By Jon Alexander 12 Dec, 2017

As any marketing guru will tell you, selling is about knowing your audience. What do they want from your product – and how can you give it to them? For commercial property owners, that means knowing what tenants find attractive.

If you’re not appealing to tenants, you could face long periods with an empty property generating no income at all. You may even be forced to reduce your prices just to get someone in. That’s not the only option, however. Read on as we explore what attracts tenants to commercial properties.

 

Location, location, location

It’s no secret that location plays a key role for any property. An apartment in central London will set you back far more than the same apartment in a commuter town like Slough, for instance. The same goes for commercial property. If it’s for retail, tenants will want and need a property in a busy location.

However, for offices or industrial use, it’s more about transport links. Is there a nearby motorway, train or tram stop, or bus route? If a company is going to rent your commercial property, they need to know current or future employees will be able to get there. As with residential property, local amenities will also play a role. Being in an area with nearby shops and food outlets, for instance, will boost the appeal of any commercial property.

 

Think about facilities

What facilities does your property boast? You might be able to compensate for its location with things like an on-site café, gym or even a car park. Tenants will be less concerned about poor transport links if there is adequate car parking space for themselves and their employees .

Accessibility is similarly important. Whether your property is for industrial, office or retail use, tenants will want it to be fully accessible for everyone. Why would they sign up for a property that instantly narrows down the employees they can appeal to? Things like ramps, hand rails and lifts are an essential for many tenants.

 

Keep things modern

People spend most of their waking hours at work. It’s understandable, then, that they want a pleasant and modern working environment. If you’re trying to market your commercial property as office space, tenants will be looking for somewhere that’s modern in both appearance and function.

With most companies digital by default nowadays, free Wi-Fi is big draw. Employers also want to offer a better work-life balance to their staff, with communal ‘break out areas’ an attractive feature.

Tenants look for similar qualities on the outside of commercial properties too. Street furniture like benches, tables and shelters allows businesses to give their employees or visitors a place to relax, while improving the appearance of the building (and impression of the business) to the outside world.

 

Give your property a boost

Looking to make your commercial property more attractive to prospective tenants?

At Valley Landscape Management , we specialise in landscape construction and maintenance. With our help, you can attract tenants with superb features like car parks, outdoor break out areas and impressive surroundings. Get in touch today to talk about improving the appeal of your commercial property.

By Jon Alexander 29 Nov, 2017

Acquiring property isn’t something that should be rushed. That’s the case for homebuying, but even more so for commercial property, which is typically much more of an investment. There are a number of potential issues with commercial buildings, some of which can lead to serious long-term problems and big financial hurdles further down the line.

So, what should you look out for when searching for commercial property?

 

1.   Fit for purpose

Starting on the outside of the property, any building should be prepared for its essential purpose – shelter. The roof, walls, doors and windows – collectively known as a building’s envelope – should be completely weatherproof. They need to provide an insulative shell that keeps out any rain, wind or other weather.

Some buildings may have problems in this area because of deterioration and inadequate maintenance, or simply poor design. This can lead to water and dirt ingress, corrosion and decay over time, so it’s essential to check the property is well sealed, or identify any problems and understand the maintenance you’re taking on.

 

2.   The right foundations

Another fundamental area for any property is its foundations. Has the building been constructed with strong foundations on suitable ground conditions?

Some older buildings have questionable foundations, with modern builds often being constructed on problematic conditions such as shrinkable clay soils or on flood plains. Down the line, these failings will impact on the building and could affect it's future sale value. Look out for cracks and structural distortion as signs of poor foundations.

 

3.   Design and services

Is the property accessible to everyone? If not, you could find yourself forking out for modifications like ramps and elevators in the future. Failure to meet any regulations and the costs to rectify them should be considered when buying or making an offer on the property.

But it’s not just about structure. A building’s services should also be assessed. Power supply, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and security features are all essential to making a building fully functional and efficient. A decent internet coverage is also a must. In terms of security, look for everything from fire and smoke alarms to camera systems and security gates. Ask for the latest safety reports and tests.

