Staging your office
One of the most important tasks of putting your office on the market is staging it. In fact, most real estate agents are going to suggest staging your office.Just like with trying to appeal to homebuyers, you want to make it easier for your potential buyers to picture their business in your office space. In addition, staging an office also makes it easier to showcase the features and amenities of the space.
If you're unsure of where to start in staging your office, here are 10 staging office tips to help it lease faster.
1. Declutter Your Office
The first step of staging an office is to clear the clutter. It's easy for paperwork, supplies and even personal items to start accumulating when you spend many hours at the office. However, it's going to be unsightly to your potential buyers, plus it'll make it harder for you to stage your office if it's in the way. Start by discarding or recycling the items you're not planning to keep in your office. You can also donate office supplies you don't need to a startup business that could use the extra supplies as they move from their co-shared or home office. As for the items you're planning to use in your new office, start packing up anything you don't need right now, and keep the items you need for daily operations accessible but out of sight, unless you're using basic office equipment or supplies that can work for stagings, such as a notebook or fax machine.
2. Remove Brand-Specific Decor
Similar to depersonalizing your home when selling it, you need to remove the brand-specific decor from your office. Remember, your buyers are going to be picturing their own business in this office space. You need to remove everything from decals and wall art to brand-colored decor and accessories, as well as family photos, awards and certificates. Stick to basic pieces such as a clock, mirror and neutral-colored rug. When it comes to staging office tips, removing the brand-specific decor is one of the most important tips on the list. If your logo or company name is painted on a wall or door, don't worry about this brand-specific decor just yet. You're going to take care of that later after removing other pieces.
3. Remove Excess Furniture
The extra sofa for a quick meeting, accent chairs for alternative seating and an office pod for phone calls, these pieces should be removed and placed into storage. In fact, you should only keep the basics in your office, such as a desk, office chair, file cabinet and shelves in your workspace. If you're selling an office that relied on co-working, keep it down to one table and just a few chairs, or consider renting a desk and chair to create an office that appeals to all buyers. If you're keeping any office equipment, keep basic equipment such as a printer or fax machine. By only including the necessary pieces, you're providing extra room to showcase the open areas, built-in features and natural elements of your office space.
4. Revert To A Neutral Palette
Once you've removed most of your decor, accessories and furniture, you can revert to a neutral color scheme. You may love your white office with pink, red or orange accents, but it may turn some of your potential buyers away, therefore cutting the chances of a sale. The key is to find a color scheme that appeals to most, if not all your buyers, which is why you can never go wrong with a neutral palette. A few examples of a neutral palette for office space include white, beige, ivory, gray and black, but of course, you're only picking two or three of those shades. If you want to add a pop of color, consider a calming accent of soft blue or green, but be sure you don't go overboard.
5. Create A Functional Workspace
Now, it's time to arrange your basic furniture, which should be done in a way that boasts a comfortable but functional workspace. One idea is to place the desk and office chair near the window, with a chair and a small end table on the other side of the desk. This way, your buyers can picture themselves with clients in this office. You can place the file cabinet on one side of the desk and shelves up against the wall. If you're working with a long desk and several chairs, space the chairs out equally and create a work area fitting of co-working and meetings. Also, the desk and tables should be clear except for a few basic pieces, such as a table lamp, small houseplant, fax machine and paperwork.
6. Create Proper Lighting
Any stager can tell you proper lighting is essential in just about any space, and this includes staging an office. The last thing you want is for your office to feel dull, dark and small to your buyers. Overhead lighting is a must in a work area, and it most likely already exists in your office. If your office doesn't include overhead lighting, consider basic hanging pendants throughout the area.You can also arrange your task lighting, such as your table lamps or floor lamps, to create a functional space. Another good idea is to hang a mirror to bounce light around the office. Finally, you want to open the curtains for any staged photographs or walk-through events. There's nothing like the natural light to make an office feel brighter and bigger.
7. Add Some Greenery
While you may be removing a lot of the decor and accessories, you don't have to remove the greenery. If your office doesn't have any plant life, now is a great time to add a little greenery to your space. There are many benefits of house plants in the office, from cleaning the air and reducing noise to adding a pop of color and texture, as well as creating a calming work environment. For more color and a fresh scent, consider one or two flower arrangements in basic colors. It also makes your potential buyers feel warm and welcome in your office. You don't want to overdo the greenery because it may distract your buyers, but it never hurts to spread a few houseplants or flowers through out the office space. If you're worried about allergies, use fake plants to show how the space would look with greenery.
8. Stage The Other Areas
There's more to staging an office than just focusing on the workspace. You want to stage the rest of your square footage as well. If your office includes a lobby, break room and meeting areas, you need to stage those spaces as well.The lobby should include a secretary desk, sofa or comfortable seating and a coffee table with a few magazines or newspapers, as well as floor lamp and clock in the area. Your break room may include a table with chairs, refrigerator and sofa, while the meeting spaces may include a table with three to four chairs and a table lamp to promote conversation, as well as an area rug for extra comfort. The above tips also apply for these spaces, as you want to clear the clutter, remove the brand-specific decor and revert to a neutral color scheme. You can also add a little plant life or fake plants to these spaces, especially the lobby because that's the first place people visit when entering the building.
9. Remember The Exterior
When it comes to staging office tips, you don't want to forget the exterior of your building. After all, it's the first aspect of your office building that buyers are going to see when they arrive for a walk-through. The garden or lawn should be well-kept and healthy, and you can add a few large plants to the exterior if it doesn't have a garden. The entrance and outdoor lounges should be clean and tidy, and this includes washing the exterior windows and power washing the siding and ground. Finally, upgrade the hardware, mailbox and address numbers as needed. Just as curb appeal can go a long way for homes, an unsightly appearance of an office exterior may turn your potential buyers away.
10. Deep Clean Your Office
It's important to deep clean your office before showing it to your buyers for several reasons. The first reason is to ensure the office is presentable for your buyers, and the second reason is to create a healthy environment. After all, you may be leasing your office in the midst of a pandemic, plus it shows you're considerate of everyone who visits your office. You want to ensure the entire office is clean from top to bottom, from your main workspace to an extra room, including the nooks and corners you may skip at times. Another good idea is to hire a professional cleaning company to deep clean your office as the final step of the staging process. Of course, you should go through and wipe down the office between all walk-through events to ensure it's always clean.The key is to show your buyers that they can take you seriously when leasing your office space.
As you can see, many office staging tips are similar to home staging tips, but you want to ensure the office looks professional and organized, and less like a home office for the walk-through event.
You can hire a professional stager to help you stage your office for photographs and walk-through events, or you can use the above guide to act as your own office stager. All you need to do is keep the above staging office tips in mind and ask your team to help with the process, as staging an office may require all hands on deck.
When you stage an office in a professional, functional manner, you are increasing your chances of your real estate agent leasing it faster.