Don’t Forget These Five Must-Haves When Signing an Office Lease

You have found the perfect office space for your company and now it’s time to sign on the dotted line and make it official – but what things should you ensure that you have in that office lease? After the ink has dried on the lease, there is no turning back, so make sure you don’t forget these five must-haves when signing an office lease.

A Solid Understanding

Yes, you NEED to read the lease even though it is a long document. Do the definitions align with your understanding? If you don’t understand something in the lease, the time to ask questions is before you sign, not after. Make a special note to look at the terms such as the right to cancel. Many landlords will use standard leases that includes general terms for all leases. If you have negotiated specific things, you need to make sure those are included in the lease. Check the start date, end date, rent, rent escalation, and other special terms you negotiated.

The Best Possible Negotiations

Just because you have the lease in hand, does not mean you cannot continue to negotiate until you have the terms you want. Until the lease is signed, you have room to negotiate. When reading the lease, make a list of provisions that you would like changed and give it to your broker.

Knowledge of Your Responsibility for Capital Expenditures

Capital expenditures includes major structural expenditures like the roof, foundation, HVAC and any other major repairs and replacements necessary. The standard varies from property to property, but you should try to avoid signing a lease that places the burden of these repairs on the tenants.

Is the Lease Assignable?

Check to see if the landlord has the right to terminate the lease if you ask for an assignment. If you sell your business, you want to be able to have someone else take on the lease. Many businesses look at location as the biggest piece of value and some will try to assign a lease in order to get out of it, although the landlord will still want to renegotiate the terms with the assignee. If the landlord has the right to terminate the lease once you ask for an assignment, this could kill the sale. Negotiate for the landlord to remove this provision or allow it to be modified so that it doesn’t apply in the event that you sell your business.

Can You Sublease?

A sublessee is another business that works in your leased space under your lease terms. You pay the lease and the other party pays you a portion of the cost. A lot of landlords do not allow subleases, but if you want a sublessee, you will need to negotiate this with the landlord before signing the lease.

Visit our Tenant Education Center to learn more about the commercial real estate process .

Effective Strategies for Marketing Your Office in the Collaborative Workspace Genre

The way the workforce, particularly millennials, want to work is pressuring more companies to harbor office space that speaks to a more collaborative setting. The traditional cubicle life is no more and well-designed spaces are stepping in to take its place. Even if your current office space is not collaborative, there are effective strategies that you can implement to market your space to the collaborative workforce.

Understand a Younger Design Aesthetic

Office environments need to combine open floor plans with many gathering spaces and specialty spots, such as sound-proof conference rooms and spaces that employees can move freely between throughout the day. Even if your office has a traditional layout, you can still enforce collaboration by encouraging employees to operate out of some of your current meeting spaces. The greater face-to-face interaction, the more likely you will see an increase in collaboration.

Have a Start-Up Mindset

Maybe your office space isn’t a true collaborative layout, but that does not mean that collaboration isn’t possible. By using a fresh approach to promote a workspace that emphasizes a solutions-first mindset and innovation, you can implement cutting-edge technology that helps build flexibility and can change the spaces you occupy. Technology can help to connect all of your employees together, even if the layout of your office doesn’t allow for that. Tech like Zoom conferencing, Slack and many others can help to keep the office cohesive.

Tear Down the Walls

Opting for low walls and clusters of workstations that are smaller can encourage collaboration and utilize space more efficiently. Small conference rooms and huddle rooms can also help bring employees together for meetings, etc. An open concept floor plan is easy to accomplish when you tear down walls and join employees together. You don’t need to completely alter the look of your interior, but you do need to open the floorplan up to increase the flow of the office space.

Keep Things Flexible

Remote technology can enable employees to work and collaborate remotely. Google Hangouts, Google Docs, Dropbox and Evernote can all help encourage collaboration even in a traditional workspace. These products can also allow for employees to work from home and have greater flexibility. You can try to implement greater flexible technology to help increase collaboration within the workspace.

Amenities that Wow

Attracting a collaborative workforce is easy when you have a lobby and space that both welcomes and impresses. A closed-in office with dark furniture will deter any kind of collaborative group. These groups need amenities such as on-site gyms, on-site cafes and work spaces that are large enough for groups to gather and work together. Even in a non-collaborative office property, you can help encourage collaboration just by being creative with amenities and the overall design of the space.

Rail Yard Telecom Concierge® Now Available on OfficeSpace.com  

Access to fast, reliable internet is essential for any business looking for their next space. That’s why we’ve partnered with Rail Yard to provide prospective tenants with internet connectivity information. With Rail Yard’s Telecom Concierge®, OfficeSpace.com users can now access telecom services and quotes for properties across 40 cities!

