5 Common Leasehold Improvements

Typically, the next step after signing a commercial lease is starting work on leasehold improvements, also known as tenant improvements or tenant buildouts. These changes help tenants customize their new space to their particular business needs.

Any structural or cosmetic changes to the interior of a space are considered leasehold improvements. Exterior changes, additions, or changes to a building’s HVAC, fire protection, or security systems are usually not considered leasehold improvements. Landlords or tenants can pay for leasehold improvements.

Here is a general overview of common leasehold improvements for commercial properties.

1. Interior Structural Changes

It is common for new tenants to make structural changes within the footprint of the space they lease. Call centers may require cubicles, a law office may need to create a lobby, and a veterinary clinic may need to create exam rooms and lab space.

2. Addition of IT, Electrical, or Lighting Systems

Adding phone lines, internet and ethernet ports, and new lighting are considered leasehold improvements, too. Transforming a retail space into an office space or a medical clinic into a retail store will require significant changes to how a space is powered and lit.

3. Updated Wall Surfaces and Flooring

Updates to wall surfaces and flooring are also considered leasehold improvements. Adding drywall, painting, wallpaper, and other wall treatments are often necessary in reinventing a leased space for new use. So are changes to flooring. Carpeting may not be the best choice for a spa, and tile may not be appropriate for an office.

4. New Shelving and Countertops

Along the same lines, tenants may require new countertops and shelving systems to update their space. Adding shelving for a retail store may be a major investment, while countertop updates can make a huge difference in the look of a store, clinic, or office.

5. Installed Equipment

Permanently installed equipment, such as shampoo chairs at a salon or wash tubs at a pet grooming shop, also count as leasehold improvements. These type of tenant improvements cannot be easily removed at the end of the lease but are essential to the operation of the tenant’s business.

Leasehold improvements are part of the commercial lease process. Clarity Commercial can help landlords negotiate tenant buildouts with prospective applicants, including how the improvements will be paid for and by whom.

For professional guidance through the tenant improvement process, get in touch with the Clarity Commercial team today.

Building Your Real Estate Portfolio Budget

Any successful commercial real estate owner will tell you a real estate portfolio budget is absolutely essential for scaling your investments. Not only does a budget help you understand how much you make and spend each month, it can help you plan improvements to your properties to increase revenue in the future. It can also reveal when you are ready to make your next property investment.

If you’re just starting to build your real estate portfolio budget or your current budget needs an update, here are a few tips from the commercial real estate professionals at Clarity Commercial.

Establish Your Portfolio’s Goals

Your budget is about more than numbers. It’s a vehicle to help you achieve your goals. Before you create your portfolio budget, consider what your 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year goals are. Do you want to increase revenue by 15 percent? Complete a major renovation? Purchase a new property? Whatever your goals are, you want to build your budget to meet them.

Start with Your Expenses

Take some time to gather and list all of the expenses associated with your properties, then include them in your real estate portfolio budget. Include maintenance, repairs, management, legal, staff, utilities, mortgages, and insurance costs. Don’t forget to calculate your vacancy costs as expenses, either. Vacant spaces cost you money each month and filling them should be your top priority.

Then Establish Your Revenue Targets

Once you have a grasp on your monthly expenses, you will have an idea of the amount of revenue you must bring in each month to break even or make a profit. If your current portfolio is covering your expenses, great! What else could you do to maximize revenue? If your current portfolio does not cover your expenses, work with a property management company to work out a plan for getting back into the black.

Put Your Profit to Work

If your portfolio is making a profit each month, think about how you want to reinvest that profit back into your portfolio. Are there capital improvements you need to make to your existing properties to attract future tenants? Perhaps there is a property you’d like to add to your portfolio. Your budget can help you forecast these future expenses and manage your profit so you’ll have the funds to achieve your goals.

If creating a budget for your real estate portfolio sounds intimidating, get in touch with Clarity Commercial. We’re experts in commercial real estate budgeting and forecasting. We can help you get a grasp on your expenses and revenue and plan for future investments. Contact us to learn how we can help you.