Learning Centre

Tips to help you fill your commercial property vacancy

In a competitive commercial leasing market, a few proactive practices can help you gain an edge.


Real estate goes in cycles as do most things in life. When vacancy rates are low, landlords do not have to give as much attention to filling up space – other than placing a sign on the property.

But when vacancy rates are high, what can a landlord do in order to compete with the other vacancies that are out there?

I should say that the comments I’m about to make are targeted at Commercial Space but some apply to Residential as well.

First off – Ensure the property has curbside appeal. You don’t want to put off prospects before they even look inside. What is the condition of your property? Does it need painting or landscaping cleanup?

Secondly – Ensure that the inside space is clean. For example are all lights working; no old mail lying around; windows are clean both inside and out. Make sure there are no leak stains in the ceiling tiles. Ask yourself if there are any demising walls that need to be removed. Some landlords tell me that they will wait until a prospect comes along and then perform the work as part of the tenant improvements. There is too much competition nowadays. In order to have the best chance of leasing the premises, ensure your space shows well.

Rent and Operating costs in line with the market
You should ask your property manager if the asking rent and the operating costs are within the market. If not – consider adjusting.

Hire a decent leasing agent
If you don’t have a leasing agent, your property manager should be able to help you find one. If you have an office space, ensure you hire a leasing agent that specialises in office. The same goes for industrial space.

Many rely only on their own websites. Ask your broker to ensure the vacancy is posted on CLS or Loopnet – and on social media, Craigslist, LinkedIn, and Facebook can generate responses.

Agent’s Sign
Is the agent’s sign in a location that is easily seen by both walk by and drive by traffic?

Does your leasing agent give you regular updates as to who has toured the space and what is the response?

This audio recording was created in September 2013; the transcript has been updated to reflect practices in 2017.

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