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Entries for month: August 2013

Rent an Office Space: Office Tenant Improvements and Have They Become Too Expensive?

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When you rent an office space, the size and shape are always going to be the first things you're going to scope out to suit your business. What happens, though, when you'd prefer doing some improvements in that rented office space after you move in? Called tenant improvement, you'll need to negotiate with your landlord in order to get the improvements you want. But will you really be able to do that when the cost of tenant improvements have skyrocketed?

Negotiating the Price with Your Landlord

If you're a startup business, paying for the entire improvement of the office is likely out of the question. That's where negotiating with your landlord comes in and whether he or she would be willing to pay at least half of the costs. Whether you get an affirmative answer or not may have to do with the length of your lease. Should you have plans to stay at least two years or more on your lease agreement, the landlord might agree to pay 50%. Otherwise, if the landlord thinks you'll be out of there within a year, the cost wouldn't be much of an investment.

Keeping the Tenant Improvement to What You Really Need

There's such a thing as asking too much out of your tenant improvements and expanding to the point where it's extraneous. Your landlord may balk at paying half for something that isn't absolutely necessary. As well, your own budget could suffer if you add things that won't be needed for the type of business you have. Even so, have a lawyer read over your lease so you know all your rights are covered.

The Exploding Costs of Tenant Improvement

We wrote on the matter of TI costs skyrocketing a while ago. Many people think costs should be lower. Inflation, however, has made construction prices rise due to the higher cost of materials. This plus rising minimum wages for the workers might make tenant improvement out of the question unless you're lucky enough to find a budget construction company.

Regardless, you also don't want inferior construction work done.

In today's economy, it's best to approach any office improvements judiciously and mainly look for an office space that can already accommodate your needs. And there's no better place to do that than OfficeFinder. We'll help you find an office to rent or purchase without the usual hassles.

Contact us so we can get you started finding an already improved office without any hassles.

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By: James Osgood

Lease Negotiations , Office Leasing Tips , Office Rental , Office Space

Burglar Proof Your Company's Office Space

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According to FBI's Crime in the United States statistics, 26.1 percent of burglaries took place in business environments, especially office space. When a little over 1 in 4 businesses experience burglary, it's time to think about security measures you can put in place to protect yourself, your money and your property. Keeping your office safe goes beyond simply installing a security system.

Secure Your Mail

You might have your office locked up like Fort Knox, but when you leave your mail delivery in an easily accessible location, savvy thieves will be smiling. If your mail drop off is outside of the secured area, thieves can get access to your packages and even worse, your bills. Credit card and utility bills give thieves an easy blueprint for identity theft, leading to plenty of paperwork and headaches for you down the road. You also need to be careful when handling sensitive customer information, as a data breach on your part can lead to regulation issues that can cost you big time. Lifelock explains how keeping aware of your security weak points, developing policy to mitigate the issues, and staying on top of detection reduces the risk of identity theft from burglary.

Is Your Security System Actually Effective?

The last thing you want is to install an expensive security system, only to have it utterly fail when you need it most. Don't let heavy handed business-security sales forces pressure you into making a fast decision on purchasing a system. Each business has specialized needs that prevent a one-size-fits-all solution from applying to business environments. "Expensive and full of features" doesn't matter if the features don't work with your office situation. Redwire reports that one of the main factors driving the type of security system you should invest in is the location and type of business. If you don't have a lot of physical, expensive products to draw in a burglar's interest, you don't need as extensive of a security system. Determine where physical entry points are accessible to thieves and make a note of the lighting conditions around your office. Each insecure entry point needs security monitoring, and if possible increase the lighting outside of the building.

Don't count on external security measures entirely, however. Supplement this with internal security systems such as fingerprint door locks or key card access to deter most burglars who do manage to get past the outer security system. Once you've selected a system, have a third party test its effectiveness before you put all of your trust in it.

