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How Do We Find Office Space For Our Clients?

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Here is a great article that describes the process our reps go through to ensure they find you the best possible office space at the best price.

Maimi office space tenant rep"I was recently asked that question by a reporter from Miami Today.  Actually she emailed me the question in advance of an interview.  My first off-the-cuff response was “simple, I pull the database, make a bunch of calls, know my buildings and off we go”.  Then the next morning during my walk, I began thinking that it’s not that simple.

Before I can search the database and make a bunch of calls, I have to know what I’m looking for. That means a bunch of nosy questions for my client, a walk-thru of their current location and a thorough understanding of their budget, use, employees and a host of other items.  With a seemingly ample inventory of office space, on the surface I could have 50 possible spaces for a client.  When I began applying the criteria that I develop from my client interview, the number begins to shrink very quickly.  

Sometimes it suddenly develops into a search for the needle in the haystack.

When you are interviewing a tenant rep broker to represent you in your search and/or renewal of your office, who is doing all the talking?  If it’s the broker, tread carefully.  They may not be listening and thus will not completely understand what you need.  This can result in wasting your time touring spaces that do not fit your needs and even proceeding into negotiations before discovering a “deal killer” problem with the space or building.

I try to remember the old sales axiom:  “You have two ears and one mouth, so you should be listening twice as much as you speak.”  The exception is if you make the mistake of asking me about my children.

So how do I find the space? Through a lot of research both with the client and by knowing my market.  Contact me me so I can help you with your office lease on the Miami area."

Guest Post by our Miami Office Representative

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

Houston Office and Commercial Real Estate Overview

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Like the rest of the nation Houston, Texas has been hit hard by the recession. Even with the economy taken into account, it remains one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation. More than five million people live in the Greater Houston Metro area, which encompasses all or parts of 10 different counties. With the great weather year round and nearby beaches of the Gulf Coast, it is a great city in which to locate any commercial venture. 

Houston actually began feeling the recession one year after the rest of the nation. Recovery is taking place, but as with many other areas, it remains sluggish. However, commercial real estate has benefits from core business growth, disciplined new development, and a great business environment, bringing businesses into the area. The workforce available to ventures both large and small offers plenty of trained professional as well as blue collar workers, making this region perfect for any type of business to locate and grow. 

Houston Office Rep
Our local Houston OfficeFinder rep tells us, “Despite the consequences of the recession, businesses forge ahead and some are experiencing banner years. National and international investors recognize Houston as an international, first-class metropolis.  Energy has always been our main driver but Houston also has the Texas Medical Center and the Port of Houston as strong underpinnings for our local economy.  Many authorities have cited the Panama Canal expansion as the next big step in the growth of goods flowing into and out of the Port of Houston.”  Our local office rep has served the Houston commercial real state market as a licensed agent since 1985, assisting businesses and association with relocation, renewal, expansion, and disposition of office and industrial space, so he has his finger on the pulse of the Houston market. 

The total commercial office inventory in Houston currently encompasses approximately 266 million square feet with a vacancy rate of 13.3%, with nearly 1 million square feet of net absorption in the second quarter of 2011. Class A properties account for the lion’s share of new leasing with positive absorption in the first and second quarters of 2011. Our local rep said, “While we have had some foreclosures, investors and users have typically rushed to the buying opportunities with deep pockets and a plan.” Recovery from the recession is clearly well on its way in Metro Houston. 

Some of the major news in commercial real estate include: 

Core Real Estate LLC purchased the former Minute Maid facility at 2000 St. James Place from Wachovia Bank after the bank took back the 335,000 square foot office building from a local partnership.  Core then leased the entire building to Weatherford International.

Lincoln Property Co. purchased Energy Crossing I from M&I Bank., on behalf of a public pension fund. The 240,000-square-foot office building is located in Houston’s Energy Corridor.  The new ownership recently leased 41,000 square feet to an energy-related company.

Chevron recently purchased a 50-story 1.3 million-square-foot downtown office tower from Brookfield Office Properties.  Chevron had been leasing the building.  The sale price was reportedly $340 million, or about $260 per square foot.

In a separate transaction, Brookfield Properties Corporation acquired Heritage Plaza, a 53-story, 1.2-million-square-foot trophy office tower in Houston’s central business district, reportedly for $321.5 million. 

ExxonMobil has finally announced the development of a new office campus in north Houston.  The 385-acre site is near the intersection of I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road. Company employees currently working in a variety of locations will be consolidated into the new facility upon completion.  Full occupancy of the development is expected by 2015.

Coventry Development Corp. will invest approximately $10 billion in their Springwoods Village development.  Springwoods Village will be a 1,800 acre master-planned community near the new Exxon Mobil campus.

Our local rep went on to say, “Even the former Astroworld site appears to be poised for new development.  The Mallick Group purchased this 104 acre site in 2010 after the Astroworld closure in  2005. Established companies are cautiously locking into today’s rental rates and new companies are looking to find short term, As-Is, opportunities.  Every business tenant has choices, but occasionally, their “short list” is shorter than the average business person would believe from reading the headlines.”

