Monthly Archives: September 2020

Investing In Your Office Space or Multifamily?

real estate investmentReal estate investing can be an incredible opportunity for any savvy investor who wants to stay away from the volatile stock market. Here is a quick overview of what to consider.

Commercial real estate generally refers to office, industrial, and retail, while multifamily and single-family units come under residential.

Real estate offers tremendous possible benefits for a smart investor, including income flow, tax benefits and long term appreciation.

But before getting into either office space or multifamily, you need to do your due diligence. Unless you are an expert or exceptionally experienced at this, make sure to have a buyer’s broker, aka tenant rep, on yoru side and go to real estate investment professionals like Gray Capital LLC.

Multifamily

There are generally two types of residential buildings that you can purchase: a single-family and multifamily. The former means a single unit that can be rented out to a single tenant. On the other hand, multifamily properties can be anything from a duplex with two units to an apartment complex with tens or hundreds of units.

You may already know that single-family homes can be as low as $30,000 for an investor in some lower cost markets, but multifamily can be hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. While the price tag might be higher on multifamily, getting loans for them is much easier. They are generally based upon the income flow of the property, rather than soley on the financial condition of the borrower.

If you aren’t the type to manage the rental properties yourself, then you will need to hire property management services. But if you have single units, hiring external services may reduce your monthly income significantly. Fortunately, multifamily allows you to easily employ property management services without worrying too much about the cost.

Office Space

Diversifying a portfolio can be instrumental for every investor, which is why an opportunity with a higher income potential makes good sense.

An office space can be as small as a loft or as big as a skyscraper. The sky might literally be the limit on this one. Since these are workplaces, any company that rents from you will stay for at least a few years because they need to establish a location for their consumers or clients. In other words, office spaces offer long term income or, if you occuy the space, long term rental relief.

There are obviously two options here as well. You can either go for a single office space that can be occupied by your company or rented out to a single tenant, or go with a building with multiple units in whch youcan occupy a portion. Having more units can reduce the risks because your income is diversified. One vacancy will ususally not have a significant long term effect.

While office spaces are generally more expensive than multifamily or single-family units, you do get more freedom. As the owner, you will have more responsibilities to your tenants in residential units, such as maintenance and repairs. But with office space, the maintenance is usually easier.

To find out if buying office space to house your business is right for you, check out our lease vs Buy information with the details to consider before moving forward.

Of course this is just a brief overview of the alternatives and there are many more investment options in real estate. Find out more at Investopedia.

3 Ways You Can Improve Customer Experience

Customer experienceGood customer experience is a vital ingredient in the success of any business. However, attaining this goal is not as easy as it sounds. There are many aspects to excellent customer experience that a business owner should look into it.

So how do you improve customer experience? Here are some ways you can try out for your business. 

1. Invest in Effective and Innovative Contact Center Solutions 

Are you used to relying on Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to gauge customer experience?  Do you even know what it is? Well, with the advanced technology in data analytics and AI, you can determine how your customers are doing in every step of the sales funnel through real-time data analytics and omnichannel reporting through effective contact center solutions.

Aceyus explains that a business owner can gain insight into customer experience by utilizing a call center metrics dashboard, which compiles real-time data in a single, centralized dashboard. Here are the important benefits of implementing more effective contact center solutions: 

  • Improve data organization and call center agility: Negative customer experiences can be avoided by uniting all data sources, external and internal, to get a whole picture of the customer journey. It enables you to determine the critical key performance indicators (KPIs) or business metrics, including customer experience scores.
  • Optimize business operations: Data analytics provide real-time data to help optimize your business operations. It prevents wasting your efforts by optimizing call routing with queue metrics recorded in real-time calls.
  • Boost agent productivity: A flexible dashboard tracks the performance of your call center agents across multiple platforms. Managers can easily filter data and review team insights by viewing the performance of individual agents and the entire team in a centralized dashboard.

2. Increase Employee Engagement:

Your employees are your front-line workers who directly interact with your customers. Happy employees often give rise to happy customers. Increasing employee engagement would also increase customer engagement.

