Now is the time to secure your next office space before vacancy rates get even lower and spaces become harder to find. We also got the message that Melbourne businesses are taking the millennial and Gen Y workforce seriously when they are securing their next office lease. Taking into account the fact that this younger workforce are expecting more from their employers than older generations.
Gordon Wyllie, Director of Occupier Solutions Knight Frank, said that the Melbourne market sweet spot is at 1000sqm – this is where most of the supply is, spaces either side are harder to find. Gordon also said that given enough time, you can find the perfect space. The absolute minimum you should leave yourself is 9 months, and ideally up to 2 years out from your office lease expiry. Gordon recommended that getting the right advice is always a good idea. Gordon said that stats for companies engaging a tenant advisor in Europe for businesses are approx. 90% and in Australia only 36%.
The Melbourne market has started to transition to being in favour of landlords and won’t change until more space becomes available around 2019. Dave Chalmers, Corporate Real Estate & Tenant Advocacy Specialist at PD Corp RE Pty Ltd said that it can always be a Tenant’s market if tenant advisors are engaged.
Tim Morden, Managing Director from SHK Asia Pacific, an executive search firm, shared that the two main takeaways he has had from their recent lease agreement and office fitout was that a good office raises morale and shows talent that a business is doing well and is worth working for. He also found that working with a tenant representative was one of the smartest decisions they could have made. Tim pointed out, his business is in executive search, not property search and lease negotiations, for this important investment he recommends getting professional help, especially when it comes to the old chestnut of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’.
A tenant advisor will know what the rental prices, incentives and perks are across the board. Tim also said that their experience was able to be as smooth as it was because they allowed at minimum 12 months to find a new space and complete their fitout and move.
An excellent question from the audience was “what are the features of an office fitout that staff love the most?” Tim from SHK said his staff were most excited about their new break out areas and he was most excited about the new front of house.
Chris Maguigan, from Amicus, said that wellbeing features in offices are now also very popular with employees, extra greenery brings a sense of calm and shows employees that employers care about their talent.
What we heard for the first time in this round of events were the “end of trip” perks that landlords are now providing to have a competitive edge. These perks include cyclist repair businesses, concierge services and coffee delivery to employees’ desks. That’s definitely something to get excited about.