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The Biggest Mistake Made By Tenants

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The biggest mistake made by tenants looking for commercial office space is not engaging the services of a tenant representative; thinking it will cost them money. It doesn’t.  A good tenant representative, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder, is invaluable in making sure you find the right alternative, negotiate the best possible deal and avoid costly mistakes. They do this every day and only get paid when you get what you want. And you don’t even have to pay them. It costs you nothing. Most Landlords hire listing agents and the tenant rep will share in that fee.  If there is no tenant rep, the listing agent keeps the entire fee and you are on your own. Tenant rep services will save you money by making sure you do it right with solid information and advice.

Many tenants don't understand what a good office tenant representative does. A tenant rep does more than just find office space. A good tenant rep will coordinate the entire office leasing process from helping you define your needs all the way to ensuring your space plan works for you. In between, an office tenant rep will not only find suitable alternatives, help you negotiate the deal, but also help with information, advice, space planning and lease review.

Here are just a few of the many comments from businesses who have taken advantage of using an OfficeFinder tenant rep:

Our OfficeFinder rep did more than I ever thought that this free service would. I hope that this man gets a Raise. He really went above and beyond the call of duty. I thank him very much.
Elizabeth M. Palmisano - Phoenix, Az

The amount of information I received and the professionalism of our OfficeFinder rep was astounding.  His knowledge and understanding of what I needed was overwhelming. He will always have my business, and I have no need to recommend anyone else.
Chris Van - Level 7 Productions - Los Angeles, Ca

I have never rated anyone at this high of a level but Jeff, our OfficeFinder Rep is exceptional.  I don't know how he could exceed the level of service he has provided for us.  I will not only recommend him to others, I will look for opportunities to recommend him.
Michael Shovlain - New Life Outpatient Center - Davenport, Ia

Thanks for your follow up.  Our OfficeFinder rep has been extremely helpful in assisting us to find the proper offices over the last several months.  We are now in our new location and I frankly don't know how we would have done it without him.
Jenny Makakoa - Xinify Technologies, Inc - San Ramon, Ca

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Lease Negotiations , Office Leasing Tips , Office Relocation , Office Rental , Office Space , Tenant Representation

Ready to Quit Your Job? You Are Not Alone!

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According to the article below from the OC Register, 20% of professional employees are considering quitting their jobs. Undoubtably most won't considering the economic climate and the difficulty in finding jobs. But, if you are one of the ones who act on it, there are many options available to lease office space to start your own business. The options range from a home office, to virtual office space or executive suite office and of course conventional office depending on your needs, budget and image requirements.

"Two out of five professionals think about quitting their jobs after taking their summer vacations, according to Regus, a provider of flexible workplace ideas. Can you relate?

Of course millions of workers heard about JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater's spectacular "I quit" recently, grabbing a beer and sliding down the plane's emergency chute. But he hadn't been on vacation. In fact, he probably needed one.

But apparently a vacation doesn't help for many workers."As workers pack up their swimsuits this summer, they are more likely to dwell on the pros and  cons of the job that is waiting for them at home," said Regus Regional Vice President Sande Golgart.The top reasons survey respondents gave for wanting to quit:   
* Lack of communication with management 40%   
* Lack of career advancement 37%   
* Feeling overworked 34%   
* Company lacks vision 31%   
* Colleagues are incompetent 28%   
* Lack of administrative support 26%   
* Rude colleagues 21%   
* Boss takes credit for respondent's work 20%"

Stress caused by overwork has escalated during the past recession with people working harder and longer to make sure they can pay their bills," Golgart said"

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Executive Suites , Home Office , Office Rental , Office Space , Virtual Office Space

Find Office Space Quickly

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You’re an entrepreneur who’s excited to start up or grow your business. However, although it’s tempting to work from home, you realize you want a corporate location that doesn’t include kids’ toys and a laundry room. But where can you find office space for lease quickly and easily?

Ironically, finding office space is as easy as heading to your computer! In the age of the Internet, small business people like you can locate office space all over the world with just a few strokes of the keyboard. Of course, you first have to make a few decisions in order to expedite your office space finding experience:

1. Determine where you want to work.

Are you going to look for office space in your hometown or are you willing to commute to a neighboring city? It’s important to think about what type of work you do when considering this. For instance, if you’re going to host many clients at your office space locale, you’ll want to pick a place that’s convenient for them (rather than convenient for you.) If you’re not planning on having many on-site client meetings, a more out-of-the-way office space may be acceptable.

2. Figure out how much office space you need.

Will 200 square feet be enough for you? How about 500 square feet? Or do you need much more? If you’re not certain what such a space looks like, it’s easy to map it out at home. Just pick a rectangular-sized room and measure the walls in feet. Then, multiple the long side by shorter side. Thus, a 12 foot by 10 foot living room would be 120 square feet. A rule of thumb for conventional office space is about 200 square feet per person. To get a better idea, try our office space calculator or visit our space standards page.

