impact what a landlord is able to provide. However, it’s important to offer these amenities to remain competitive as well as to give tenants the opportunity to motivate and delight their employees.
This article was written by Jayson Montoya. He is an Executive Vice President with NAI Robert Lynn’s Office Division. He assists office space tenants and users with lease renewal negotiations, relocations, building purchases, and other real estate needs. He can be reached at 214-256-7136.