If you are considering starting a new business venture or wish to add a satellite location to your already-established venture Houston, Texas, is a great place to choose. With the end of the Space Shuttle program, many high tech workers from nearby Johnson Space Center are readily available and skilled trade crafts persons for any commercial venture can be found. With the growing recovery, much of this labor will be consumed in the coming years, but there are many young people entering the employment in every area to continue to feed the staff required to many any commercial venture a success. 

You can contact our Houston OfficeFinder Rep for help with your commercial office and industrial need at He will be happy to help you find the perfect home for your business. 


Houston Office Space , Office Space

What Makes a Great Workplace?

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Ask any professional who spends lots of time inside an office space to describe exactly what makes a workplace great rather than simply average and you will hear some very interesting answers. Some of the responses refer to the people in the office workplace while others focus on the attributes of the commercial office space.

 A few of the issues that consistently come up when discussing “people issues” of a great workplace include:

  • The luxury of performing work that is personally satisfying
  • Working for a great boss who believes in empowerment
  • Respect for varying work styles, and
  • Freedom and flexibility

 Rachel Permuth-Levine, PhD, MSPH is Sr. Director and Health Behavior Theorist at Sodexo, an office supply firm in the Washington, DC area.  She moderates a group about workplace experience where she posed this Question of the Day (QotD) recently: “What attributes make a workplace FANTASTIC instead of just "average"?” We found two of the respondents have extremely revealing and valuable input.

Jose Luis Sanchez-Concha, Corporate Real Estate and Facilities Management Consultant working in Spain said, “There is one commercial statement from my company that I have taken and changed a bit: "Is not about the workplace, is about what you can do in it.” His input incorporated three important factors that help make a workplace great:

  1. DESIGN - not just some colors here and there and some kinky/funny stuff around... design need to say something about the company culture, needs to reflect its identity and make people feel that they are part of something greater. A known example is Google; it is fair to say that they have actually reflected who they are in their spaces.
  2. SERVICES - "If it is not going to be great, then please don't do it"... that is the feedback from one user when we were defining some of the services for a new office in Germany (in the particular case, a fitness centre). We call it "first-choice" services: people drinking their coffee in the company cafeteria because (it) is much better than that fancy cafeteria across the street.
  3. TECHNOLOGY - Seamless connectivity  where people can access to information in real time, without worrying about firewalls and protections, true wireless environments, not the usual minimum range, and technology that truly enables people to make the best work possible.

 Tim Springer, Chicago metro area researcher and consultant for high performance workplaces provided these seven criteria:

  1. SPATIAL EQUITY: Workspace provides adequate privacy, daylight, and access to views for all.
  2. HEALTHFULNESS: The workplace is free of harmful contaminants and excessive noise.
  3. FLEXIBILITY: Workspace (that) can be quickly and inexpensively reconfigured to accommodate organization, work process, and technological changes.
  4. COMFORT: People can adequately adjust their personal working environment – including temperature, lighting, acoustics, and furniture – to meet their needs.
  5. TECHNOLOGICAL CONNECTIVITY: There is good communication and information access among distributed co-workers.
  6. RELIABILITY: Building, security, computer, and telecommunication systems provide reliable service with minimal disruptions.
  7. SENSE OF PLACE: The workplace has a unique character, enabling a sense of pride, purpose, and dedication for both the individual and the workplace community. 
Office Space , Office Space Design

Recent OfficeFinder Tweets - Follow us!

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Here are a few od our recent Officeifnder Tweets. We'd love to have you follow us.  We promise not to Tweet about our breakfast!

OfficeFinder James Osgood

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Flexible Workspace , Green Office , Office Space , Twitter

What You Need to Know About the New Final Regulations of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA)

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Not only did the Government enact the American with disabilities act, but also the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) of which the final regulations were published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2011. Find out more at Questions and Answers on the Final Rule Implementing the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

From the Q & A and ADAAA

"These regulations apply to all private and state and local government employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, labor organizations (unions), and joint labor-management committees. The Amendments Act retains the ADA's basic definition of “disability” as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. However, it changes the way that these statutory terms should be interpreted in several ways, therefore necessitating revision of the prior regulations and interpretive guidance contained in the accompanying “Appendix to Part 1630—Interpretive Guidance on Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” which are published at 29 CFR part 1630 (the appendix)."

"Both public comments and comments received during the inter-agency review process under EO 12866 highlighted a variety of limitations in our analysis. Indeed, the alternative that we later present indicates that the figure of 8.2 million people with disabilities used in the preliminary analysis significantly underestimated the number of workers with impairments whose coverage under the law will now be clarified."

"Thus, based on this data, the number of individuals with the impairments cited in § 1630.2(j)(3(iii) could be at least 60 million. In addition, we know that people with many other impairments will virtually always be covered under the amended ADA definition of an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or record thereof."

"If we assume 64% of individuals with these disabilities are in the labor force, then the number of labor force participants whose coverage is clarified under the ADA is approximately 38.4 million."

"The most recent JAN study, issued September 1, 2010, reported a mean accommodation cost of $1,183, based on 2009 data.Show citation box Using estimates of both the mean and median cost of accommodations, the preliminary analysis estimated that the ADA Amendments Act and these regulations would result in increased costs of reasonable accommodation of from $19,000,000 to $38,000,000 annually."

For more information visit The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) - the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

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