Monthly Archives: February 2015

Office Hoteling: 4 Factors to Employee Acceptance

Office HotelingIn an effort to cut costs, more and more companies are turning to office hoteling software. Office hoteling involves assigning workspace on an “as needed” basis rather than permanently, and requires fewer resources in order to implement. Offices that have implemented office hoteling policies typically reduce their office space needs by 30% to 50% from their current usage. In many cases it is a part of a business transitioning to an “Agile Workplace.” Making the switch can sometimes be difficult on employees, which is why you should keep these tips in mind when doing so.

  1. The first thing you should do is hold a meeting to discuss your plans so that employees are not caught off guard. Explain your reasons for wanting this change, and reassure them that it will not affect their ability to perform certain tasks. Allow them to voice their concerns, and keep their feedback in mind whenever coming up with a final plan.
  2. Workers are likely to be concerned with how they will store their personal belongings in a hoteling environment. As such, you may want to invest in lockers or moveable carts so that individuals can easily keep their personal items safe. You should also have a plan in place for keeping office supplies stocked , as employees are likely to become disgruntled if they arrive at a workstation only to find they don’t have what they need.
  3. Make sure each workstation has ergonomic chairs that can easily be height adjusted as need be. Spaces should also be well lit, and contain partitions that will provide a degree of privacy while also controlling noise levels. Consider placing computer locks at each desk so that workers who bring their own laptops can secure them whenever they leave the area for any reason.
  4. Your workstations should also be set up in such a manner that equipment such as copiers, scanners and fax machines are easily accessible to everyone. Keep in mind that a few private offices or conference rooms may need to be included in your floor plan so that meetings can take place when necessary.

Want to know more about office hoteling or creating an Agile Workplace? We can help your workplace become an agile one, please Contact us and we will get you started in learning about creating an Agile Workplace and then showing you how it might work for your company.

Medical office space: The emergence and effects of master leases

Medical office spaceIf you’ve been looking for medical office space, then you must probably have noticed that the sector is changing with the emergence of master leases. In a master lease a large organization or institution will take the lease on several floors of office space and then sublease smaller spaces to healthcare providers. Once they have been signed, these contracts give well-funded companies the opportunity to offer individual lease contracts to physicians and other healthcare practitioners. There are many advantages associated with master leases, which is why they are currently trending and expected to significantly impact the medical sector in the years to come. This article discusses the emergence and effects of master leases.

New, larger medical office space is available

One of the main benefits of master leases is that they spur the construction of modern buildings that meet the new standards of the healthcare sector. Indeed, healthcare professionals used to rent office space in conventional buildings, which they then tried to convert into medical office space. This often made it hard for certain doctors to successfully integrate a geographical area of interest due to the limited availability of high-quality medical office space. The advent of master leases is to bring changes that will affect the activity of doctors in various ways. For instance, critics are already pointing out that the cost of renting new and modern medical office space could be prohibitive given the recent surge in medical office lease rates across the nation.

The role of the Affordable Care Act

As you might know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought massive changes in the U.S. healthcare system. While some have complained about its negative implications such as the technological standards that doctors are now required to meet when caring for patients, others have praised the fact that the new legislation means more business for physicians. To accommodate the new influx of patients, doctors will need to be in larger and better-equipped offices.

The emergence of master leases is putting pressure on rents since medical office space is demanded by creditworthy doctors. This is a win-win situation for both corporate landlords and tenants, since the latter will be eligible for all the benefits associated with the ACA full compliance.

Please contact us for more information on  medical office space.

OfficeFinder Office Tenant Rep Directory

Find Office Space

Image courtesy of mapichai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Office Relocation Planning Guide: 10 Tips for a Successful Office Move

office relocation hand truckAn office relocation is no fun, but at times in a necessary evil in order to move your business forward. Following these 10 tips will make the outcome much better.

1)  Select a mover with office relocation experience; do not use firms with only residential or household moving experience.  Don’t use a broker, rather contract with the company actually doing the move.

2) Consider the cost and difficulty of assembly and dis-assembly when buying office furniture and modular wall and furniture components

3) Check with the local municipal government of your new location for civil code requiring a permit if your street will be obstructed during the move.  If so, you may wish to consider including permit costs into your contract with your moving company.

