Category Archives: tenant representative

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.

CBC Survey Results on Employee Workplace Preferences

An interview with Fred Schmidt, Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates on  their recent survey about employee workplace preferences.

CBC Survey Workplace PreferencesIntro: On this call today we have Fred Schmidt, Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker Commercial. We also have James Osgood the founder of OfficeFinder. They will be discussing the CBC Survey Results on Employee Workplace Preferences.

James: Thank you. The purpose of this call is to talk with you about your recent survey about employee workplace preferences. First, Fred, can you tell me a little bit about Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates and what they do?

Fred: Sure. Coldwell Banker Commercial is in 275 locations in 44 countries. We have about 3600 associates. We have all the full-service capabilities from retail office, industrial, multifamily investments and property management. That’s more or less, we’re a commercial entity with regard to all that.

James: So, you’re international and have capabilities of servicing clients who are looking for commercial real estate of all types throughout the world then?

Fred: That’s correct. I have been in the business 37 years. Coincidentally on this discussion, because I know what you do with your report, I was a formerly a tenant rep office broker also [laughs]. I come from that world.

James: OfficeFinder is a network of commercial real estate brokers specializing in tenant representation and executive suites. We have roughly 500 tenant rep members and 500 executive suite members in our network including quite a few Coldwell Banker Commercial associates. We primarily service the US and Canada. We refer our visitors to our members to help them meet their office space needs and provide them information on the process as well.

James: Let’s get back to the survey. You did a survey about Employees Workplace Preferences. I guess a couple of questions I would have is, why did you do it and what did you expect to find?

Fred: This is with the Harris Poll. It will be our third or fourth year. What’s the purpose? The premise was to compare and contrast. Also, to see the evolution of the user and occupier of space. How are they looking at that space? What does it mean? What the dynamics? What are they feeling? Evaluating in terms of generations; millennials, boomers, generation x, all the generations in the workforce; all those types of things. There were no preliminary expectations or thoughts looking at this survey.

I think I was just saying to the team when you jumped on, that I think a lot of what they’re saying about the need for privacy or private areas to work and to do certain types of tasks. It’s really common sense if you take a step and look at it, depending on the type of work you are doing, or what your task is. There’s times that you need space where you can be in the collaborative environment working with other people. There’s other times when you need privacy to be able to do that work. A lot of it is common sense when you take a step back and look it, yes, this makes sense.

James: One of the things that I’ve seen going into many offices with open areas, especially with the millennials is that headphones are the new walls. You’ll walk through an office and you’ll see people with headphones on listening to whatever it is they may be listening to, but also gives a signal that, “Hey, I need my privacy to get my work done.” As another means that they’re using now to be able to create a do not disturb signal that effectively creates a wall within an open area.

Fred: I think that’s some interesting observation. We have open plans at our offices, our headquarters. There are a lot of folks, on our team, including those that use their headphones as they’re working. So, it’s interesting that when people need privacy, when they need to have conversations or really need to concentrate, they need private areas. I like that headphones are the new wall, I think it’s an interesting phenomenon.

James: Actually, the post we did on it a few years ago was kind of interesting. Walking around in open area offices and seeing all the headphones demonstrates how they can be used to allow less distractions. There are a lot of these newer spaces, like WeWork coworking spaces that are open area. They do have the collaborative areas, and the phone booths for privacy. They are pretty interesting and very popular now, especially for millennials. Although, people of all age groups are joining in the preference for the coworking style and open space, too. Anyway, getting back to the survey, were there any surprises in the survey? Is there anything that was surprised you to find out?

Fred: I think the ones that were coming out at us were of people, folks saying that we could better utilize our physical space, the actual tenants in there, as a way to utilize it, and how it manifests itself. I’ve got floor plans for about a third of them so that was interesting to see.

They are much more aware because when you’re on an open plan you become aware of the configuration how it impacts their work. I don’t think that was as much in the past. I know that we’ve heard as much about them, that awareness of the space you’re in. But if you think about it, when you are spending well over a third of your life at work,  it’s logical that people will the cognitive of that.

James: Absolutely I have heard studies that talking about the average use of office space is about fifty percent at any one point in time. So, I think the open area with the flexibility of perhaps having different workstations at any one time could be much more cost-effective for employers. Not needing to take quite as much space, too.

Fred: Well the average square foot per employee has gone down according to CoreNet as you probably know it’s about 150 square feet per person as compared to 250 to 300 over ten years ago. The open space design, the shared space, which is one of our questions was definitely a major factor. I think particularly in the millennial generations were the majority in terms of willingness to share their work spaces.

