Office remodeling is a necessary expense for commercial landlords looking to attract or retain tenants. However, far too often, these renovations aren’t handled correctly. Costly missteps are made with many office remodels that are completely avoidable with proper strategy and planning. Here are five tips to successful office remodeling in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties.

What’s Your Bottom Line?

Before any renovations begin, some hard bottom-line questions must be asked. First, you must establish your objective for renovating the office space right now at this particular moment in time.

If you’re doing it to accommodate the needs of an existing tenant upon lease renewal, what’s the win for them? Are the renovations being done to address specific pain points they’ve brought up? Are there aspects of the existing space they love that must be retained?

If the space is unoccupied, what type of tenants are you looking to attract? How will this office remodel impact the space’s value moving forward?

Finances are another factor. How can you get the most bang for your dollar while maximizing property value and addressing the needs of current or prospective tenants? What kind of economical barriers are there? Are any requested or desired upgrades to the space impractical or cost prohibitive?

What’s the Status of the Surrounding Neighborhood?

It’s not uncommon for a neighborhood’s dynamics to improve or decline from the time a property was built or a space was last rented/leased out. Are the buildings surrounding your space occupied or vacant? Are trendy restaurants or retail shops opening nearby? Is there a new bus line bringing more people to the neighborhood?

On the flip side, are tenants in nearby spaces fleeing? Are property values or rental/lease amounts decreasing? These are all factors that must be considered when planning office tenant improvements.

Capitalize the Building’s Strengths or Unique Features

Adaptive reuse is big today. People like preserving parts of a historic building’s features even when renovating for a completely different use. If a building has good bones or character, figure out how to enhance or modernize the space without completely stripping it of its history. Rather than totally gutting the interior, perhaps a wall can be taken down to let in more natural light?

Don’t Neglect Interior Finishes or Outside Curb Appeal

Don’t neglect outside features like landscaping that add curb appeal and can also boost employee morale. Planting seasonal flowers, mowing the grass, and setting up communal benches will appeal to prospective tenants, their employees and guests, and even prospective buyers.

Obviously, freshening up the interior with fresh paint colors and new carpeting or flooring is a win for tenants and their employees. Core spaces like lobbies, restrooms, or lunch/break areas must also get attention.

Have an Idea of Who Potential Tenants Are & Current Trends

If you’re renovating an unoccupied space, it’s important to have a clear picture of who your tenants might be. For example, if you’re targeting attorneys, they still very much need private closed-door offices. Meanwhile, if you’re targeting a tech company with a lot of Millennial or Gen Xers, open office spaces and plenty of natural light are what’s in. Staying atop of current office design trends is very important.