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Protecting your Business

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I found an interesting article from monitoring my Twitter account, @officefinder, that is important for both office space tenants and office tenant reps to be aware of. While most good office tenant reps, like the ones you will find on OfficeFinder, are aware of the need for protecting the tenant with solid , Non-Disturbance and Attornment office lease clauses, many tenants are clueless. As the economic crisis in commercial properties deepens, which it will, many unsuspecting tenants may find themselves in a pickle.

How to Protect Your Lease So You Don't Risk Loss If Your Landlord Defaults on the Mortgage, And Other Tips to Help Your Business Survive and Thrive During The Current Economic Crisis.

Los Angeles (PRWEB) February 23, 2009 -- Many tenants are facing a huge risk and they don't even know it. If their landlord cannot pay the mortgage, they could face losing their lease, even though they paid their rent. Los Angeles attorney Erin Tenner helps business owners protect their leases from loss due to foreclosure by negotiating agreements with mortgage lenders that will allow the tenant to stay in the property if the landlord defaults on the mortgage.

"The agreement benefits landlords too because it includes a provision allowing the landlord to collect rent directly from the tenant in the event of a default by the landowner" says attorney Tenner. The agreement is known as a Subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreement. Without such an agreement any lender who took the land as security for a loan will generally have the right to terminate the lease if the loan pre-dates the lease.

Here are some other recommendations provided by Attorney Tenner to protect business owners during this economic crisis:

1. Protect Your Assets. Whether you are buying an entire business or just a few assets from a business that has folded, make sure you are buying them free and clear of liens and encumbrances, including tax liens. Certain liens will "follow the assets" unless they are released. That means you could lose the assets you bought if the lienholder forecloses. Liens are often public records.

2. Negotiate For Better Terms. A win-win is always possible in negotiations if you find out the needs of the person with whom you are negotiating. Make sure you are dealing with a person who has the authority to make decisions and ask a lot of questions. Especially in times like these, there are many ways to sweeten the pot for yourself and for those you are dealing with.

3. Think Outside The Box. Do not limit yourself to what everyone else does. Think outside the box when it comes to negotiations. For example, if you are asked to provide a personal guaranty, carve out exceptions for your house and your car, limit the length of time the guaranty will continue, or have another entity you own provide the guaranty.

4. Protect Your Corporation's Limited Liability. If you own a corporation, make sure you do not inadvertently destroy the limit on liability provided by the corporate existence. Do not run personal expenses through your corporation. Do not make distributions to shareholders if you do not have the earnings to support it. Make sure that corporate shareholders elect the correct number of directors at least annually and that directors elect officers at least annually. Make sure directors authorize decisions outside the ordinary course of business.

Erin Tenner is a partner at TennerJohnson LLP and a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Business Law Section. She can be reached at 818-707-8410 or toll free at 888-501-0040. © Law Offices of Erin K. Tenner, a professional corporation 2009.

General , Lease Negotiations , Office Space , Twitter

Manhattan Sublease Office Space = 29% of the Market

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From CRE News and CBRE. The available amount of sublease office space in Manhattan is equal to or greater than many small office markets... Mindboggling, yet not surprising. Do you suppose office space rents are going to be coming down?

"The amount of office space available for sublease in Manhattan rose 39% since mid-year 2008 to 11.9 million square feet, according to a report issued by CB Richard Ellis. The brokerage estimates that the sublet market could grow by another 4 million square feet in the coming months. Sublease space accounts for 29% of the market's total availability, with the bulk of it coming from financial services companies. That sector makes up 25% of Manhattan's 362 million-sf inventory.

Financial services companies AIG, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase and Barclay's/Lehman are among those expected to add more space to the borough's sublet market in the coming months."



General , Manhattan Office Space , Office Space

TARP Program Signs a 10 Year Lease In DC

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Interestingly enough, I just learned about this from a Twitter post. "@BabyStew: Jeebus. The TARP program signed a 10-year lease on office space in DC. Just how long does Obama think this recession's gonna last?" My first reaction went along the same lines.  The reality is that Getting the money back from the TARP beneficiaries is going to take a really long time. Hence, the 10 yr lease

According to the Washington Post March 2, 2009

The General Services Administration said it has signed a lease for 71,000 square feet at 1801 L St. NW for use by the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

Space for TARP offices had been leased in buildings near the Treasury Department and more permanent space had been expected, according to a GSA spokesman.

About 200 people are likely to occupy the space on L Street, for which the GSA is paying about $39 a square foot.

Some brokers and developers are hoping that the program creates demand for more square footage and helps to soften the blow of a glut of office space on the market.
General , Office Space , Twitter , Washington DC Office Space

Twitter, Is it for business?

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Social media is the new marketing hype, but is it useful in business? Twitter is one of the social networks I have been involved in over the past few weeks and I think that it has lots of potential. For those of you that are not familiar with twitter here is how Wikipedia describes it:

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Updates are displayed on the user's profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends (delivery to everyone being the default). Users can send and receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS (receive only), or through applications such as Tweetie, Twitterrific, and Feedalizr. The service is free to use over the web, but using SMS may incur phone services provider fees.