I think in terms of corporate America looking at your point about 50% usage, that change is one that will be very interesting. I think going forward we will see more people sharing desks, hoteling and working remotely.

James: You mentioned the different generations. I see in your workplace preferences report that the results are divided up by employee generation. You know one of the big challenges I think a lot of businesses have is trying to keep a balance between the millennial workers and the baby boomer workers. Is there a way to do that or are their styles so generally very different to be incompatible? Baby boomers are typically office-oriented, and the millennials prefer, as you mentioned in the survey, a more communal type of office environment.

Fred: I think here’s we have to be careful of the generational play, I’m a of boomer okay? [laughs]. I think the cultural shift definitely toward the open plans and managing to that is probably as key as the actual physical space, the way people conduct and handle their business.

You just mentioned the earphone as the new wall. I don’t think many boomers are walking around with their earphones on. They’d probably be more attuned to getting into private areas. Not necessarily private offices, but private areas. I worked at an open-plan for a good, part of my career. I think there is always sensibility with regard to that but managing the culture of your office and the type of work you’re doing still need to be paid attention to.

This is what we’re obviously painting things with the broad brush and looking at what the needs by generation are. But like I said if you are depending on the project, depending on the work, that will dictate where you’re going to use space or how you’re going to use it if that makes sense. I know it’s a very nuance thing but it’s very important to pay attention to. And then it isn’t necessarily generational.

James: One of the things that struck me in the press release was the discussions about 63% of workers surveyed would like to see easy parking. This seems to be a contradiction to the desire for people to have office space in the downtown markets now versus the suburban markets. Obviously, the suburban market’s parking is readily available but downtown it’s much more of a challenge.

Fred: It is one of those anomalies we’re saying, “Is this a trend or is it something that we’re seeing?” and if you look at older– younger millennials 63% of the group are looking at the parking. So, we’re not sure. I think it’s one of those things that you maybe ask the questions next year and the year after and then you’ll see a trend might evolving on that.

James: I guess it’s really a contradiction to the findings, they want convenience with more lunch time options in the workplace and then they want ample parking. Suburbia doesn’t typically have a lot of lunch options nearby and downtown won’t have a lot of parking.

Fred: We paint in broad strokes but if you look around the country, two thirds to three quarters of the working population is out in the suburbs or exurbs, just outside the city. I’m not sure of the exact number but it’s something like that. So, at the end of the day, despite all what we talked about urbanization or everything else, there’s a good chunk of the office workforce is out in the suburbs.

James: Yes. Absolutely. It’ll be interesting to do to your next survey maybe you do urban versus suburban analysis.

Fred: Yes.

James: When I go into one of the coworking spaces there’s always a lot of young people. Typically, there’s no parking because most of them are in the downtown, high-density areas and people are taking public transportation or biking or whatever. You always see the bike racks and the new office spaces, too.

Fred: I think that that’s one of the questions. If you are looking at survey, the parking, storage, commuting options, electric car charging stations, weather protecting bicycle storage are all of interest. We have that and no doubt the millennials are definitely focused on that and aware of it. So, is that the other trend? We’re not sure. It makes sense– common sense right?

James: Yes, it was an interesting study and I appreciate the time you’ve taken to talk to me about it and is there anything else you’d like to add?

Fred: I think the key thing is in tenant representation work is focusing on the user. Paying attention to that and how that reflects in terms of space impacts not only developers, but  occupiers and how they can recruit and retain good people. Paying attention to this is key given the amount of time and effort and money that’s spent in terms of configuring these spaces and the amount of time it takes to train employees.

James: That’s a very good point. In terms of the brokers community and the development community having clear understanding of what tenant’s workplace preferences are, so they can meet them as best as they can.

Fred: Yes. Like I said earlier, I think the nuance on this is, if you’re sitting down, you are sitting down to write an article or a blog or something, you probably want to be in a quiet spot, most people do. You need to have a place you can focus. If you’re in a open plan you need to go to have a spot that you can do you work uninterrupted or focus on it.

James: Thank you very much. I really appreciate this opportunity of talking with you about the employee workplace preferences survey.

More information on CBC Survey Results on Employee Workplace Preferences

Press Release: here

Full results: here

Hidden Costs of an DIY Office Lease Renewal

No Mistakes office lease renewalSo, you are getting near the end of your office lease and considering your options. One of those is to move to a new office location, but that is a lot of work and your current space fits you well. The other option is doing an office lease renewal at your current office lease. Many tenants thin that they can save money doing it themselves. We have found that office tenants typically make two major mistakes when renewal time comes around.

