What to Consider When Moving Into A New (Or Your First) Office [Infographic]

Infographic of What to Consider When Moving Into A New (Or Your First) Office

Moving into a new office can be a challenge both logistically and energetically. Finding an office that suits your business needs is only the first part of the process — moving in and readjusting to the new space can take some effort as well.

By having a detailed checklist of factors relating to your relocation, you can save yourself a lot of the hassle that can come up with new moves, especially if this is your first office.

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How to Choose the Right Tenant Representation Broker

Finding the right fit in a commercial real estate lease is a challenge unto itself. Aside from researching, budgeting, and planning for an office move or expansion, there’s the lengthy and sometimes stressful endeavor of negotiating lease terms and what you’ll be responsible for paying on a monthly basis.

An effective strategy is to work with a tenant representation broker to help alleviate the stresses of locating the proper space and negotiating the best possible terms for you and your company. But finding the right tenant rep broker can be an overwhelming process to some. With a wide array of qualified, capable brokers in the real estate market, it can be difficult to decide which broker is the best fit for your situation.

Some tenant rep brokers have different specialities, relationships, and qualities that set them apart from one another. Certain tenant rep brokers work strictly within the boundaries of the local market, leveraging personal relationships and neighborhood know-how, while others have the support system that comes with a national brokerage.

To help you navigate the process, we’ve assembled this guide to answer common questions, provide you with a list of things you should ask a potential tenant rep broker, and allow you insights into how a tenant rep broker can benefit your company.

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John is the Regional Director of OfficeSpace.com where he heads broker relations and sales. Prior to being Regional Director, he was the Operations Director for the company’s property database. John has over 25 years of experience working in the commercial real estate industry. Before OfficeSpace.com, John was a commercial real estate broker for the Norman Company in Seattle, WA.

A Simple Guide to Calculating Operating Expenses for Office Buildings

When considering a commercial office space lease, it’s important to carefully investigate any non-rental costs, what’s included in your rental agreement, and what you’re going to be responsible for on a monthly basis. While many commercial leases are likely to be triple net leases (in which the tenant is responsible for operating expenses on a pro rata basis in addition to the rental fee), these leases can be extremely varied and up to negotiation, leaving many tenants largely in the dark as to how much they can expect to spend each month.

In more popular and competitive markets, the operating costs can be as much as half of your base rental fee per square feet – and even higher in more concentrated downtown, financial, or business districts.  

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John is the Regional Director of OfficeSpace.com where he heads broker relations and sales. Prior to being Regional Director, he was the Operations Director for the company’s property database. John has over 25 years of experience working in the commercial real estate industry. Before OfficeSpace.com, John was a commercial real estate broker for the Norman Company in Seattle, WA.

Explaining the Various Types of Commercial Real Estate Leases

Signing a commercial lease agreement

When it comes time to expand your business to your first office or upgrade to a more suitable location, there’s plenty to worry about. Budgetary concerns, logistics, and ensuring continuity of business during the relocation are all crucial elements. Before you consider how you’ll move, you should investigate your commercial real estate lease options to ensure your company enters into the right agreement for the right stage of your business.

Continue reading “Explaining the Various Types of Commercial Real Estate Leases”

John is the Regional Director of OfficeSpace.com where he heads broker relations and sales. Prior to being Regional Director, he was the Operations Director for the company’s property database. John has over 25 years of experience working in the commercial real estate industry. Before OfficeSpace.com, John was a commercial real estate broker for the Norman Company in Seattle, WA.

Navigating the Commercial Real Estate Lease Process

An agreement between a business and a landlord is defined as a commercial real estate lease, with each agreement coming with its own restrictions, stipulations, and features that are negotiated during the final signing process. But before the ink is wet and you start calling moving companies, new and first-time business owners learn quickly that signing a commercial real estate lease can be a complex and lengthy process – especially if you’re operating in a competitive city or market.

Before you begin your search, you’ll need to be equipped to handle the ins and outs of the entire process from start to finish to find the right commercial real estate lease that fits the needs of your business and your budget.

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John is the Regional Director of OfficeSpace.com where he heads broker relations and sales. Prior to being Regional Director, he was the Operations Director for the company’s property database. John has over 25 years of experience working in the commercial real estate industry. Before OfficeSpace.com, John was a commercial real estate broker for the Norman Company in Seattle, WA.

7 Considerations When Negotiating an Office Lease Renewal

Negotiating an office lease

Hovering over your office real estate lease is always one thing: the lease renewal. Unlike residential leases, landlords will approach commercial leasees with proposals months in advance of the renewal date. Like residential leases, the terms for the renewed lease include a common element: higher rates.

