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Big Trouble on the Horizon for China Real Estate & Economy

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I found this 60 Minutes replay video very disconcerting. While it may be a little more focused on housing, there is an impact on office space in China and potentially the world economy. It looks like China may be in line for a big financial crisis. China's real estate bubble will probably cause big trouble for China Real Estate and their economy. How will it effect the world economy? Just as we think we are getting out of our slump? Will China's problems and their holding of US debt lead us into another slump. I certainly hope not. Four years has been plenty long enough.

By: James Osgood

Office Vacancy Rate , Video

Thinking Green when Seeking Office Space for Rent

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It’s March, and St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, so we thought we’d focus on thinking green today. When you are seeking office space for rent, you might not always remember to consider our environment, but thinking green can also affect your very real costs for heating, cooling, water, etc. So here are some questions to ask and things to consider if you want to think green when seeking office space.

  • Is there any active or passive solar built into the construction of the building? Active solar would be solar collectors for generating electricity or heating water. Passive solar is building construction that takes into account the building’s orientation, so that the sun’s effects (such as heat and light) are minimized in summer and maximized in winter. Buildings that have a central atrium built into them also make a big difference for bringing light into the entire building, thus lessening your portion of the cost to light common areas in the building.
  • If you are looking at a newer building, ask if it is LEED certified. According to the US Green Building Council, LEED buildings lower operating costs, reduce construction waste, conserve energy and water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in cities around the country. LEED certification also is better and safer for tenants, because of healthier indoor environments.
  • Find out if your prospective office building is paying attention to their use of water. Do they have low flow toilets and faucets? Do they have reclaimed or grey water systems? These will take water from sinks and filter it for use in toilets and landscaping.
  • Ask if they are doing anything less common in the area of green building, such as a vegetative roof, which increases insulation and helps filter pollution. (If there is one, find out if tenants can eat their sack lunches on the roof!)

So think green! Contact us and let us know that you would like us to add green factors as a part of our checklist as we help you search for office space to rent. You and our planet will be glad you did!

Getting your Office Space Green

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By: James Osgood

Green Office , Office Leasing Tips , Office Space Negotiations

Getting A Great Deal On Your Office Space For Rent

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If your business is new or growing, you need to save money everywhere you can. There are many expenses associated with starting or growing a business and they're not all planned expenses. Wouldn't it be nice to have an even bigger cushion of funds than you planned on originally?  That's entirely possible when you work with a professional to find your office space for rent.

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is in choosing the first location for their business.  Maybe it's because they're so excited and eager to get things up and running that they don't take the time to choose carefully.  Or, perhaps it's just lack of experience that results in a need to upgrade to a new property sooner than they thought they would.  For many, however, it's not knowing what the rental market is like for businesses like theirs.  That's why working with a professional office tenant representative is really importnant.

If you're not familiar with the office rental market in your area, it's easy to pay too much for a space that's nowhere near big enough for you. There are also tons of other costly mistakes you can make.  Even though paying too much is a common mistake, that doesn't mean it has to be one that you make.  When you work with OfficeFinder, you'll find our professional services to be second to none in our industry.  We've helped countless, businesses just like yours, find the perfect property that's the right size and the right price.  

If there's one thing we've learned in this business, it's that it's important to have someone you trust on your side.  You need to have an advocate working for you, who has your best interests at heart.  That is what a tenent representative does for you and all at no cost to you.

We'd love to talk to you about your business.  Where do you see yourself in a year?  How about five years?  Why not contact us today, and find out how we could help you find a great deal on the perfect location?

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By: James Osgood

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

Arbitration - What You Need To Know When it Comes to Office Space

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I recently went to a continuing education class on negotiating commercial leases. There were a number of interesting ideas that I thought would be good to share on the OfficeFinder blog. I will approach each of them in a different blog post.

The first office space lease clause that I thought would be useful to share is that of the “Arbitration” clause that appears in most leases. The purpose of the arbitration clause is typically to resolve rent disputes without having to go to court. The normal process is that each party selects an arbitrator and then those arbitrators choose a third arbitrator. One of the concerns that both the landlord and office tenant have in arbitration is that the arbitrators will very simply split the difference, satisfying no one. One way around this is the use of the baseball method of arbitration. Each party chooses what they believe to be the market rate and then the arbitrators must choose the rate that is closest to what they believe is the market rate. What this does is make both parties take a much closer look at the reality of what they are asking for.

One of the arbitration descriptions I have seen in many office lease clauses is to use the rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). While none of my clients have ever had to make use of an arbitration clause, I have been cautioned, as an office tenant representative, to avoid this type of language. From what I've heard the AAA arbitrators are typically attorneys who represent developers or landlords. While this does not mean they can do a good job I would be concerned about their predisposition to possibly lean towards the landlord’s or developer’s point of view.

In order to assure that an arbitration clause will be as effective as possible the arbitration lease clause should specify the qualifications required for the arbitrators and how long the arbitrators will have to make their decision. It should also define the geographic area where comparable buildings are located and described comparable buildings and comparable space in the clause itself.

Of course, the best way to make sure the arbitration clause you are using is going to be effective is to engage a real estate attorney who is intimately familiar with office leases.

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By: James Osgood

Office Leasing Tips , Office Space Negotiations

5 Tips to Choose the Right Office Space

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Choosing the right office space, whether for rent or purchase, for your business will have a big impact on how well your business runs. The Better Business Bureau has made 5 specific recommendations to help business owners choose a space that is right for them.

Determine Your Needs

This may sound obvious, but any business owner needs to think about the entire opperation, not just the front office. Look at the space in terms of how your customers will see it and how your employees will use it.

  • Will you grow over the course of the lease? 
  • Will you need conference rooms, lunch rooms or break rooms?
  • Do you need a reception area?
  • What about storage?
  • Will you have office machines such as large copiers that need space?
  • Where will staff sit?

In general provide at least 175 square feet for each employee. Offices will be larger than this so determine who gets offices and who doesn't.

Location, Location Location

This is a very old adage that the most important aspect of an office is it's location. This is particularly true if the business requires foot traffic. Think about who your customers are and narrow down the choices.

  • Will they need parking?
  • Will they use public transportation?
  • How hard is the office to find?
  • Is there a lot of traffic in the area?
  • Will there be construction on the roads in the area in the first year?
  • Is the neighborhood safe?

It is vital to understand how easy it will be for prospects and customers to get to your business. If it is too hard they may decide to do business elswhere.

Assess The Building

It is important to look at the building as a whole. Many commercial buildings will advertise upgrades, but won't talk about repairs.

  • Ask about what changes may need to be made to the office space itself.
  • Are you allowed to put up walls for new offices as needed?
  • Have there been any recent problems with storm damge or vandalism?
  • Are there any upgrades or renovations planned during the lease?

Noise from renovations can disturb employees and customers so it is important to understand what will happen and when.

Get Professional Help

Utilizing a real estate professional who specializes in office space, an office tenant representative, will reduce the amount of work substantially. A professional will be familiar with a variety of styles of office space around the area. When know what you are looking for and can communicate these needs clearly they will be able to show you properties that meet your needs.

Review The Lease

The final step is to review the lease very carefully before signing anything. Make sure you understand what you are responsible for and what the landlord is responsible for. It is a good idea to have a lawyer review the document.

Following these 5 suggestions will help ensure the office space chosen is right for the business. For more information on choosing the right office space for you contact us.

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Offlce Leasing Process

By: James Osgood


Office Leasing Tips , Office Relocation , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Design