4) Choose moving cartons no larger than 2 cubic feet in volume, anything larger could cause lifting injuries to employees.  The National Safety Council reports that 70% of all workers compensation claims are due to back injuries cause by lifting.

5) Your computer and other technology equipment should be wrapped and secure in bubble wrap as opposed to furniture pads.  Rent special crates from your mover to insure your systems are moved safely.

6) Consult with your office equipment vendor regarding the proper method of transport for copiers and laser printers.  Often manufacturers require you remove the toner or other specific components before moving.

7) Ask your mover how they will protect your flooring, carpeting and doorways during the move out of your existing location and the move into your new space. Consider purchasing additional liability insurance.

8) Before emptying file cabinets, see if your mover is capable of transporting your file systems intact, without damaging the file system’s structure.  Instead of emptying, packing, and unpacking desk contents, consider using special inflatable, non-destructive fillers to immobilize contents during transit.

9) Label ALL items, furniture, boxes, and other packages.  Again, label EVERYTHING.  Place labels on the top and at least one side of each package.  Color coded labels can help with efficiency, and it’s a good idea to mark which end is up on boxes and packages.  Appropriately mark FRAGILE items.

10)  Consider the location of electrical outlets at your new site and have plenty of appropriately rated extension cords/outlet strips that can be strategically placed before heavy furniture and equipment block the wall outlets.  Also keep on hand plenty of extra telephone and cat-5 cable.

OfficeFinder Office Tenant Rep Directory

Find Office Space

The 3 C’s to Creating a Great Office Space Design

3C's of great Office Space DesignWhile there is more than just office space design and layout considerations to maximizing employee engagement, poorly designed office space can be a very negative factor that will directly affect the bottom line. The coworking  workplace concept may be a forerunner of the future work-styles, but it is today’s integration of three C’s in office space design that is helping to redefine office space design of the workplace. These are the 3 C’s;  Concentration, Collaboration, and Community. The relationships between and among these three C’s are critical in creating an office with high-performance workspace that enhances employee engagement and satisfaction. The three C’s must work together to support multiple ways of working and to provide the ability for businesses to react quickly to the fast changing business environment.

Concentration – First and foremost the office space design needs to take into account the need for space within the office that its conducive to tasks that require quiet concentration. Concentration space will typically take up around 50% of the space including private offices, focus rooms and open area workstations.

Collaboration – Most companies are focused on developing means for better Collaboration and cooperation in sharing of ideas. While this is an important concept, it must be evaluated in relation to the other two C’s to avoid unnecessarily taking on too much office space.

Community – Companies are also recognizing the importance of creating a sense of Community among employees by having areas that are designed to enable and enhance it are important in today’s workplace. It is team building; the development of trust and core values among employees.

With 50% of the space allocated to Concentration space, the other 50 percent will be divided between Collaboration and Community spaces.

We are all used to evaluating office space needs on a square foot per person basis, but with the new works styles a new set of metrics must expand beyond square feet  per person to include:

  • Square Feet per Seat
  • Persons-to-Seats Sharing Ratio
  • Number of “I” Seats to Number of “We” Seats Ratio

via A New Set of Metrics for High-Performance Workspaces.

OfficeFinder Office Tenant Rep Directory

Find Office Space

Regus Growing Like Crazy

And I mean crazy like a fox. Wish you bought this stock in July of 2012? If you had and held onto it, you would have doubled your money. Regus has seen some amazing growth in their stock value along with its continued expansion of its executive suites and flexible workplace solutions.Regus Stock GrowthAt the beginning of 2012 Regus (pdf)  had 1,203 office centers in 550 cities, 94 countries and had 1 Million customers. Today Regus has over 2,000 office centers in 750 cities, 100 countries with over 1.5 million customers. A pretty amazing growth curve. The current consensus among financial analysts is that Regus (RGU:London) will continue to outperform the market.

According to Regus they believe “The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 1.5 million members want support – city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.”

While most of the executive suite businesses limit themselves to locating in traditional business locations, Regus has taken it a step further by providing access to the clients in a myriad of different types of locations to ensure there customers can work where, when and how they want to work, even if traveling. Many of the major airports have Regus drop in locations. In Europe, train stations and service stations. A great selling point.