Improving office space efficiency can help increase employee productivity and engagement. Providing your employees with a healthy and safe workplace would boost their morale and work productivity. For instance, increase natural light by opening curtains or blinds inside the office to enhance overall mood and increase motivation.

With the Covid-19 pandemic in full steam, agile workplaces have become more popular. These workplaces are designed as activity-based working space and make the work space flexible. It is an office hoteling reservation technique or set up in a workplace. It is a way of utilizing a work area more efficiently, utilizing non-assigned seating arrangement and desk-sharing to maximize and creating collaborative spaces where employees can go on occasion, not always being in the office.

3. Use Behavioral Science 

Behavioral science studies how different factors affect a person’s behavior, which is crucial in improving customer experience. However, the use of behavioral science in service operations is rarely done.

The principles of behavioral science have only been implemented by a few companies, like telecommunications companies. Telecommunications businesses give customers control over service interactions such as scheduling field service visits at their most convenient times, to boost satisfaction, instead of customer service reps setting the appointment for them depending on their availability.

Many companies seem to ignore what makes consumers tick. For instance, customer experience is usually disturbed by the interactive-voice-response or IVR systems in call centers or menu alterations on automated teller machine or ATMs by banks. A lot of businesses fail to recognize the great psychological discomfort that customers experience when they’re faced with these unexpected changes.

Check the following tips to improve customer experience based on behavioral science principles:

  • Resolve bad customer experience early: Don’t make customers wait too long to get their problems fixed. Make sure to address any concerns as soon as possible. For instance, customers feel no assurance when they receive generic statements, such as ‘This problem is now being addressed. Allow 24 hours for a response.’

Instead, you should try to resolve the problem while the customer is still with you on the line (phone call), or if some waiting time is needed, be proactive in scheduling a follow-up call, instead of the making the customer call you back.

  • Give your customers more options: Instead of saying ‘no’ or ‘can’t’, give your customers more options to resolve their concerns. It’ll show them that you’re doing something to resolve their concerns and keep them satisfied.
  • Let consumers stick with their habits: Drastic changes can ruin customer satisfaction. If you need to make changes, do it gradually and make sure they still align with your customers’ habits. Think about substitution or alternatives.

Conclusion 

By fully understanding your customers through investing in effective contact center solutions, you can help improve their experience without directly asking too much information from them.

Applying the principles of behavioral science can also help you better understand your customers to reduce churn rate.

Improving your employee engagement by providing your employees with a safe and healthy workplace can also help increase their morale and productivity, which also affects the quality of service they provide to your customers.

At OfficeFinder we do our best to make sure your customer experience with us is beyond expections. We are always looking for the WOW factor to keep our customers happy. If you need office space and are looking for a good customer experience for yourself, contact us and let us show you how it is done!

5 Strategies to Control Office Occupancy Costs

Office Occupancy Costs DiscussionRunning a business comes with high costs. The best way to know that you are doing enough is to make sure that you are earning more than what you are spending to make it work. One of the biggest expenditures that a business has is its occupancy cost since most offices have to pay rent for their space. Though it is one of the biggest areas you spend money on, it can also be the most versatile since there are strategies you can cut back and save money. There are 5 effective ways you can control your office occupancy cost.

1.  Find Cheaper and Long-term Leases

One of the best ways to save on occupancy costs is to find an office space that directly helps you save money. Ultimately, finding a space with a lower price can do great for your spendings. The first way is to find a location where office spaces are relatively cheaper because some areas demand more expensive prices. If your team can afford to be in an office far from the central business district, then it is a better alternative. You can also look into leasing for the long-term because the security of the lease outweighs short-term income. You already have a chance to move away from city noise and toxicity while staying economically wiser. If you need help finding the right space at the right price, that is what we do. Contact us today!

2.  Subletting Office Areas

Owning a large space where your employees can have a conducive work area is a great thing to have, though it comes with a great price as well. The cost of rent is always determined by the size of the space, so that means a bigger officer is also a bigger expense. Should your office have unused areas, you can put this up for occupancy by others via subletting. A lot of freelance workers or small groups of collaborative individuals are always looking for an office hub where they can meet and work. If your office can accommodate them, you can put the space up for rent where you can become their landlord. Just make sure there is nothing in your lease to keep you from being able to do it.

