Monthly Archives: November 2013

Why Choose An Office Rental?

First and foremost is flexibility. An office rental vs an office lease or purchase is for a shorter period of time. The rental term is typically anywhere from  month to month to up to a year. As a result, renting can have a lower impact on your bottom line and may show up as less of a liability on your balance sheet than a longer office lease. You also won’t have to commit to a long-term lease that might not suit your future needs. This is especially important if your business is still in a fast growth mode or if you just aren’t sure how much space you will need in the future.

The downside to an office rental is that you have no rental rate protection in a market where the rents are increasing and that you only control the space for a short period of time. We always try to get our clients options to renew at predetermined rates to try to alleviate these issues. Another downside is that tenant improvement allowance are usually non-existent because of the shorter rental terms. So, you need to find office space that fits your needs as-is.

Office rentals are located in all the typical locations that leases are offered. Although, they can be harder to find, since most landlords prefer longer terms. They are out there, but you may need some help in finding the right one. A good office tenant representative can help you find and negotiate for one. They can be located in high-rise buildings or along store-front property, and even in free-standing structures. They can be in either a totally separate or a shared space; the basic concept behind an executive suite with services added on.

If you want an office rental and get the best deal possible, avoid costly mistakes and have a hassle free experience, we can help! For more information, contact us.

Office Space Predictions For 2014

In a recent quarterly commercial real estate forecast from the National Association of Realtors, they are predicting that the office space market in the US will see only slight improvement over the next year with a small, .2%, reduction in the office vacancy rate and a modest 2.5% increase in rental rates.

Specifically, here is what they reported on the Office Space Market:

“Office Markets
Vacancy rates in the office sector are expected to decline from a projected 15.6 percent in the fourth quarter to 15.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The markets with the lowest office vacancy rates presently (in the fourth quarter) are New York City, with a vacancy rate of 9.8 percent; Washington, D.C., at 9.9 percent; Little Rock, Ark., 12.0 percent; and Nashville, Tenn., 12.9 percent.

Office rents should increase 2.4 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2014. Net absorption of office space in the U.S., which includes the leasing of new space coming on the market as well as space in existing properties, is seen at 32.2 million square feet this year and 46.1 million in 2014.”

The Office Workplace is Changing. Don’t Get Left Behind

Changes in the work patterns that today’s workforce employs to excel are evolving at an amazing pace and leading to the creation of agile workplaces. It is an employee driven phenomenon, courtesy of the new generation of knowledge workers, that can benefit all generations in the workforce.

It seems that there is one article or another telling us how this company or that company cut the amount of office space they need by 50% and became more productive and profitable. However, many office workplaces are adjusting at a slow pace or not at all. Unless employers realize and adapt to these changes, their businesses will fall behind the curve, losing the cream of the crop employees; resulting in lower profits.

Focusing on reducing square footage in leased office space is one tactic, but should not be the primary goal of adapting to the new workforce work patterns. Increasing productivity and profit should be primary goal. With the changes in work patterns, the result is usually a reduction in office space. It is a byproduct of the improving productivity and profit and also in attracting and retaining the best and the brightest of the new generation of knowledge workers.

Changing Work Environments

Much work is performed today in places such as airports, home, coffee shops, in vehicles stopped along the way to the next meeting, and a plethora of other third-party workspaces.

Businesses are adjusting by implementing agile workplace technologies such as office hoteling to reserve office space, conference rooms, equipment and services as needed for employees, rather than maintaining a desk space for each employee. This is one step toward adapting to the changing work patterns of today, but alone, it is not enough. Flexibility is critical because today’s empowered teams form and evolve as needed, often without the outdated management direction.

Work Pattern Changes Reduce Costs

Management empowering employees in how and where they accomplish productive tasks is critical. The acceptance of mobility can lead to reduced costs, not just in office space square footage, but in reduction of reduced other occupancy costs such as furniture, communications, tenant improvements and the like.  Near-shoring, meaning choosing the least costly means to accomplish tasks, can save by adding contract employees or freelance subject matter experts to be employed as needed. This can cover work without the overhead of increased permanent staff. This doesn’t mean that you have to go offshore and reduce jobs in a specific country, you can find near-shore staff locally or across the US — or even by moving a task to a lower cost position in your own organization.