We do a lot of business with Regus. Many of the visitors who come to OfficeFinder looking for assistance see the benefit of locating in one of their locations. While they may not always be the least expensive officing option in the market, as the market leader they do provide many perks that local competitors can’t and many feel that will make up for any additional costs.

If you’d like to find out if a Regus office program is right for you, let us know and we will ensure you get the information you need.

Find Office Space

Healthcare Reform is Changing the Way Physicians are Leasing Medical Office Space

Up until now, physicians and other health care providers worked within a cookie cutter form of office space. The first thing that patients see is the reception area, which is typically lined with chairs and stocked with magazines. There’s also the predictable check-in desk and hallways that lead to the examining rooms, and perhaps a lab room and several restrooms. With more insured people since the Affordable Care Act passed, the way physicians are leasing medical office space is changing. Today, there is a higher demand for more versatile medical office spaces.

Higher Demand For Outpatient Services

The simple truth is that there are more Americans that have health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act and that means there is more demand for services. All too often, hospitals cannot handle a higher patient load than they already experience and services are converted to off campus locations. It’s natural then, that there would be a higher demand for medical office space to accommodate the extra patients. However, that traditional floor plan discussed earlier may not be efficient for doctors or their patients.

Doctors and Physician’s Assistants

Oftentimes, a physician’s assistant is called upon to handle patients that require less care, and those that are being seen for basic check-ups and the like. A waiting room for the physician and a second waiting room for the assistant keep patients comfortable and allow for a more efficient workflow. Patients can check in at the main desk and are then directed to the right waiting room. Working together, yet separately, both providers are able to see more patients in a day, thus meeting the new demand for their services.

Medical Records Change Storage Needs

In the past, doctors had to keep huge files for every one of their patients for as long as a decade. For a large practice, those paper files take up a huge amount of space, which often cannot be found on the site. Oftentimes, that means having to rent a storage space across town. However, as physicians convert to medical records, they no longer need the same amount of storage space in their offices, or otherwise. That means that more space can be dedicated to patient treatment and examining rooms, which allows more to be seen in a day.

Increased Need For Other Services

In the past, if a patient had to have lab work, physical therapy, x-rays or other services, they would have to travel to a different building. Not only is this inconvenient, but it is inefficient as well. Keeping all of these satellite services under the same room as the physician’s office makes much more sense. Patients need only walk to another part of the facility to receive the tests or treatments that they were prescribed. It’s also beneficial to the doctor since they are able to get results faster than if they were outsourced.

If you are looking for medical office space, keep these things in mind and don’t be afraid to think outside the box that you’ve been in so long. It’s time for a new way of thinking about your space that will serve you and your patients better. Please, feel free to contact us if you need assistance finding a new space for your practice. We understand how important it is for you and your patients.

OfficeFinder Office Tenant Rep Directory

Find Medical Office Space

5 Keys to Obtaining a SBA Guaranteed Loan to Finance Commercial Real Estate

SBA loans for financing commerial real estateSmall business administration (SBA) guaranteed loans are an excellent resource for small businesses to obtain favorable loans for both leasing and to finance commercial real estate for owner occupants. What many people are unfamiliar with related to the SBA loan programs is that there are two programs in which small businesses may be eligible to participate for the finance of commercial real estate. Before considering which program to consider in obtaining financing, the first key in obtaining a SBA guaranteed loan is understanding the general eligibility requirements for the loan programs available.