Common Office Lease Renewal Mistakes

The first is folding your cards by asking your landlord for a renewal proposal. By doing this you are indicating two things to your landlord, the first being that you are only considering a renewal and not exploring any competing space and the second is that you have not sought the assistance of a professional tenant representative to educate you on the market. Once a landlord thinks that you are committed to staying and will be going through the renewal process unrepresented, he can and will most likely make you an offer that is not in line with market rates and terms. Both of these pieces of leverage for the landlord can be eliminated by engaging a tenant representative specializing in commercial real estate. While a landlord may tell you this will raise the rental rate, this is simply incorrect, as brokerage fees are already factored into the lease rates and agreed to in advance with the landlords listing broker. Additionally, just letting your landlord know that you have retained representation tells him to
put his best foot forward or risk losing you as a tenant.

The second common mistake made by tenants, is not allowing enough time for the relocation/renewal process as a whole. Leaving too short of a time puts the advantage in the landlord’s hands, as your landlord will realize that you don’t have the time you need to relocate if you don’t like your renewal proposal. Tenants occupying less than 10,000 square feet should begin the process no less than one year out, for spaces larger than 10,000 square feet, up to two years of planning may be required.

You Don’t Need a Tenant Rep for an Office Lease  Renewal?

Here are some reasons why you may think you don’t need to engage a commercial real estate professional to represent you in your lease renewal:

“My landlord offered me a $.50 reduction in my lease rate”
While that sounds nice, it is actually quite common for market rates to drop more than the lease rate reduction offer by your landlord.

“My landlord is giving me a great lease rate; I spoke with my neighbor and someone in another building to confirm this”
Whether someone is getting a market deal is not only dependent upon the rate, there are a number of variables that contribute to getting a “market deal”. If you can’t answer the following questions, then you have left the door open for the landlord to take advantage:

  • What tenant improvement allowance should you be receiving on a
    lease renewal?
  • Do you know how much free-rent you should be receiving on a lease
    renewal?
  • What should be negotiated on your lease renewal relative to the
    operating expense costs?
  • What is fair for a tenant, in the current office market, with regards to
    parking charges, holdover provisions, relocation clauses, options to
    renew, and your ability to sublease?

You would never go to court without your attorney or through an IRS audit without your accountant. Why would your company want to make one of its top 3 financial commitments without having proper market knowledge and guidance? Especially when you can have it at
no cost to your company! Whatever you do, even if it isn’t us, make sure you choose and retain a commercial real estate tenant representative to represent you in your office lease decisions.

A guest blog post by our Local Denver Rep.

More office leasing tips

If you want to avoid making these mistakes, we can help with our network of local office tenant representatives, Contact us today for assistance. No obligation for our No Cost Service.

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Three Common Mistakes to Avoid When Leasing Office Space

Signing_AgreementLeasing office space is a significant investment for your business. This is why it is very important to make sure you avoid making mistakes that will cost you a lot of money. The following are 3 common mistakes made when leasing office space and how to avoid them.

Lack of planning. A lot of tenants do not know exactly what they need. Knowing the exact space you need is essential. You should have an architect that can do a space program for you and determine exactly what size and functions you need. Knowing the details of what you need will ultimately save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Lack of representation. Hiring a tenant representative has many benefits. A broker has extensive knowledge regarding the ins and outs of the market and can negotiate for you. They can also use their knowledge and experience to narrow the buildings down that they believe would be best for your business. Hiring a tenant representative can prevent you from leasing a space that you will ultimately decide to leave a few months down the road.

One of the great benefits of engaging a tenant rep is that, while they work for you, their services are free. Just like in residential real estate, their fees are paid by the owner of the building. You get representation, but do not have to pay for it.

Find out more about Tenant Representatives

Not enough time. It is common for tenants to underestimate the amount of time it takes to renew a lease or move. Negotiating your deal could take anywhere from 6-12 months, depending on how much space you have and what tenant improvements are needed. By planning ahead and creating deadlines, you can avoid making this mistake.

If you value your time and money, you cannot afford to make these mistakes when leasing office space. Contact us for more information about how to avoid mistakes when leasing office space.

