We have owned this small office building in Tempe for years but lost our tenant. It was a terrible time with a sea of commercial real estate standing vacant. Our first thought was to get help finding new tenants from a real estate agent. But I had no clue how much they would charge, and more importantly, I was skeptical whether they could do anything anyway. I asked Maurice and Pilar (my wife) to give me a chance to find a tenant and it worked.
The first thing I did was to work on curb appeal (which turned out to be pivotal) and make a “For Lease” sign.
We re-stuccoed all the walls (hypocritical as it is given my condescending remarks about stuccosville) with an old fashioned sand, lime and cement mix, no paint, no integral color. It looked chalky, irregular and unfinished as Pilar was quick to point out.
We replaced the old lights with new ones mounted on steel plates and slid liquid tight flexible conduit inside armored metal conduit (making it weatherproof for exterior exposures) and ended up with a nicely vandal resistant lighting system.
We fabricated (i.e. Doug at Metal Works fabricated) and installed new steel scuppers and sprayed them and all the other newly exposed steel components with a ferric nitrate solution which left rust stains drooling down the walls. Sounds bad but it turned out great and most importantly it attracted, along with renovated landscaping, a terrific tenant who signed a lease before we had finished. We saved the real estate commission and put that money into fix up.