 

Problems around the property

A commercial property’s surroundings should also be considered. Have the grounds been well maintained? Are there any significant changes that you will need to make? Will you need to install a car park?

If any of these are an issue, Valley Landscape Management can help. We provide a comprehensive range of landscaping services for commercial properties, from landscape construction to tree management and grounds maintenance. Contact us today to see how we can take the stress out of managing your commercial property.

By Jon Alexander 15 Nov, 2017

Does your commercial property have adequate car parking? It should. While car parking might seem like a minor feature, it can make a huge difference for employees and tenants – as well as impacting the value of your property. Read on to see why car parking is so important, and how you can solve car parking issues for your commercial facility.

 

The importance of car parking

Trying to find a parking space can be one of the most frustrating things for employees. The dreaded daily search routine - driving around endlessly, trying to squeeze into awkward spaces, and eventually parking away from work and getting wet and windswept as a result. Hardly the ideal start to the day, is it?

People in a rush can also block others in when they don’t have time or the option to park properly. After doing so, they spend the day unfocused and unproductive as they worry about who might be blocked in by their car or whether they will find a parking ticket on their return. It’s even worse for disabled drivers, who need disabled bays with easy access to the building. Quite simply, inadequate parking annoys people and causes unnecessary conflict.

 

Time to act

This huge inconvenience causes employee morale to become low, and puts off potential tenants if you’re looking to let your building out. The solution? Extend your car park. While some see car park extension as a complex and lengthy process, it’s relatively simple with professional assistance.

With extra car parking space, employees waste less time looking for somewhere to park and any frustration and conflict is eliminated. If you’re looking to let your commercial property, the car park extension will make it far more attractive to tenants – as well as significantly increasing its sale value.

 

What if I can’t extend the car park?

However, we understand that car park extensions aren’t possible for everyone. Some properties simply don’t have the space to convert into a car park. You can still improve the situation though….

Installing bike shelters and cycle hoops makes it more practical and convenient for employees (or tenants) to cycle to work. This will either free up any car parking space you do have, or act as an alternative if you have no car park at all.

 

Where to start?

Making adjustments to your property can seem overwhelming. Don’t worry, Valley Landscape Management is here to help. Whether you want to add a car park, extend an existing parking area or install cycling facilities – our team can guide you through the process and find the solution that best fits your needs.  Get in touch today to see how we can eliminate your parking problems.

By Jon Alexander 09 Oct, 2017

Commercial property owners understand the importance of value, and the possibilities of making a small fortune as property values increase. However, whatever the market is doing, there are ways to enhance your property's value and it's attractiveness to tenants. So, what are these secrets to giving your property a value boost? It’s not as difficult as you might think, and you can even push up the rental value in the process too. Read on for 5 simple value-boosting tips for your commercial property owners.

 

1.   Expand

Much like a conservatory adds value to a house, extending your commercial property can have a serious positive impact on its value. Either you have more space to rent out to businesses, or space for new features and amenities such as meeting rooms, a café or a gym. The choice is yours, but whichever way it’s an investment that will pay off.

 

2.   Parking

As well as expanding, consider repurposing land around the property. Adding or extending car parking facilities to your commercial property is a recommended and very popular improvement. We’ve all, at times, known the stressful necessity of having to leave the car parked somewhere it shouldn’t be, or blocking someone in. This is especially important for inner city commercial promises, where parking can be tricky and expensive. It’s a serious benefit which can hugely increase the desirability of the premises. That desirability can be reflected in rental prices, as well as the building’s sale value.

 

3.   Modernise

Heating, lighting, super-fast internet access and Wi-Fi – these are all areas which can be improved in commercial properties. They require some investment, but will stop your property from falling behind others in its appearance and its function. Prospective tenant's will appreciate this too - free Wi-Fi is always a popular perk to staff, whilst rapid and stable internet access is, of course, important for a business to operate efficiently. Some features, such as energy efficient heating and lights, can also save you money in the long run.

