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Negotiating the Best Commercial Office Lease: The Standard Office Space Lease Agreement

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So you’ve found that perfect commercial office space for your organization, whether a small start-up or huge corporation. You’ve viewed the property and made a clear assessment that all your needs are available at the selected location.

Once you’ve told the commercial office property owner that you want to locate your business in their property, you are likely to be presented with a standard lease package. Do not sign any papers at this point but accept the lease for review. Explain to the landlord that you much go over the lease with care so that you completely understand it.

You specific needs are unique and may require significant lease changes during negations. Here are a few specific points that any tenant should look for in the standard lease package:

·         An accurate description of the commercial office space should be clearly listed in the lease.

·         How much is the rent and exactly when is it due? Are there any late charges if not paid on the correct date?

·         Is there a security deposit and how much is it? Under what conditions is this deposit repaid upon vacating the commercial office space and what conditions permit the landlord to refuse to return the security deposit?

·         What is the lease period and are there provisions to facilitate lease renewal if desired?

·         What are the terms in the lease regarding vacating the premises early? Do you have the right to move into another, larger office space owned by the landlord without penalty? Do you have any rights to rent additional space if your business grows more rapidly than anticipated?

·         Is there a cleaning deposit for preparing the space for the next tenant when you vacate the premises and is this fee returned if you leave the premises in the same condition as upon delivery?

·         Identify verbiage defining how much parking may be used by the tenant and what, if any, number of spaces can be marked as reserved.

·         Review all references to use of common space. You should have the right to enter and egress at any time of day or night and access to all common spaces unless specific restrictions are contained in the lease. Also, watch out for clauses regarding common space upkeep or charges.

·         The lease should clearly state what utilities are the responsibility of the tenant as well as what are paid by the landlord. The same goes for charges for maintenance and repairs for any problems not the result of misuse or neglect on the part of the tenant.

·         Is there are space in the lease or reference to an addendum where notes regarding the condition of the property at delivery may be noted.

·         Is there any defined allowance for tenant improvements?

·         What rights to signage are included in the lease?

·         Does the lease provide for delivery of a punch list after tenant improvements are accomplished?

There are dozens of additional points that will stand out in the lease to you. Some of them may be points you do not understand and you should highlight these for investigation. Other verbiage may not meet your needs. Highlight each portion of the lease that either is unclear, misleading or requires negotiation. These are items that you will need to cover with the help of your leasing team.

In the next article in this series we will determine who the members of your leasing team should be and how to select the best team to ensure the best commercial office lease for your business. 

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By: James Osgood

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

Negotiating the Best Lease for Commercial Office Space: An Introduction

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Perhaps you operate a small start-up business that has outgrown your home office. Maybe your company is mid-sized and is growing out of the commercial office space you occupy. Or, you may head a large organization that needs an additional facility to support a new contract. Whatever your situation, you’ve realized that you need to lease a commercial office space.

You’ve begun the search for space. You may have used an online commercial office locator such as Office Finder or you may have search by driving by empty facilities. Whatever method you used, you’ve found the perfect location that suits your every need. It has location, location, location, plenty of parking for employees and customers, good security, and you have decided it is the spot for your organization whether large or small.

Now you are ready to negotiate the best lease possible. The lease negotiation process is much like visiting a foreign country where you do not speak the language. You might walk into a restaurant, thinking you ordered chicken and be served fish.

In order to obtain a lease for the commercial office space, you need an experienced guide who will have your best interest at heart and who has negotiated many successful leases in the past. A lease broker is a necessity. It’s a sure bet that the landlord or property management company offering the lease has plenty of experienced assistance to help them get the advantage. So, protect yourself by following some important processes that can help you negotiate successfully.

In this series of posts we will look deeper into the necessary processes and step:

The Basic Process: In this process we will look into reading the standard commercial office space lease initially offered by the landlord and spotting the points that require negotiation.

The Team you Need on Your Side: Here we will look at choosing a Lease Broker, Space Planner, and Legal Counsel if needed. We’ll determine why this team is needed and what each party will do to help you negotiate the lease.

When Disaster Hits: - What terminology does the lease contain regarding damage, whether caused by you or by an act of nature and who is responsible for what costs. You really want to ensure you protect yourself and your organization when the totally unexpected occurs.

Financial Analysis: How and why do you need to do a full financial analysis on what it will really cost you to lease the commercial property?  The results may surprise you and negotiation points will be revealed that are not apparent by simply reading verbiage in the lease.

Relocation Clause Protection: What happens is your outgrow the office space before the lease ends? What happens if you need to relocate due to property condemnation or any other reason?

Tenant Improvements Allowances and Permissions: This important leasing process determines what tenant improvements will be permitted and who will pay for what. This negotiation point can cost you thousands of dollars if not addressed property. Learn how to get the best lease options in this area.

The Devil is in the Details: The fine print can be difficult to understand but is just as important as any other process of commercial lease negotiation. What details should you and your lease broker discuss in detail and how should they be negotiated to protect your unique interests?

The Final Step, Lease Signing: After negotiating the best commercial office space lease for your organization, it is at long last time for you and your lease broker to sit down at the table with the landlord and his or her team and sign the legal documents after a final review.: 

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By: James Osgood

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

The Evolving Office Workspace - Managing The High Maintenance Generation Y

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The youngest group of employees in the workplace today is comprised of those born after 1981 and generally considered to be from before 2005s. This group is known as Generation Y or Millennials and they make up 27.7 percent of the total workforce according to the United States Census Bureau inn the stuck “2010 Census Briefs – Age and Sex Composition”. The American Society of Training and Development reported that during the next 20 years, 76 million workers will retire while only 46 million workers will enter the workforce to replace them. Most of these 46 million workers will be Millennial generation workers. Just as the three older generations in today’s workforce, Gen Y workers have unique desires and needs that they expect from their manager and the business for which they work. 

