The Spec Suite Spot

WRITTEN BY rightsize

How Spec Suites can help improve leasing

Spec Suites are an easy way for Landlords to stay on the fast track and meet a tenant’s needs in a hurry. These pre-built spaces are ideal for tenants ranging in size from 2,000sf - 5,000sf - and in almost all cases they are completely furnished and wired, ready for a new tenant to literally plug-in and get right to work.

The goal of a spec suite is to give tenant’s what they are looking for, with a reasonable price tag, right when they need it. Landlords build out the office space "on spec," and then market it as ready for immediate occupancy.

As vacancy rates drop around the country and the real estate market improves, building out ready-made office spaces can be a worthwhile investment for a property owner. And landlords are paying attention, oftentimes dedicating entire floors of office buildings to these pre-built office spaces. They have become a staple in the commercial real estate market.

Spec suites are appealing because they eliminate the need for negotiating a tenant improvement allowance and space design. Rather than spending months designing and constructing the space, these tenants have the opportunity to move into spaces that can be customized to meet their needs.

Landlords have learned that tenants within a given size-range and budget are looking for roughly the same layout. According to an article in the Illinois Real Estate Journal, Southfield, Mich. based Farbman Group, a large property management company, finds that most small businesses today want their office space to have a kitchen, collaborative areas and fewer enclosed office spaces.

Because of the general appeal to a variety of users, spec suites can be a great investment for landlords - and something they can potentially re-lease in the future. So, what are some of the best practices to implement into a spec-suite program?

Moveable walls

To accommodate the swiftly moving transactions that add so much appeal to spec suite programs, flexibility is key - and gives the spec suite more longevity. That’s why moveable walls are a worthwhile investment, allowing tenants to have some control over the space layout. Moveable walls can be reconfigured in a variety of ways, without the hassle and time commitment of a drywall project.


Since most spec suites are fully furnished, extend the life of the materials by having them refurbished to look just like new, at half the cost. Just getting started? Purchase pre-owned furniture to keep costs at a minimum - it will be hard to tell that they aren’t brand new.

Neutral color palette

Keep elements of custom design to a minimum. Allow new tenants to paint an accent wall and install signage, but avoid painting the entire suite a color that isn’t neutral. This will save landlords the time of repainting the whole suite more than once per lease term.

Thinking about furnishing a spec suite? Rightsize can help. Feel free to contact us for additional information.

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