6 Ways to Plan for Unforeseen Events in Your Office Rental Space in Overland Park

While there are a lot of issues that are very unlikely to happen during the course of your tenancy in an office rental space, such as natural disasters, accidents, or other sources of major damage to the property, it is best to consider those possibilities and their consequences when first drafting your lease. Here are a potential remedies to unexpected casualties to consider as you negotiate, as suggested in the articled “Planning for the Unexpected: Casualty issues in Commercial Properties”:

#1 Repairs

Even if it is unlikely that your office space suffers any severe damages throughout the course of your tenancy, there is a good chance minor issues will crop up occasionally, caused by weather or the natural wear and tear of a building. In order to prepare for minor and major damages, make sure your lease makes it very clear who is responsible for repairs, insurance, or replacing or improving any parts of the space. Don’t forget to factor in build-outs that might not be added until later in your tenancy.

#2 Lease Termination: Tenant and Landlord Rights

It is important to make sure that you will not be stuck in the lease in the event of major or partial property damage requiring repairs that will take a long time. Try to negotiate for permission to be released from the lease in the event that the timeline for repairs exceeds a reasonable amount of time, for example if it is going to take more than six months or a year, depending on the size of the space. Consider also what will happen if your landlord sets a reasonable original timeline, but unexpected delays occur and push back that timeline. Be clear about what the parameters are and if and when you can terminate the lease.

On the other hand, a landlord might to provide for their own right to terminate the lease if the damage to the space means that you as the tenant can pay a rental rate far below market value. You as a tenant want to avoid a situation in which the termination of your lease by the landlord is permitted if tenants in similar situations also have their leases terminated.

#3 Rent Abatement

It is common to include in a lease a clause allowing a tenant’s rent, CAM expenses, and tax payments to be reduced in the event of a casualty while a landlord performs the obligatory repairs.

#4 Damage to Important Parts of the Property

Even if your specific office space is not damaged, it is important to talk about what will happen in the event that other key areas of the property are damaged—for instance, the parking lot, or the space of an anchor tenant who might leave and decrease the value of the location.

#5 Waiving of Tenant Fault 

Make sure that in your lease you negotiate for a mutual release from responsibility for property damages for both parties so you are not in danger of being pursued over subrogation costs. Even if the landlord tries to claim that the damage was partially because of tenant negligence, you should protect yourself from this possibility in all aspects of the lease since you already help pay for the landlord’s property insurance through CAM costs.

While you might never have to use any of these clauses in your lease, it is important to make sure your business’s rights and interests are protected in the event of a casualty to the property.

Is your business looking for affordable office space in Overland Park? Give us a call today at 913-685-4100 to set up a tour of an office space in Overland Park, KS!


8 Insights For Startups in a New Overland Park Office Space

Managing and developing a startup company can be an all consuming task, one that demands drive, vision, patience, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. Here are some insights from successful business CEOs and founders who have been there and overcome the challenges associated with starting a business, as described in the article “Wisdom for Startup Growth, From 5 People Who’ve Been There”:

#1 Smart hiring

It can be hard for a small business to devote a lot of time to the recruiting and hiring process, but this pays off in the long run. Once you have a stable base of employees, think about how you can actively recruit new college graduates with the skills you need, and think about how you can tailor the application and interview processes to find the candidates best suited to your business. Multiple CEOs have cited that an early mistake they made was not devoting enough time to the interview process to screen both for skills and for whether or not a candidate is a fit in the company culture. One CEO recommended data driven interviews, which means that candidates are encouraged to bring evidence to back up what they say in an interview.

#2 Attract the right people

Once you can draw from a large pool of strong job candidates, start making sure that you are hiring people that you know will perform in the specific areas you need. It is important that these people are not only highly motivated, but also have the special set of skills to further the company, which means that it is important for you as an owner to keep your company’s interests at heart and communicate clearly to people what you need from them. Finally, don’t be afraid to change what you ask of them as you learn more about their individual skills.

