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A Few Things to Consider Before Signing an Agreement for Office Space for Lease

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Renting office space can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. In some of those anxious moments, it can easy to get caught up in all the excitement and sign a lease agreement that has unfavorable terms.  Since the success of your business largely depends on the right rental terms, you’ll want to check out a few important details whenever you are considering office space for lease.

The type of lease that’s being offered can make or break your business, as some could result in your paying large additional charges you weren’t prepared for. The common types of commercial leases are:

  • Percentage lease, which involves you paying a base rent in addition to a percentage of your monthly sales (retail leases)
  • Net lease that includes base rent and a nominal charge for taxes and insurance
  • Double net lease that requires you to pay rent in addition to the entire cost of taxes and insurance
  • Triple net lease which mandates that you pay rent, taxes, insurance and maintenance fees
  • Fully serviced lease or gross lease in which the landlord pays for additional expenses and then passes them on as a “load factor and increased from a base year.”

When choosing a fully serviced lease, it’s important to understand what the load factor and base year means. It is essentially a way to calculate the total monthly rent when a tenant has usable square footage in addition to common areas. For example, a business could occupy space in a building where stairways, restrooms and entryways are common space. In this instance, the load factor covers the expense associated with maintaining these areas, spreading them evenly among all who use them. The base year is the year in which you must pay for any excess expenses over the amount for that lease year. You have to be careful that the base year is current or in the future when signing a lease.

Although you may be offered a deal for signing an extended lease, if you’re a startup or growing business, you should be leery about doing so. That’s because you just might find the needs of your business change a great deal over the first couple of years. For this reason, you should consider a short-term lease that’s between one and two years if you are a brand new company.

It’s also a good idea to ask about initial improvement allowances, remodeling or redecorating when signing a lease. Most long term leases will include a tenant improvement allowance. Make sure you know if that is on a rentable or useable square footage bases. It can make a difference of 15% or more. You may choose to build cubicles, add new carpeting or paint the walls once you settle in, so you need to know if this is something that’s allowed. Many times, minor modifications are allowed as long as the structural integrity of the building is not altered in any way.

When it comes to choosing the right office space, the terms of a lease are every bit as important as the location. Your best bet is to have an Office Tenant Representative on your side. There is no additional cost to you, so it is a no lose situation. You will save money and avoid costly mistakes. To find office space with exactly the right terms for you, contact us today.

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By: James Osgood

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

Unconventional Office Space is a Hot Trend that is here to Stay

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There used to be a time when renting an office was an exercise in visiting virtually identical office space locations in various buildings. Cubicles dominated the seating arrangements for the workers while enclosed office spaces denoted the domains of company executives. Recent trends in commercial office space rentals are showing this setup to quickly become antiquated.

Companies that wish to portray an image of being in step with the times, and perhaps even thought leaders in their fields, will do well to take a cue from this trend that now favors the more unconventional office setup. If you are in charge of organizing your business’ next office accommodations, what should you look for?

Top Floor Spaces are Hot Properties

In the past, spacious top floors were reserved for large law firms and investment companies. Starting in New York, commercial landlords discovered that breaking up these large spaces would attract a bevy of companies that either dealt with an artistic or exclusive clientele.

The draw here was the use of a second elevator, which clients interpreted as a private access, or a private staircase that only clients were permitted to use. Artistically-minded clients appreciated high ceilings, skylights and breathtaking views. One supermarket chain discovered that top floor offices with some of these unique features impressed their visitors, particular if they came from Europe.

Modifications to the Open-plan Design

If a top floor property is not to your liking, choose an open-plan design instead and then modify it. Writing for the International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, researchers note that there is an ongoing move toward an evolving office. It is largely based on the open-plan design but takes into account the importance of collaboration between workers.

Strategically placed hubs of interaction combine functionality with the opportunity for unscheduled collaboration. Researchers also determine that a departure from a layout of strictly individual work spaces actually result in cost savings. The experts greatly encourage the setup of hot desks, which allow workers to collaborate in pairs or small groups as needed. The desks are set up for phone, light and computer connectivity.

Creature Comforts save Money and Increase Productivity

Reviewing the work spaces of trendy companies that are taking their fields by storm as well as those that are established as industry leaders, the Harvard Business Review discovered that their offices spaces supported productivity by cutting down on unwanted interruptions.

When you have the ability to control the office space and make changes, you can head off likely interruptions to your workers’ productivity before they occur. For example, an attractive screen in front of the delivery entrance makes the appearance of the delivery driver less disruptive for workers who are not in charge of receiving deliveries. Add natural light, energy-efficient appliances as well as green office space considerations, and you know that you will save money even as you increase productivity.

OfficeFinder is committed to put its tenant representatives to work on your behalf. We will work tirelessly to find you the type of office space that is exactly right for your company. Contact us today to discover how you can enhance your brand with the right space.

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By: James Osgood

Office Relocation , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Design

Philadelphia Office Space Market Update

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The center of economic activity in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is known for its scrumptious cheesesteak and soft pretzels.  A city with more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other in the U.S., The City of Brotherly Love boasts a thriving mix of arts, culture, and ethnicity.  Sports teams abound, representing all the major leagues, including football, basketball, and baseball.