Work Pattern Adjustments Increase Productivity

In a study by TomorrowLab, four factors were identified that  can  significantly improve workforce productivity and create a more effective virtual team. These factors are:

  • Shared Vision and Process
  • Great People
  • Effective Communications
  • Appropriate Technology.

By combining these proven factors, a collaborative work environment can be achieved. This is a crucial factor to increase innovation, quality, and productivity.  Collaboration, virtual or face-to-face, bonds workforce members into putting the right heads together when needed to solve problems or accomplish goals.

Providing amenities at the office, such as snacks in the break room or fitness center membership (or if practical a large company  might offer on-site workout equipment), encourages people to share information when they are not “at work” and the spontaneous ideas resulting from this relaxed interpersonal bonding can lead to innovations above and beyond expectations.

High tech mobile equipment allows collaboration when working outside the office. A recent trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device e.g. computer or tablet)  is gaining popularity. Many of the younger generation use their devices for more than just business purposes.

Occasional workforce gatherings maintain contact and informs workers what progress and ideas other team members have produced, but weekly staff meetings can be seen as time-wasters. In many cases, it is best to hold these gathering less often or when there is big news to discuss or share will

Benefits of Changing with Work Pattern Changes

Organizations that are open and flexible with work pattern changes provide environments for employees to grow and prosper. Recruiting and retaining the best employees is expected to become more difficult in coming years, so creating a work environment that earns the organization the reputation of being a great place to work will pay off when recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest.

We can help. Contact us so we can get you started finding out about creating an Agile Workplace and how it might work for your company.

Multi-Purpose Coworking in Seattle

makerhausLast Sunday I was out for walk in the Fremont district of Seattle after the Seahawks game. I came upon a new coworking space that I was unfamiliar with. So naturally, I went inside to look. What I found surprised me. Makerhaus is a multipurpose coworking space of the type I have never seen or hard of before. They do offer the normal coworking options, work desks and  benches, conference room and the like, but they also offer classes and have workspaces for fabricating products including wood working, metal working, laser cutting, 3D printing and more.

Their top of the line membership includes:

  • Based on a 12 Month Agreement
  • All benefits of Co-Working
  • Full Access to the Wood and Metal Shops
  • FREE hands on 3D printing
  • FREE hands on CNC router
  • FREE hands on Laser Cutting
  • Electronics Lab
  • Mold Making Lab
  • Materials Library
  • Industrial Sewing Machines
  • Free Wood and Metal Orientation Classes
  • Free Locker Storage
  • 25% Discount on Classes

I find this a very interesting twist on coworking space. A well diversified business model. Their stated “goal is to provide the resources, education and community for creative minds to make, invent, prototype and explore without boundaries.”

It looks like a promising business. Unfortunately, as of early 2016 it was unable to continue….

Find Office Space

The Basic Steps to Getting Your Ideal Office Rental

Renting an office space is not rocket science and does not have to be an overwhelming proposal; simply work your way through these basic steps, allow enough time, get help when you need it and you’ve got your ideal office rental!

  1. Calculate how much space you need. Use our office space calculator or plan on around 175 – 200 sq. feet for each employee. It includes a typical allocation for meeting rooms, kitchen space, etc.
  2. Identify your budget, including an ideal range and an absolute upper limit. Remember that  there are other occupancy expenses, other than rent, that go into an office rental. In fact, they are usually equal to the rental amount for the office space. These include telephones, internet, insurance, utilities (depending on the type of lease you sign), tenant improvements, property and excise taxes and the like.
  3. Make a list of location preferences and prioritize them. Think about the best location for your employees, clients, deliveries, etc.
  4. Search for available office space that match your space, budget, and location needs. Be as thorough as possible in this step. (This is a great time to call in the experts at OfficeFinder!)
  5. Determine the length of your office rental: short-term or long-term, number of months, etc.
  6. Issue requests for proposals to be able to compare floor plans, prices, and other details of your top three spaces, weighing the pros and cons of each one.
  7. Choose the space that offers you the best fit for your company and begin negotiations! this is where have a qualified office tenant representative on your side really makes a difference. They do a lot more than just find space. They make sure you get the best deal possible and they don’t cost you anything to engage their services.
  8. Have an attorney and experience real estate broker review your rental agreement before you sign it. You want to avoid any costly mistakes, don’t you?
  9. Get any tenant improvements constructed and you are ready to move in. Congratulations.

