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It’s been a great first quarter here at! With over 200,000 unique tenants searching every month, we’re on pace to make hundreds of thousands of broker-to-tenant connections this year.

As the fastest growing CRE website, is helping thousands of brokers re-imagine their prospecting strategies and connect directly with tenants. Our latest video recaps the amazing growth that we’re seeing and summarizes our service and users.

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Creating Productive Office Space in 5 Easy Steps

Let the Sunshine In! – Adjusting Light and Temperature

These may seem like basic necessities for any office space, but the benefits of maximizing their potential are often overlooked. While people are naturally more enthusiastic when they’re comfortable in their environment, as no employee wants to be stuck in a sweltering, dark space, recent studies have shown that fine tuning these two factors can actually have a direct impact on a person’s levels of motivation and fatigue – two key elements of workplace productivity.

For example, one study tested subjects with both daylight and artificial light throughout the course of several days. From that, they found that those who had daylight exposure had significantly better performance than those with artificial light exposure by  the second day. Additionally, another study from Cornell showed results indicating that office productivity actually improves as room temperatures approach a predicted thermal comfort zone.

When considering your space, it is important to learn the details of how the HVAC system works so that temperatures can be adjusted according the day and season (as opposed to leaving the settings at a fixed point, as found in many workplaces). Additionally, employees should be situated near spaces with as much natural lighting as possible, particularly if their work quality is heavily reliant on productivity markers. As the cold reign of noisy, blinkering fluorescent lighting comes to an end, many innovative new lighting options have appeared, including those that serve emulate sunlight itself – which are often useful options to invest in if your work space lacks access to natural lighting.

Turn Down For What? Better Office Productivity!

While it’s true that some of us are more sensitive to noise than others, it’s generally agreed upon that excessive noise is a distraction to most people while trying to work. Unsurprisingly, studies have been performed where up to 99% of those sampled reported that their concentration was negatively affected by various office noises, such as incessantly ringing telephones and constant background chatter.

In addition to being a general annoyance, workplace noise is a serious threat to overall productivity, and is an issue that requires attention now more than ever as offices frequently choose to adopt an open floor plan – less walls does equal more opportunity for noise to travel. Luckily, there are practical ways to control sound in the work space, in order to create a more peaceful and productive environment for employees.

Regardless of your floor plan, it’s always a good idea to create areas of refuge within work spaces where workers can go to focus their concentration, such as a privacy room, a quiet section in a corner outside of all the usual busy distractions, or a sound-proofed conference room – solutions that can usually be enacted without a great deal of time or cost. Other noise reduction options include everything from larger scale projects like sound-masking systems, to smaller solutions such as communal play lists comprised of music that employees can all agree to. At the end of the day, even taking the first step of simply being mindful of the noise levels and looking for solutions can be a great first step towards improving the workplace environment.

The Benefits of A Thoughtful Floor Plan

The debate about the superiority of open floor plans vs closed ones is ongoing, and remains as heated as ever. However, there are certainly ways to make improvements to productivity that work under both options. In it’s most fundamental sense, this comes down to striking the right balance for your space, and being attentive and thoughtful in regards to creating a layout that serves to help employees in achieving their specific work goals.

If you’re in an open space, as mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to create spaces where workers can go to concentrate away from the high-traffic areas. Conversely, if your main work space is primarily closed, having open collaborative areas where workers can get together to brainstorm, discuss, and interact with each other in a personal manner can be a boon as well. Optimally, the goal should be to foster an environment that allows for both privacy and collaboration, as each is needed.

In addition to these conceptual tips, there are also more practical things that can be done, such as organizing the work pace so that people don’t have to constantly walk across the entire room (and thus distract others) in order to access a commonly used area or piece of equipment. A little bit of observation and consideration can go a long way when planning an office layout.

Love Your Body – Ergonomics and Workplace Flexibility

While this ‘tip’ might be commonly known, it’s still important not to underestimate just what good posture and functional desk space can do for productivity levels. Ensuring that your office is equipped with appropriate equipment (chairs, desks, the right technology, etc.) is always a worthwhile investment. Taking this a step further, many companies of late have been giving the option for workers to choose from a variety of different setups – from standing up with an adjustable desk, to sitting on a medicine ball, as well as all the more conventional options in between.

Sometimes we all need a change in scenery to get our brains going, or a chance to get up and stretch, and in this regard workplace flexibility can be a significant step toward providing better overall productivity. Many companies even allow for telecommuting, which is great when possible, but improving workplace flexibility can be something as simple as creating a space where workers can move around and refresh their minds and bodies if needed.