 

4.   Don’t forget the exterior

As much as you improve the inside of the building, there’s no getting away from shabby surroundings. Overgrown hedges, patchy grass and litter make even the best facilities look second rate. To avoid this, and maximise your property’s value, consider improvements to the building’s exterior and ensure it’s well maintained.

These improvements will also benefit the impression of your business – or those using your building. With well-maintained grounds, your property will boost business’ reputation, increasing the chance of relationships with more established clients. That’s not to mention the benefit to local wildlife and enrichment for the local environment.

 

5.   Safe and secure

Security is paramount with all properties, but it’s often overlooked by owners. A good alarm system, CCTV cameras and security staff are three good options, which have the added benefit of lower insurance premiums. You could also consider security fencing. This increases the security of the property, as well as giving it a more exclusive appearance.

 

Commercial property management

If you’re looking to improve the value of your commercial property, Valley Landscape Management can help. We are landscaping specialists, offering a range of improvement and maintenance services for commercial properties.

Whether it’s waste and pest management grounds maintenance, pest control, tree management, or soft landscaping to enrich your surroundings – we provide an expert service that covers all bases. We even offer a comprehensive fence installation service, giving your property that extra level of security. Get in touch today for more information on our services and how we can help you.

By Jon Alexander 28 Sep, 2017

Invasive weeds are an eyesore, an inconvenience and, in some cases, a danger. Some plants can cause serious irritation to skin upon contact and even anaphylaxis. But what happens if they’re left, and allowed to grow untreated? The truth is – they will cause even more issues. Read on to see how invasive weeds – if ignored - can become progressively worse for your property.


Introducing invasive weeds

So, what are invasive weeds? Quite simply, they’re weeds with a tendency to spread. But not just standard growth though. They spread very quickly and very thoroughly to an extent which can damage their surroundings, and cause substantial damage to grounds and property.

Japanese Knotweed, for instance, has a strong, rapidly-growing network of roots – known as ‘rhizomes’ - which can stretch up to three metres below the ground and seven metres around the plant. It is described by the Environment Agency as ‘indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant’, and can grow at the astonishing rate of up to 10cm a day (20cm at its most prolific). This stretching growth can penetrate cracks in walls, drainage and even house foundations. Needless to say, when it’s left untreated it simply gets worse.

With a reputation as the most aggressive and destructive plant in the UK, the presence of Japanese Knotweed – along with other invasive weed species – can have a serious impact on the value of a property, making it very difficult to sell or mortgage.

 

A developing problem

This is the case with other invasive weeds, such as Giant Hogweed. Growing up to 4 metres 20 feet in height, the weed has phototoxic sap. If it gets onto the skin, it removes any UV protection and can cause serious inflammation and burning in the sun. The risk of this becomes far greater as it spreads.

Giant Hogweed seeds are dispersed easily by the wind, animals, water or even by humans incorrectly attempting to remove the plant. When spread, the seeds establish quickly and soon lead to more Giant Hogweed plants with a greater risk of skin irritation. That’s why one of the first steps in controlling it is stopping the spread of seeds.

 

Harder to remove

Understandably, as these weeds spread through gardens or public spaces, they become much harder to remove. Removing weeds is quite literally a case of ‘nipping it in the bud’. Identify the problem early and it could be a relatively simple job. Let it spread, however, and you could have a big problem on your hands. Another reason why regular maintenance is so important for commercial properties.


Last call for 2017 – the season for treating Japanese Knotweed is almost over, but a correctly applied herbicide treatment before the first frost can be very effective.

 

Planning for 2018 – dealing with invasive weeds such as Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam should commence in early summer. We are able to offer comprehensive treatment plans to control and eradicate these weeds, with cost spread over the full period of the treatment plan, avoiding large capital outlay.

Our experienced team can assist with urgent herbicide treatments to start getting control of Japanese Knotweed growth, or discuss available options for ongoing treatment of a wide range of invasive plants.