It is important, at the beginning of the process, to write down a list of needs and preferences for your rental space. Checkout our office space planning checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything. Determine the items you cannot negotiate, and also the items you will be willing to compromise on. Identify your dream space and also what will simply meet your needs and allow your business to function at a high level.

Contact us today to ask your questions and find the ideal office rental space for your business!

The office rental process in more detail.

Atlanta Office Space Market Overview

The most populous city in the state of Georgia, Atlanta originated as a railroad town in 1837, and has had a rich history ever since.  The city became a distributor of military supplies during the Civil War because of its railroad network.  This is the same reason that the capital was moved there in 1868, and is one of the reasons for its vital role during World War II.

In the 1960s, Atlanta became the major organizational center for the Civil Rights Movement.  It has since become one of the most multicultural cities in the U.S. due, in part, to the influx of new immigrants over the past ten years.

Atlanta is home to more than thirty colleges and universities.  The most prominent university being the Georgia Institute of Technology, with programs in engineering, computing, the sciences, and liberal arts.  Young, college-educated professionals have contributed to much of this decade’s demographic change in the city of Atlanta.

The increase in Atlanta’s diverse population has led to a unique cultural combination which is no longer strictly Southern.  Encompassing opera, ballet, music, and theater, Atlanta has become a national center for the arts.  This culture has contributed to making the city a hub for tourism – the seventh most visited city in the U.S.

Atlanta Economy

Atlanta’s economy is largely driven by corporate operations headquartered within the metropolitan area, making it the eighth largest economy in the nation.  The highly educated workforce in the city has drawn many Fortune 500 companies to headquarter here, including The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T Mobility, UPS, and Delta Airlines.

Atlanta Office Space

The majority of the metro Atlanta office space is located in Downtown Atlanta, with the second-largest concentration being in Midtown Atlanta.  Buckhead is the city’s uptown district, located north of Downtown, and the third-largest business district.  The current market conditions for these market areas is below.  For more information regarding office space in Atlanta, see also Atlanta Office Space sister site.

Sub-Market

Vacancy Rate

YTD Net Absorption

Avg. Rental Rate

Downtown

24%

119,927

$20.89

Midtown

21.9%

69,375

$24.76

Buckhead

18.4%

264,171

$25.52

Source: Atlanta Office Marketview, q3 2013; CBRE Global Research and Consulting

Re-Imaging the Office Workplace Into the Agile Workplace

Here is a great video on the changing office space workplace and the re-imaging of the office workplace that is in process. You will find it is 9 minutes well spent and is entertaining in addition to educational. It is a great overview of the emergence of the Agile Workplace and the changes that are needed to allow knowledge workers achieve maximum productivity with a good work / life balance.

Thanks to Duke Long for pointing out this video in his blog.

We can help. Contact us so we can get you started finding out about creating an Agile Workplace and how it might work for your company.

More on the Agile Workplace

Find Office Space

By: James Osgood

3 Important Considerations When Looking For Office Space For Rent

Having an office is essential for the vast majority of businesses. Searching for the right office space for rent is critical for those who are serious about their company and employees.

A few considerations to start:

  • The Location of the Office Building
  • The Security of  the Office and Office Building
  • The Amount of Space Required

The Office Location

This aspect is usually one of the most important factor to consider. With the constantly increasing traffic problems, easy access for clients and employees tops the list. Transportation options for your  employees also needs to be considered, if you want to retain them. Having a building that is near a bus stop or other means of transportation may be a good idea.

Amenities that are near the office building itself are also important in keeping a happy workforce. Locations that have a few restaurants and shops in the area is a good consideration.

Office Security

Having a secure building is more important than just keeping the documents and information that is in the building secure, it is also about the mindset of the employees who are working there. It is best if they are able to have peace of mind while working. Security in the building is a big part of this.

Installing a business security system is the way to go. Some may also consider having an armed guard in the building depending on the type of business that is housed there. Find out more on office space security.

Office Space Required

How much space is just right? That is the question that everyone interested in looking for office space for rent or lease. Needless to say, it is important to not take on too much or too little space. Try our office space calculator to help in determining how much office space you might need. it is not intended to be exact, but will give you a good estimate of how much you should be considering.