In the most basic terms, efforts to make the office space an enjoyable, comfortable, and efficient place to work can do wonders for performance and productivity. So whether you’re searching for your next office space on or simply looking to spruce up your current office, taking the time to give proper attention to some of the factors discussed above can be a great first step towards improving any type of working environment.


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 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.

Broker Banter Q&A – Part II (The Denver Chapter)


This week we have the pleasure of sharing another Q&A for our Broker Banter series, featuring Denver Broker Jason Bollhoefner.  Similar to our previous conversation with Portland broker Kristi Ricker, we connected with Jason to get more insight into some key things that tenants should know before touring potential sites, selecting a space, and negotiating a lease.

OfficeSpace: What are some things that tenants typically overlook when looking for new space that they should be paying attention to?

Jason:  Commercial leasing is a complex process, fraught with significant potential risks and liabilities, and should only be handled by a representative that has both the necessary experience and your best interests in place.  I have found tenants tend to overlook the importance of their creditworthiness and the time required to bring a commercial lease transaction to close.  Leasing commercial space is very comparable to getting a loan from a bank.  Tenants should be prepared to share financial statements and to appropriately collateralize the lease transaction.

Commercial real estate transactions, even for a seemingly “simple” deal, may take a considerable amount of time to successfully complete.  Having adequate time to identify, tour, design, price, negotiate terms on, construct or improve, and move into suitable commercial space helps to shift negotiating leverage to the tenant’s benefit.  Start the process 4-8 months before you need to occupy your new space.

OfficeSpace: What are the best practices to selecting the best space?

Jason: The best space is the space which meets unique criteria that vary by industry, property type, the nature of the user’s business and their business plan, and location.  I ensure a successful process by taking the time to understand the intricacies of my clients and their businesses up-front so the real estate supports these needs and requirements.

OfficeSpace: What are the best practices in negotiating my lease?

Jason: The best practices in negotiating a lease are summarized into 4 critical path items as follows:

  1. Start your needs analysis and discussion well before the need is estimated to commence.
  2. Engage an expert commercial real estate broker with proven experience and leverage their knowledge; we are here to help you starting with the needs analysis and continuing from occupancy throughout your lease term.
  3. 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.
  4. Engage a real estate attorney to provide counsel and revise the lease document.

OfficeSpace: What are the hidden costs in a lease?

Jason: Your real estate broker should be well versed and provide assistance in mitigating latent/hidden costs within the lease agreement.  The primary area of hidden costs arise from Operating Expenses or Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges and maintenance obligations.  Other potential pitfalls include Tenant Restoration requirements, Tenant Alteration processes, landlord administrative markups, and property management fees. My experience  negotiating thousands of lease agreements is invaluable to my clients in these areas.

OfficeSpace: What’s the best way to compare offers?

Jason: The best way to compare offers is on a Net Present Value (NPV) basis and $/RSF basis with a matrix for a side by side comparison.  This analysis should also take into account intangibles such as building image, proximity to employees and clients, ease of ingress/egress, and the true cost of occupancy including any tenant contributions to build-out and relocation costs.

Jason Bollhoefner joined Corum Real Estate Group as a Leasing Agent in January 2001 and was promoted to Senior Leasing Agent in 2007 and to his current position as Assistant Vice President in 2008.

Find office, retail or industrial space by visiting:

Brokers, This Leads For You.

You may not always be aware your listings are with as your brokerage often utilizes 3rd party marketing groups to maximize your exposure! However, when you receive a lead from us, please take it seriously. Here are a few more details to familiarize you with the way our lead system works.
1. All leads sent from are qualified and should be answered as soon as possible.
2. There is no hidden fee to access your leads or contact details from
3. If multiple brokers are on one listing, the lead is sent to all involved. (*Please Note: All responses to this lead email are also viewed by the tenant so be sure to begin new correspondence with fellow brokers on said listing.)
4. See copy of sample broker lead below.

Remember to add your listings to to reach tenants searching for office, retail and industrial spaces. Should you have any questions regarding listings, leads or how to receive the most effective exposure with our service please don’t hesitate to reach out:

Broker Banter – Questions & Answers (The Portland Chapter)

We’re the first to admit we don’t always have all the answers when it comes to the fine details of leasing and all the questions that come with it. That’s when we turn to our commercial comrades to aid with the broadening of our knowledge base.  This week we’ve gone straight to the source to speak with Portland, OR broker Kristi Ricker.