3.  Team Effort

Employees can play a huge role in controlling occupancy costs. Though there is specific expertise that can give more useful and practical insight, not all companies can afford to hire full-time staff who will focus on this aspect. A great alternative is to hire a part-time CFO who can perform financial assessments and recommend necessary steps to help you cut back on occupancy costs. Employing one is handier since you can engage their services whenever you need them, and you don’t have to fully commit since their employment with you is only part-time. Experts can do great things to improve not only with your budgeting but to your overall financial standing as well.

4.  Flexible Working Arrangements

This time of the internet and technology makes all sorts of working arrangements possible. Flexible working arrangements make it possible for employees to skip reporting to the office and instead work from home. It is an “Agile Workplace.” The first step in doing this is in assessing which positions can be filled by a work-from-home employee. You can also make a blocking schedule where some employees work from home and the others at the office for a few days they switch. You can reduce the needed space almost in half since not everyone shows up together at the same time. This can work for businesses where the nature of work and be accomplished via individualized work and communication can be made virtual. Not only is this beneficial for employees, but it also allows the company to switch to a smaller office.

5.  An Energy-Efficient Office

Energy-efficient office space is also great for the environment. Switch to devices, electronics, and supplies that are energy-saving in the office since you can use the money you have saved to pay for the occupancy cost instead. Office spaces that are polished with these energy-efficient devices tend to lease the space for cheaper prices as well since they don’t have to spend as much in buying expensive appliances and features. Make it a commitment not just to control your occupancy cost, but the overall spendings you make on other miscellaneous expenses as well.

Controlling office occupancy does not only mean saving money, but it also gives way to a more economical way of running a business. This favors both employees and business owners since there is room for flexibility and saving the environment. If most agree on the measures you want to impose, you can take the necessary action to improve your financial and working situation.

Does Outdoor Space Matter at an Office?

outdoor space for officeAn increasing number of office buildings are beginning to incorporate outdoor spaces into their design, and are seeing some fantastic benefits as a result. Incorporating nature into office buildings has meant that both business owners and employees are able to benefit from being able to go outside and get fresh air whenever the need arises.

The concept of creating a stimulating work environment that also incorporates an area of outdoor space has become one of the new models for creating the perfect office space. Having an outdoor area for team members to enjoy doesn’t mean transferring the entirety of your operation outside; it simply means creating a useable outdoor space that can be enjoyed by yourself and your team members.

Wondering what the benefits are of adding an outdoor space to your office? There are various benefits of incorporating a useable outside space for yourself and your team members to use and enjoy—it’s just a case of creating the right space. For everything that you need to know about creating the ideal outdoor office space, have a read of this!

Nature helps to reduce feelings of stress

The fact is that work-related stress can actually impact a team member’s ability to perform while at work, and can even cause a number of health problems. Workplace stress can have a seriously detrimental impact on productivity and efficiency at work, which is why it’s so important to find ways to help alleviate stress. Creating an outdoor space that you and your team members can use and enjoy is a positive step towards helping to better manage stress at work. Studies show that by encouraging team members to spend more time outside, you can help to reduce feelings of stress and therefore improve levels of productivity.

Having access to outdoor space helps to increase employee happiness

When it comes to employee retention, ensuring that your team members are satisfied with their working situation and setup is vital. That’s where creating an outdoor space that your team members enjoy spending time in can help—studies have shown that a lot of people find outdoor spaces to be extremely soothing, and having access to outside space can help improve happiness. Creating an inspiring outdoor area for your team members can be a great way to boost team members’ happiness and contentment. When creating the ideal outdoor area, think about incorporating some greenery, perhaps a pond, which you can learn more about pond management at Water-garden.co.uk, and potentially some flowers. You could also opt to add a seating area, so that there’s a comfortable place for your team members to sit and relax.

An outdoor space can be therapeutic

Having access to an outdoor area can be extremely therapeutic, especially if the outdoor space incorporates the right scents, for instance. Jasmine, rose, and lavender are all extremely soothing and relaxing scents, so you could consider planting some of these in your outdoor office space to make it easier for your team members to relax.

