Solving the age old mystery: what tenants really want

The Savills Blog

Solving the age old mystery: what tenants really want

10 years ago, the most important information on your business card was your building address, but times have changed. 

Now, tenants want more - building amenities and a destination experience as opposed to a simple address. These ingredients assist in retaining and attracting staff for the long run.

These days, we are finding that when tenants look for a new location, it’s more than the cost of real estate, they want a home away from home, and generally have a list of needs, including flexibility, growth & contraction rights, ease/cost, community, wellbeing, third space, cutting edge technology and being close to transport. 


Flexibility is a key need, with tenants desiring:

  • The ability for short term leases (2-3 years is ideal)
  • Adaptability catering to work place growth, changes to business modelling and the ability to shrink square metres in the future by outsourcing staff 
  • Flexible make good options 

Growth & Contraction

Whether it is growth or contraction within the asset, or changes within the lessors’ portfolio, this topic is top of mind for tenants:

  • Tenants desire flexible coworking solutions for part-time projects, or increased staff the tenant may take on during lease term
  • Tenants are concerned with rapid growth in the business and want the comfort to know there is an opportunity to grow within the building or portfolio 


No matter the tenant or client, these two topics are some of the most important areas to consider. Tenants desire:

  • A quick solution for office space 
  • The space to be fitted out with cabling - either existing or new 
  • Plug and play options
  • A reason to move out of their current space to one that already has everything
  • Something really easy – nobody wants hassle


A topic that has become more popular recently is community – tenants want to feel a part of a community and engage with other tenants in the building, specifically looking for:

  • Concierge services to provide the staff within the business
  • Building portals (for example Dexus Place)
  • Community information/education seminars 
  • Using technology to engage with other tenants within the asset
  • Leverage: the ability to take ideas and bounce them off others within the building 


Increasingly, tenants are becoming more health and fitness conscious. As a result:

  • Tenants push for health and fitness classes - this is part of a sell to new colleagues within businesses, bringing it all back to community engagement. 
  • Building owners now offer discounted memberships to neighbouring health clubs
  • Building owners offer free “takes away’s” on special occasions, for example hot cross buns at Easter
  • Tenants want to sell these benefits when seeking new staff members 

Third Space

Additional third space works as flexible options for staff to break away and re-energise their mind to come back in the office fresh and ready to work. Tenants want space they feel like they are not paying for that they can use additionally to their existing office. Some great examples include:

  • Having eateries in close proximity or within the lobby 
  • Ability to book formal and informal meeting spaces
  • Repurposing “dead space” within the building like phone booths or bar tables with powerpoints
  • Flexi spaces in lobbies, stretch stations located on each floor in the common area and wellness rooms


Tying in with the idea of connection, the way of the future will be to have everything at a touch of a button. Tenants like having apps or online portals to engage with others within the building and be updated on what events are happening within the building. 


Whilst you can’t pick up and move a physical building or asset, tenants do want to be sold the vison for future transport options and knowledge on what the next modes of transport will be.

Tenants are spending longer hours in the office now, and understand staff are willing to stay longer if they have the ability to use the building amenities, especially the younger generation wanting to climb up within their business, so management need to make savvy business decisions in order to retain their staff. 

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