Monthly Archives: May 2018

No Office Tenant Rep? Don’t be Stupid!

It’s time to make that big move, a larger rented office space. This is good news, because it means your business is growing, but it’s a frightening prospect, to take on that much more commitment and responsibility. You know, when you were purchasing the house that you now live, that the services of a realtor were essential to the successful conclusion of the purchasing process. Believe it or not, the same is true when you are seeking an office for rent, and for many of the same reasons and why you need an office tenant rep to help you.

  1. As you know from your own experience with a residential home purchase, there are realtor commissions built into the sale. The same is true with commercial transactions and tenant representatives, which means that it is always worth your time to engage the services of a tenant rep; those services cost you, the renter, nothing extra. It is FREE
  2. Like a home realtor, an office tenant rep has the experience and knowledge to successfully negotiate the varied and complicated processes involved with successfully researching, negotiating and closing on a lease for commercial office space.
  3. An office tenant rep will be able to answer all your questions and help you understand the consequences of the choices that you will need to make during the process. In addition to the obvious questions, such as location, cost and length of lease, there are a number of other factors which need to be considered when renting office space. A good office tenant rep will help you recognize those issues and make the best decisions for your company’s future success.
  4. As with any negotiation, experience and expertise are key to a successful outcome. Tenant reps negotiate on behalf of hundreds of small business owners such as yourself, meaning that they understand all the critical issues and know how to negotiate on your behalf for the best possible outcome.

What does an Office Tenant Rep do?

Let’s hear it directly from them. The following is from our OfficeFinder LinkedIn group discussion on the most important activities Tenant Reps provide their clients in addition to just finding space:

“I believe the top Time & Money saving services that we provide to clients all revolve around the Transfer of Specialized Knowledge to the client, so that they may make the most informed decision. Up to date market information, understanding the players involved, defining and executing the process required for a successful outcome and most importantly, proactive advocacy, each individually represents significant savings for a client.”

“Avoiding mistakes is very important aspect of why tenant representation is so important for office tenants. We do this every day, just like the landlords and listing agents. Tenants only search and negotiate for office space every few years. Landlords and listing agents love to see tenants coming unrepresented. It makes their business much more profitable than when a tenant is represented by experienced and knowledgeable tenant reps…like the ones we have at OfficeFinder!”

“We provide lease digests and early reminders of important dates i.e. rights and renewal options. We also place these dates on an earlier call up internally so that we remind the tenant that they need to be addressing their real estate needs, even if their intent is to renew. We also assist with renewals. In today’s market the lease signed five years ago is most likely far above today’s market rates.

A 10% discount off of today’s asking rate may sound good however, the market may be giving a 25% discount. Only through the use of their own broker can a tenant gain an accurate opinion of today’s market.

Any business who leases office, retail or industrial space expiring within the next 6 to 18 months should be talking with a broker to represent their interests. This not only pertains to renewals subject to negotiation but also pre-stated rent renewals. This is also a good time to negotiate terms and conditions not included in the original lease.

We have a good system in place and when started at the right time in the renewal process, we have been successful in leveraging our position, procuring rent reductions and changes in other terms beneficial to the tenant. We’ve also been able to facilitate early renewals where the tenant benefits from the negotiated terms and conditions sooner than later.”

“There is absolutley no question as a tenant representative we can all save our clients real money in the transaction and “time” money by not only doing things they would have to do but also the fact we know what to look for in the first place.

We might want to consider the money we can save clients by handling non-transactional issues after the lease is signed. Two examples: 1) client is a 501C-3 teaching museum- eligible for property tax relief. Worked with county and LL-client received over $100K in refunds over 12 years. 2)Client located in Enterprise Zone. Another client/accounting firm specializes in that area of tax. Put them together…anticipate over $500K in saving over next 6 years. There’s a lot more we can do than just focus on the transaction. Just my $.02 🙂

So are you ready to take that leap of faith and rent larger office space? Don’t go it alone. Contact us today to engage the free services of a tenant rep for this important step into your company’s future. It is a no lose propositon.

Helpful Tips to Physically Move Your Office

Move Your OfficeSo you just signed the lease for your brand new office space! Congratulations! Now it’s time to move your office.

