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Expand your Office Space Without Leasing More Space

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This is a blog post from one of our Local OfficeFinder Memebers in the Dallas Office Market.

"Nearly everyone enjoys the success of an expanding business. More work, clients and employees allow your business to not only become more successful, but also make a greater impact on your field.

But rent is expensive. It's usually the 2nd-highest expense for most companies. Wouldn't it be great is you could grow your business without taking on the financial burden of expanding office space?

Well there are several simple and cost-effective alternatives to expanding which can be implemented within the perimeters of your existing office.

Rearrange. It seems simple enough, but you’d be surprised how much more efficient you can arrange your office. Your office layout may not be set in stone, so explore a redesign of the layout of your space - remove walls, move or replace the furniture to promote density where extra space is underutilized or unnecessary. Rearrange the layout of cubicles. Cubicles are designed with flexibility in mind, so use them to your advantage rather than arbitrarily partitioning your employees. 

Open. Collaborative spaces not only take up less square feet, but they can also promote a more creative and efficient workplace. This is especially true of younger workers who don't want to be isolated in private offices. The social aspect of an open plan where they can talk to each other throughout the day can make a big difference in their happiness in the office. My son recently passed on an offer from another company which included a very large salary increase primarily because the office environment of the new company was very quiet, staid and basically boring. Not everyone will feel this way, of course, but with a generation of workers who have spent a considerable amount of time socializing, studying and working in Starbucks, the buzz of an open environment is preferred. 

ClusterSalespeople are often not in the office much. Instead of dedicating offices or desks in an open layout to each individual person waiting for the occasional visit, condense them into a shared work area. A few shared desks for use as-needed by your on-the-go sales team can save a lot of space and not take away any of the resources. With a shared workspace in place, you can cycle employees between working at home and working in the office. This adds a new dimension of flexibility while allowing for less or reallocated office space. Dynamic office situations such as these can break up monotonous ruts and give a new energy to an office and your employees.

You don't always need more space to expand your business. Sometimes all you need is a new plan.These suggestions may not work for every business and that's okay. It may only take an architect or furniture expert to review your situation to provide solutions other than just taking on more office space. Better to pay an architect, contractor and/or furniture dealer once than to pay the landlord every month for years."

Source

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By: James Osgood

Dallas Office Space , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Design

Office Space Market Recovery Slow but Steady

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Occupancy, Absorption Levels Hold Steady as Market Indicators Find Recovery Continuing at Slow but Steady Pace despite election jitters.

Demand for office space in the U.S. remained steady in the third quarter as leasing activity and absorption of available office space continued to pick up momentum following a lackluster start at the beginning of 2012, CoStar Group reported this week in the company's Third-Quarter 2012 Office Review & Outlook. 

The overall U.S. office vacancy rate edged down and net absorption rose to 15 million square feet during the quarter from 13 million square feet at mid-year 2012. The relatively little new office supply and continued low levels of new office construction supported the balance in supply and demand.

Meanwhile, office tenants continued to enjoy a 'holiday' from rent increases as office rents in most market have yet to budge much from their market trough tipping point, according to analysts for Property and Portfolio Research (PPR), CoStar’s analytics and forecasting division. 

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Office Space , Office Space Negotiations , Office Vacancy Rate

Important Questions to Ask before You Lease Office Space

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Choosing to lease office space for lease is a big decision. The entire process can be quite confusing and it is easy to get a less-than-perfect office space deal if you don’t know what questions to ask and what certain terms mean to your bottom line.

What does $XX.XX/SF mean when stated in a lease or advertisement for office space? The cost stated usually refers to the yearly lease cost per square foot. An example would be 1,000SF of office space quoted at $10.00/SF would mean a rate of $10,000 per year or $833.33 per month. Although, in some markets it is based ont eh monthly cost. Make sure you know!

What does Rentable Square Feet mean to me? The term rentable square feet refers to the total square feet of office space used to calculate the rental rate. It may include an apportionment for the lobby, halls, and other common areas in the building that are available to you to use along with all the other building tenants.

What does Useable Square Feet mean? This is the total square footage inside the walls of the specific office space you are considering leasing; the acutula square footage you get to use. It refers to that area that is for the sole use of the tenant and does not include any sort of common area. Basically, this is the amount of office space, expressed in square feet, that you will be leasing as private office space in which you can conduct your business.

I was presented a lease that has the term “CAM charges” in it. What does this mean? The acronym CAM stands for Common Area Maintenance and CAM charges refer to the cost of services and charges to maintain common areas, including any parking areas owned by the building owner. This can include landscape services, common area lighting, parking lot maintenance, cleaning service for common areas, or even snowplowing if that is needed. The actual expenses are shared by all tenants and are quoted as CAM charges. This is calculated as $XX.XX/SF with the SF being equal to the rentable square footage of the leased area.  These charges are usually paid monthly based on the estimated yearly cost. At year end, the actual CAM charges are calculated and any refund or additional payment is settled with the tenants.