Don’t wait – act today

Having problems with invasive weeds on your commercial property? Valley Landscape Management can provide a swift and effective solution. We offer a wide range of landscaping and maintenance services for commercial sites that can make your life a whole lot easier – as well as protecting the value and safety of your property. Contact us today to discuss your needs and how we can provide a solution – before it gets even worse.

By Jon Alexander 03 Oct, 2016
In the busy town centres of modern Britain, especially around London, it doesn't seem there's a square inch to be had without a tower block there already, being built, or due to start soon. With more and more open space disappearing, we may well be forgiven for wondering if there's anywhere we can go at lunchtime for a breath of fresh air, short of catching a bus tour to the coast.

The answer could be that we look upwards. For every tower footprint there is, that footprint is still there, only that its a few stories higher (please notice, this is not applicable to The Shard). Therefore central cities are awash with flat, open spaces on the top of their buildings. So why not turn them into communal seating areas?

Valley Landscape Management are able to offer a full design, installation and ongoing maintenance package for Roof Gardens and Communal Areas, working with our sister brand, Provincial Planters. Contact the team now on 01322 279799.
By Jon Alexander 30 Sep, 2016
Managing the extensive range of maintenance tasks on your commercial property is like running an operation that’s unrelated to your core business. If you’re a manufacturing plant, your focus is on producing goods—not tending to landscaping. If you’re a healthcare institution, you’re delivering patient care—not rushing to the car park to clear snow, or repair that fence that came down in last night's storm.

We’re guessing your company mission is not to create and maintain an attractive show-garden. Still, who can afford to cut corners on grounds management? Your property says a lot about who you are as an organisation and how any tenants may feel. (Unkept, Messy grounds send a negative message.)

So, how should you handle grounds maintenance?

We know there are pros and cons to outsourcing facilities ground management. When you hire a contractor to do anything on your property, you’re entrusting in an outside partner to appreciate your grounds like you do. You might be worried about quality—and of course, there’s cost. Perhaps keeping maintenance duties in-house is an effort to control expenses? 

On the other hand, what are you  really  saving by choosing to do your own facilities grounds management? And, how much time are you spending on maintenance that could be redirected toward core revenue-generating activities? 

In business, the savvy owners and managers recognize their strengths and focus on performing what they do best. They surround themselves with talented teams of people who complement their skills— professionals who are strong where they lack expertise.

We know you’ve got decisions to make concerning who and whether you hire out services like grounds maintenance. So, let’s discuss the pros and cons here.

Delivering Quality

No matter your business, customer experience matters. First, there’s the appearance or “feel good” aspect of your commercial property. Is it welcoming? Do tenants, customers and employees have pride in their decision to do business with you or work for your organization?

Is the property safe—free of debris, clear of snow and ice. Taking that a step further, does the grounds meet environmental services expectations? Cutting corners on landscape maintenance will compromise all of these factors that play into the customer experience.

When any business tries to do it all, details get overlooked. The benefit of hiring a professional facilities grounds management firm is that the company specialises in assuring your property looks and performs in the first-class way you want to present your business.

Cost: Will You Really Save Money?

Every business has a budget, and has to draw a line somewhere with spending. The question is, when determining whether to carry out grounds maintenance in-house or hire a professional, are you considering  all  of the costs associated with expertly caring for your commercial property? Believe us, they add up.

We have experience working with corporate campuses, manufacturing facilities and other institutions in healthcare and academia. Many of them who tried to manage their own grounds management at one time stopped because they weren’t saving money like they expected. In fact, some of them found they were spending more.

Of course, managing landscape maintenance in house (and don’t forget about snow and ice removal!) could cost less than a professional. But often that is only with cutting corners, and then you’re risking quality and safety. Cost, quality—it all goes together.