Here’s what OfficeSpace.com users will see when they visit a listing on OfficeSpace.com:

Rail Yard Telecom Concierge on OfficeSpace.com – Example 

This feature allows OfficeSpace.com users to view available telecom providers servicing the buildings they’re interested in on OfficeSpace.com. Users can also compare service providers and request customized quotes in real-time directly on the website.

Check out the official announcement to learn more about our partnership!

4 Ways the Collaborative Workspace Movement is Impacting CRE

Collaborative workspaces are changing the way millennials work and ultimately creating a snowball effect that is changing the way everyone works. Recent studies reveal that over 1.2 million people worldwide have worked, or currently work, at a co-working space. In fact, Emergent Research forecasts that by 2020, co-working memberships will rise to 3.8 million people and 5.1 million by 2022. As collaborative spaces become increasingly popular, it’s not surprising that this has also impacted the commercial real estate industry in a big way – from increasing property demand for older buildings to establishing a brand new niche market.

Here are four ways the collaborative workspace movement is impacting CRE in both a positive and negative way.

Increasing Property Demand

The popular demand for collaborative workspace environments  is benefitting CRE by also increasing the demand for older properties. Many companies that prefer collaborative space will take old industrial warehouses and repurpose them into premier locations for their team members. In fact, recent reports show that there’s a clear shift in tenants’ preference for older office buildings, as the existing old-world charm and flexible, open layouts are attractive to those seeking a collaborative environment.

Along with these older spaces, companies can also utilize floors and areas of existing office buildings to offer more collaborative spaces for meetings, communal work areas, and so forth. Overall, this is increasing the leasing and sales action within the market, as many companies continue to demand large square footages.

Establishing a Niche Market

Co-working and collaborative spaces have also proven to benefit brokers in that this new trend has created a niche market. Commercial real estate is built on relationships and many building owners and brokers have established strong networks with companies looking for this particular type of space. What’s more, there are entire brokerages, websites and platforms built to help fill collaborative spaces.

Additionally, large co-working companies also have broker referral programs, allowing brokers to maintain the client relationship while still earning commission. As most companies outgrow co-working spaces, these tenants will likely need the broker’s services down the line when they’re ready to lease a more traditional space.

There is No Guarantee for Long-Term Sustainability

Collaborative spaces are generally not for long-term leases. Many companies will lease out these spaces for a short time period, which means there is no guarantee for long-term sustainability. Tech startup companies are the biggest utilizers of co-working space. The challenge that this brings to CRE is the question of who to lease the office space to and which businesses will be able to overcome any economic downturn. This can be a gamble for brokers and landlords to determine if the company will be able to uphold their lease if a time comes when the market takes a dip.

Joint Ventures Between Landlords & Operators

The success and profitability of co-working space has increased the partnership between landlords and operators. These two groups work together to buy, develop and reposition buildings to transform them into co-working space, which allows the opportunity for both the landlord and the operator to better monetize on this trend.

Co-working has altered the way startups and small businesses approach office space. This has helped to reduce vacancy rates while also establishing new companies in many markets. Co-working companies such as Regus and WeWork are some of the most desirable tenants in the market in this day and age, with valuations often surpassing the traditional brick and mortar landlords.

It just got even easier to add listings to OfficeSpace.com

While it has always been free and easy to add your listings to OfficeSpace.com, we’re excited to announce that it just got even easier!

Over the last couple of weeks, you may have been contacted about sending us your flyers, personal websites, or adding us to your e-blast. We now have a dedicated team that will update your listings at no cost or disruption to you. Simply send us your flyers, email us your company websites, or add us to your e-blasts – we’ll take care of the rest.

Office space in Phoenix, AZ map view.OfficeSpace.com map view (Phoenix, AZ)

Don’t forget – we do more than just office, so make sure to send us updates for all use-types! This will ensure that all of your listings are getting exposure to the hundreds of thousands of tenants and buyers who search our website monthly.

Getting started

Want to send individual flyers or add us to an e-blast? Email them to Jen Rhee at jen@officespace.com.  As our data quality associate, she’ll take care of coordinating your updates.

Have a company website with listing data and flyers? If you’d like us to start pulling from your personal website on a recurring basis, please fill out the contact form below. We’ll review it and add your website to our monthly update rotation.

Other ways to update:

Utilize a feed provider that partners with us:  OfficeSpace.com’s syndication partners include Buildout, Apto, and Realogy! If your firm utilizes one of those syndication platforms, email jen@officespace.com to confirm if you’re currently being syndicated and how we can help if you’d like to get set up.