What most businesses don’t understand, however, is that their fate is entirely in their own hands. Companies don’t have to simply bite the bullet and accept the higher rent conditions; instead, with savvy negotiating tactics and a few tips, you can often find middle ground with your existing landlords – or hunt for new space until the lease expires. Here’s what you and your team should keep in mind when it comes time to negotiate a commercial real estate lease renewal with your current landlord:

Continue reading “7 Considerations When Negotiating an Office Lease Renewal”

John is the Regional Director of OfficeSpace.com where he heads broker relations and sales. Prior to being Regional Director, he was the Operations Director for the company’s property database. John has over 25 years of experience working in the commercial real estate industry. Before OfficeSpace.com, John was a commercial real estate broker for the Norman Company in Seattle, WA.

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.

Continue reading “Don’t Forget These Five Must-Haves When Signing an Office Lease”

John is the Regional Director of OfficeSpace.com where he heads broker relations and sales. Prior to being Regional Director, he was the Operations Director for the company’s property database. John has over 25 years of experience working in the commercial real estate industry. Before OfficeSpace.com, John was a commercial real estate broker for the Norman Company in Seattle, WA.

Why Brokers Won’t Return Entrepreneurs’ Calls

It’s a common complaint among entrepreneurs looking for office space. Why don’t brokers call them back? The truth is that the majority of brokers do return inquiries.

At OfficeSpace.com, we’ve found that how you phrase your initial request about space has a huge impact on whether or not you get a response. After analyzing 10,000 email requests in the last six months, here’s what we’ve determined to be the top three types of requests that do not get responded to quickly.

The wishy-washy entrepreneur  

When inquiring on a space, you have a wide range of what will work for you. You may have a huge range of space that you might need, and you don’t say when you need the space. You might need it right away or you might need it in six months. It can be fully built-out space or a wide-open bullpen.

While you might get lucky with a broker who is willing to spend the time extra time talking to you and helping you figure out what you truly need, most brokers won’t know how to prioritize their response for you as they fear you are not serious or that you will require a lot of work.

The short-term entrepreneur  

You request a month-to-month lease or something short term (less than one year). If you’re requesting a short-lease term you might as well be saying please do not call me back as far as a broker is concerned. This is fine to request if you are looking at a sublease or executive suite, but it’s not realistic for most landlords, so brokers will not want to waste their time with you.

The secretive entrepreneur

You don’t include enough personal information like your full name, company and any further details or descriptions of what the business use is for the space you’re inquiring about. The only thing you tell the broker is that details on the company are “under wraps.”

Brokers tend to de-prioritize these kinds of inquiries, because it gives them the impression that your business could be dangerous or illegal, which is obviously something the landlord would not allow in their building.

While it’s normal for entrepreneurs to want to keep details of their companies private for competitive reasons, there needs to be a balance with providing the necessary details for landlords. They will want to see financials and even a business plan if you are a startup with no track record.

Best practices

Based on our analysis, providing your full name, company name and specific details are ideal. For example, you might say that you are currently in a 5,000 square-foot space and are looking for bigger space, need a kitchen, two conference rooms and access to storage.

You can also count on a faster call back by including details that show that you’re an established company or what your timing is. You don’t need to divulge all your information, just enough to make the broker know that you are serious.  It’s not imperative that you sound like you know everything, just that you are serious.

So, the next time you spend the time to make the calls or emails to a broker, remember to give enough details and be thoughtful to get the fastest response back.

To get more answers to common tenant-related questions, visit our FAQ page.

This article was written by Susie Algard and  originally featured on Entrepreneur.com. See original source here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235894

Startups, Get Your Finances in Order Before Leasing Office Space

This post was authored by Nathan Smith, a commercial real estate consultant and owner of Austin Tenant Advisors

As a startup or new business owner it’s important to be financially prepared before starting the process of looking for and leasing office space. Gathering your financial information and making your startup look financially strong in the eyes of a Landlord takes longer than you think so you want to do this well in advance. By preparing in advance you better your chances of gaining the Landlord’s confidence in your tenancy and increase your chances of negotiating better office lease concessions such as tenant improvements, rental abatements, etc.

Similar to how banks preapprove you for a loan, Landlords want to make sure you are financially qualified before they lease you office space, especially in hot markets like Austin, TX.   They will be investing time, resources, tenant improvements and other lease concessions in your tenancy so it’s imperative that you prove your financial ability & stability to pay any upfront costs and rent for the duration of the lease term.

Proving that your startup company is financially qualified takes more than a great business idea, having a large 401k, or a big expensive house.

