Vancouver Commercial Real Estate: What Tech Tenants Really Want

With the recent announcement that Amazon will be taking over WeWork’s new office space, it’s clear that Vancouver is attracting major names in the industry. From start-ups to industry giants, brands that were once synonymous with Silicon Valley are moving up north, with sights set on our west coast city.

Many of those in the commercial real estate industry can attest that tech companies are not your typical tenant. With a shortage of professionals to hire from, offering state-of-the-art offices with modern amenities are vital to compete for top talent.

We talked to Gavin Reynolds, Executive Vice President at JLL, to weigh in on what tech tenants really want.

Flexibility is King

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“The biggest differentiator between a tech client and say a law or accounting firm comes down to flexibility. It’s a very different mindset.”

Reynolds explained that smaller tenants are now demanding short two year leases with flexible terms. They also have more demands, and need the option of being able to expand.

In this industry, entrepreneurs can raise major capital in a relatively short time frame. Within a few months, they may need to hire 50 people. Therefore, tenants don’t want to be locked into contracts, otherwise they’ll keep looking.

More Amenities

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“There’s been a massive shift from four or five years ago,” said Reynolds. “There’s a trend away from the flexible work schedule. People are no longer spending two to three days working from home anymore. Instead, they’re spending more time at the office.”

From fitness centres to state-of-art-kitchens, in order to offer work perks like meditation rooms and an in-house chef, tenants need to space to build their amenities, or at the very least, take advantage of already-existing ones.

Corporate Culture

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“Tech companies place a much bigger emphasis on worker experience. They attract talent through their company culture, and office space lays the foundation for this.”

In other words, desks and lounge chairs aren’t going to cut it. From nap pods to volleyball courts, there’s pressure to create an environment that fosters innovation and community.

What does this mean for the design of your projects? What recent trends have you noticed in the marketplace which will impact the design of tech space? Tweet @naiopvancouver and let us know!

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