#3 Teamwork and collaboration

Once you have a stellar team assembled, it is time to empower them to truly collaborate with each other. This can be a challenge for growing companies in particular, who want to maintain that small business culture even as they expand. Develop company values and your culture to demonstrate to the whole office what is really important to the business, and give employees feedback during regular review procedures. Another practical way of encouraging teamwork is designing your office to allow collaboration, as well as making sure that you yourself are accessible to your staff as much as possible.

#4 Customers and branding

Customer service is key for new companies trying to get their names out there. Focus on developing your brand and allowing your customers to help determine the direction it takes. Conduct regular surveys; ask customers what they like best about your business and run with that, developing your image in tandem with what your customers know and like.

#5 Don’t be afraid of change

Just because your company starts as strictly online or only making a certain product does not mean that you have to stay in that box. If good opportunities come along to get into other products or services or partner with other businesses, don’t be afraid to consider these opportunities, even if it means a shift from your original vision.

#6 Management and communication

Errors in management involving insular views and a lack of collaboration can have insidious long term consequences for a new business, causing problems that can be hard to find and fix. Communication across disciplines and departments in a business can be difficult and frustrating at times, but it is important for management to always approach these situations with an attitude of understanding and a desire to understand the viewpoints of others in the business. This will help create an overall culture of teamwork throughout the entire company.

#7 Learn from mistakes

A mistake is not the end of the world, but it is crucial to identify problems quickly, do everything you can to solve them, and then make sure you never repeat the same mistakes twice. But don’t let yourself dwell too much on the errors—every business, every entrepreneur deals with problems at some point, but how you bounce back from them is what is most important.

#8 Keep everyone connected

As your business grows, you will still want to keep everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction. Some practical ways to do this are to make sure people stay up to date and connected using technology, such as live streaming meetings to different locations, sharing videos, and allowing people to comment on things in a communal virtual space.

Starting a business means keeping a lot of balls in the air at once, but there is so much wisdom to be gained from those who have already succeeded on this path. Make it a priority to think about these overall goals and strategies, instead of getting lost in the day to day of conducting business.

If your business is interested in office rental space in Overland Park, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Overland Park!


4 Tips for Rocking Negotiations for an Office Space Lease in Overland Park

Negotiating a commercial lease can be a long and daunting task, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come out of that process with a really great deal. Here’s some tips for being a strong lease negotiator, as suggested in the article “How to Get a Good Deal on a Lease”:

#1 Negotiate the Term of Your Lease and Rental Rate

One of the first things you’ll do is negotiate with your landlord the duration of the lease and how much you will pay, typically based on the square footage of the space. Conventional wisdom suggests that small businesses should play it safe with short-term leases, for example a year or two with the option to renew, but often landlords are willing to make substantial concessions, for example free rent for a period of time, for tenants willing to stay for a longer period, i.e. five years. This is something to factor into your decision-making process. Another thing to do before deciding on your rental rate is to remeasure the space. Sometimes the listed square footage is based on an old floor plan or has been reconfigured so many times that the square footage has changed.

#2 Expenses and Maintenance

The next thing to negotiate is all of the extras you will have to pay for in your space. A lot of this is based on the type of lease that you have, but typically most expenses get passed onto tenants in some form or another. The most common expense is common area maintenance (CAM) costs, as well as utilities. Be aware that landlords will also try to hold you responsible for bigger costs, such as repairs and maintenance, for example of the walls, the roof, and parking areas, and the heating and cooling systems. Be aware of this, especially in older buildings. It might be worth having the heating and cooling system, the plumbing, and the electrical system inspected to look for any obvious problems, which you can then bring up to the landlord as points of negotiation.

#3 Choose a Broker Carefully

Make sure that the broker you’re working with is really working for you. Be aware that a lot of brokers work for landlords and are paid on commission. One reliable source of recommendation is a good real estate lawyer, who can recommend someone who will work with you in good faith. You also want to make sure you’re working with a broker that understands your market, for example the office space market or the retail market. Ultimately, working with broker is very important for small businesses, and trying to negotiate a lease alone won’t necessarily save you money. Utilize your broker in negotiations, but remember that it is also up to you to stay abreast of and verify all of the points they are helping you negotiate.