Reduce Theft Targets

Most businesses can absorb the loss of some product, but if a thief targets business equipment, you're going to have a harder time bouncing back from that. Reduce the chances that your business suffers a substantial technology loss by securing expensive electronics and technology out of immediate view of the burglar. Sheriff.org reports that most burglaries are committed by amateurs who aren't going to want to spend a lot of time in the business office. Use discrete hiding places or safes to secure expensive mobile devices, remove all keys and access cards from business equipment you can't move. Be sure to also keep the truly irreplaceable equipment in rooms with deadbolts, pinned hinges, and other security measures, as Sheriff.org highlights.

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Office Space Flooring Options When Renting Office Space

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What do you pay attention to when renting an office? Obviously, the size of the space and the available amenities make a big difference in your decision. Yet the ever-changing world of real estate trends notes that flooring is a new consideration for professionals weighing different office space rental options.

The standard institutional carpeting has been found to wear out too quickly and therefore presents with a raggedy appearance in an otherwise attractive space. Other flooring options do not always adjust well to the emerging green cleaning technologies that many office building managers now embrace. In some cases, the heavy use of a floor may have damaged pre-installed stone or concrete significantly.

It is here that the rental of a new office space calls for meticulous attention to detail. While you do not want to inherit the previous occupant’s flooring problems, consider the financial aspect of redoing a floor to match the look and feel of your business. Stepping into a ready-made space is always a plus.

  • Technology trumps expensive flooring choices. The GLA ALA Leadership Exchange Magazine investigated the changing trends in law office design and noted that expensive parquet floors were now taking a backseat to investments in technology. In short, your business’ financial makeup is a major determining factor when it comes to floor choice or replacement.
  • Contemporary looks replace outdated dark wood. Although wood flooring is a highly-desirable option, it has to be the right type of wood. In the past, dark wood paneling and matching floor boards were considered de rigueur for successful estate planning offices. Modern office designs call for lighter colors that also feature a more streamlined look. 
  • Developers eye environmental upgrades. Efficiency is the new buzzword for office builders, the Urban Land Institute reports. Examples include the use of energy-saving products as well as under-floor air systems that greatly improve the air quality in an office.
  • Cork quickly becomes the material of choice. The World Floor Covering Association identifies cork as a material that not only offers a sleek and contemporary look but also cleans up easily. Moreover, it has a strong resistance to mildew and water. When properly maintained and re-waxed every six to 12 months, cork is supremely long-lasting. Wood and stone are more expensive and are quickly falling out of favor due to warping and dirt absorption issues.

OfficeFinder, LLC is committed to helping you find the right office that suits all of your needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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By: James Osgood

Office Space , Office Space Design , Office Space Negotiations

Seattle Office Space Market Conditions

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Home to Boeing, Microsoft and a number of other burgeoning businesses, Seattle, Washington is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.  Known as the Emerald City, Seattle boasts a multi-cultural population of around 635,000 and is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S.  Also home to the University of Washington, Seattle has shown to have the highest percentage of college and university graduates of any major U.S. city*

Despite the fact that Seattle experiences less rainfall than Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta*, it has earned a reputation for being the wettest city in the U.S.  Regardless, the many lakes, parks, forests, and rivers make living in Seattle an outdoorsman’s dream.  The people of Seattle enjoy many non-rainy days when they can sail, ski, bicycle, camp and hike.  When they’re not outdoors, Seattleites like to be indoors enjoying the local music and arts scene.  Seattle has been the launching pad for many popular rock bands and musicians, including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, Kenny G, Heart, and most recently, hip-hop sensation Macklemore.  Additionally, the city is home to several pro-sports teams, including the Seahawks, the Sounders, and the Mariners.

Seattle is situated on the Puget Sound, making it an oceanic port - the eighth largest in the nation.  Although logging was the region’s first real industry, the proximity to the Pacific Ocean has led to trade with Asia becoming a large part of the area’s economic activity.  Additionally, the city is full of attractive landmarks such as the Space Needle, and Pike Place Market, as well as several unique neighborhoods, making it a favorite destination for tourists from all over the globe.

Seattle has experienced many economic highs and lows during its history.  After the boom of the lumber industry, the city experienced a serious economic decline, but then boosted itself out of the slump by becoming a major transportation center.  During the post World War II era, the city again experienced an economic slide, but recovered due to Boeing’s surge in the commercial aircraft market.  Despite its economic crises over the years, Seattle has demonstrated the ability to strengthen its infrastructure and come up swinging.

