Things to Consider When Converting a Property for Commercial Use
Commercialisation of a piece of property is a beguilingly viable way of increasing your ROI on a project you have built or invested in. There is no arguing that there is a saturation of commercial spaces right now and penetrating the market might take some work. But the longevity of these properties, especially if well positioned, cannot be argued either. If the conversion of your property to commercial use appeals to you and the journey to a much greater profit is all but written, here are some considerations that you should ruminate on.
Town and city centers are very attractive for conversions of residential to commercial properties because of the sheer traffic flow that they experience. They satisfy the first rule of real estate that is to get the location right. Getting the locality of the project takes precedence, as it ticks out such important variables as the right penetration of amenities, good transport linkages, security and access. It is important that parking is in abundance, as are the traffic routes that feed into and out of the development, in appropriate scale. The change of use has to be heralded by a study of some sort to show what kind of commercial property- restaurant, shops, businesses or hotel- might be most profitable.
If all these check out, it is essential that you get community approval. Ensuring that there is minimal disruption to normal life and that provisions of the local amenities will not be affected. Also, not adding to the noise pollution will set you on the right path to winning over your neighbours.
Your entire vision will be lost if the government is not going to back you up. You need to present a detailed application to the Local Planning Authority. Depending on the size or class of your property, you may or may not need planning permission, but it does not hurt to check. If a lot of reconstruction work is involved, you definitely need planning permission and the application fees for this depend on the scale of the project. Familiarise yourself with the building regulations for the kind of conversion that you are envisioning, and the need for any licenses.
The costs of repurposing your property are not always in black and white. In addition to any façade and branding changes that you may make, you have to consider partitions, increments or decrements to the amenities, fire safety improvements, extensions and security enhancements. Add labor to the equation and the cost of the project can escalate from manageable to needing financing. This underscores the need for consulting services. Between planning submissions and policies to designing and planning for the new property, experienced help goes a long way, and not just in preventing avoidable losses in branding, material and labor costs.
While it has been mentioned before, it is important to underscore the importance of a security upgrade. Unlike residential properties, commercials ones are more often than not unoccupied in the night. An upgrade in security, either through a security company offering guards, remote surveillance or both, will be needed, more so if there is valuable stock that is stored within the premises. An insurance policy might also be worth considering for covering for such eventualities, as theft or damage.
Converting a property for commercial use does not give instant gratification, but it does pay off in the long term. There are many hurdles to jump, more so than when the conversion is from commercial to residential, but when done right, the profits are worth the trouble. Given the scale of such an undertaking, it is wise to seek that extra counsel in the form of an architectural company with a proven track record of conversions to commercial properties.