#4 Have an Escape Planned

Is important to negotiate the details of terminating the lease upfront, even if you hope that never has to happen. There’re a few parts of the lease that can protect you in the event that things don’t go as planned:

  • “Good-Guy” Clauses – most landlords will insist on a personal guarantee, but a good-guy clause in a lease means that you’re only responsible for rent owed before you leave a space if you terminate the lease early, rather than paying rent until the end of the lease term. These clauses are not very widespread, but it is worth asking about.
  • Personal Guaranty Release – you might not be able to get a good-guy clause, but a lot of landlords might agree to release you from a personal guarantee after certain period of time, rather than paying rent until the lease ends.
  • Sublease – this provision allows you to sublease a portion of your space to another business, which could be useful if you end up with space you don’t need and costs that are too high.

A few other provisions hold the landlord responsible for meeting certain standards in order for your lease to be valid:

  • Exclusivity Clause – this clause prevents the landlord from leasing another space in the property to a direct competitor of yours.
  • Co-tenancy – A lot of smaller businesses, especially in retail spaces, rely on anchor tenants to draw in a lot of customer traffic. The co-tenancy clause allows attendants to break their lease without penalty in the event that this anchor tenant leaves and is not replaced by the landlord within a specified period of time.
  • Guaranteed Points – A lot of times landlords advertise the space as having a few guaranteed selling points, such as a certain amount of customer traffic or certain percentage of occupancy. If you can, try to get these things in writing with concessions guaranteed to you in the event that the property fails to meet the standards.

Keep these points in mind as you prepare to negotiate a commercial real estate lease!

If your business is interested in Overland Park office space for lease, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Overland Park.


The Pros and Cons of a Virtual vs. Real Office Space in Overland Park, KS

The traditional versus alternative work environment has been debated a lot recently in the business world. The trend of alternative spaces and a more mobile workforce has been rising, but many believe that the traditional office space is not going away anytime soon. Here are some of the different perspectives on virtual versus real office spaces, as described in the article “Virtual Office? The Office is Back, Was it Ever Really Gone?”:

Virtual/Alternative Offices

In this era of mobile technology, the idea of having a virtual office is been gaining a lot of traction. A 2011 study revealed that 86% of businesses are implementing some sort of alternative workplace strategy, and another 16% of these businesses had immediate plans to implement some sort of alternative workspace. The benefits of strategies such as home offices, mobile work, or having shared workspaces that employees alternate using is that businesses can save on real estate and employees feel like they have a better balance between life and work.

The Traditional Office Space

While virtual offices offer a lot of benefits, they are only a part-time solution for most employees, and only a small percentage of employees actually use these strategies. Many still believe that the best way to interact with coworkers, access technology and tools, and productively solve problems is through face-to-face communication in an actual office space.

While technology and a growing interest in collaboration are changing attitudes about office space today, the importance of face-to-face interpersonal communication still preserves the value of having a real office space.

Is your business looking for office rental space in Overland Park? If so give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more about our affordable office space in Overland Park.


Cost-Effective Ways to Increase Employee Comfort at Your Overland Park Office Space

The studies are becoming more and more prominent – cubicles, a longtime favorite office layout, might actually have a negative effect on productivity. While cubicles, especially in an open office plan, put workers and a shared space, they’re not necessarily the best way to promote collaboration. Most businesses don’t have the money to completely overhaul their office space, So here are a few tips for improving employee satisfaction and motivation in cubicles without overspending, as suggested in the article “6 Inexpensive Ways to Help Employees Escape the Cubicle Crush”:

#1 Create Public and Private Spaces

Because cubicles are somewhere in between public and private spaces, it might help people to designate spaces that are clearly collaborative and clearly more private. For collaborative spaces, push together some tables in the middle of an open office space so that people can sit and work together on projects. While not everyone can have a private office, having a few private rooms available where people can spend a few hours or even a day to really get some work done might allow employs to escape cubicle-land if they really need to focus on something.

#2 Encourage Mobility

As long as work gets done, does it really matter where employees do it? Allow employes to leave the premises and work in a coffee shop or library for a few hours, or just head to the cafeteria to escape the office space for a bit. Even consider allowing some flextime for employees to work on a specific project from home, but be sure to set clear goals and timeframes beforehand.