We connected with Kristi to talk shop, and in fact, where to set up shop.

OfficeSpace: What do you think is the most important question a tenant should be asking, that they never seem to ask when looking for space?

Kristi: Zoning, tenants need to learn more out about zoning. There are so many issues in this area and if you’re not aware of this in the beginning it could hurt your chances of securing your ideal space. It’s something you should ask your broker about as they’ll be able to determine how to move forward in narrowing down your search. It’s just not something that’s on the top of your mind when you’re looking for a space and it definitely should be.

OfficeSpace: What is the best tip in negotiating a lease you think all tenants should consider? 

Kristi: The longer the lease, the better you’re going to be able to negotiate, especially if you are going to need anything done to your space. People are nervous with the idea of securing a 5 year lease, they think “What if something happens?” – but they can always put a clause in allowing them to sublease (A lease of a property by a tenant to a subtenant.).

OfficeSpace: What do tenants focus on, that perhaps they shouldn’t when searching for space?

Kristi: Recently, I’ve had clients who have looked at a space and were concerned the buildings around it were being worked on or unfinished. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always paint a pretty picture of the neighborhood, especially when it’s an up and coming urban area. I recommend looking at the bigger finished picture and inquiring about what’s being developed in the area.

OfficeSpace: What area of town would you recommend to a Start-Up in Portland?

Kristi: The inner Southeast, Northeast and North Portland are very hot right now. They were predominantly industrial areas and now they’ve turned into these very creative pockets with great opportunities for startups, restaurants, retail and more.

OfficeSpace: What are you starting to see more of in Portland?

Kristi: Tons of startups, restaurants, breweries, delis – there’s a great food scene here.

OfficeSpace: And lastly, what makes Portland great?

Kristi: Portland‘s so diverse, we have a little bit of everything for everyone. Everything goes here – that’s what I love about it. I see all these new ideas here and they seem to work. If you have a crazy, fun new idea, there’s a great support network for that here. It just seems out of the ordinary things work here more than other places. Nothing is guaranteed but your chances of making it a go seems to have better odds in Portland.

Kristi has over 15 years of real estate experience in the greater Portland area and has recently started her own company.

Need Office, Retail or Industrial Space in Portland? Visit us here –

Brokers, Are You Still Walking Through Buildings?

Gone are the days of walking from building to building…

Search online, anytime with the latest from as we introduce the prospecting must-have for the commercial real estate industry; The OfficeSpace Tenant Roster. Here’s to finally accessing up to date, reliable and affordable information on buildings and tenants through out the country!

Tenant Roster_skitch


Interested in Earning a Free Membership?

Refer Tenant Concierge services.

We’ve built out a trusted network of vendors, featuring reliable service providers to help businesses manage everything related to setting up their new office, retail or industrial spaces. We built this service to help tenants who come directly to us asking for help. If you have a client interested in saving time and money by connecting with our Concierge, please send them our way.

By the way, our Tenant Concierge service has no hidden fees or costs – it’s a complimentary service aimed at making tenants lives easier!

Contact us for more information on how to earn your free Tenant Roster membership.

John Heimbigner | | (800) 560-3544

“Good Fortune Comes to San Diego Commercial Real Estate Community…”


San Diego, CA Friday November 9, 2012 – Commercial Real Estate’s latest game changer,, is now officially available in the San Diego market targeting both brokers and tenants.

The company’s unique position to be the next generation, all access platform for office space aims to streamline the commercial real estate process.


Having already garnered attention for their creative introductions in each market,  San Diego is no different with over 600 custom gourmet fortune cookies sent to the majority of brokerages through out the community with varying personalized fortunes. offers a multitude of services targeted to assisting brokers; landlords and property managers connect to tenants. The broker-and-landlord-to-tenant service is completely free for brokers and landlords to list. It also includes an extensive suite of free, timesaving tools created specifically for today’s market with options to design flyers, create surverys and communicate with tenants. Tenants are offered full complimentary access right at their fingertips with user specific designated search options, map functionality, social media sharing tools while also providing helpful tips on the confusing aspects of leasing.