Login and manage your data directly: Users will always have the option to login to OfficeSpace.com to add, manage, and update new and existing listings. Get started by logging into your account.

Broker Tools/Features Available to you

OfficeSpace.com Pro users will enjoy the following features at no cost:

Broker lead management page

  • Unlimited photos, floor plans & brochures.
  • Listing visibility on OfficeSpace.com’s sleek map search.
  • Data export capabilities – standard CSV format.
  • Caller intelligence for all incoming tenant calls.
  • Real-time lead management and easy-to-use reply feature.
Want more leads?

Join our Tenant Connect  program: Position yourself as the local expert in your market! Connect with tenants who are actively searching and grow your pipeline. On average, Tenant Connect brokers receive 4x ROI!

Feature your Listings: Get 10x more exposure of your listings with Featured Listings, and receive 13x more leads than free, basic listings.

Questions? Comments? Let’s chat!

Contact Jen Rhee at jen@officespace.com or reach us at 206-680-4545.

One Broker’s Enduring Entrepreneurial Spirit

Big Payoff with Tenant Connect for a MBA grad turned CRE broker.

Company: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commercial Division
Markets: Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton OH
Results:
– 60 closed transactions
– $250,000+ in revenue
– 30% revenue growth
– Increased tenant rep more than two fold

 

As an MBA graduate with an extensive business background in Finance and Operations, David Mussari is no stranger to entrepreneurship. In fact, it was his interest in entrepreneurial opportunities that became the catalyst for his development as a commercial real estate broker.

“I first got involved in real estate in the mid 1990’s as a personal investment strategy and very quickly became engaged with commercial real estate brokerage,” recalled Mussari. “I enjoyed the hands on approach to managing agents, commercial assets and the challenge in finding opportunities and adding value.”

In 2007, Mussari acquired a small franchise firm, Prudential Commercial Real Estate, and quickly grew it into the 5th largest Commercial Real Estate brokerage in the Tri- State area. He’s also the managing partner for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty.

The Problem: Stuck in a Marketing Rut

Like many commercial real estate brokers, Mussari’s firm initially relied on traditional marketing practices to find clients. However, these traditional methods soon proved impractical for meeting the needs of a modern real estate business.

“It was time consuming and ineffective to try to broadly market or cold call on local businesses,” Mussari admitted. They also tried sending mailers to local business owners and purchased ads on Loopnet and Google Adwords, but realized that there had to be a better way.

“We wanted to connect with more local business owners that had a need for tenant and lease representation ​at the exact moment when they needed it,” recalled Mussari.

The Answer: OfficeSpace.com’s Tenant Connect

When Mussari was introduced to OfficeSpace.com‘s Tenant Connect in 2014, he didn’t have to think twice about becoming a partner. The program was not only addressing an immediate problem by providing the ability to connect with the active tenants in real-time, but it also aligned with his firm’s long-term objectives.

 “Tenant Connect aligned with our initiative to help local business owners secure better leases.”

“It made sense to help us meet our goal of being the go-to commercial broker in the market for tenant representation,” explained Mussari. “Tenant Connect aligned with our initiative to help local business owners secure better leases.”

When asked if he recalled any reservations about becoming a Tenant Connect partner, Mussari simply remarked “none”.

Since joining, Mussari and his firm have closed roughly 60 transactions and brought in over $250,000 in revenue through Tenant Connect. “​We have seen about a 30% revenue growth on our commercial business since joining Tenant Connect and our tenant representation has more than doubled.​” Apart from the revenue, Mussari emphasized that Tenant Connect has provided positive exposure in the marketplace for his brokerage and agents.

If there’s one thing that Mussari wants other brokers to know about OfficeSpace.com, it’s that OfficeSpace.com “operates with the best interest of the brokerage and business community in mind. Unlike other players in the commercial real estate aggregation category, they are fair minded and add value for a reasonable price.”

View David Mussari‘s full bio and profile page.

Learn more about OfficeSpace.com’s Tenant Connect.

New Partnership Brings Commercial Property Data to EDOs

We’re excited to announce that OfficeSpace.com has joined forces with Community Systems, a leading technology company dedicated to the economic development industry. Through this partnership, OfficeSpace.com‘s commercial listings will now be exclusively featured on economic development organization (EDO) websites across the country and visible to thousands of site selectors, brokers, and companies seeking commercial property data nationwide. 

How does this partnership benefit CRE brokers and and economic developers?

Nationwide exposure for CRE brokers: Brokers who list on OfficeSpace.com will automatically have their listings featured on over 260 economic development websites across 42 states. As the exclusive data provider for Community Systems, only brokers who list on OfficeSpace.com will receive this exposure. The property database will be embedded using Community Systems’ innovative software which is designed specifically for EDO websites and features a map-based interface, combined with sophisticated workforce and demographic data from ESRI and EMSI.