Philadelphia is home to several Fortune 500 companies, and economically represents information technology, manufacturing, food processing, and health care.  As there are many national historical sites within its borders, the city’s economy is also heavily represented by tourism. 

Its central location, exciting and emerging arts scene, sports teams, and affordably diverse neighborhoods makes Philadelphia a desirable urban city for over 1.5 million people.

The Philadelphia office market leasing activity increased in the first quarter 2013.  New construction is taking place in the educational, medical sectors, on a build-to-suit basis.  Suburban buildings are being renovated in place of new construction.  Many companies are opting to either downsize, or renew their existing leases.

Market

Vacancy Rate

Absorption (SF)

Avg Rent ($/SF)

CBD

13.5%

125,003

Class A - $28.65

Class B - $23.69

Bucks County

23.9%

214

Class A - $29.68

Class B - $21.86

Central/Delaware County

12.8%

-26,747

Class A - $28.30

Class B - $23.55

Exton/Malvern

21.7%

-120,748

Class A - $24.87

Class B - $23.85

*Source: Newmark Grubb Knight Frank 1Q 2013 Report

The expectation for the Philadelphia office market for 2013 leans towards a modest increase in leasing activity as the market continues to improve.  More robust growth is expected to materialize once the labor market recovers.

More Philadelphia Office Space Market Information

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By: James Osgood

Philiadelphia Office Space

Renting a Green Office Space Can Increase Competitiveness

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Going green at the office is a topic that has been in the news since 2007. Yet more and more companies are going beyond environmentally-friendly employee behavior and are extending these attitudes into office space rental considerations. The University of Berkeley discovered that that the development of an active environmental policy actually has a positive impact on a company’s competitiveness in the marketplace. How can you benefit from this trend when it comes to finding the perfect office rental for your company?

Green Construction Cuts Down on Operating Costs

The cost savings associated with already installed active solar collectors are not negligible. They greatly decrease the amount of money your company spends on daily electricity. When your targeted office building also falls into the passive solar collection category, you know that its positioning will greatly decrease the need for daytime artificial light usage and winter heating expenditures. A central atrium is a big plus when you look for an office that receives natural light from all sides.

Green Landscaping Reduces Water Costs

When you rent office space, the overall operating costs of the property are built into the square footage price Choose a green building that has environmentally friendly features, which extend to the choice of landscaping. While a nicely manicured landscape provides excellent curb appeal and increases the suitability of the building as an office address, the choice of exotic flora can greatly increase the water costs. Pick an office building that uses native plants in its landscape, which cuts down on the watering cost significantly.

Green Office Space Reduces Employee Absenteeism

Whether you have 10 employees or 100, the absence of even just one worker creates a drain on your company’s productivity. A study by the City of Seattle proves that a decrease of indoor pollutants has made it possible for one company to reduce its absenteeism rate by 40 percent. In addition, productivity went up by 5 percent. When you combine the use of green building technology with the choice of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and companies, it is clear that this is a result your company could imitate.

OfficeFinder, LLC employs a staff of highly-trained tenant representatives who can help you find the right green office space that suits your company’s size and needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help you find the perfect office rental.

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By: James Osgood

Green Office , Office Rental , Office Space

5 Unexpected and Unusual Office Spaces

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Move over cubicles. Step aside neon lights.  What if you could transform your office space into a place that was unique to you yet functional? Whether you work from home and need more room or you just need a change of scenery. Here are 5 unexpected office spaces that will get you rethinking hating Monday mornings.

Garages
For those who work at home, converting your garage into the studio of your dream is one of the best ways to not only expand on unused square footage and play off the industrial vibe. Garages aren't just studios for artists or mechanics, in fact they can be converted into a chic space.  Depending on the part of the globe you live on, will depend what types of doors you are going to want to use.  Buying garage doors in Edmonton climate types versus Los Angeles climate types is going to be very different. For a chic look, consider using old barn doors in your garage office space.

Flooring: Concrete flooring is not only in style but it is durable as well.  Although you will want to poor concrete over the existing concrete in your garage (if it's cracked or has oil stains on it).  If you feel concrete alone is a little too stark of a look, add some rugs in order to liven it up.

Beach side
If your company is casual, upbeat, and innovative, then you will have no problem bringing your office to the beach.  Nothing will bring more motivation to the work table quite like having an ocean view to stare at all day.  Set up desks to face outward so that you constantly have an a beautiful ocean view.


Truck
Food trucks do it all the time, so why can't you?  If your business is internet based and doesn't require you to be in one place all the time why not take it mobile--literally? IF you have client meetings, why not come directly to them? You can even convert your moving size truck/van into a complete office with a table to have meetings in.  Picture motor home meets trailer.

Outdoors
In summer months some innovative companies choose to bring their offices outdoors.  If you live in a climate that doesn't melt you away during the summer like the desert, build a canopy like outdoor creation just outside your office.  Complete it with wireless access and wireless devices such as tablets or laptops in order for everyone in your company to maintain efficiency.

Nook
For those who don't have the financial capabilities that many unique office solutions require, why not convert small spaces into a wonderful office.  If you run a startup company or a company that works solely from home, try converting a space such as a closet into an office space that you can store away.  If you office lacks square footage, simply create small nooks where you are allotted privacy yet space saving qualities.

Guest post by Leslie Mason

Office Space , Office Space Design