Spec fitouts are a shrewd means for breathing new life into dead properties. While a property manager may be able to see ‘beyond the cobwebs’ to the hidden value of a less than perfect space, potential tenants might sometimes need a little more help. That’s where a spec fitout can be extremely useful.

With a spec fitout, you get to provide a little bit of gloss and functionality without going overboard. Think of it as the first stage in a refit before the individuality and cultural specifics of a tenant company are put into place. Spec fitouts are particularly practical for B-grade properties or older hi-rise buildings. Axiom’s own HQ is a perfect example of what can be achieved in a structure that was considered less than ideal but now serves as a showpiece for state-of-the-art workspace design.

If you’ve got a commercial space you’re having trouble leasing, you may be tempted to quickly commit to a company to complete a spec fitout; after all, time is money, especially when it comes to the rental market. But, there are some very important things you need to consider before taking that leap. By doing so, you ensure your spec fitout doesn’t turn into a ‘spec blowout’.

  1. Can they deliver within an extremely tight timeframe and budget? 

Every moment your property sits on the market without a tenant, you lose money – we don’t need to tell you that. Consequently, you should ask your spec fitout company how quickly they can deliver on fitout promises and whether they can work within the budget you’ve allocated. If you can’t find alignment with costs and turnaround time, then you need to either find another fitout transformation partner or reconsider your budget and timelines, as they may not be achievable.

  1. Do they understand the needs of tenants across various industries?

No company meets a one-size-fits-all template but that’s exactly what you’re trying to do with a spec fitout. At the very least, you’ll want to create an attractive workspace that has the potential for any company to mold into their own vision – and that includes companies across many different industries. By partnering with a fitout company with a broad range of experience across a variety of sectors and industries, you help ensure your spec fitout has across-the-board appeal to catch more potential tenants in your net.

  1. Can they creatively overcome challenges with minimal fuss (and dollars)?

Whatever can go wrong will go wrong – that seems to be Murphy’s Law when it comes to any kind of property renovation. So why should spec fitouts be any different? They’re not. The value you get from a spec fitout company is the know-how they possess to overcome stumbling blocks with creativity and smarts. Do they have the runs on the board of overcoming challenges without spending an arm and a leg?

  1. Do they have the insight to identify and accentuate the positives of a property?

There are a number of desirables when it comes to commercial property – natural light being a high priority. Your spec transformation company should be able to cast an eye over a space and spot the attributes that can be emphasised or introduced. For example, a skylight in a particularly dark corner may be less expensive than you think, or the removal of just one wall could make the space so much more functional. A good fitout company will be able to see all the best moves to make.

  1. Are they up-to-date with workplace trends and desirable design elements?

Property advisers have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to property trends but the nitty-gritty of workspaces – little details such as the space around workstations and the placement of the watercooler – are the domain of workspace design specialists and, consequently, should be entrusted to those in the know. Your spec fitout company should understand the psychology behind workplace design and the direction in which workspaces are heading, so your property will stand out from the rest.

The company you engage to perform your spec fitout may be able to talk the talk – but can they also walk the talk? Don’t be scared to do some digging. Ask the questions we’ve mentioned above, and also request that you see evidence. Any fitout transformation partner worth their salt will fully appreciate the due diligence you undertake in turning your property from a diamond in the rough.

Want to see what Axiom can do with spec fitout? Take a look at our Design File: hipages