#3 Check the Noise

One of the biggest complaints people have about cubicles is that they can be too noisy – not only in terms of talking, but just general background sounds like phones ringing. Encourage employees to turn their ringers off, consider adding white noise like a fan for a consistent backdrop, or even allow employees to use noise canceling headphones if they have no other escape options.

#4 Monitor Temperature

Something this simple can really affect employees’ workday experience – particularly if they feel like they are freezing every day in the office. Try to keep the temperature at an even 69 degrees to keep people comfortable and productive

It might not be possible to avoid cubicles in your office, but try a few of these inexpensive ways to make your employees workday more comfortable and productive!

If your business is looking for an office space for lease in Overland Park, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Overland Park.


5 Steps To Take When Finding A New Overland Park Office Space for the New Year

One of the keys to success is finding a degree of happiness in the workplace. A big part of your attitude in your professional life is the environment in which you work, so finding a good office space is so important. By the same token, approaching the office space search with a positive attitude and a clear mind can make a difference in handling the stress of such an involved process. Here are a few steps to take when looking for an office space to rent with a positive attitude, as suggested in the article “New Year’s Resolutions and Your Office”:

#1 Decide What You Want

Give yourself time before you start searching to actually think about what you want for your business – not just thinking about what you should want, but the kind of place and future for your business that will increase your happiness. Perhaps you need more time, more money, a better sense of balance. Whatever you are looking for, give yourself the time to really think about it before rushing into the process.

#2 Make a Plan

Once you decide what you are looking for, make a plan for your search. It is important to actually write this out – it gives you a higher chance of actually realizing your goals!

#3 Execute!

Don’t wait! Put your plan into action. Know that the process will take time, but put in the necessary work searching for space and researching the market – it will pay dividends in the long run.

#4 Check Your Attitude

It is important to approach this search in the right frame of mind. Sometimes finding an unexpected great deal is possible, but this demands some persistence and passion. Visualize what you want for your business and continue to pursue this vision.

#5 Be Ready For Obstacles

There are often a lot of roadblocks and dead ends in the search for the perfect commercial space, so be ready to have plenty of plan B’s. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad deal, and make sure to give yourself plenty of options to compare.

Start your New Year with a plan to make your work life positive – either in your current workspace or in your search for a new one!

If your business is interested in commercial space for lease in Overland Park, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Overland Park.


2 Types of Tenant Improvement Allowances for an Office Rental Space in Overland Park

2 Types of Tenant Improvement Allowances for an Office Rental Space in Overland Park

If you know you want to make improvements to a space, the key is to address this as early as possible in negotiations. The tenant improvement allowance your landlord gives you as well as the length of your lease have an impact on the rental rate you will settle on. The two most important things you as a tenant should try to do during these negotiations is to get as much of an allowance as you can from the landlord and to also try to maintain control of the building process as much as possible. Here are two different types of tenant improvement allowances, as described in the article “Negotiating the Tenant Improvement Allowance”:

#1 Turn Key Build-out

In a turn key build-out structure, the landlord is responsible for all of the build-out expenses, which are factored into the rental rate and the plan for the office space that takes into account construction.

#2 Stated Dollar Amount

In a stated dollar amount structure, the landlord provides the tenants with the lump sum to put towards the build-out. Often this also covers any architectural and engineering expenses.

While many tenants prefer the turn key approach, there are pros and cons to both. The main goal that tenants strive for is to reduce out-of-pocket costs and to get the most out of their improvement allowance.

If your business is interested in finding the Overland Park office space for lease, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Overland Park.


4 Questions to Ask About Energy Needs for Your New Office Space in Kansas

Moving is a great time to look into your energy consumption and needs and make any necessary adjustments. It is important to start this process before you actually move, so that you can have everything set up as needed by the time you relocate. Here are a few questions to consider about your energy usage before a move, as suggested in the article “Moving: Time to Review Your Energy Needs”:

What are our energy needs?

Take some time to take stock of your energy situation and rethink what you need. Your energy requirements might be different at your new location, and you might even need to adjust the equipment you use in your office, so consider what your new energy necessities will be.

Who needs what?