3. Decide if you want to share an office space with someone else.

If you’re not in competing businesses, sharing office space can make a great deal of economic sense, especially for entrepreneurs. For example, you could potentially purchase a larger office space than either of you could afford individually as well as share the costs such as heating and electric. Additionally, you might be able to eventually share a receptionist. Executive Suites and virtual offices are also an option.

4. Determine what kind of office building in which you’d like to work.

Are you the type of person who likes to work in a corporate office space? Then you’d probably do well in a large building that was built specifically for commercial offices. On the other hand, if you’re looking to have a “homier” atmosphere for your business, you may want to seek out a nontraditional office space, such as one that’s part of what used to be a Victorian home or a red brick schoolhouse.

5. Figure out what your budget is.

Finally, before you start looking for office space, you’ll need to figure out how much you can reasonably afford. It’s always a good idea to take this step before ever jumping on the web to look for a location for your business. That way, you won’t be tempted to incur more debt than you can actually afford. our office market information in the OfficeFinder Local can help get you familiar with what is happening in your market.

6. Get professional assistance.

There are agents who specialize in representing small businesses like yours find the right office space and make sure you avoid mistakes. Using a tenant representaive won't cost you anything. All the fees are paid by the landlord. OfficeFinder is a good place to start with local reps inover 550 markets.

Remember – if you need an office space, it’s as easy to find as your keyboard and mouse!

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More information the Office Leasing Process

Office Leasing Tips , Office Relocation , Office Rental , Office Space , Tenant Representation

Maximize Savings on Your Commercial Real Estate Transaction

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Currently, there is excess office space inventory available in not only the Minneapolis commercial real estate market, but throughout the US and worldwide. This bodes well for anyone involved in leasing, acquisition or lease renewal, as sellers are anxious to dispose of their property. While current economic conditions are certainly favorable for acquisitions, good preparation and research can put you in even a better position to save money on your commercial property.

Timing

Time can be your ally or quickly become your enemy if you don't plan to use it correctly. Plan ahead and start searching for space early. It is best to start the search process at least 9 months in advance to uncover your best choices. For example waiting until you only have a three month minimum time frame limits your options as your best choice might not even be in play during this period. Not only does a minimal timeframe limit your choices, it reduces your ability to conduct an effective negotiation. Potential landlords and their brokers will sense or "read' your urgency with a short window and negotiate accordingly to achieve their best terms. When you have a longer time frame you can utilize time by effectively stringing out the negotiation and extracting additional concessions as you are in no rush to make a decision while the landlord's situation may require immediate tenancy.

Also note that if you are renewing, your current landlord will try to "string you along" to try to have you run out of time and force you to renew because there is not enough time to build out your new space before lease expiration. Time is your ally when you have it and your enemy when you are racing against it.

Options

It is always best to have three options or at least a good 2nd option when it comes to space alternatives. Use one to leverage the other to extract the best terms when negotiating. Don't be afraid to say "no" and walk away. Not having a good 2nd option minimizes the aggressiveness of your negotiation and can cost your firm money. Had you been able to "play hardball" and use leverage to its fullest potential, more economically favorable terms and concessions would have been achieved.

Representation

Having a knowledgeable, experienced representative can save you significant cost. Someone who regularly negotiates commercial real estate transactions knows the best negotiation tactics for your business and can uncover issues that can be used to your advantage. An experience professional won't be emotionally swayed in the heat of the moment.

Space Productivity and Efficiency

You need to clearly define your usage, budget and location. Efficient use of space will save you money. Apply BOMA standards to usable/ rentable space to make sure you are getting all the space you are paying for and are not paying for space you don't get.

For example, have your space planner verify measurements and be creative with design.

A creative design can place your productive people on the interior of a space rather than by window. Also, wonderful things can be done to the interior to create a great working environment even if the outside of a building may not be as appealing. A good architectural firm can convert most buildings to accomplish the environment you require, i.e. an Old Victorian to an Ad Agency.

Be flexible on other issues and the transaction will fall in place. Today, Landlords are less likely to pay for lavish tenant improvements, so efficient space usage and simple, but tasteful improvements are key. For example, you can present a high image to your visitors by focusing upgrades on your reception and common areas and still save money by staying basic with the individual offices and "back" areas.

Operating Expense

With an operating expense cost-pass-through, more rent will have to be paid as building operating expenses increase over a base year and cost-pass-through's take effect. By comparing previous years increases in your analysis of alternatives, you can make sure that your starting point is appropriate. It is very typical in today's market to request and receive CAMT Breakdown's from each landlord whose property you are considering. Try to negotiate some type of cap on annual increases, as costs (ie: energy; maintenance; materials just to name a few) tend to escalate at a rapid pace each year.

Be aware of categories that are typically included in CAM charges in your particular market vs. those that are not. For example, are light bulb and ballast replacement typical CAM charges in your market? Is a particular Landlord charging tenants for general capital improvements to the building or project vs. for only those capital improvements that are designed to reduce operating costs for the building or project?

Since CAMT charges range from $7.00 - $9.00 psf in Class B office buildings and from $10.00 - $13.50 psf in class A office buildings, it is imperative that you don't get charged for items that should not be charged for.

