Tips for Attracting Commercial Tenants

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From shop floors to office spaces, making a commercial property or space stand out in order to attract the right tenants can be difficult. That’s why we’ve pulled together this guide to attracting commercial tenants – sharing some of the top tips from inside the industry.

But first, for a few buzzword busting definitions.


As a commercial landlord, you will have heard the terms CAT A and CAT B banded around in the past – but what are they? In essence, these refer to the two main types of fit out and layout that a commercial tenant will require, especially in relation to office space.

A CAT A fit out provides basic electrical and mechanical features, with a blank canvas in terms of design and décor. This allows tenants to do what they want in terms of built in features within the area they are leasing – presenting them with what is essentially a blank canvas tenancy.

A CAT B fit out is one which includes more detailed electrical and mechanical installations and features to support daily office use. It involves the tenant prior to their move in date and enables them to outline additional features and design details that they need for productive working, which they then cover in terms of the cost (though all designs will go through you as the landlord for final approval). This gives tenants a ready to go space when they move in, in terms of all the built in features they might need – from ventilation to heating, sound-proof ceilings and more.

This differentiation leads nicely into one of our top tips for landlords looking to attract commercial tenants.

Our tips for attracting commercial tenants

Most tenants want quality CAT A spaces

A high quality CAT A fit out presents tenants with a low-input and low-cost solution to their need for office space. When you invest in high quality CAT A fittings throughout your commercial space, you immediately tick some of the main boxes that a tenant will be looking for – and make it super easy for them to move in and get to work straight away while adding their own branding in the finer details and furnishings of the space.

Consider a CAT A+ upgrade

Following on from the last point, upgrading your commercial tenancy package to a CAT A+ fit out gives tenants more for their money but without moving them into a CAT B bracket. This solution is more design-led than the simplistic basics of a CAT A fit but doesn’t go so far as to commit the tenant to the cost of a CAT B fit.

Create and offer communal spaces

Communal work space

As part of a commercial tenancy package, branching out and including communal and break out spaces is a great way to help businesses give their employees a greater benefits package in terms of their work environment.

As well as allowing collaborative working, communal spaces make ideal break out spaces for employees who need some time away from their desks, with more businesses than ever seeking offices which enable and encourage this type of working structure.

Consider the use of floor space

While big businesses might want a very large and open plan layout, by only offering expansive commercial tenancy spaces you are quickly isolating those smaller businesses who require less space – as well as businesses who have changed their working style since the pandemic and now operate on a more flexible working basis, with less employees in the office at any one time.

By working with a flexible floor plan, you leave your commercial packages open to more businesses and retain a flexible arrangement for any businesses who might wish to lease your space.

Offer flexible agreements

If you are used to offering long lease terms but find demand for your commercial space stalling, you might want to consider offering more flexibility with your lease agreements. Some businesses would rather commit to an agreement which offers a lease break should something happen – like the pandemic – which cuts their need to lease the space for the full term.

Anything you can do to support the growth of both small and big businesses will open your commercial space up to a broader pool of potential tenants – and will help you to attract the best tenants for each area more quickly.

For more advice on how to create a productive and attractive CAT A or CAT B commercial space, get in touch with our team.