“We are excited about providing service in San Diego. Tenants now have access to the
information they need to make better decisions about their businesses. We also provide a
robust tool set for brokers in order to compliment their marketing efforts and connect them
to tenants.” – Susie Algard – CEO,
About’s innovative service will help add great value to the San Diego Commercial Real Estate Market. Other markets include Denver, CO and Portland, OR. To add a listing, find an office or find out more visit


Experienced internet entrepreneurs Susie and Alex Algard purchased in late 2010. Frustrated by some of the trial and tribulations of their own experiences trying to find office space for companies they were involved in, they decided it was time to make a change in the commercial real estate space. Susie, CEO of, was previously a senior executive and founding member at, a top 30 internet property. also operates one of the leading commercial real estate marketing and analytics services in Seattle, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Cincinnati & Columbus.

Don’t Negotiate Your Lease Before Reading This

Isn’t it cheaper to use the listing broker?  The one whose name is on the sign?

Even for savvy business people, this is a myth that we hear over and over.  In order to answer this question, you really need to understand how commercial real estate brokers make money.  The landlord pays commission for both the listing broker as well as the tenant rep broker.  However, the big caveat here is that you, the tenant, ultimately are paying for the commissions through the lease that you sign as landlords have already taken into account the cost of commissions when they determine their rates.

The listing broker is responsible for representing the landlord’s best interests.  Their job is to find a tenant to lease space at the best terms to the landlord.  Even if the broker agrees to represent you as a client, your needs come second to the landlord’s needs – and this is something that is in writing between the listing broker and the landlord.    This is a practice called dual agency.  Think of it from another angle.  If the landlord thought that the listing broker was giving you an advantage by working for you, do you think that the landlord would allow it?  The answer would be a resounding no.

A tenant rep broker’s only job in the transaction is to represent you and your best interests.  If you decide to walk away because they aren’t finding you spaces that work for you, they haven’t made a dime on you.  In addition, when they negotiate for you, they are only concerned about what will work for you, whereas the listing broker may be worried about irritating the boss and may not negotiate so hard for you.

Now, going back to what I wrote earlier, that you, the tenant ultimately pay commissions through your rent.  The landlord has already taken into consideration that the commissions will be paid, regardless of who represents you in the transaction.

So, the landlord isn’t going to agree to lower the rent or give you more rent concessions because he’s going to have a lower cost of sales because the listing broker is representing you.  Listing brokers love representing the tenants for their own listings because generally, there’s very little negotiation and the deal gets done with less friction but potentially costing you, the tenant, more.  Whatever commission was budgeted for the tenant’s representative, some portion, or all of it, will be paid to the listing broker.  The bottom line is this, if the listing broker represents the tenant, they make more money on the deal.

It just makes good business sense to have someone represent you who has your best interests in mind, not someone who would like to represent you because they earn more commission but is actually legally bound to hold someone else’s best interest first.  Knowing this, why wouldn’t you want to have your own representation?

‘Little Showcase of Horrors’ – More Historic Portland

A few weeks ago we posted a blog post with a few of our favorite buildings in Portland. We thought it was fun so here are some more beautiful buildings that our photographers have taken shots of.

New Market Theater Block


Built in 1872, this Old Town building’s name comes from the fact that it originally housed a market on the first floor and Portland’s first theater on the second floor.


The first floor arcade was highlighted by a total of 28 marble produce stalls.  For much of the 20th century the building was used to store car parts until 1980 when it was renovated into a retail and office building.

Also of note, The Portland Symphony Orchestra was officially founded in 1882 and started in the New Market Theater block.

The Brewery Blocks

I’m sure The Brewery Blocks need little introduction to any Portlanders. To those reading from elsewhere, The Brewery Blocks were the location of the City Brewery and later the (and more famously) Blitz-Weinhard Brewery from the mid 1800’s to 1999. The oldest buildings remaining were built in 1908, including the Brewhouse Tower.

In 1999 the Weinhard brand was sold to Miller Brewing Co. and brewing was subsequently sent to the Olympia brewery in Tumwater, WA. The Brewery Blocks, which by this point had increased to 5 blocks, were put up for sale and in 2000 were redeveloped into a mixed-use project with office, retail residential spaces.

The Brewery Blocks’ most famous tenant is Henry’s 12th Street Tavern, which features 100 beers on tap, almost entirely from Oregon. Powell’s Books, while not in the Brewery Blocks, borders block number 2.

Smith’s Block

Originally built in 1872, Smith’s block was just one of nine Portland buildings featuring one of the more popular Portland cast iron patterns. Now, it is the only survivor amongst those buildings.

During the 1950’s, the quarter of the building on 1st and Ash was torn down and turned into a parking lot. Despite this loss, the rest of the block remains and has been restored as recently as 2008.

Stay tuned! More to come and as always, send us your suggestions PDX!