Sunday is the first day of spring, and I’m ready. Spring offers a chance to look at our surroundings with a fresh eye. I know we probably haven’t seen our last snow – we live in Minnesota after all. But it’s the time to look at your property with a critical eye.
Does it make a good first impression? Properties that look attractive from the street can greatly increase their value, both the market price and how people perceive the businesses and property management.
To make the most out of your investment, here are my five suggestions to not only up the curb appeal, but use your property’s operating dollars wisely:
1. Sweep, fill cracks, and restripe parking lots. Do this right away in the spring and restripe with white paint, if possible. A parking lot is often the first thing a customer, potential tenant, or client will see up close. If not regularly maintained, you increase ongoing damage, cause early lot replacement, and decrease the perceived value of your property.
2. Clean, refresh, and rethink the exterior of the building. Environmental conditions wreak havoc on building exteriors. Pressure wash to remove grime and touch up damaged paint areas. Repaint if the colors are faded or negatively date the building.
3. Add, update, or reconsider signage and lighting, both critical to the property. Once you spring clean your signs, you might find they need repair or replacement. Consider the impact of the sign in the area. Does it still have strong visibility? Does it look outdated? Good lighting adds visibility to your business and impacts the building’s appeal, safety of the grounds, and your liability. Updated signage and lighting increases curb appeal.
4. Plant, trim, prune, and remove where needed. Landscaping can create a welcoming entry, inviting grounds, and a frame for the architecture. On the other hand, dead, dying, neglected, or overgrown landscaping – especially those in the front – can make the property forgettable and a nuisance. Work with a landscaper or someone knowledgeable to pick the right plants that are aesthetically pleasing and low maintenance. Be sure to maintain a tree pruning and trimming schedule.
5. Reimagine, add, and improve overall grounds. Look at the grounds and think of what amenities could be added to better suit today’s commercial interests and needs. Outdoor seating, bike racks, pathways, and landscaping lighting are some ways to improve the appeal of the overall property. They may be the difference between your property and another option.
One of my clients recently improved the curb appeal of his urban building. He chose an exterior paint color that was different than anything else on the block. The uniqueness paid off, and his business sales increased by 30%. Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. Properties that “look good” are easier to sell, lease, and draw customers. I’m here to help if you have any questions (612-788-1552 or jeff@CEGspaces.com).
Jeff Salzbrun is the owner and broker of Commercial Equities Group (CEG). As a veteran-owned real estate brokerage, CEG has been involved in thousands of sale and lease transactions, ranging from single offices to 250,000+ square foot buildings. At CEG, we get your deal done. We know space, and we know the CRE business.
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