With one of the lowest levels of unemployment in the country, Seattle is experiencing an overall strong economy.  However, the Seattle office space and commercial real estate markets are showing signs of leveling off. 

Despite this, office rental rates have continued to rise with the most expensive office space in the Seattle area being Class A space located in the Bellevue Central Business District at over $35.00 per square foot.**

More information/articles on the  Seattle office market.

Market Area

YTD Total Net Absorption SF

Total Vacancy SF

Average Asking Rent SF

Downtown

Class A

Class B

 

913,554

425,876

 

4,083,312

1,716,841

 

$33.44

$28.22

Northend

Class A

Class B

 

29,736

-2,759

 

178,860

1,071,621

 

$28.91

$26.23

Southend

Class A

Class B

 

13,539

323,009

 

172,943

1,376,004

 

$25.81

$22.75

Eastside

Class A

Class B

 

55,533

92,691

 

1,239,960

1,642,657

 

$34.47

$29.87

Source: Jones Lang LaSalle Office Statistics - Quarter 2, 2013

* Wikipedia
** Colliers International Puget Sound Region Research and Forecast Report - Quarter 2, 2013

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By: James Osgood

Seattle Office Space , Office Space , Office Rental

Do You Need Expert Assistance in Finding Office Space for Rent?

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Recent reports show a stark contrast in leasing trends for office space for rent in the commercial real estate market. While foreign investors appear to be making a play for prime commercial space, reportedly increasing year-over-year investments by over 83%, office construction has waned by nearly 17%. Why the sharp conflict in data?

Analysis shows that there area opportunities using tools to gain an investment advantage in the market- but this can be challenging for business investors who are focused on building clientele and daily operational management of the company.

Current and Future Space Needs

Whether the tenant will be a small operation or a larger company the basic needs are the same- efficiency, cost effectiveness, room for expansion, and strength of location. A good tenant rental representative can gather the information regarding these needs and complete an analysis upon which available locations can be ranked, investigated, and negotiated. If your company is currently housed in an inefficient space the multi-step processes necessary to keep everyone 'in the loop' can create redundancy and confusion. While a move can be costly, done correctly it can reduce future costs significantly. Would moving from your current location disrupt client service? Or are you able to make a move without affecting the product or service you provide? Then you may consider...

Market Availability

Thorough knowledge of the region including up-and-coming micro-markets can be the key to entering a market segment previously unconsidered. Sluggish commercial rentals have also slowed the rate of construction, so existing space becomes more appealing and potentially more negotiable. Recent reports also state that this shift in the market is creating an increase in tenant concessions and free rent, despite the increase in square foot pricing. Previously untapped commercial properties, or those that may be re-zoned to accommodate businesses, can be an ideal solution to a limitation in new construction. Repurposing of properties is a popular trend and is gaining in favor with clients as well. People tend to be drawn to the historic or recognizable- tourists included- and appreciate the visionary who takes on a forgotten space. 

Investment Potential

A volatile leasing market creates uncertainties in investing- how can you determine (or try to predict) the rate of return for your rental investment? Or reduce your potential for overpaying? Foreign investors see the potential for future profits in taking a measured risk in office investments. The leasing velocity of a space, which includes knowing historic rental values, re-leasing potential, and vacancy rates all play a role in the final dollar values. Perhaps you are feeling bound to a lease that is just not amenable to your needs, or the structure of your contract is no longer in league with the community averages? A proper representation of your needs, which may even need an overview, can leverage your remaining time in the space and perch you at a better vantage point for future negotiations. More about leasing office space vs. buying.

Due diligence is a necessary factor in renting office space and a strong real estate partner allows you to focus on your business during the negotiations of a transaction. Contact us and allow us to introduce you to the advantages of using a tentant representative while seeking rental office space for your commercial business needs.

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By: James Osgood

Office Building Sales , Office Space , Office Rental , Buying Office Space , Tenant Representation , Lease vs Buy