A reliable, comprehensive commercial property data source for EDOs: By integrating OfficeSpace.com’s extensive commercial property database and Community Systems’ robust software systems, the economic development community will now have a reliable commercial property data source (over 553,000 on-market office, retail, industrial, and land listings and a total of 1.2 million listings across the country).

A better solution for both EDO customers and brokers: OfficeSpace.com offers an easy way for brokers and EDOs to get their properties online on a national platform. Unlike other broker-to-broker websites, OfficeSpace.com directly reaches tenants and buyers through a user-friendly interface.

Check out the official press release to learn more about the OfficeSpace.com-Community Systems partnership.

Susie Algard Appoints Mark Ashida as New CEO of OfficeSpace.com

[SEATTLE, WA – Feb, 27th 2018 ] – OfficeSpace.com, the leading commercial real estate listing service that connects tenants and brokers, has announced that technology industry veteran Mark Ashida has joined the company as its new Chief Executive Officer, replacing founder Susie Algard. As CEO, Ashida will lead strategy, revenue and growth for the company. Algard will continue as Chair of the Board of Directors of OfficeSpace.com.

“I am excited to announce that Mark Ashida will be taking over the role of CEO at OfficeSpace.com. Mark brings with him a wealth of experience ranging from starting companies from the ground up to stepping in to accelerate growth,” said Algard. “His deep roots in technology and thoughtful leadership style will be a huge asset for both OfficeSpace.com and the commercial real estate industry-at-large. I look forward to working closely with him in the future.”

Ashida is a 25-year technology veteran who has held CEO and COO roles at several prominent startups and serves on the board of numerous Pacific Northwest companies. He has proven experience scaling startups to fast-growing and successful businesses, serving as CEO and COO at InterTrust Corporation (sold to Sony and Philips for $450 million) and as a General Manager at Microsoft.  He has also served as CEO for numerous startups in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining OfficeSpace.com, Ashida served as CEO at Digital Fortress, where he recently led the company through a successful sales process. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Pomona College.

“Under Susie Algard’s leadership, the OfficeSpace.com team has built a revolutionary platform that better facilitates the necessary relationship between brokers and tenants,” said Ashida. “I believe that there are many future prospects for the commercial real estate market that remain untapped, especially as brokers and tenants continue to move towards internet platforms as their operating dashboard to list and find office space. I am very excited about the opportunity to lead OfficeSpace.com into its next phase of growth.”

Founder Susie Algard purchased the OfficeSpace.com domain in 2010 and re-launched the website in 2012, focusing on the commercial real estate needs of tenants. Since then, OfficeSpace.com has become one of the fastest growing commercial real estate listing services of its kind. In a traditionally opaque industry, OfficeSpace.com’s open search platform and the success the company has had with establishing syndication partnerships with top brokerage firms has helped lead the charge in providing greater accessibility to commercial real estate data for tenants.

About OfficeSpace.com

OfficeSpace.com is a nationwide commercial real estate marketplace that connects tenants and brokers. With over 550,000 on-market listings nationwide, OfficeSpace.com provides lease and sale information for all commercial space types – including office, retail, industrial, flex, and land listings. OfficeSpace.com’s online property database is available to search for free and without any restrictions. Hundreds of thousands of unique users generate millions of building views on OfficeSpace.com every month.

OfficeSpace.com and Apto partnership brings greater exposure to Apto customers.

OfficeSpaceLogo.png   +   AptoLogo

If you’re an Apto customer, your life just got a lot easier!

We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Apto to provide all Apto users with the ability to automatically publish their listings directly to OfficeSpace.com.

This means that you no longer have to worry about updating across both platforms and can now syndicate your data on OfficeSpace.com without ever leaving your Apto account. By publishing to OfficeSpace.com, you’ll boost your listings’ exposure and lead pipeline as hundreds of thousands of tenants and brokers search for CRE space on OfficeSpace.com every month.

The best part? All it takes is a click of a button from your Apto account to begin syncing your listings, and there’s no additional cost to you.

To get started:

  • Pull up your listing on Apto.
  • Publish your listing to OfficeSpace.com with a click of a button.
  • Instantly get exposure to tenants searching OfficeSpace.com.
  • Start getting tenant inquiries directly and add/manage them on Apto.

To learn more about this partnership and Apto, check out the Apto blog.

Learn more about Apto:

Created by commercial real estate brokers, Apto is the leading web-based software for managing client relationships, properties, listings, and deals. Apto streamlines the entire deal lifecycle. Request a demo today.