 

5 Office Space Leasing Tips for Small Business Tenants

Helpful Office Space Leasing TipsWhether you have 10 or 100 employees, as a small business owner you know that finding the right space for your company is crucial for its continued success. There are many things to consider. That is where a good tenant rep comes in. Making sure you don’t miss anything crucial. Among those considerations there are five office space leasing tips that the professionals have used successfully for years; now you can, too.

5 Office Space Leasing Tips

  1. Plan for the space you need next year. Look back at the growth history of your company. There should be a consistent trajectory that shows annual expansion. Lease a space for the growth benchmark that you anticipate meeting in a year from now. Doing so lets you grow into the space and prevents from busting at the seams if you grow faster than expected.
  2. Pick a location with a millennial workforce in mind. It is expected that millennials will account for over 45% of the workforce by 2020. You better plan your office space to meet their needs. This group likes to walk to nearby venues, rely on public transportation and prefers an urban setting that makes the balance between work and life an easy one. Following on its heels is Generation Z, which is expected to demand a similar work environment.
  3. Look at a space from the customer’s point of view. When the proposed office is of sufficient size and near the amenities that your workers like, consider how your customers feel about it. An established clientele with a high loyalty quotient may follow you into the boonies, but finding new customers willing to travel there is unlikely. Be close to major transportation hubs and offer ample parking.
  4. Leverage your brand. Marketers define your brand as the corporate identity of your business. If you are an innovative software developer, your office should be a mix of glass, acrylic, metal and modernism. Dark wood, shag carpeting or tired floor plans are not what you are looking for. Work with an expert tenant representative who can help you find a space that bespeaks your brand.
  5. Negotiate a generous build-out allowance. When the space needs a few tweaks and some larger changes to take on the flexible workplace characteristics you envision, find out if your property owner will foot the bill or at least let you amortize the cost as additional rent. Using a build-out allowance saves you money. Negotiating the right amount calls for business savvy and a good understanding of what competing property managers offer.

Of course, these office space leasing tips only scratch the surface. Our local office tenant reps have many more Office Space Leasing Tips they use to help ensure you not only get the best deal possible on the right office space for your business, but also avoid costly mistakes.

Contact us today to discuss your business’ office needs and the time frame for your next move.

Exciting New Skyscraper in NYC Set to Capitalize on Architectural Tech

Earlier this month, an exciting, new skyscraper in NYC in the making, the West 57th Street Tower, captured architectural news headlines, including Architectural Digest. What catapulted the proposed design into the limelight? For one, the building is slated to eventually dominate one of the New York City’s most iconic skylines, Downtown Manhattan. Its exterior is also expected to look like something out of 12th century Europe. It is also known as the “Michaelangelo Tower” (named by the press), or “The Khaleesi” (in-house code-name). Not up on your architectural history? No worries.

Buildings from that era were known to have a number of marked features. For example, they were typically tall, window-filled, stone structures with pointed arches, flying buttresses and vaulted ceilings. Also, many of those same office buildings boasted a great deal of decorative stone work. Oftentimes, it incorporated mythological themes that included griffins, angels and gargoyles.

The man behind the proposed design is none other than Mark Foster Gage. Gage is known for his unparalleled designs and liberal use of computer numerical control, computer aided design software and three-dimensional printing. They’re among the most creative tools currently available in architects’ arsenals. And Gage’s proposed exterior will undoubtedly impact the new, office building’s interior as well.

With 102-stories planned in this skyscraper in NYC, there will likely be many rentable spaces to choose from. However, details on each retail, residential, commercial and mixed use space have yet to be released because the building’s development is still in the early stages. So what should fans of Gage’s work do in the interim? May we suggest renting office space near the proposed structure or other buildings with historic features?

PRELIMINARY PROJECT DATA

Location: West 57th Street, New York City, Manhattan
Height in floors: 102
Height in feet:  1492
Residential Units: 91
Sky lobby level 64
Resident retail level 64
Structure: concrete
Façade Materials: Limestone tinted Taktl© panels, Hydroformed
Sheet Bronze, Brass extrusions

There are a number of architectural gems in Manhattan and New York City that boast period design elements. To learn more about these existing properties or ones expected to be constructed in the near future, please contact OfficeFinder today. Our local tenant representative can help you find just the right style of office building for your business and their services are 100% free to you.

Happy Holidays to all!

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3 Factors to Consider When Leasing Office Space

Leasing office space involves more than just thinking about location, price, and size.

leasing office space strategyYou have to find a space that meets those needs, but there are also many other considerations that you must factor into your decision so you can avoid mistakes when leasing office space. A good tenant representative, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder, will ensure that you take these, as well as many other considerations into account when leasing office space for your company.