Where do you start?

Moving your office to a new location can be a daunting task, but with the right guide and a good timeline, you should be able to take things step by step and it will be less painful than you think.

Give Notice to Your Current Landlord

It is crucial that you get in touch with your current landlord about 60 days before you move so as to avoid any additional fees. Your current lease may have a specified date that requires you to give notice, so it is important to double check the lease as well. If not, 60 days will give your current landlord ample time to find new tenants and make a smooth transition. It is important to leave on good terms as you may need them as a reference if you intend to rent elsewhere at a later date. You are also likely going to have to send in a list of damaged items, and 60 days gives you ample time to assign this task to a team.

Double Check Your Move in Date

This may seem like an obvious one, but it is of utmost importance that you double check the date before you schedule movers. Time and time again we have seen scenarios where movers were scheduled and preparations in place only to find out that the current tenant had yet to move out.

Questions About the Big Day

  • While conducting the check for current damaged items, does your landlord need to be there?
  • What is the earliest time I can pick up my keys?
  • Are there limited hours for move in?
  • Is there easy access to the office or will we have to make arrangements for moving supplies up stairs?
  • Do employees need to have parking passes?
  • What utilities will we be responsible for setting up?
  • Are there any important security policies in place you need to be aware of for the move in date?
  • What Utilities will already be in place? (gas, electricity, water, internet, trash?)

Notifying Employees

When it comes to notifying employees, it is important that there is already a rough idea of who will do what to ensure that chaos does not ensue. The best thing to assign one person (typically from the HR department) to oversee the operation and allow them to assign a few other leaders. It is important to not be overly involved in the process and make sure that nobody is being micromanaged. There are too many tasks that need to be completed to have any time for micromanaging.

Hire a Moving Company

Once you have decided on a leader in charge of the move, it is important that he or she gets in touch with a moving company. There are an overwhelming number of office moving companies and it can be tempting to just pick the cheapest quote, but we have a better system for doing this.

  • Check Testimonials and reviews
  • Ask the company if they have done similar jobs
  • Take note of response time and company policies

Here are some important questions about the move

  • Do the proposals describe everything that will be covered?
  • Will any of the work be subcontracted?
  • Can they offer you a fixed fee for the whole move?
  • Are there any hidden charges you are unaware of?

Now you know everything that goes into moving from one office to another. It is important to follow these steps and give yourself ample time to carry out each step so as not to stress yourself or your employees whenit comes time to move your office.

How to Decide on the RIGHT Office Space for Your Business

Deciding on office spaceIt is a big decision. Your office space can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Here are a few ideas on how to make the best choice.

To start, here are the basics that need to be considered:

Location

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right location to set up your office, and much will depend on the type of business you own. Before you look for the right office space, here are some things to consider to help you decide on the right place for your office location.

Cost

It is important to thoroughly research the taxes and regulatory situations in your desired location. What are the sales and income taxes and how might they affect your business? What about regulatory requirements – are they excessive or is this area business-friendly? If you plan to locate your business in the US, you can find out how individual states ranked with the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council on policy measures and the various costs that impact small businesses.

Your Customers

Your business location needs to be where your customers are and be conveniently located for them. Consider traffic, parking and whether the area invites foot traffic.

Your Employees

Even if your type of business doesn’t require customers to visit your location, you will have employees. Consider where your employees will be coming from, whether there will be a pool of qualified candidates for job openings and whether they will be able to easily commute to your location.

Other Businesses in the Area

Consider what other business including retail and service businesses are in the area. Get a feel for the business climate by visiting a few of the businesses in the area.

The Next Step

Now, you have determined your office location. Next step now is choosing the right office space, whether for rent or purchase, It 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 operation, 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?

Assess The Building

It is important to look at the building and other factors. 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 damage 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 and help negotiate the best prices for you. There is no charge to you for this service, so it should be a no brainer to acquire the service.

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.

We can help you choose the right location and office space for your business to operate, contact us.  Whether you are looking to lease or to buy, we can help you find the right office space for your business with our network of nearly 1,000 professionals throughout the US and Canada. Our service will not cost you anything. It is a no lose proposition.

For more information, check out OfficeFinder’s Office Space Checklist.