Staging your commercial property

When preparing your commercial property for sale, it's important to get the details right

Property staging is the act of preparing a residential or commercial property for sale. The main goal behind it is to make the space appealing to potential buyers, sell the property at a faster rate and achieve a higher price. 

However, selling commercial space is a little different to selling a residential home. When you stage a home, you normally want to fill it in with beautiful furniture to accent the space and to give prospective buyers a sense of how it will look with their own belongings in it.

When you’re staging commercial property, though, this can do more to derail potential buyers than attract them. 

So how do you dress it up just enough to show buyers the potential while not inhibiting their imaginations?

Less is more 

Traditionally, commercial property is shown with the bare minimum to emphasise the space and show the flexability of the layout.

And staging techniques can go a long way towards creating a better impression pf a property than simply viewing an empty building.

You don’t want to leave an empty shell - opening the doors to an empty and open floor plan can lead propsective buyers or renters to focus on the negatives and potentially miss some of the most appealing aspects of the property. 

Staging the property to look like a fully functioning business with desks, bookshelves etc can help potential buyers see themselves and their business in the property and give you the competiative edge over other similar properties on the market.

Some of the easiest commercial properties to stage are offices, restaurants and retail businesses. Offices can be easily staged with fixtures such as desks, computers and even a couple of sofas. It goes without saying restaurants benefit from having tables, chairs and some decorative features and retail establishments look better with shelves, clothing fixtures and mannequins etc. 

Clean it up & de-clutter

Don't let your property give off a bad impression. Clean it up and de-clutter. Make sure your electrics are contained, that the space is free of any unnecessary items. You may be accustomed to them but they could distract they buyer from seeing the potential.

Address your windows

When you drive around and see commercial space for lease or sale, what do you see? Papered up windows with large real estate agency signs pasted to them. Set yourself apart. Forgo the paper and install some blinds instead.

For a commercial space, vertical blinds are better—the wide slats look better in big windows. It’s also easy to get into and around them without worrying about them getting bent (handy for changing out signs).

Do not simply paste or glue up a real estate a TO LET or FOR SALE sign in your windows. Instead, get the best sign possible from your agent that is free standing and place it in your window. 

Make sure your windows are clean. Depending on the size of your property, go in at least a couple of times a week and wash your windows on the inside and on the outside.

Your Kerb appeal

Keep the front of your building clean and well kept. Power wash it and the pavement to get rid of any gum. Attend to any grassy areas, flower beds, overgrown shrubbery or planters sitting out front. Sweep away any rubbish and other debris. You want the building to look the way it would if there were a thriving business inside of it. 

Your interiors

Spruce up your interior, a lick of paint goes a long way to freshen up a space and it's not very expensive. Replace any overgrown or dead indoor plants or just get rid of them! 

Make sure any furniture you have is clean and undamaged and replace any blown out lightbulbs especially if there is a lack of natural light. You want your space to appear light, airy and fresh - a dark dingy space will likely give off the wrong impresion. 

Have the carpet professionally cleaned (or even install new carpet). If your business has tile, wood or linoleufloors make sure they are polished and sparkling clean. 

Get the photos right 

There's always a temptation with commercial properties to skimp on the photos and think 'what's interesting about an empty building?'. But, if you've put in the effort to make your property look appealing and that it is capable of housing the buyers business - then flaunt it! If buyers can see their business operating from your property then they are much more likely to view it, fall in love with it and buy it.

Don't fancy doing it yourself? Then hire a professional  

There are plenty of companies out there who specialise in staging. These professionals know what they are doing and are similar to interior designers. With expertise in picking the best furniture and arranging it to make the most of the space, they will ensure buyers fall in love with your property. 

A well staged commerical property gives potential buyers a positive impession they minute they walk in. It's just as important as staging a residential space and will go a long way toward helping you sell it quickly at the price you want. 

Melanie Luff

About the author

Melanie Luff is our in-house editor. She also writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other global industry publications.


Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

* required