I am able to monitor conversations using a tool called Tweet Beep that sends me an email daily about keywords used in conversations. I spend about 15 – 20 minutes a day on Twitter activities. The words I monitor are office space, office lease, office rental and of course my brand OfficeFinder. This allows me to respond to any Tweets that I perceive can either use my advice or could become potential business.  My purpose behind Twitter is strictly business; building the OfficeFinder brand and generating business.  You can find us at

I have found it to be of value for several purposes:

  • The community aspect of Twitter is desirable. I've discovered information that would have been inaccessible to me by other means than via tweets.
  • The opportunity to share information and engage in conversation about that content is valued feedback.
  • Networks can be developed through following others who in turn follow your Tweets.
  • It allows me to get a  quick snapshot of a particular topic, brand or product which then allowed me to tailor a message more effectively.
  • Proactively it allows me to interact with my user base in a way perceived as less "salesy" way than other communications. A company voice on Twitter can be more personal and less intense than almost any other marketing vehicle.
  • Twitter is a good place to increase your brand recognition.
  • It is a good place to engage socially in conversation about any topic

As with all social media becoming part of the community is key. Like all social networking, it isn't about numbers it is about having the right followers and following the right people. You need to have a goal in mind as to the purpose. You should decide if it is for business or personal purposes.

The downside is that it can be a terrible time-waster. You need to monitor your use. If you are not actively engaged in conversations and doing more than just trying to sell your services, you will receive little to no value from Twitter. The more you give, the more you get.

A sample of some of my posts and replies (@) below.

OfficeFinder: Good story on finding new office space at

Tuesday, February 24th at 20:13:38 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @AHizz Help finding SD office space, try

Tuesday, February 24th at 20:18:33 · Reply · View Tweet


ChrisFyvie: @OfficeFinder Thanks for pointing out my broken link! here you go!

Tuesday, February 24th at 23:55:04 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: Just made a new custom Twitter background using Powerpoint.

Thursday, February 26th at 15:48:15 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: Markus Frind works one hour a day and brings in $10 million a year.

Tuesday, February 24th at 20:03:25 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: Scary look alike comparison The Office's Dwight Schrute and Markus Frind making $10 mil / yr with dating web sites. Link to follow..

Tuesday, February 24th at 20:02:50 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @FourthLine Congrats of the new office. When you are ready to grow or need alternatives, check out

Tuesday, February 24th at 19:56:43 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @davey_w 10 yr office lease lock in low rate to protect from incr. We know lots of way to protect you. Check out

Tuesday, February 24th at 19:54:18 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @ChrisFyvie error in connecting to ... circular. looks like it would be interesting. let me know.

Tuesday, February 24th at 19:40:27 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: Twitter posts are picked up by Google. Social networking is the next key to SEO.

Tuesday, February 24th at 19:37:23 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @Brandon_Woodman Seattle needs a lot more than Jr. I gave up my season tickets this year. Too many years of disappointment!

Thursday, February 26th at 18:53:52 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: Top 15 Twitter Acronyms for novices like me

Tuesday, March 3rd at 01:13:15 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @ikenc Can't provide assistance in Philippines, but lots of good info and tips on finding office space at

Thursday, February 26th at 16:08:12 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @abbyroy lots of good info and tips on finding and negotiating for office space at

Thursday, February 26th at 16:09:59 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @d_breshears A better way to find office space:

Thursday, February 26th at 16:15:24 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @Padmasree Few of my favorite things to do on weekends walking the dog, reading the NY Times, playing tennis and talking with my adult kids.

Sunday, March 1st at 16:42:10 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @ferodynamics Wired downtown-Austin office space get help at Great local rep to help you

Sunday, March 1st at 22:53:41 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @nigelramsay Landlords worldwide will need to have a reality check within the next 6 months as office vacancies will continue increasing.

Monday, March 2nd at 15:39:42 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: Hong Kong & Tokyo Overtake London As World's Most Expensive Office Space

Monday, March 2nd at 23:05:20 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: @rhetter check out May be able to help you find office space.

Tuesday, March 3rd at 16:48:24 · Reply · View Tweet


OfficeFinder: Virtual Office Space is a great addition for Home Based Businesses to create a more professional identity Find out more at

Tuesday, March 3rd at 16:51:01 · Reply · View Tweet


rhetter: @officefinder , thx a ton. That is super helpful. Follow @officefinder if you are looking for any type of space, anywhere.

Tuesday, March 3rd at 17:37:21 · Reply · View Tweet&a

General , Office Space , Twitter

Office Space Forecast for 2009 Gloomy

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Cushman and Wakefield recently published their Winter 2009 Office Space Forecast and it's not a pretty picture. Basically, it is what we would expect with this economy.  Office space occupancy in the CBDs will continue to deteriorate due to employment reductions throughout the the US. This will occur even as the economy starts it's rebound. 

No surprise that they are also predicting sublease space offerings to continue their uptrend.

According to the report, rental rates will begin their descent and bottom out by year end 2010. With vacancies increasing they are predicting that the gains made in rental rates over the past 3 years will be wiped out.

"Manhattan, San Francisco and Orange County CA could see rates dropping as much as 20.0% from 2008 levels. Meanwhile, energy-producing markets like Houston will remain bright spots (though not necessarily for long if oil and gas prices continue to fall), as they are expected to eke out modest rent gains throughout this economic downturn." They also predict that Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Seattle will weather the current downturn much better than other markets. While new York and New Jersey are expected to be the weakest and slowest to recover.

C & W Winter 2009 Forecast (pdf)


Houston Office Space , Manhattan Office Space , Office Space , Washington DC Office Space