Keep in mind these expenses associated with in-house facilities grounds management:

  • Employee wages. This includes benefits, health insurance and disability. Estimate the total cost of keeping grounds maintenance employees on payroll. Remember, you’re paying them 52 weeks out of the year and potentially adding in overtime expenses during the busy landscaping or winter seasons.
  • Additional employee costs. What about training? And liability insurance? Also, the manager of your grounds team will need to earn more, so figure in those supervision costs.
  • Equipment expenses. You must also purchase the equipment required for your maintenance teams, and suitable vehicles to transport material or cuttings. Often the industrial sized equipment required costs thousands of pounds apiece. 
  • Personal safety. You’re insurance provider will need to know that you are operating a grounds maintenance program. Also, there are regulations concerning personal safety, such as requirements for equipment like safety glasses, earplugs, boots, gloves and other PPE.
  • Operating costs. Most equipment requires fuel. All landscape tools require maintenance and eventual replacement. Also, operatives will require training and licenses to use certain equipment. 
  • Supplies. Adding to your expense list are supplies such as mulch, fertiliser and irrigation parts. (And where will you store all of these necessities?)

Timing Is Everything: Scheduling Grounds Maintenance

having considered the costs, you may be prepared to work those expenses into your budget. Beyond what you’ll spend in terms of pound notes, an equally important factor is  time and scheduling.  Plus, someone needs to take responsibility for doing that (more money...). Scheduling is often a difficult aspect, especially when responding to emergency situations such as a fallen tree or fence blocking a road. These occurrences are regular on business parks, and when protecting client and employee safety is critical, they cannot be left unattended too. Will your maintenance team have the diverse skill set required to undertake these emergency tasks, when they are often very varied in nature? And have they got the equipment required to complete these varied tasks? You could be in a position where you have your in-house team employed, but still find yourself calling on professional companies to undertake more complex tasks.

Also, some property owners assign maintenance tasks to their grounds management crews that are completely unrelated to the outdoors. If in-house maintenance is tied up handling an electrical or plumbing problem, what happens to the exterior of the property in the meantime?.

The benefit of hiring a professional facilities grounds management company is that the firm is dedicated to enhancing your property’s appearance, safety and environmental services.

Conserve Resources By Partnering With A Pro

There are commercial properties that manage their own grounds maintenance and they are willing to dedicate the time, people and financial resources to get it right. But what’s your primary focus as an organisation? Consider the pros and cons of dedicating yourself to what’s most important and generates revenue vs. “doing it all yourself.”

Let’s talk about how partnering with a professional grounds management firm can help conserve your resources. Call us on 01322 279799 to learn more.

More Posts

Outsourcing grounds management - Is it really worth the money?

  • By Jon Alexander
  • 30 Sep, 2016

"Oh, we look after all that ourselves" we often here when offering our Grounds Management services. But how much money does that save, if any? It just may be worth considering getting the pro's in.

Managing the extensive range of maintenance tasks on your commercial property is like running an operation that’s unrelated to your core business. If you’re a manufacturing plant, your focus is on producing goods—not tending to landscaping. If you’re a healthcare institution, you’re delivering patient care—not rushing to the car park to clear snow, or repair that fence that came down in last night's storm.

We’re guessing your company mission is not to create and maintain an attractive show-garden. Still, who can afford to cut corners on grounds management? Your property says a lot about who you are as an organisation and how any tenants may feel. (Unkept, Messy grounds send a negative message.)

So, how should you handle grounds maintenance?

We know there are pros and cons to outsourcing facilities ground management. When you hire a contractor to do anything on your property, you’re entrusting in an outside partner to appreciate your grounds like you do. You might be worried about quality—and of course, there’s cost. Perhaps keeping maintenance duties in-house is an effort to control expenses? 

On the other hand, what are you  really  saving by choosing to do your own facilities grounds management? And, how much time are you spending on maintenance that could be redirected toward core revenue-generating activities? 

In business, the savvy owners and managers recognize their strengths and focus on performing what they do best. They surround themselves with talented teams of people who complement their skills— professionals who are strong where they lack expertise.

