The increase in the stock of offices, both the case of office buildings and villas and the declining demand in both the SME and corporate segments, have led to much greater competition than in the past between properties. A few months ago, it was enough to have a salable offer to rent in 1-2 months.
Since the beginning of 2009, it is no longer enough to have a salable offer. It matters how it is promoted by real estate consulting companies and especially by what distinguishes it from the competition.
“The salability of an office offer usually means an excellent quality/price ratio: the quality of the construction and finishes, the division and functionality of the space, specific endowments for the office activity and last but not least the location and accessibility of the area, all correlated with an adapted rental price.”, says Irina Petrescu, ESOP partner. Currently, several offers in the market meet these conditions and still have difficulties in finding tenants. In the conditions of a shortage of clients, the owners, together with the real estate consulting companies, try to expand and refine the classic notion of salability.
It becomes essential how to present an offer from the first contact that a customer has with the proposal through a systematization of essential information to how an offer is presented to the customer at the viewing and how the transaction takes place and is completed.
Objective and professional data are needed. Customers want to know as much detail as possible about an offer, both technical (exact usable areas, updated plans, what type of facilities and finishes the building has) and commercial information (maintenance costs, parking regime), before even reaching viewing. An element that few owners consider, but that customers appreciate is how an offer has competitive advantages over a competing offer.
“If until now many owners set an example to their competitors to justify a market practice regarding the price or commercial conditions, now the owners should understand with the help of real estate consulting companies the competing offers and find or create competitive advantages so that the clients to be able to answer the question “why to rent this property,” says Irina Petrescu from ESOP.
The competitive advantages can be related to the quality of the construction and the endowments of the space, which must be valued, to the flexibility of the owner regarding the financial conditions. Another element is the landlord’s involvement in the personalization of the space, i.e., bringing the space to a level of endowments and functionalities necessary for the tenant’s activity, which the clients appreciate.
The competitive advantages of the commercial side depend heavily on the decision made by the customers. We refer here not only to the value of the rent and the maintenance expenses that must be correlated as well as possible with the new realities of the market but also to the rest of the contractual clauses. Unfortunately, there are still many situations in which transactions are not completed due to the owners’ inflexibility to the legal part of the contract and often for minor legal points. It is natural that, in conditions of a less predictable economic context than in previous years, customers need more flexibility.
Finally, another element that can influence the client’s decision is the most professional and realistic attitude of the owners.
“I think we need to move beyond the Balkan style of doing business. In the conditions of increasingly fierce competition, the owners must be as organized, informed, prompt as possible in order not to risk losing customers in the last hundred meters when the legal negotiation of the lease has already been reached. Although the intention to conclude the transaction is firm and the bona fide owners are open to suggestions from real estate consultants and clients, due to a poor approach style, we witnessed some deals that were not completed, for this reason, clients motivating the choice other properties because they do not want to risk going on the road with an owner who uses his time inefficiently and implicitly that of the tenants “, says Irina Petrescu from ESOP.
In conclusion, the most competitive offers must meet elements such as offer marketability, competitive advantages made by competing offers, a way of presenting the proposal as adapted to the market, professional and efficient means of communication in completing the transaction. These are the main parameters that lead to renting a property in a longer or shorter term during the crisis.