Generation Y employees will be crucial to business enterprises. They will certainly change the way business is conducted in many ways. But, in currently and in the immediate future these employees offer great challenges to management to ensure these workers integrate with the existing workforce with as little conflict as possible. 

Among the positive traits brought to the workforce, one of the major benefits that Millennials bring t the workplace is their high degree of technological skills. These employees were practically born with a computer in front of them and are intrigues by each and every development in the work of Information Technology. Millennials grew up with digital global communication capability at their fingertips. They view information of all kinds to be immediate and available on demand. They understand using virtual teams to solve problems and are extremely team oriented..  

They view the business work as a global workplace, viewing the entire world as potential sources of information, clients, and community. Millennials seek fast-track career positions, frequent positive feedback, the latest technology and challenging training opportunities. Their outspokenness brings them to challenge long outdated work policies and conventions, offering businesses to perform a check on the hypocrisies and short comings of today’s workplace. Ultimately, Gen Yers may well drive change for the better. 

Much has been said and published about the negative points of Millennials. They tend to have a sense of entitlement and are outspoken. This group of workers does not take constructive criticism well and require more direction and feedback from superiors than previous generations. Fortune magazine stated in its May 28, 2007 edition that this group are “the most high-maintenance, yet potentially most high-performing generation in history because its members are entering the workplace with more information, greater technological skill and higher expectations of themselves and others than prior generations.”  Additionally, Time’s July 16, 2007 edition stated that members of Generation Y want the kind of life balance where every minute has meaning; they don’t want to be slaves to their jobs as they feel their Baby Boomer parents were and often still are. Millennials also want employers to be socially responsible causes and allow for volunteer commitments through the use of flex-time or compensation time. Flexibility in work hours is important to this group of workers. 

Yes, this generation requires a great deal of management, but it is well worth the effort to recruit them into your business They are smart and have the drive and creative thinking to make a real different in the business world and in a company’s profitability.  

It is clear that recruiting Generation Y members and adjusting to their wants and needs will prepare industry for the entry of the next generation, people that are expected to be even more technology oriented. While this generation does not even yet have a “name”, it won’t be long before they begin entering the workforce and seeking employment in your company. 

By understanding the four major groups into today’s workforce and providing for each group’s needs, effective employees can find their jobs satisfying and are more likely to remain with your business. Each group brings many positive aspects, all of which can be used effectively to gain greater efficiency and streamline operations to ensure profitability. 

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By: James Osgood

Flexible Workspace

The Evolving Office Workplace - Managing Generation X in the Office Workplace

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The third group of workers currently building careers in the workforce is those people born between 1965 and 1980.  Called Generation X, often shortened to Gen X, this group makes up 19 percent of the total workforce today. As the Veterans and Baby Boomers retire, Gen Xers will soon comprise the majority of the workforce.

While stereotyping any group of people, Gen Xers have on average displayed traits that can benefit an organization if managed properly; however, if these workers are managed as if “one size fits all”, major conflicts can result. Gen Xers have a very different attitude and opinion about work and how to accomplish work effectively.

Gen Xers seek balance between work and family. They want to be evaluated by the results of their efforts rather than the hours spent in the office. After watching their parents “live to work”, Xers are committed to “working to live” and finding satisfying work that allows flexibility.

The different attitudes and opinions of Generation Xers has forced organizations to rethink everything including management techniques, standards and regulations, compensation, and much more. Generation X employees are loyal first to themselves yet strongly loyal to their employers. They have skepticism about large organizations and do not like dealing with bureaucracy and inflexible rules. They tend to change jobs more frequently than past generations, choosing jobs that offer more flexibility and better benefits. Employers who communicate to Generation Xers to “follow the rules and accept things the way they are or go work some place else” will quickly find that in most cases, the employee will go somewhere else.

Flexibility in work styles and locations is important to Gen Xers. Because money is not the main factor sought by Gen Xers, offering telecommuting and flexible work hours as an will likely be viewed by this group as a great reward and motiving factor. It shows trust for the employee on the part of the employer and flexibility of work hours; however, the older generations may assume that the telecommuter is not working at all since they are not sitting at their desk in the traditional office.

Generation Xers want a work environment that is fun and makes them want to come to the office. Some examples include casual dress except on days when meeting directly with important clients, the opportunity to take unpaid sabbaticals, or the option to take time off instead of getting paid for overtime. This group of workers seeks career development opportunities. They desire high levels of responsibility and want ways to allow innovative appropriate creative ideas to be input into projects and tasks.  

 By understanding and respecting the work styles and values of the Generation Xers, any organization can benefit from their skills and the value they add to the bottom line. Using this understanding, struggles between the younger team members and the older groups can be mitigated. Create a work environment that respected each age group and educate employees to respect all employees to build a workplace culture that works for everyone.

Next, we will look at the youngest generation currently in the work environment: Generation Y. 

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By: James Osgood

Flexible Workspace

Meet Manhattan's 7 World Trade Center - Our Newest Member

We are pleased to welcome our newest Office Business Center member to OfficeFinder. Silver Suites is located in the newest of the World trade Center Buildings to be coming on line this Summer, WTC 7. Located on the 46th floor of 7 World Trade Center,  our Class-A five-star executive suite center will feature 60 pre-built, business-ready offices and multi-room suites of varying sizes, many with breathtaking panoramic Manhattan and river views. In addition, we will be offering a variety of services and amenities, including receptionist and concierge services, state of the art IT infrastructure, fully equipped meeting rooms designed to impress your clients, a beautiful event space and many other professional services. 

Here is a short video on the property.

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Executive Suites , Flexible Workspace , Green Office , Manhattan Office Space , New York Office Space