We know you’ve got decisions to make concerning who and whether you hire out services like grounds maintenance. So, let’s discuss the pros and cons here.

Delivering Quality

No matter your business, customer experience matters. First, there’s the appearance or “feel good” aspect of your commercial property. Is it welcoming? Do tenants, customers and employees have pride in their decision to do business with you or work for your organization?

Is the property safe—free of debris, clear of snow and ice. Taking that a step further, does the grounds meet environmental services expectations? Cutting corners on landscape maintenance will compromise all of these factors that play into the customer experience.

When any business tries to do it all, details get overlooked. The benefit of hiring a professional facilities grounds management firm is that the company specialises in assuring your property looks and performs in the first-class way you want to present your business.

Cost: Will You Really Save Money?

Every business has a budget, and has to draw a line somewhere with spending. The question is, when determining whether to carry out grounds maintenance in-house or hire a professional, are you considering  all  of the costs associated with expertly caring for your commercial property? Believe us, they add up.

We have experience working with corporate campuses, manufacturing facilities and other institutions in healthcare and academia. Many of them who tried to manage their own grounds management at one time stopped because they weren’t saving money like they expected. In fact, some of them found they were spending more.

Of course, managing landscape maintenance in house (and don’t forget about snow and ice removal!) could cost less than a professional. But often that is only with cutting corners, and then you’re risking quality and safety. Cost, quality—it all goes together.

Keep in mind these expenses associated with in-house facilities grounds management:

  • Employee wages. This includes benefits, health insurance and disability. Estimate the total cost of keeping grounds maintenance employees on payroll. Remember, you’re paying them 52 weeks out of the year and potentially adding in overtime expenses during the busy landscaping or winter seasons.
  • Additional employee costs. What about training? And liability insurance? Also, the manager of your grounds team will need to earn more, so figure in those supervision costs.
  • Equipment expenses. You must also purchase the equipment required for your maintenance teams, and suitable vehicles to transport material or cuttings. Often the industrial sized equipment required costs thousands of pounds apiece. 
  • Personal safety. You’re insurance provider will need to know that you are operating a grounds maintenance program. Also, there are regulations concerning personal safety, such as requirements for equipment like safety glasses, earplugs, boots, gloves and other PPE.
  • Operating costs. Most equipment requires fuel. All landscape tools require maintenance and eventual replacement. Also, operatives will require training and licenses to use certain equipment. 
  • Supplies. Adding to your expense list are supplies such as mulch, fertiliser and irrigation parts. (And where will you store all of these necessities?)

Timing Is Everything: Scheduling Grounds Maintenance

having considered the costs, you may be prepared to work those expenses into your budget. Beyond what you’ll spend in terms of pound notes, an equally important factor is  time and scheduling.  Plus, someone needs to take responsibility for doing that (more money...). Scheduling is often a difficult aspect, especially when responding to emergency situations such as a fallen tree or fence blocking a road. These occurrences are regular on business parks, and when protecting client and employee safety is critical, they cannot be left unattended too. Will your maintenance team have the diverse skill set required to undertake these emergency tasks, when they are often very varied in nature? And have they got the equipment required to complete these varied tasks? You could be in a position where you have your in-house team employed, but still find yourself calling on professional companies to undertake more complex tasks.

Also, some property owners assign maintenance tasks to their grounds management crews that are completely unrelated to the outdoors. If in-house maintenance is tied up handling an electrical or plumbing problem, what happens to the exterior of the property in the meantime?.

The benefit of hiring a professional facilities grounds management company is that the firm is dedicated to enhancing your property’s appearance, safety and environmental services.

Conserve Resources By Partnering With A Pro

There are commercial properties that manage their own grounds maintenance and they are willing to dedicate the time, people and financial resources to get it right. But what’s your primary focus as an organisation? Consider the pros and cons of dedicating yourself to what’s most important and generates revenue vs. “doing it all yourself.”

Let’s talk about how partnering with a professional grounds management firm can help conserve your resources. Call us on 01322 279799 to learn more.


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