Summary:

With the current economic situation, you should be able to find and negotiate favorable commercial real estate deals, and you can save more money with better planning and strategy.

Guest post by our OfficeFinder Local Minneapolis representative

Minneapolis Office Space , Office Relocation , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations

Office Relocation Done Right: Plan, Manage and Execute a Successful Office Move

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Is an office move in your future? Whether, when, and where to move your office have far-reaching consequences that impact every aspect of doing business, from customer relationships to day-to-day operations to profitability. Did you know that on average, two-thirds of employees who are given the task of managing an office move either quit or get fired within six months of that office move. Our tips and advice will help you plan, manage and execute a successful office move and keep your job!

Businesses move for all kinds of reasons. Maybe they need more office space, an updated image, or a better location. They might be launching a technology startup or moving up from a home office. Perhaps things haven’t worked well with the current landlord or property management firm and it’s time for a change.

Whatever the reason, it had better be compelling because an office move is a complex process. And, according to Karen Warner, author of Move Your Office, the cost of leasing office space is one of a company’s biggest expenses; second only to salaries and wages. Because the decision about whether—and when—to move your office is so critical, it pays to plan carefully and ask the right questions before getting started.

Is an office relocation necessary? What’s making you consider an office move, and are there options for resolving those issues without moving? If you have outgrown your existing space or you need to downsize, your current landlord might be able to accommodate your new requirements. Or perhaps your existing office space could be renovated or reconfigured to be more efficient.

If you need to enhance your office’s image, would a facelift work at your current address? Investigate options for remodeling, updated signage, or even redecorating your current office space with upscale colors and furnishings.

Would a new office location be better for business? A better location in your metropolitan area could bring you closer to your customer base or even attract new business. First impressions count, and the neighborhood makes an impression on every visitor before they even see your office. Even if the location doesn’t impact your type of business, it can impact your bottom line—office space rental rates can vary widely in different parts of town. Also, the right location with the right amenities can help attract and retain key employees.

11 Tips for a Successful Office Move

1. If an office relocation is in your company’s best interest, follow these 10 steps for a successful office move.

2. Work with a pro. Always engage a commercial real estate broker to represent you in your search for office space and to help you manage the entire office relocation. Enlisting the services of the right commercial real estate professional can save time and money throughout and even long after the office relocation process. A broker can provide invaluable information about the local market and help negotiate the most favorable lease terms. Seasoned real estate professionals will also be aware of opportunities not advertised to the public.

3. Give it time. Most businesses spend six months to a year to find the right location, negotiate the lease terms, set up the office relocation logistics, and get moved in.

4. Nominate a moving committee. Form a team of employees at the outset to coordinate the office relocation process and help keep track of all the details.

5. Select a panel of experts. Establishing an advisory team of external consultants and specialists is a critical step. They’ll help you find the right location at the best terms and ensure that your new office space is well-designed and appropriate for your business. Your advisory team could include a commercial real estate broker, a real estate attorney, an architect or office space planner, a furniture consultant, and an IT/communications consultant.

6. Determine your specific needs. With the help of your advisory team, define the requirements for your ideal office space, from the amount of space you need, to the type of building that would be the best fit, to the preferred location.

7. Identify potential properties. Have your commercial real estate broker prepare a detailed list of available office properties that fit your needs profile, including a photo of each building, the size and cost of each available space, and a map with directions to each location.

8. Take a property tour. Your real estate broker will schedule a tour and guide you through visits to each property on your list. Compare notes and determine which three or four locations are the most promising.

9. Conduct a competitive leasing analysis. Once you’ve got that short list of prospective properties, your commercial real estate broker will provide an analysis of the economics of each space and coordinate any preliminary space planning needed, helping you assess how the various potential layouts will suit your business needs. Your broker will also prepare written proposals for each landlord, addressing issues such as rental rate, lease term, building expenses, renewal and expansion options, signage availability, and parking.

10. Select your new building or space. Your broker will compile landlord responses into a spreadsheet giving a side-by-side comparison of each of the properties to help you make the most informed decision about which space is the best fit for your business.

11. Negotiate the lease terms. Next, your new landlord will issue a lease, which must be reviewed by the principal(s) from your company, your real estate broker, and an attorney to ensure that all terms are understood and agreed upon.

The decisions about whether, when, and where to move your office have far-reaching consequences that impact every aspect of doing business, from customer relationships to day-to-day operations to profitability. Considering all the variables, it makes a lot of sense to get professional support and follow a clear plan that helps you make the right move—and make the move right.

Visit www.moveyouroffice.com for detailed information on managing your next office relocation.

Karen Warner is the author of Move Your Office, the best-selling office leasing and relocation guide. Move Your Office is available at www.moveyouroffice.com. Karen’ skill and experience as a commercial real estate broker has helped many businesses manage a smooth transition to their new location. Her extensive knowledge of the commercial relocation process and unique talent as a tenant representative allows her to expertly assist clients in finding and negotiating office space. Karen’s status as the author of three best-selling commercial relocation books gives her the tools and savvy to formulate effective office relocation strategies.

Office Relocation , Office Rental , Office Space