As we tick ever closer to 100% occupancy here at BW Offices at Roosevelt Commons, we’ve had to step back and evaluate whether that should be our target. A couple weeks back, we got down to only one office readily available – over 98% occupancy. The result? We couldn’t meet the demand of a tenant who was a perfect match, who loved our building and office suites operation, and was ready to move in. But we didn’t have the office that she needed to close the deal.
I guess there’s nothing wrong with being at or near capacity – but it sure would be nice to be able to say an emphatic YES when a new tenant comes looking. Perhaps we’re just experiencing what so many other small businesses do – there’s a physical limit to the amount of quality product they can deliver without significant additional investment in space, capital and labor. Maybe it’s time for us to explore expansion, and offer even more high quality executive office suites in the Columbia, Maryland market. Should a Perfect Score Be the Target?
When we set out on this course, we made a calculated decision to offer executive office suites that no one else did in the Columbia market. In visiting other Columbia office suites, we felt that the quality of the buildings and finishes were too low, that the vast majority of tenants didn’t really need a permanent receptionist or someone to answer the phones for them (and certainly didn’t want to pay for those services), and that access at these other centers was inconvenient at best. We concluded that what most tenants really wanted was a superior level of interior finishes, multiple outstanding conference rooms, blazing fast internet (at no charge), great common areas, a highly accessible location and price certainty with no nickel-and-dime charges.
As I type today at 98% occupancy, we realize that the market has spoken. We’ve been blessed to go from 0-98 in 2.5 years. Not only that, but with a renewal rate of some 75%, our current tenants continue to validate the product we are providing.
To all of our tenants – THANK YOU. And to our future tenants – we look forward to welcoming you. Don’t give up – we usually have a couple offices open up each month, and one of them has your name on it.