These are just  three important considerations when looking for just the right office space for rent or lease. Also, check out our office space planning checklist to all the considerations you need to take into account.

If you want to rent office space and get the best deal possible, avoid costly mistakes and have a hassle free experience. Engage the services of a qualified office space tenant Rep, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder. For more information, contact us.

A Downside to Downsizing Employee’s Office Space Allocation

We have all been reading for quite a while how many companies are downsizing their office space by making it more efficient; allocating office space to as low as 100 sf per person. The past recession made it very popular and was supported by employees… to help save their jobs. Now that the recession is nearing its end, is it still such a good idea? There are ways to do it the right way, like the Agile Workplace, but also some diametrically opposed forces in an office  tenant’s life when it comes to the amount of office space they’ll take; then, of course, there’s reality!

The Parking Dilemma

On one hand, you have a landlord who wants you to take more than less office space.  Then you have the furniture vendor that wants to sell you new furniture by telling you can add more people per square foot and take less space. Then there’s the reality of existing parking.  If the general parking ratios are 4-6/1000 sf leased in suburban markets and 1-3/1000 in downtown markets, then a tenant must evaluate the realities of achieving a higher parking ratio and the associated cost if they are heeding the furniture vendors prodding and work to achieve a 100 sf of office space per employee allocation.

The best approach is to design the space as efficiently as possible and then overlay existing parking need on existing parking availability.  Once you determine the delta, if any, a good office tenant representative can investigate all available parking to address the overage, to include negotiating a higher ratio in your existing lease.  Beware of planning an office space showing a much higher body count than parking ratios allow or the landlord may mandate a lower density layout to avoid any future parking showdown.

Find A Good Tenant Rep

By: James Osgood and Sarah & Craig Castor

Austin Office Space Market Conditions

As the capital of Texas, Austin is the second largest state capital in the United States, and the fourth largest city in Texas.  Located in central Texas, Austin became the capital city in 1838, when it was moved from its original location of Houston.

Citizens of Austin, known as Austinites, enjoy a diverse lifestyle, culture, and liberal political environment amidst the more conservative leanings of Texas, as a whole.  This has earned them the sarcastic label “People’s Republic of Austin.”   Environmentally conscious citizens of Austin are resistant to rapid growth and irresponsible development, opting to “Keep Austin Weird.”

Austin’s official slogan is The Live Music Capital of the World.  The city is host to many live music events and festivals, producing the longest-running concert music television program in America, Austin City Limits.  Many a musician has launched their career in Austin, including Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin, Robert Plant, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Besides it’s eclectic music and arts scene, Austin  is home to many museums and theatres.  The city itself has been the location of many Hollywood films, such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dazed and Confused, and Office Space.

Home of the University of Texas at Austin, the city developed into an economic center for technology and business in the 1980’s.  Several Fortune 500 companies have headquart offices here, including Dell (located in the suburb of Round Rock), Apple, eBay, Texas Instruments, and Whole Foods Market.  As the headquarters for many technology corporations, Austin was nicknamed “Silicon Hills” in the 90’s.  With a steady stream of engineering and computer science graduates from the university, and lower housing costs than San Francisco’s Silicon Valley, Austin is considered a high tech mecca.

Presently the Austin office space market conditions suggest that the market is beginning to rebound.  In August 2013, Austin topped Forbes’ list for job growth.  Citywide, office space vacancies dropped, although asking office rental rates continued upward.  Below are the third quarter office market statistics as reported in CBRE Research, Q3 2013.

See also Austin Office Market Information.

Austin Office Sub-Market

Vacancy Rate

Net Absorption
(SQ FT)

Avg. Rental Rate

CBD

12.1%

-16,192

Class A – $41.39
Class B – $31.26

Northwest

11%

27,314

Class A – $29.09
Class B – $24.25

Far Northwest

14%

178,494

Class A – $28.16
Class B – $24.07

North Central

23%

50,450

Class A – $30.15
Class B – $20.73

Round Rock

16.8%

23,775

Class A – N/A
Class B – $22.80

East

16.4%

-4,923

Class A – N/A
Class B – $17.31

South

20.9%

16,447

Class A – $24.00
Class B – $14.43

Southwest

8.1%

-40,057

Class A – $32.5
Class B – $25.86