If you are a startup company that has been around for a few years Landlords want to see current profit & loss statements, cash flows, balance sheets, and/or other sources of financing and funding. Depending on the landlord’s perception of your financials you may need to securitize the lease with a security deposit, letter of credit (LOC), personal guaranty or a combination of the latter. Your financial strength, lease term length, total lease amount, tenant improvement costs, & lease commissions will determine the amount needed to securitize the lease.

If you are a brand new startup with no track record or you’re an existing one with weak financials Landlord’s will probably want the person signing the lease to provide 2-3 years of personal tax returns and/or a personal financial statement. Depending on the Landlord’s perception of those personal financial statements they may require that the lease be personally guaranteed, need a larger security deposit, or need a letter of credit (LOC) that will cover the landlords up front costs to do the deal (e.g. tenant improvements, lease commissions, etc.).

Before you begin the search for office space, make sure you have your financials in order and have them ready to show Landlords. You might also consider having your business plan and pro-forma available to show your current and future financial projections.

Do all that you can to put your best foot forward, however because you are a startup Landlord’s still may require you to sign a personal guarantee, pay a larger security deposit, or have a letter of credit (LOC). You only get one shot at making a good impression! The more prepared you are and the better your finances look the better chance you have at proving to the Landlord that you can pay rent AND in receiving office lease concessions.

Nathan-K-Smith-Austin-commercial-realty-services-200x300

Nathan Smith specializes in helping startups companies find, lease and/or purchase office space in Austin, TX. He has advised over 300 companies in finding the best office locations, negotiate new leases and lease renewals, facilitate relocations and expansions. Outside the office Nathan enjoys hanging out with his wife and two children in Bee Cave, TX and is an avid runner and cyclist that participates in many local triathlons and running events.

5 Keys in Negotiating an Office Lease

You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate. This especially holds true in the world of real estate.

While the process of negotiating a commercial lease can be stressful for most business owners or decision makers, keeping these five factors in mind can ensure that you avoid some of the most common mistakes made by entrepreneurs:

1. Find leverage.

Regardless of whether it’s a landlord’s market or a tenants’ market, there’s always something that can be used for leverage.

One of the most important ways to create leverage is by use of time. Most leases take months to complete so avoid procrastinating when it comes to the office search. Don’t let a lack of time decide the lease terms.

Create leverage by keeping mum about feelings about the  space, especially to the listing broker or landlord. This will allow the broker to do a better job negotiating.

If the other party recognizes a desire for the space and that a prospective tenant can’t select anywhere else, the other side just received some leverage. It’s always a good idea to have alternative space options at hand.

According to Jason Bollhoefner, vice president at Corum Real Estate Group in Denver, “Always have a solid back-up option at hand, especially in an improving real estate market. Being prepared to walk away is a very powerful aspect of successful negotiation.”

2. Don’t think rates. Think term.

Tenants often become caught up in rates upon finding a space. While the rental rate is important, especially the gross rate, the term of the lease can have a more significant impact on finances.

Instead of worrying about bargaining for a few percentage points off the rate, spend time negotiating the term and thinking about the company’s true needs for the future. If the wrong term is selected, the tenant will likely end up paying more in rent for a space that doesn’t work for the company than what was saved by paring 5 percent from the asking rental rate.

3. It’s never true that a tenant gets anything free.

The length of the lease’s term also affects other key variables such as tenant improvements and concessions such as rent abatement. This goes both ways. Don’t lock into a term for the lease that’s years longer than initially desired just for free rent or better tenant improvement dollars. Such improvements are never free. Tenants need to understand that these costs are always baked into the lease’s value by the landlord. The landlord makes the money back at some point.

4. Arrange for a a solid legal review.

Keep in mind that a broker is not a lawyer and that brokers are paid on commission. Their commission increases based on the value of a lease. While brokers are experienced in lease negotiations, they do benefit from a tenant’s signing a lease and typically receive nothing if no lease is signed.

This structure, unfortunately, creates some conflicts. Paying an experienced real estate lawyer to review the lease should be a part of the negotiation process. The lawyer is paid regardless of the space chosen or even if the rental is postponed or a potential tenant walks away.

5. Negotiate protections for an exit.

Negotiate some protections for exits should things go wrong in the future. If a tenant feels it has good visibility for the next two years but not five, try to negotiate for some cancelation clauses keeping that in mind.

Finally, don’t forget to negotiate the lease. Unlike some things in life, the tenant does win from negotiating. Be creative to get needs met.

To learn more about the commercial real estate process, visit our FAQ.

This article was written by Susie Algard and  originally featured on Entrepreneur.com. See original source here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237113