Start with mapping out where everyone in your new office will be working and what equipment they will require. Will there be enough phone lines and outlets to accommodate your layout? Do you need to adjust your layout plan or add any power points to the office? If things turn out to be simply a matter of installing a few more phone lines or power points, try to set this up in advance of the move so that everything is ready by the time you get there. Put these things in sensible locations, because changing them after a move can be inconvenient and expensive.

What can be upgraded?

This can be a great opportunity to reevaluate what kind of technology you need and purge anything that is outdated. Perhaps this is a good time for your office to shift towards wireless technology, utilizing laptops instead of bulky desktops. If you can afford it, consider getting new and better printers rather than lugging old ones to a new space. These upgrades will not only make your move easier and possibly save you some money, but they might also have a positive impact on your productivity going forward.

What are our energy costs?

Even if an upgrade in equipment is not in the budget for you, now might be a good time to check your costs and see if you can get a better deal with other utilities providers. Go online to compare costs of different providers and see if you can save yourself some money by switching over to a new service when you move.

Take this opportunity to really evaluate your energy costs and needs going forward to make sure you will be as efficient and cost savvy as possible in your new space!

If you’re interested in moving to an Overland Park office space for rent, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out about our affordable office space in Overland Park!



5 Tips For Successful Office Rental Space In Overland Park Negotiations

The importance of lease negotiations cannot be understated.  The terms you agree to will shape the finances, operation, and growth of your business.  Here are a few suggestions for how be the best possible negotiator, as suggested in the article “Develop Negotiating Skills”:

  • Don’t be afraid to discuss – remember that negotiations are a normal and healthy business practice, so do not feel like you are overstepping bounds by wanting to discuss further the lease your landlord first gives you.
  • Avoid Greed – It is not about how much you can get, but how you can help your business be healthy and thrive.
  • Collaboration – view negotiations as a chance to work together with the other side to achieve a win-win deal.
  • Practice – as with all things, your negotiating skills will improve with practice.
  • Go for it! – You will miss all of the opportunities you do not pursue, so aim for the best deal possible and see what you come out with.

A combination of boldness and flexibility is the best possible recipe for getting a great lease for your business!

If your business is interested in executive office rental in Overland Park, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Overland Park!


3 Ways to Avoid Excessive Common Area Maintenance Costs in Your Overland Park Office Space

Common Area Maintenance (CAM) costs can be a major expense for business’s renting commercial real estate, often to their surprise.  While there are a lot of negotiation points in a lease that affect CAM costs, here are three general principles for keeping your CAM costs manageable, as suggested in the article “Avoid Common Area Maintenance (CAM) Cost Surprises”:

#1 Know Who is Really Paying

While you and your landlord might have established in the lease who is immediately responsible for certain costs, be wary about the ways costs can come back to you in different forms—such as through high CAM fees.  Read the lease thoroughly to make sure you are not paying double for anything and to check that all costs seem reasonable.

#2 Understand the Management Fee

Oftentimes you will have to pay a fee based on a certain percentage of your gross payments or some other calculation that goes towards property management – salaries and overhead for people on the property management team.  This cost might be unavoidable, but make sure you clearly understand how your landlord is calculating the percentage to check to see that they are not overcharging you.  You will want to make sure that the salaries are not also included in your CAM fees, which would mean you are paying double.  Be sure to carefully analyze the language describing additional costs to make sure it is reasonable, then factor in what this percentage management fee means for your true cost of rent.

#3 Negotiate for Caps

If there is no way around certain costs, make sure that you at least a set a limit on how much the landlord can charge you, because if not, they have no real reason to keep those costs down.  To keep a landlord transparent, see if you can get a copy of a budget of CAM expenses for a first year.  You might also ask for an approval process if a landlord’s spending exceeds a specified cap, or simply state that the landlord is responsible for all costs beyond a certain amount.  If you would prefer consistency, consider negotiating for a flat fee, rather than reimbursing a landlord for occasional expenses.  It is a gamble as to whether or not this will save you money, but it will at least allow you to plan your budget accordingly.

CAM fees have a major effect on the actual cost of your rent, so make sure you understand them completely!

If you are interested in commercial space for rent in Overland Park, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Overland Park!