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9 Tips: How To Plan For A Successful Tenant Improvement Project

9 Tips How To Plan For A Successful Tenant Improvement Project

Tenant improvements can greatly influence a tenant’s success in renting and operating a commercial space. As a result, many businesses take the time to look for commercial property that can become suitable for their business.

Tenant improvements can be quite overwhelming and frustrating without the proper planning preparing, and execution on what you are trying to achieve. As a result, we have created 9 tips to help guide you to a successful tenant improvement project:

  • Set A Budget
  • Plan Before Leasing
  • Hire The Right Contractor
  • Consult With A Commercial Contractor
  • Use Your Property To Your Advantage
  • Target Building Requirements
  • Brand Your Property
  • Envision Your Property From Outside Perspectives
  • Know What You Want

Set A Budget

Construction tenant improvements can be expensive. Therefore, it is important for you to allocate a set budget for your tenant improvement project can help you be financially disciplined and limit your risk of financial hardships.

Budgets can help you set and measure your results on your project. They can help you create accountability and discipline for the job. Ultimately, a budget is key to helping you establish a successful tenant improvement project.

Why The Cost Of Commercial Construction Has Increased In 2021

Plan Before Leasing

Before leasing your commercial property, you want to have somewhat of an idea on what you are trying to accomplish or what you will want for tenant improvements. As a result, you need to ensure that the property management company you will be leasing from will be flexible in working with you. For example, some landlords may have restrictions to change the structural layout of the building or landscape.

Additionally, you want to ensure that the property is designed for your type of business. Its not practical for you to have a retail business renting out a former dental office property. The cost of tailoring that property to your business would be far more expensive and longer than finding a pre-existing property that used to hold a similar business.

Furthermore, you must consider the rental agreement cost on top of all the construction expenses of altering the property to fit your business.

Ultimately, you want to consider all variables that will influence your tenant improvement project such as the rent, flexibility of the property management, tenant improvements costs, and the timeline. Always make the best decision for your business that will work best for you and use your best judgement.

tenant agreement

Hire The Right Contractor

One of the biggest factors of influencing the success of your tenant improvement project is hiring the right contractor. Hiring the right contractor can help you build your project on time, on budget, and with desired quality and experience. Partner with a licensed commercial contractor, who is insured and bonded.

If you are unsure on how to hire the right contractor, then you will have to do some research. Request at least bids from several contractors and meet with them regarding your project. Answer questions and speak with the contractors to get a good feel from that company. For example, you should ask about their past experiences, the project deadline, and concerns. Evaluate and compare the bids and select the right contractor for the job.

commercial contractors

Consult With A Commercial Contractor

Once you hire a commercial contractor you want to work with them, not against them. Establish good communication on the planning, preparing, progress, and execution of the tenant improvement project.

The better you are at expressing your needs, wants, and concerns to your contractor the smoother your project will turn. However, you do not want to harass or impeded on the construction project, as you can disrupt the work being done.

Ultimately, you want to discuss your options and determine the best possible route you and the contractor can make in executing your tenant improvements.

Business partnership

Use Your Property To Your Advantage

Not every commercial space is the space. Each is unique with their own setup, floor plan, and existing design. Therefore, you should do what you can to work with your property than against it. Unless you plan on spending a fortune on remodeling the space.

By partnering with an experienced commercial contractor, you can actually come up with a great design and setup for your business that works for you.

Target Building Requirements

Tenant improvements need to be approved by the city you are operating within. Furthermore, depending on your project make require the inspection and permits of specific modifications or changes made to your property. Other requirements you should consider when improving your property are ADA compliant upgrades and seismic retrofitting.

ADA compliance requires all commercial establishments to retrofitted to accommodate all individuals regardless of limitations. While seismic retrofitting requires all commercial buildings to be earthquake resilient.

To learn more, partner with a licensed commercial contractor, or read more of our blog content.

Building Permit

Brand Your Property

Take advantage of your tenant improvements to maximize your brand’s marketability. For example, you can change the exterior and interior color of the building to your brand colors. Change the façade of your building to help promote your business to prospective customers and vendors.

Ultimately, you want to create a unique and desirable environment for both your employees and customers. Which will result in better employee morale and productivity, and customer retention and sales.

paint colors

Envision Your Property From Outside Perspectives

One of the biggest mistakes made in tenant improvements is by making improvements made off your bias judgement rather than your consumer or employee perspectives. When you create a property, you need to consider all parties.

Ideally, you want to create a work environment for your employees that they are excited and appreciate working in. You also want to optimize the layout to maximize their productivity and collaboration. For example, create a break room for your team or add enough restroom stalls.

Customers will want a great experience, so depending on your type of business may require specific features and accommodations. For example, if you are a restaurant, then you may want to include booths and a reasonable sized waiting room.

Ultimately, by appealing to both customers and employees’ perspectives on how your tenant improvements should be made can greatly impact your return on investment and results.

construction walk meeting

Know What You Want

By knowing what you want you can limit the delays in construction and can limit the amount of expensive change orders. Ultimately, you want to stick to your plans, or you can expect to spend more money and remain under construction. A successful tenant improvement project requires discipline and proper planning.

construction blueprint plans

Summary: How To Have A Successful Tenant Improvement Project

Taking the right steps towards your tenant improvement project can definitely put you in the right place for success. Tenant improvements can be complex and quite overwhelming, however, by following our 9 tips you can eliminate your concerns:

  • Set A Budget
  • Plan Before Leasing
  • Hire The Right Contractor
  • Consult With A Commercial Contractor
  • Use Your Property To Your Advantage
  • Target Building Requirements
  • Brand Your Property
  • Envision Your Property From Outside Perspectives
  • Know What You Want

If you are interested in tenant improvements for your commercial business, then partner with JMF Commercial Construction today to get started.

Partner With JMF Commercial Construction

JMF Commercial Construction is an experienced licensed contractor serving commercial and light industrial businesses, and HOA Property Management. We provide convenient and quality services to the Los Angeles & Orange County businesses.

To start your next commercial construction project today! Contact JMF Commercial Construction for an Estimate.

Email us at or call us at (562)572-8354.

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