According to a CNN report, the commercial real estate (CRE) industry has finally hit a wall. Since the pandemic, some CRE properties are only 50% occupied, with office vacancies are at a record 13.1% high according to the National Association of Realtors.
At a time when the future of CRE seems uncertain, providing value by adapting to new consumer behaviors is integral for surviving the currently high interest rates in this credit-dependent industry.
A possible value proposition is offering a comprehensive list of services within the space. The appeal of convenience, the added foot traffic, and the sense of community can all go hand in hand in unlocking an environment profitable for business. David Shulick reviews how services like vended laundry can make a commercial property more successful.
Boosting Property Appeal Through Convenience
A way to set property apart from others is providing a diverse array of services at a single location. Although e-commerce now accounts for 15% of all retail and is slowly becoming the default way consumers shop, not everything is possible online.
When running errands, the convenience of letting a consumer do their laundry, stock up on groceries, and get a haircut all at the same location can be the deciding factor for a thriving commercial space.
Generating Multiple Streams of Revenue
Services that require minimal supervision, such as vended laundry, allow spaces to generate income almost passively. And by leveraging technology, the management of these facilities become even easier.
Remote monitoring and cashless payment systems can allow the owner or building manager to oversee the operation of the laundry facility without being physically present. The ease of use can also be appealing to consumers, particularly the younger, tech-savvy demographic.
While vended laundry is unlikely to cover the operational costs of an entire commercial space, it’s still a reliable source of cash flow that contributes to the bottom line.
Attracting Foot Traffic to Different Areas
For unused areas of the property, turning them into services that fulfill a basic need, like vended laundry, can generate income and increase foot traffic to the surrounding areas as well.
The foot traffic can range from students to travelers, to the occasional professional with a stained suit. This diverse mix of people are then exposed to the other businesses available within the space, allowing businesses to cross-pollinate each other, ultimately increasing overall profitability.
Creating a Shared Space for Community Interaction
Humans are creatures of habit, and this shared space can become an area for people to interact, connect, and build relationships while engaging in a routine task.
Aside from amenities and accessibility, the feeling of community and belongingness can also be a factor for happy tenants and a profitable commercial space.
Adding low-maintenance, self-sustaining services like vended laundry can be a financially rewarding investment for CRE. By anticipating the needs of the property’s tenants and the surrounding market, this addition can unlock success, profitability, and a thriving community by providing value that other spaces have overlooked.