What is NNN when appearing in a lease rate? The term “NNN” refers to any additional actual expense items incurred by the building that are split between all tenants. This may include insurance, property taxes, or CAM if CAM is not included separately. It may be called “Additional Rent” rather than NNN. Be sure to ask exactly what is included in the NNN because it can differ from landlord to landlord. It probably will not include any utility costs except that used by the common areas.

How utility costs are calculated and are they included in the rent? In some smaller office spaces, the cost of utilities may not be calculated separately but in larger spaces, the tenant often has to establish their own separately metered utilities. In some cases, the landlord has all unities metered and the tenant is billed for a share of the total utilities based on the size of their office space.  Be sure to inquire about how utilities are billed and exactly what you are responsible for paying.

What does Gross Rent mean? The term Gross Rent means the landlord is paying all expenses outlined as NNN expenses and the tenant only pays the Gross Rental amount stated in the lease. The utilities may or may not be included in Gross Rent, so be sure to ask.

Can I get a short lease to try out the office space? Most landlords offering leases on commercial office space will not consider less than a one year lease. Some require two or three year leases as a minimum. In general, the longer the lease, the more valuable it is to the landlord and the easier it will be to negotiate what you want.  Don’t plan on less than a one year lease.

I love the office space I found but there are a few things in the layout that need to be changed. How does this work?  The layout of an office space varies from building to building and seldom do you find the perfect lay out. The landlord is likely to be reluctant to spend money on a tenant requested change. It is traditional that new paint, carpet cleaning, and general area maintenance be performed by the landlord. In some cases tenant improvements can be negotiated at the landlord’s expense, often on the longer term leases. In other cases the tenant may negotiate the right to alter the layout at the tenant’s expenses. 

Your best bet is to use ther services of an Office Space Tenant Represenative who will help you through the maze at NO Cost to you, making sure you avoid costly mistakes.

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By: James Osgood

Lease Negotiations , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations

Maximizing the Small Office Space

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Recently smaller commercial office spaces have become the solution for small and medium sized businesses. Some businesses have adopted non-tradition work spaces in which workspaces are shared by whoever needs them at the moment while other team members work on the road or meet with clients. Meeting spaces have becomes smaller and other creative solutions have been implemented to save overhead due to the last few years of tough economic times.

If your business happens to be located in a small office space, you need to maximize the space, both in terms of visual effects and efficiency. The idea is that clients should well welcomed and comfortable while visiting the smaller workspaces and meeting rooms. Here are a few tips for help you maximize a smaller office:

  • Walls: Paint the walls all a single color throughout the office space. Don’t decide to make one room different because it will ruin the visual effect of creating a larger area than actually exists.
  • Lighting: The brighter the commercial office space, the larger it will seem. Dark spaces tend to close in and appear smaller, so be sure to include bright lighting, preferably full-spectrum lights, to make the small office space grow to a larger size visually.
  • Plants: Choose plants that are tall but narrow. Any plant that spreads out widely will close in the space, but tall plants give an up and down visual effect that does not close the space in any way.
  • Floors: Choose a top-quality flooring that is extremely durable and use it throughout your office space. Do not place area rugs over parts of the floor; the idea is to create a larger visual space in your commercial office space by allowing the eye to move from area to area with any breaks in the flooring color or texture.
  • Decorations: Place groups of smaller artwork together rather than placing a single large piece of art in the office. The smaller groups make the brain think that there is more space than is if a large painting or poster is place on the walls. Strategically place a few quality items on tables, desks and other areas; whatever you do, avoid cluttering the areas in your commercial office space.
  • Work Stations: Purchase glass work stations for your office space so that the eye does not really see the object as a break in the visual effect. Large, heavy wooden desks will create a visual break and reduce the maximization effects.

Implement these ideas in ways that suit your specific office space and you will find that the space expands and grows larger. This will allow you to fully enjoy your new, lower overhead without experiencing any negative impacts.  

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By: James Osgood

Flexible Workspace , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Design

The Big Unknown: Office Space Operating Expenses

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One of the things that can complicate your budget for office space rent is operating expenses.  There are two ways your landlord can handle these costs.  The first is simple – if it’s $12.00, he charges you $12.00 or $1.00 per square foot per month and you are done.  This is known as a triple net lease (NNN).  The other method is over a Base Year.  This means that in Year One of your lease that $12.00 is included in your rent number, but you’ll pay the difference in subsequent years.  So if your operating expenses increase by $0.25 in Year Two, you’ll pay that difference either in a lump sum or in 12 installments – it depends on your lease.

What do these two methods have in common? Uncertainty... read more

Source: OfficeFinder Miami Member

 

 

Lease Negotiations , Miami Office Space , Office Leasing Tips , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations