Category Archives: Office Relocation

Tips and Tricks To Negotiating the Best Office Space Lease

office space leasePerhaps you operate a small start-up business that has outgrown your home office. Maybe your company is mid-sized and is growing out of the office space you occupy. Or, you may head a large organization that needs an additional facility to support a new contract. Whatever your situation, you’ve realized that you need to lease some office space.

You are now in one of the most exciting and challenging parts of your growing company, acquiring an office space, but alos one that is priime for making expensive mistakes. An office space lease is usually the second biggest expenses after salaries for a business. There are ways that you can do it to get the best office for your business without compromising your budget or other aspects of your business’ growth.

You’ve begun the search for space. You may have used an online commercial office location service such as OfficeFinder.com, a local commercial real estate broker or you may have searched by driving by empty facilities.  Whatever method you used, you’ve found the perfect option for your every need. It is in a strategic location, plenty of space for employees and clients, good security and good facilities.

During the process you have analyzed and understand your business needs for space, not only for the present but for the future too. You know how you will use the space, what are the amenities needed and identified your priorities.

Finally, you’ve decided. You are now ready to move on to the next phase of acquiring an office space, negotiating the best office space lease.

Understanding the Office Space Lease: LEASE 101

An Office Space Lease has three main forms:

Lease is an agreement between the property owner or landlord and the tenant. It has three forms:

  • Full-Service Lease – the rent is all-inclusive. The pay covers all of the expenses associated with the property, such as insurance, maintenance, taxes and even janitorial services.
  • Net Lease – the landlord charges a lower base rent for the space and all of the usual costs that related to operations, maintenance and use that the landlord pays. Net lease also comes in three types:
    • Triple net lease – you share the three additional costs about the base rent. Taxes, insurance and maintenance.
    • Double net lease – two additional costs are added on the base rent, taxes and insurance costs.
    • Single net lease – some of the landlord costs will be charged to the tenant upon negotiation.
  • Gross Lease – this could the most favorable lease for the tenant. The landlord shoulders all of the property expenses that would come across in a net lease.

To obtain a lease for the office space, you should have an experienced guide who will have your best interest at heart and who has negotiated many successful office space leases in the past. A tenant rep broker is a necessity. It’s a sure bet that the landlord or property management company offering the lease has plenty of experienced assistance to help them get an advantage. Shouldn’t you have an expert on your side too? After all, there is no cost to you for their services. It would seem to be a no-brainer.

Protect yourself by following some important guidelines
that can help you negotiate successfully.

Always remember that in negotiating an office space lease, the more knowledge and power you have, the better the outcome. Even with a tenant rep, you will need to stay involved. Find out about the space. Is anyone else looking at it? Has it been vacant for a long time. Aside from having a tenant representative or a broker, it is still important that you are hands-on with the search and you are aware of the important factors, factors that may somehow make a change on a burdensome leasing terms made by landlord throughout the lease process.

Once you’ve told the office property owner that you want to locate your business in their property, you are likely to be presented with a standard lease package. Do not sign any papers at this point but accept the lease for review. Explain to the landlord that you must review the lease with care so that you completely understand it.

Your specific needs are unique and may require significant changes in the office space lease  during negations. Here are a few specific points that any tenant should look for in the standard lease package:

  • An accurate description of the office space should be clearly listed in the lease.
  • How much is the rent and exactly when is it due? Are there any late charges if not paid on the correct date?
  • Is there a security deposit and how much is it? Under what conditions is this deposit repaid upon vacating the commercial office space and what conditions permit the landlord to refuse to return the security deposit?
  • What is the lease period and are there provisions to facilitate lease renewal if desired?
  • What are the terms in the lease regarding vacating the premises early? Do you have the right to move into another, larger office space owned by the landlord without penalty? Do you have any rights to rent additional space if your business grows more rapidly than anticipated?
  • Is there a cleaning deposit for preparing the space for the next tenant when you vacate the premises and is this fee returned if you leave the premises in the same condition as upon delivery?
  • Identify verbiage defining how much parking may be used by the tenant and what, if any, number of spaces can be marked as reserved.
  • Review all references to use of common space. You should have the right to enter and egress at any time of day or night and access to all common spaces unless specific restrictions are contained in the lease. Also, watch out for clauses regarding common space upkeep or charges.
  • The lease should clearly state what utilities are the responsibility of the tenant as well as what should be paid by the landlord. The same goes for charges for maintenance and repairs for any problems not the result of misuse or neglect on the part of the tenant.
  • Is there are space in the lease or reference to an addendum where notes regarding the condition of the property at delivery may be noted.
  • Is there any defined allowance for tenant improvements?
  • What rights to signage are included in the office space lease?
  • Does the lease provide for delivery of a punch list after tenant improvements are accomplished?

Some suggestions to help you become a little more of a lease-expert

Length of Lease and Renewal Options:

The initial office lease period should give you enough time to settle in and determine how this location works for your business but not so long that you must pay a stiff penalty if you decide to move on after two or three years. Try to negotiate a shorter-term lease with a renewal options. Keep in mind that your company’s needs may change, you might get sucked into an office space lease that is too big or small, or with a rent that is above-market if demand for space later drops.

Rent Increases

Watch out for the clause that establishes the amount or percentage at which rent can go up and the specific periods at which this change can occur. Rent should not increase more than annually and should have a reasonable cap set on it so that the cost of leasing the office space does not become outrageous in a short period of time. Usually, landlords refer the annual increases on the percentage increases in Consumer Price Index or CPI, try to arrange for a CPI rent increase that does not set in for at least the first two years of the term. Then, you can try to have the cap on the amount of each year’s increase.

Cost Transferal

Be sure you and your office lease broker understand exactly what costs can be passed long to you or what percentage of those costs can be passed along. Examples can include property tax increases, specific repair costs not caused by your occupancy and the increasing cost of services to the building. Your rent increase should cover the costs associated with increased service costs or taxes and only those building repairs caused by you should be passed along to you.

Landlord’s Right to Early Termination

Check what verbiage is used regarding what, if any, rights the landlord has to terminate your office space lease early and what conditions must be met to justify such early termination. If this clause is too liberal in favor of the landlord, you could easily find yourself seeking different office space much sooner than your business plan set forth. This can be expensive and time consuming for your business and can be avoided with the right wording in this area of the lease.

Repairs, replacements and improvements:

Be mindful about the office space lease clause that says that the tenant must restore the property to its original condition. If this was mentioned to the agreement, try to state that it will be returned to in same condition at the beginning of the least EXCLUDING (1) ordinary wear and tear, (2) damage by fire and untoward incidents, loss or casualty not the fault of the  tenant, (3) improvements approved by the Landlords.

Payment from Corporate Owners:

Watch out for verbiage indicating payment can be sought from the corporate owners rather than the corporation itself.  While some office space owners like to have this protection in the event a business becomes financially insolvent, it does give a landlord too much recourse into the business owners’ private finances to allow entry into the final lease.

One-Sided Lease Provisions:

Be cautious about the landlords that use form lease agreement that can be one-sided. Negotiate on the provisions that are favorable to the landlord. Below are the common types of provisions that one-sided and landlord favorable:

  • Passing on to the tenants, without limit, increased operating costs like property taxes, repairs and or insurance expenses.
  • Landlords disclaiming responsibility for compliance with environmental laws or government act (e.g., disabilities acts)
  • Requiring tenants to pay for tax increases
  • Landlords reserving rights to terminate the lease at their convenience.
  • Prohibiting subletting and assignments.

These are only a few of the clauses that an office space renter should be on the alert for. Turn to your office space broker for the best possible advice on all areas of the lease and lease negotiation process.

There are dozens of additional points that will stand out in the lease. Some of them may be points you do not understand. Make sure to highlight these for investigation. Another verbiage may better meet your needs. Highlight each portion of the lease that either is unclear, misleading or requires negotiation. These are items that you will need to cover with the help of your leasing team, especially your tenant rep.

When negotiating an office space lease or rental, you will find that the devil is hiding in the details and these can cost you lots of money over the life of the lease. Turn to your office lease broker, tenant represetnative, for experienced advice regarding how to negotiate out these demons before signing an office space lease. An old idiom says “God is in the details” which means that attention paid to small things has big rewards. In this case, your goal is to turn those devilish little hidden clauses into the best possible agreement with the landlord for your office space so that everyone can live with the lease for the life of the lease.

We are here to help. It is what we do every day. If you want an expert to help you get the right space with the best possible terms, contact us. We’d be happy to help

Office Space Rental, Productivity and Small Business Success

Helpful tips for an office space rentalChoosing the right office space rental for your business or organization means more than just choosing a physical location.  If you have customers visiting your property, then you want to make a good impression. You want to make sure it is somewhere that you employees will be happy and productive. Depending on your organization’s identity, you might need to appear trendy, modern, or traditional, and your physical location can help customers decide if you are the right place for them to take their business or not.  When choosing commercial real estate, the following tips are a few considerations that can help you find the location that is just right for you and your company.

Appearances are important.  Take a very close look at the property, standing in the parking lot, or on the sidewalk in front of the building.  If the building looks dingy and dirty to you, it will probably look that way to your customers and employees as well.  Unless you do not get any customer visits, make sure the location is somewhere that you would visit as a customer. Don’t forget your employees. Is this somewhere your employees would be proud to work?

Consider accessibility and convenience.  Many customers will simply not visit your location if it is difficult for them to park, maneuver a wheelchair through, or find the elevator or stairs.  While some inexpensive improvements may be feasible and advantageous, you do not want to invest more money into making your building accessible than you spend on the property itself.  Make sure the elevators and stairs are in good condition, ensure that the location is handicap accessible, and consider the ease of entering and exiting the parking garage or lot for your customers.

Check with the local City Hall to ensure that the property is zoned for your business.  If you have an unusual business, rezoning can take months or even years, and is a costly process that requires legal consultation and assistance.  Checking out the zoning ordinances for the property before you sign the contract is always the easiest way to avoid headaches and extra cost.

Current and Future Space Needs. Taking into account what your future ofice space rental needs may be is very important when signing a multi year lease that will lock you into a defined area. Whether you are a large or small company the basic needs are the same. You need to consider your office space efficiency, cost effectiveness, room for expansion, and strength of location. If your company is currently housed in an inefficient space the multi-step processes necessary to keep everyone ‘in the loop’ can create redundancy and confusion. While a move can be costly, if done correctly it can reduce future costs significantly. Would moving from your current location disrupt client service? Or are you able to make a move without affecting the product or service you provide?  Lots of questions to be answered before deciding to make a move.

Before Signing an Agreement for an Office Space Rental for Lease

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 an office space rental.

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 office leases are:

  • 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 office space rental or 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.

Consult an expert.   The perfect office space rental can be competitive and hard to find, so consulting an expert is your best bet.  An experienced tenant rep can help you locate inspectors, engineers, architects, or anyone else that you may need to get your business off and running in a new improved location. The cost of a tenant rep are paid by the landlord. There is no cost to you for their services, yet they represent you and don’t get paid until you are happy and sign a lease. You have nothing to lose. Just make sure and find an experienced one who will not only help you shortlist potential locations, but negotiate a great deal for you. They understand to nuances of leases and can help you avoid costly mistakes and save you money.

5 Questions To Ask Yourself While Looking For New Office Space

helpful tips when looking for new office spaceAre you looking for new office space? You’re in luck! We understand that looking for a new office space can be a confusing experience, which is why we are here to help ensure you make the right decision for your company. After all, this is your prime opportunity to ensure your employees are equipped with everything they need – and might need – moving forward! Regardless of whether you are finding the right office space for your small business or larger corporation, find five questions to ask yourself while looking for a new office space below.

  1. Are There Any Hidden Costs I am Not Considering?

When it comes to looking for a new office space, before you decide whether your chosen office is right for you, it is vital to consider if there are any hidden costs you are unaware of. Before you settle on your new office space, it is paramount that you calculate the full cost of the space, including the cost of rent, utilities and various moving expenses. It is paramount that you also consider construction costs. As an example, in the the UK Damp proofing in London area is essential to ensure your employees health and well-being in a safe working environment.

  1. Is There Sufficient Room For My Company To Grow?

Once you are happy that you have considered all the relevant costs of your new office space, you should consider whether there is sufficient room for your company to grow. Whilst you must consider your company’s needs, taking into account the future of your company is just as important in order to avoid repeated moves. If you are unable to afford additional office space required to allow your company to expand, it is a good idea to attempt to negotiate a shorter lease term, so that when the time is right, you can find a more compatible office space.

  1. Is It The Right Location For Employees?

Now that you are rest assured that there are no hidden costs and that there is sufficient room for your company to grow, the next question to ask yourself while looking for a new office space is whether it is situated in the right location for employees. In order to dictate whether your new office space is in the right location for employees, you should consider where your employees live. Nevertheless, it is paramount to remember that an expensive commute may push your employees to seek employment closer to home!

  1. Is The Location Convenient For Clients?

As well as considering whether your new office space is situated in the right location for your employees, it is paramount to consider whether the location is just as convenient for client to get to because as fees associated with transportation increase, people may not be willing to travel far in order to visit your company. Just like deciding whether the location of your new office space is right for employees, you should take into account the expense of clients visiting your office, as well as the time it will take for them to arrive.

  1. What Is The Parking Situation?

The final question to ask yourself while looking for new office space is what is the parking situation will be like. Depending on the location of your new office space, you may not require a large car park. After all, if your company is situated near a bus stop or train station, your employees may be in favour of using public transport. If not, it is vital to consider where your employees can park cheaply, if not for free. If the parking is tight, is there a convenient alternate spot? Whilst you should not rule out parking tickets, they will need to be taken into account when it comes to deciding your budget.

There are countless things you need to take into consideration while looking for new office space, from deciding whether the location is right for you, your employees and clients, to making the most out of the parking situation. Most importantly, however, you should consider whether there are any hidden costs you are not taking into account while looking for a new office space, such as the cost of rent and utilities, in order to ensure your big move remains on budget.

Great Metro Areas To Open An Office

Where in the world to open an officeThe famous dictum is that when you see an opportunity, you go for it. With the advanced technology taking over and the improved economy and living standards; the deep-seated idea of running their own business and where to open an office has taken a new turn among business people. When considering where to open an office, metro areas all over the world and the plus points they offer, can be considered since nearly every investor is ready to move to a high business potential area. This will not only help you get a great business start but also change your living style accordingly.

Even if you don’t have your business industry running in a metro area, having its headquarter in a city like Denver or Miami (not forgetting the pleasant and spot on sights of Miami of course) is like signing a very profitable deal. You’ll be able to hire qualified, talented and trained individuals in your firm, the labor cost would be affordable and the economy of the city itself will be quite supportive. Don’t you see a bright future for your office in a metro area?

Here are a few top picks of where to open an office:

  1. Miami, U.S:

With a strong tourist industry and its diverse population, the overall local economy of Miami is quite strong with the ability to uplift your business to a new level. The more crowded the area, the better are the chances for your startup to progress and prosper, and Miami offers it all. It is also considered as one of the best business incubators which provide assets to the interested investors as well. More Info.

  1. Denver:

Denver is chiefly known for the energy sources and mining potential which have attracted hundreds and thousands of investors so far. The metro population of the area is increasing day by day without an increase in the dependency ratio. This means, establishing an office here would not only bring success but also allow you to enroll the most competent individuals freshly graduated from the universities or those getting training somewhere. Many professionals are seeking interest in Denver. It’s surely a potential area that supports the line of business. More Info.

  1. Beijing, China:

It’s been a decade since China has sprung up on the world’s map as the richly dense country in terms of population, economy and competitive workforce. Nothing could stop them at the time of recession so what would put them down? Beijing is known for its highly affordable public transport, easy access to airports and number one in warmly welcoming the foreign investors. Setting up your office here would profit you in terms of having an easy to go lifestyle as well. More Info.

  1. Abu Dhabi, UAE:

Abu Dhabi is one of the largest seven emirates of UAE with the famous parks, gardens, sightseeing spots and UAE Islands. The metro area of this emirate is also known for having a good business potential. This area has the highest GDP per capita income owing to the largest hydrocarbon wealth. More Info.

  1. Atlanta, U.S:

The United States has a lot of different metropolitan areas but Atlanta is one of those states which mark its huge territory in the domain of business development. With headquarters of companies like Coca-Cola, UPS, and famous airline; Atlanta is the center of business attraction for many investors. More Info.

  1. Seattle, U.S:

When business industries start, they tend to go down or break as well. Seattle is known for giving birth to thousands of startup businesses and offices every year while the numbers of business shutdowns are low. As this metro area is responsible for the success of Microsoft, an amazing online network Amazon and the world’s best coffee named Starbucks; the investors who invest here look forward to having a similar fate. More Info.

  1. Provo, Utah:

Are you looking for the talented workforce? Everyone needs to hire workers to make their offices and business run. Hiring the qualified ones, of course, makes a difference. Provo is known for its private universities and the highly qualified graduates they produce. These graduates would soon look out for a job! Why not take advantage by investing here? More Info.

  1. Omaha, Neb:

This is another city of the United States known for its educational background, high economy and low unemployment rates. Although it is heavily dense with small business industries but it has the potential to support large industries as well. More Info.

Are you ready to start your business? Do consider the above mentioned metro areas list before you take any step. Starting and running your office are two different things. To run it, you need a skilled workforce, affordable labor cost, transport facilities and a healthy economic area. Make sure the location you have selected has it all!

Guest Post by: Rachel Stinson who has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and places. Blogging has combined all four for her with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. She expertly analyzes real estates and restaurants with respect to pricing and people involved and can express her opinions in an unhesitating, engaging manner.

If you need assistance in finding a location to open an office, We can help with our worldwide network of local specialists. Contact us today to find out more.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Prepare Yourself So You Can Avoid Mistakes When Leasing Office Space

No Mistakes leasing office spaceWhen it comes to scouting out a new office space location, you may be in the mood to hit the ground running full speed ahead.  Whether you have a small start-up company or you employ thousands, choosing an office space should not be taken lightly.  We have put together a list of a few common mistakes that businesses make when leasing office space:

Not allowing enough time. Depending on the size of office space you need, it could take up to a year to locate, negotiate and build out the new office. Make sure and allow enough time so that you don’t have to compromise and end up with less than you could have had otherwise. Timeline and process for leasing office space.

Not enough planning.  Don’t be tempted to jump into an agreement when you come across a space that “looks good on paper.”  What may seem like a dream location may not work for your particular business.  Carefully consider the location pluses and minuses, square footage, layout, and design of the building first. Make sure to discuss it with your top employees to get their input. After all they are your most important asset and should be consulted.

Not having representation.  More than likely, the building owner will have a listing agent working on his/her behalf. You cannot rely on them to help you. They are required to represent the best interest of the landlord, not yours. When leasing office space, it’s smart practice to have somebody on your side as well.  A good tenant representative, like the ones at OfficeFinder, will know the nuances of a negotiation and know what the comparable rents in the area are, so you don’t end up making costly mistakes.

Not understanding the documents.  This is another reason why having representation is crucial.  When signing a lease, the paperwork can be lengthy and full of legal jargon.  Have somebody who can help clarify what it all means, so you can be sure you know what you are signing. You can get an idea of the complexity by checking out our leasing office space lease checklist.

Not planning for the future.  Are you hoping for your company to expand in the next five to ten years?  It’s imperative to not only know if the building fits your current needs, but if it will satisfy for your company’s growth as well.

There are several reasons to be cautious when renting for commercial use, but with these tips in mind, they should help you avoid mistakes when leasing office space.  Please contact us to help you find your ideal location.

Also see our post on the Top 15 Mistakes Businesses Make When Leasing Office Space

OfficeFinder Office Tenant Rep Directory

Find Office Space

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

5 Keys to Finding a Great Tenant’s Office Leasing Broker

Certified OfficeFinder Specialist - Office Leasing BrokerThere are a lot of commercial real estate broker who will tell you how great they are at helping tenants find and lease office space. A tenant’s office leasing broker is known as an office tenant representative and plays a similar role as the buyer broker does in residential transactions. They represent your best interests and work to ensure that you get what you need at the best possible price. Not all tenant’s office leasing brokers are equally skilled. Here are a few keys to look for when deciding who to choose to work with you.

  1. Make sure there are no Conflicts of Interest: A conflict of interest can easily occur if the broker you are working with also has a listing that they are showing you. Who does the broker represent – You or the Landlord?
  2. What other companies with needs similar to yours has the broker represented? Is the broker experienced in the area and type of property you are looking to find? How many tenants has the broker worked with and are they willing to provide references?
  3. Find out how many deals the broker is currently working. Does he have the time for your requirement? This is especially important if your requirement is relatively small. You want to be the top priority, not an also ran.
  4. A good broker will ask more questions than tell you how good he is. Make sure the broker has a good understanding of your needs before agreeing to work with them.
  5. What happens if you are not happy with the service you receive? Make sure you have an out in the event you make a bad choice. Most good brokers will not be threatened by this.

The Office Leasing Brokers at OfficeFinder have been pre-qualified to ensure that you are going to get great service. Make sure to check them out, too. You will be happy with the results.

More on Working with a Tenant Representative

OfficeFinder Office Tenant Rep Directory

Find Office Space

 

 

 

Office Relocation Planning Guide: Relocating High Tech Equipment

Office MovingAn office relocation is an extremely complex task, and no component of this process is more challenging than moving your high tech equipment. You can hire a specialty technology mover, but they can be expensive. For those companies that wish to manage this task in-house, we offer a checklist with some sound advice for the relocation of high-tech office equipment:

Planning

  • Request a detailed copy of the floor plan that includes proposed furniture orientation.
  •  Review final space plans, including electrical and furniture placement.
  •  If modular furniture is being used, run the network cabling before the furniture is installed.
  •  Determine PC and printer locations in the new space.
  •  Determine the location of fax machines in the new space.
  •  Identify personal printers on the floor plan.
  •  Identify analog lines on the floor plan.
  •  Determine jack locations (on the furniture plan) for voice and data.
  •  Obtain bids for wiring (once floor plan is approved).
  •  Check to see if the doorways, access hallways, ramps, and the elevator doors are wide enough to accommodate your moving equipment.

Organization

  • Establish move teams. For each team leader, establish a backup in case the original team leader is unavailable.
  •  Desktop team: Break down unused PCs and equipment and rebuild in the new location Or contact a computer relocation company like PC Disconnect.
  • Testing team: Visit each workstation after it’s assembled and verify that everything is operational.
  •  Printer team: Install and configure all printers.
  •  Backup team: Take responsibility for the data (perform backups).
  •  Network team: Build racks and configure switches and routers.
  •  Review space plans and jack locations for all equipment with team leaders.
  •  Create an outline for each team member and vendor, as needed.

 Labeling

  • If you use both analog and digital phone and network lines, make sure that everything is clearly labeled with an “A” for analog, “V” for digital phone lines, and “D” for network lines.
  •  All wiring should have permanent labels at both ends with information like room plate and jack numbers. Post a set of floor plans next to the patch panels with all of the room numbers and wall plate locations clearly identified.
  • Label computers, boxes, binders, switches, keyboards, mice, etc., with destination information like room numbers and office locations. The information should be detailed enough so that whoever is installing the items can place them without having to ask where they go. One idea is to use different colored labels for each major location at the new office. At the new location, place the appropriate colored labels on the doors, door frames, and cubicles. If the building has several floors or wings, put groups of labels at intersections, stairwells, and elevators, with arrows pointing the way.

 Cleaning

  •  Moving is a good time to give your computers, keyboards, and monitors a good cleaning. Just prior to or right after the move, open the computer cases and blow out all the dust with a reversible vacuum cleaner. Use a compressed air bottle for keyboards and a safe screen cleaner for the monitors.

Network Cabling and Wiring

  •  Schedule wiring according to the construction timeline for newly built structures
  • Identify the telephone and data cabling closet/room within the space.
  • Identify the server location on the floor plan.
  • Verify that the location of the server room is centralized to avoid the 100m Ethernet UTP length limit.
  •  Confirm minimum requirements for the server room, including room dimensions, electrical requirements (30 amp dedicated circuit), floor coverings, HVAC with alarm and separate thermostat, and dedicated space for tech equipment only.
  • Evaluate cost and lead time in providing additional electrical service in the new location.
  • Test all network and phone drops as soon as possible. This should be done before the arrival of any equipment.
  • Test all power outlets using a tester as well as plugging something in.
  •  Map the locations of the new desks-or new locations of existing desks-with your office manager(s) and use a mapping tool to estimate your cable sizes to avoid too-long or too-short cables.
  • Plan for extra wiring drops. Put at least two to four drops on every wall of an office space. Run four strands of Cat5/5E cabling to every wall and terminate with RJ45s in a wall plate. In the computer room, group the four strands that correspond to the four jacks on the wall plate and then punch everything down on Cat5/5E patch panels.
  • Be sure the backup batteries for phone switches and servers are all accounted for and installed according to schedule.
  • If you have an 800 number, make sure your vendor is aware and ready for the cutover date and time. Test the new phone line several days before the move, leaving some cushion time for problems. The more complex the routing programming is on your 800 numbers, the more time and testing you need.
  • Disconnect all leased lines, such as T1s, at the old location.
  • Review programming/routing on the voice mail system. You may need to make changes there.
  • Determine what type of Internet access is available at the new location. (Note: Lead time for a T1 line is often six to eight weeks.)
  • If you have to change your ISP, you must also plan to change the DNS resolution for your company’s Web addresses if you host it internally. If you change ISPs you’ll have a change of IP addresses, so you will have to register the change with the DNS registry companies and time it right so that service is interrupted as little as possible. If your server IP addresses are not updated with the new DNS information, then Web and e-mail servers will have problems.

 Equipment

  • Inventory existing equipment and hardware, including computers, monitors, printers, modems, servers, surge protectors, fax machines, data cables, network switches, copiers, firewalls, and the DMZ port.
  • Evaluate the need for new equipment.
  • Make a note of the lead time required for new orders to be filled.
  • Donate or make a plan to properly dispose of equipment that is going out of use.
  • Often, laptop users who disconnect their PCMCIA network cards will leave them behind. Be sure you have spares at the new office.
  • Review service calls for the past year and identify likely-to-fail parts. Have several of those parts on hand. Have spare cables and hard drives on hand.
  • Have a physical backup (bootable media) for all servers. Plan to transport the backup media separately from the truck moving the servers. It’s not a bad idea to have two copies in two separate cars.

Communications

  •  Identify key contacts at new and old locations.
  •  Prepare a list of contact names, phone numbers, pagers, e-mail addresses, and cell phone numbers and distribute the list to all responsible parties. The list should include property management contacts, local telephone company, long distance telephone company, local computer support vendor, local telephone system vendor, telephone/data cable vendor, shipping representative, and Web site Webmaster. Store a printed copy in a safe, easily accessed location, like your car.
  • Ensure that the local staff contact will be onsite for deliveries or vendor access to the space prior to office opening.
  • Establish and inventory every telephone number to be moved.
  • Schedule a meeting with the local telephone vendor.
  • Schedule disconnects or additions of phone lines.
  • Transfer any ISDN lines.
  • Make sure that there are at least three analog lines available in the office on the day of the move.
  • Schedule activation time for new site.
  • Reconfirm move date with all vendors one month prior to move.
  • Have a team meeting to confirm roles and responsibilities.
  • Update all pertinent information with your company’s backup alarm system, office security systems, etc.
  • Remind users to back up their own files onto the network or disks before the move.
  • If any reconfiguration is necessary at the new site, script all steps whenever possible. Test the steps before the move. In writing this list, assume that end users will be doing the changes and make the script foolproof.
  • Script the shutdown steps of all equipment.
  • Check to see that service contracts on fax machines, PCs, servers, copiers, etc., are not voided if someone other than the contractor moves the equipment or preps the equipment for moving.

OfficeFinder Office Tenant Rep Directory

Find Office Space

Using Colors to Create a Feng Shui Office

Color PalletBefore you move into a new office space, deciding what colors to use for walls, furniture and accessories is important. Although it’s easiest to do, stark white walls and minimal decorating create a cold, institutional atmosphere. Instead, create a feng shui office to create a calm, welcoming environment that helps employees, clients or patients relax and feel comfortable.  Here are some ideas for colors that will make your office space feel less institutional and more welcoming.

Greens

Green represents the wood element in feng shui. It is a healing color and it represents renewal, growth and fresh, new energy. Using pale green paint on walls in the waiting room is a good idea. If you’d rather keep the walls a neutral color, bring in green elements such as furniture and window treatments. However, the easiest way to bring green into your office is with plants. Plants also create a warm, home-like environment that puts patients at ease and they also help purify the air.

Pinks

In feng shui, pink is representative of the fire element. It is a good way to bring a soothing energy into any room. A very pale pink paint color on examining room walls or restrooms is a simple, yet effective way to incorporate this element. Other ways this to do this is by adding artwork, flowers and other simple accessories with a pink tone to them. You don’t have to overwhelm the space with pink to take advantage of its soothing effect.

Purples

Purple represents the fire element in feng shui. It’s a high vibration color that improves the mood and energy level of those that encounter it. For this reason, it’s wise to limit the use of purple to lighter tones and only use it in moderation. The best way to do this is to choose artwork, accent pillows and smaller accessories that have elements of purple in them.

Yellows

In feng shui, yellow is the Earth element, representing sunshine. It’s a cheery color that increases self-esteem, improves health and give an overall sense of well-being. If your office is on the dark side, consider light yellow walls to brighten the space with a warm, sunny feeling. Another simple trick is to add a vase of artificial yellow flowers on a waiting room table.

Whites

In feng shui, the color white is the metal element and it represents purity, innocence and cleanliness. The crisp, fresh feeling it can bring into a room are perfect for a medical office, but should not be the main color. Use pure white as an accent color around door frames, windows and accessories such as window coverings and accent pieces.

Blues

It’s no surprise that blue represents the water element of feng shui. Associated with the blue sky and clear, refreshing waters, it’s a calming color. An easy way to bring blue into your décor is by adding artwork that depicts ocean waves on a beach or a serene lake scene. Blue carpeting, accent pillows and window dressings with blue elements are other ideas. A small fish tank is another simple, yet effective way to bring the water element into your office.

If you’re planning on moving to a new office space, either conventional, executive suite or medical office space, in the near future, contact us. Our experts understand how important the right office can be. We’ll be happy to help you find the perfect location and offer some more great decorating ideas.

Article: How To Apply Feng Shui in Your Office

OfficeFinder Office Tenant Rep Directory

Find Office Space

 

Office Relocation Planning Guide: Selecting a Moving Company

Office MovingOnce you have found the office space you will be relocating to the next big part of an office relocation is the actual move itself. Here are a few suggestions on how to go about selecting a moving company.

1)  Research all of the contact information for the company including name, physical address (no PO Boxes), and any other names they do business under.  If you find more than one firm at the same address, that is a definite red flag.

2)  Determine how long the company has been in business. Many corporate movers have been doing business for many years so it’s a good idea to work with companies that have been around for at least five years. It also doesn’t hurt to find out how long they’ve been operating under the current ownership and management structure.

3)  Check to see the company is properly licensed.  Properly licensed interstate moving companies will have both a DOT number and a MC number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can verify these numbers yourself, for free, at SaferSys.org. Intrastate movers aren’t subject to the same regulations, but most states have their own licensing requirements you should check.

4)  Inquire about the company’s insurance coverage – what’s covered and for how much. They should carry insurance that covers your materials while in transit, as well as any damage the movers cause to your old or new properties. While all movers are required to have basic insurance, be sure to check into the limits on their coverage, and consider paying extra for additional insurance if you think you need it. Also make sure they carry current workers’ compensation coverage because if they don’t, you may be liable for any injuries their workers receive.

5)  Get reliable recommendations – You MUST check out potential movers through objective sources like the BBB or your state’s Department of Transportation. A reputable commercial moving company will be listed with both these agencies.

Note:  You can also call FMCSA’s Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints hotline at (888) 368-7238. It’s free, available 24/7 and you can check the complaint history of any interstate mover.

6) Don’t just jump at the lowest price! You need to investigate the estimate to find out if it’s realistic. As they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!  Get at least three estimates from commercial movers. This will allow you to make a fair, objective comparison.

Compare apples to apples. Break down each mover’s estimate into parts and compare them to estimates from other commercial moving services. Consider factors like the amount of time and the amount of materials estimated.

Expect estimates to fall within a reasonable range of each other. A good estimate should be no higher – or lower – than 10 percent of the final cost of the move.

If we can help you find office space….

OfficeFinder Office Tenant Rep Directory

Find Office Space