  1. Know the SBA guaranteed loan eligibility requirements:
    1. Your business must be a for profit business. Nonprofits are not eligible
    2. Your business must be considered a small business by the SBA. In order to do this you must have a tangible net worth of less than $15 million and have a net average income for each of the previous two years of less than $5 million
    3. You must be doing business in the US
    4. You should show you will be creating or maintaining jobs
    5. You must have a reasonable amount of equity in your business.
    6. You must demonstrate a need for the loan proceeds and have a sound business purpose for the funds.
    7. You must demonstrate that you are unable to get a similar loan elsewhere.
    8. Finally, you cannot be delinquent on any existing debt obligations to the US government
  2. Understand the loan programs available:
    1. The SBA 504 program is designed financing fixed assets for healthy, growing businesses. This includes 51% plus owner occupied real estate or machinery and equipment. The program allows for a typical down payment of only 10% on long-term loans. Loan amounts can range from between $200,000 up to $20 million or more.
    2. The SBA 7(a) can also be used to purchase commercial real estate, assist in the acquisition, operation or expansion of existing business. They can also be to purchase equipment, machinery, furniture, fixtures, supplies, materials, as working capital or occasionally to refinance existing business debt. It can also use be used for tenant improvements on leased properties. The maximum loan amount is $5 million. In 2012 the average loan was $337,000.
  3. Finding a lender: Work with a SBA Preferred Lender. These are lenders have the most experience in working with the SBA and in most cases have the ability to make SBA guaranteed loans on their own, based upon their own review, without the SBA reviewing the application. All they need to do is get an assignment of loan number from the SBA. You can find a list of preferred lenders online.
  4. Qualifying for a loan:  Many borrowers who would technically not qualify for a conventional loan, which may require 20-25% down to purchase Commercial Real Estate, may very well may qualify for a SBA 7(a) or 504 loan with only 10% down, if the down payment is an issue for the borrower in obtaining a conventional loan. The lenders use their same lending criteria with the SBA guaranteed loans as they do with their own loans. So, there are still hoops to jump through and you need to show that you can pay the loan back. It is actually the lender making the loan, not the SBA. The guarantee by the SBA allows for better loan terms and lower risk to the lenders.
  5. Prepayment penalties: SBA guaranteed loans have a declining 10 year prepayment penalty built-in to the 504 program guaranteed loans. Currently it is 2.52% during the first year and then declines by 10% each year after that. The 7(a) has a 3 year declining prepayment penalty: 5 % year 1, 3% year 2 and 1% year 3 on loans over 15 years.

These are the basic keys to obtaining a SBA guaranteed loan to finance commercial real estate. There are many more details that have to dealt with, another good reason to work with a preferred lender. While much of this may seem complicated to many of us, most of the preferred lenders have loan officers who only work on SBA guaranteed loans and can simplify the process significantly for applicants.

Find out more at SBA Experts

Information on other Financing Commercial Real Estate

OfficeFinder Office Tenant Rep Directory

Find Office Space

Austin Office Space Becoming Scarce

Austin office space skylineFinding great Austin office spaces may seem like the Holy Grail, oft talked of, yet hard to find. If you have a business and are searching for great office spaces in the Austin area, let us help find you the perfect option.

Austin has enjoyed a tech boom, solidifying itself as a Texas “Silicon Valley”. With this boom, office space has been scooped up and has become much harder to find. Not only is Austin office space becoming scarce, but with almost 43 million square feet of office space in Austin and a vacancy rate near 10%, asking rental rates are moving upward, too. According to CBRE‘s 4th quarter Austin office report the Class A asking rental rate is nearing $35.00 per square foot with the city wide average rental rate at just under $30.00.

Austin is listed #1 on the Forbes list of fastest growing cities for 2014. In awarding that title, population growth, job growth, and the economic growth rate along with employment data and salaries for local college-educated workers was taken into account. What is not to like? Austin is a great place to set up your office space and do business. There is a ready, willing and able workforce and a good business climate to grow your business.

If you are looking for Austin office space, we can help. We know the Austin market and how to find great office space for any type of enterprise, be it medical offices, small businesses with only a handful of employees or just an office for yourself to conduct your professional business and vocation, rest assured, our local OfficeFinder office tenant reps will find you the best office space for your needs Austin offers.

BBB A+ Accredited

BBB A+ Accredited

We are a Better Business Bureau accredited company with years of experience matching clients with the space they need. For Austin, as with all the cities we represent, we gather the information on your business, size, and what specialty needs you require for the office space. We do the leg-work, locating offices in the area of Austin you need along with the needed qualities for the office you are seeking. With a compiled list of potential offices, we then work with our network of local Austin based brokers to arrange tours with you and check out each facility. When you are ready to sign the lease, the broker draws up the contract after listening to your needs and then facilitates the deal with the property management firm or owner.

Should you be looking to buy office space in Austin we offer the same services as for leasing. We do the research and leg-work and then bring in one of the local brokers to begin the process of making the deal and getting you into the office space.

Austin is a great city to conduct business and to live. Let us remove some of the headache by letting us help find the great Austin office space you require.

Just contact us when ready to begin your search for Austin office spaces and we’ll get the ball rolling.

Find and Austin office tenant Rep

Find Austin office spaces

Find Office Space Elsewhere