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Attention building owners:   It's important to make a great first impression with a clean, welcoming entry at your commercial buildings.   It's worth the time and money you'll spend to present the property well to potential buyers, tenants, and customers.  Here's why and how to...

24Roland Foyer

Entryways Influence Visitors

The entryway and common areas of a commercial property are a representation of the entire building.  If the entryway and common areas are clean, with freshly painted woodwork, bright, operational light fixtures, and updated flooring and decor, it sets the tone for the entire property and how it's maintained.

The entryway is like a billboard advertisement for your property.  If the entryway is unkept and outdated, a visitor to the property may assume that the entire building is maintained in a similar fashion or that other, larger maintenance issues may exist.  

A clean, bright entryway enhances the mood when visitors arrive and creates positive energy.  It creates a cheerful, uplifting environment in which people want to visit, work, and do business. 

The  more care you put into the common spaces, the more likely your tenants are to care for their own office spaces in a similar way.  Also, if you're not on-site, the tenants are also more likely to maintain the asthetic to which you've set the standard of the common areas.

Following are a few tips to update your commerical building's entryway and common areas:

How to Update Your Commercial Building Entryway

Paint:  Paint is the easist and least expensive way to update a space.  If the paint color is clearly from another decade or is dusty and dirty, it's time to refesh the entryway and common areas with a fresh coat of  satin latex paint in a modern color.

Coordinated Furniture:   Place a long, thin console table along the wall of a narrow entrance or a round table in the center of a large, open space.  Be sure the furniture is coordinated and of similar style to make the space feel decorated and cared for and does not negatively distract visitor's attention.  If that means refinishing or painting your current furniture, then do that.  THiS article  explains exactly how mismatched or outdated office furniture can be refinished.

Seating.   Set out some seating.   Setting out a few chairs or a bench in the entryway creates a welcoming feel to the building and lets visitors know they should stay a while to do business here.

(Image Source: Universal Finance Corp)

Lighting:  Be sure all light bulbs are in working order and  light covers are clean and not yellowed from age.  Swap out warm yellow bulbs for brighter, whiter flourescents, LEDs, or daylight bulbs.  

Clean Windows:  Let in more light by keeping glass in the entryway clean.  This may require weekly cleaning or, in very busy buildings, daily cleaning.

Greenery:   Live greenery refreshes the air and allows visitors to breathe easier when they enter the building.  If live greenery is not something you can maintain, then display a few, quality imitation planters - but just a few because too much imitation greenery, will begin to feel dusty and dated.

237Lexington
(Image Source: Carbone Commercial Real Estate)
 
 
 
Mirrors & Artwork:  If your artwork hasn't been changed out in a while, it may look dated.  Swap out the current wall-hangings for a coordinated set of framed prints displayed in gallery form. These could even be copies of building blueprints or local maps.  If the entryway is dark, opt to hang a large mirror above a console table.  The mirror will reflect light and brighten the area.
 
Metal Fixtures:  Styles come and go.  The shiny brass fixtures of the 1990's moved to brushed pewters then to oil-rubbed and matte blacks & browns in the 2000's.   Brass fixtures are now returning but as a much more dull brush brass.  The point is, if your metals (light fixtures, window trim, door handles, metal railings) are all the same and scream a particular decade (i.e. shiny brass of the 80's and 90's), then it will look like you haven't updated your building in decades.  As a result, visitors may wonder what else in the building hasn't been updated in decades.  
 
If replacing light fixtures is too costly, take them down and spray paint them for a new brushed brass, pewter, or an matte black or brown finish.  Metal window trim and  railings can also be painted.  Benjamin Moore makes a DTM (direct-to-metal) paint that can be tinted to any color.
 
Flooring:  Flooring is likely the most expensive update recommended here, but well worth the investment. If your floors are outdated (i.e. mauve carpet of the 80's or green carpet of the 90's), or they are just dirty and stained, it's time to replace them. Commercial carpeting is the most cost-effective for an immediate fix, but tile or laminate will wear better over time in high-traffic zones.  Whichever you choose, be sure to place commercial carpet mats with rubber backings at entryway doors which will collect the majority of the dirt, encourage visitors to wipe their feet, and decrease slippery areas if water accumulates.
 
 Finally, remember that the first impression is a lasting impression. Make it a good one.
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