Parking Availability

Parking at some office buildings can be sparse for clients and visitors because the parking lots or garages are filled with employees from the various tenant companies within the building or surrounding area. When you are considering an office space, make sure that you inquire about the parking availability not only for employees, but your visitors too. Most visitors would like to avoid paying for parking when they come to visit you. See if you can negotiate some parking vouchers to alleviate the cost to visitors. Employees don’t like to pay for parking either. A good idea is to lease office space near convenient public transportation to give employees an option other than having to pay for parking.

Security Availability

Companies that are searching for office space want a place that is safe and secure. Some office buildings offer security for the tenants in the building. It is vital that you discuss how the security personnel will interact with your employees and visitors. You should also find out how security personnel will react if there is an incident in the building. Check out the crime rate in the area to make sure you are not moving into a nightmare.

Access Availability

If your business operates during non-traditional hours, you will need to find a building that will allow access during those hours. Some office buildings might lock entrances during certain times. Some may still allow you access, but not visitors. If you plan on doing business during those times, you must consider other options. You don’t want your employees or visitors to find locked entrances when they try to come into your office.

We have a variety of office space options that can meet most needs. Our local tenant reps use proprietary and up-to-date databases to locate just the right office space. Our services are free to our clients. There is no cost to you. So, contact us today so that we can help you find an office space that will allow you to conduct business in a productive environment.

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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

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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

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5 Keys to Getting the BEST Deal on Your Next Office Lease

Saving Money on your office leaseIt goes without saying that everyone wants to get the best possible deal when they lease office space. There is a definite process that is followed when searching and negotiating for office space. Here are the five most important keys to getting the best deal on your next office lease.

  1. While it may seem self-serving coming from a us, the most important key to getting the best deal on your next office lease is to engage the services an office tenant rep expert, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder, on your side. Find a tenant representative who is experienced and knowledgeable in the market in which you are searching for office space and has a track record of done deals. It won’t cost you anything and it won’t increase your  rent. Their cost is already built into the Landlord’s marketing budget.
    Questions to ask a tenant rep
  2. Have a clear understanding as to what you are looking to find. Define your goals and prioritize them before you start looking for office space. Discussing your office requirements with your top employees is crucial to ensure that you are all on the same page. The last thing you want to see happen when relocating is to alienate your key employees and risk losing them.
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  3. Allow enough time to get through the process. Depending upon the amount of space you are looking for, you should allow between 6 and 18 months from the time you start the process to the time you take occupancy of your new office space. The last thing you want to have happen is to run into a time crunch that affects your negotiation capabilities.
    Office leasing process and timeline.
  4. Do a thorough survey of available properties that not only meet your goals, but also properties that are close to meeting your goals. Once you have identified the alternatives, you can then make a short list of properties that you want to visit. There are a number of resources you can use in researching available properties. Many brokers have their own proprietary databases that are more accurate and up-to-date than the online listing sites such as LoopNet and all of their subsidiaries (Costar, CityFeet and Showcase). This can be much more difficult than you might think, not to mention time-consuming. Studies have shown that only about 50% of inquiries from online listing sites actually get a response. In addition, many of the online listing sites don’t actually connect you with the listing agent, but rather an agent that pays them a fee for leads.
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  5. Finally, research the deals that have been made in the locales of the office properties you have shortlisted and find out which buildings in the market is making the best deals. One of the worst ways to do this is to ask other tenants in the area, unless you really know them well, about the deals that they made. It’s amazing the information they will leave out wanting it to appear that they made the deal of the year. The best way to get this information is to talk with brokers who have done deals in the areas in which you are interested. Unfortunately, if you are not working with a tenant rep, this will be nearly impossible. After all, a broker’s added value is the information they have and they don’t usually give it away for free.
    The other alternative to getting this information is to put out several requests for proposals (RFPs) on several of the properties you are interested in. This will give you a general idea of starting points for landlords. From there you’ll need to simultaneously negotiate the proposals to see how far you can go.

Prioritizing these five keys will ensure that you do get the best possible deal on your office lease. You can do it on your own if you are willing to put time into the process. It will take a lot of your time to get through the process and get the best possible deal. If you are willing to settle on an office lease that you can live with, you can take shortcuts, but you will be leaving money on the table. This leads us back to the first key of engaging the services of a qualified office tenant rep so you can concentrate on your business while they do the time-consuming work. It will ensure that you not only find the right space but also get the best possible deal on your next office lease.

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