Keep these ideas in mind if you are considering adding an outdoor space to your office.

And if are looking for office space that allows for outdoor space for your employees, contact us to find the right office space at the best price.

Is a PTAC Heat Pump right for your office?

PTAC heat pumpOk. So the first question you probably have is what is a PTAC Heat Pump and why do I care. Well, many of us spend a considerable amount of our time in offices. In fact, office life takes a far larger portion of our day than we spend at home. Due to this, the air conditioning needs to be just right; hence, when searching for an office, be sure to ask about the air conditioning.

If you’ve been wondering how to improve the living conditions in your office, the PTAC (Packaged Terminal Air Controller) is the unit for you.

Read on below to know how a PTAC works and the benefits you’ll gain when you decide to have one in your office space.

How a PTAC Works

A PTAC is a commercial air conditioning unit that’s installed in the external wall of an office to regulate airflow.

PTACs work by pumping a refrigerating unit while at the same time expelling the heat and humidity through a vent. To get rid of moisture, the PTAC condenses the moisture over a condenser spoil, then allows the water to evaporate.

A PTAC unit should be installed right into a wall, provided there’s a metal covering to keep the unit safe.

Benefits of a PTAC

A PTAC is the ideal air conditioning unit to have in your office as it offers the following benefits:

  • Single Unit For Heating and Cooling

When deciding between a PTAC heat pump vs electric heat, one of the main reasons that you might want to install a PTAC in your office is that it’ll provide both heating and cooling from a single unit. The downside of the standard air conditioning unit is that it cannot provide both heating and cooling.

The PTAC comes with a built-in thermostat that allows you to select the most comfortable temperature for your office. Whether it’s during warm summers or cold winters, the PTAC offers an excellent way to maintain a comfortable and workable office environment.

  • Simple to Install  

PTAC units will come with a wall sleeve for easy installation, which is built as the other AC’s, thus don’t require any ductwork. This means that anyone could pretty much install a PTAC. All you need to do is attach the wall sleeve to the wall, then install the PTAC to the wall sleeve, and then you’re done.

The first step is to find the ideal location for the PTAC. Make sure to install it with a secure wooden frame. Note that if the outside is too close to trees and shrubs, then this could interfere with the performance.

If you’re installing it outside, it’s crucial to weatherproof the unit. This will help ensure a long life.

  • Quiet Operation

One of the most important elements for an effective working environment is the absence of disturbances. An air conditioner is often loud and distracting. This, however, is not the case with the PTAC. Its silent operation allows you to focus on your work and can improve the quality of your office life.

What’s more, they come with multiple speed fans, allowing you to choose your temperature while also ensuring quiet operation. Some of them also feature components that are specially designed for noise reduction.

  • Energy Savings

Another benefit of a PTAC is that it has a high EER (energy efficiency rating); the higher the EER number the more energy-efficient the unit is. What’s more, PTAC units that use heat pumps are more energy-efficient than those that use electric heating.

Hence, if you’re looking to improve the air quality of a larger office while being energy-efficient, a PTAC is the way to go. You’ll get even better energy efficiency with the newer models.

  • No Cross Contamination

ACs can cause cross-contamination, making the air unhealthy to breathe. The AC creates an environment for bacteria and fungus to grow, which are then dispersed inside the room. Thankfully, there’s no fear of cross-contamination with a PTAC.

  • They’re Affordable 

If you have a commercial establishment, such as an office or a hotel, you’ll need to find the most cost-effective way to maintain clean and fresh air in your building. A PTAC is an affordable unit as the best quality ones cost less than USD$1,000.

Secondly, as mentioned, PTACs have a high EER compared to AC units and HVAC units. This is another reason why many building owners prefer to install PTACs.

Final Word

PTACs are a great unit for your office. Not only do they improve the air quality but will also regulate the temperature, providing both warm and cool air depending on your office’s requirements. Moreover, they’re also energy-efficient and are quiet, which means you can enjoy quality air while not worrying about the noise.