3 Questions You Should Ask About Your Kansas City Office Space Lease

3 Questions You Should Ask About Your Kansas City Office Space Lease

Renting commercial real estate can be a more complicated process than one might think. With markets varying based on location, outdated terminology, and very little regulation, the process can be confusing for a business looking for a good deal. Here are a few big questions you should be asking throughout the leasing process in order to come out with the best deal possible, as suggested in the article “3 Things You May Not Know About Commercial Real Estate”:

Are there any hidden fees?

Leases can turn out to be riddled with hidden costs if you are not a careful reader and negotiator. One major source of unexpected expenses is Common Area Maintenance costs (CAM). While this is a typical expense you should expect when signing a lease, be aware that the landlord can put a variety of different expenses into this category. For example, landlords have to pay property management or asset management fees, but sometimes they can pass this cost onto the tenant through CAM charges.

Know that a lot of costs are unavoidable, but it is important to know the exacta amount you are paying, what that money is going to, and whether you are being asked to pay a fair percentage of those costs. Don’t be afraid to clarify and negotiate these kinds of terms.

What is my real square footage?

Square footage, which describes the size and boundaries of an office space, seems like it would be a standard measurement, but there are actually varying ways that square footage is calculated; different markets have different ways of measuring property in terms of what they include and exclude in their measurement of a space. For example, some measurements might include things like wall cavities or pillars – spaces that you really cannot use.

To avoid paying significantly more rent for space that is unusable, make sure you first clarify with your landlord what exactly the listed square footage includes, and then make sure that you visit the space yourself to check and see that there are not a multitude of awkward, unusable areas that you are being charged for. You might even consider bringing in someone to measure the space for you to make sure everything matches up.

Can I get any financial help to improve a space?

If you know that you need to make some changes or improvements to a space, a big question is where you are going to get the money to do that. You might be able to negotiate for a tenant improvement (TI) package from your landlord, which is money that the landlord puts toward the improvement of the space. This privilege is usually reserved for tents signing a long-term lease, and landlords might really emphasize this benefit to compete with other spaces you are looking at.

However, it is important to closely examine where exactly this improvement money is coming from. Know that most likely the landlord is actually building these improvement costs into your rent in the long run – sometimes even with an interest rate as high as 10%. This can be costly in the long run, so make sure you know exactly what you will end up paying. This improvement package can be great if you do not have the cash initially improve the space, but make sure you don’t wind up ultimately paying more than you budgeted for.

Getting a good deal on a commercial real estate space is possible, but it requires some research and careful negotiation. Make sure you are prepared to get the best deal possible for your business!

If your business is looking at commercial MLS listings in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more about our affordable office space in Kansas City!


3 Commute Considerations for Finding a New Office Space in Kansas

3 Commute Considerations for Finding a New Office Space in Kansas

If you are looking for a new office, on aspect to consider is how the location will affect the commute for you and your employees. Here are a few things to think about, as suggested in the article “Choosing the Right Office Space”:

#1 Length of the Commute

If you are relocating to a place that is difficult to reach, a long and stressful journey to and from work everyday could take a toll on your employees, causing their mood to plummet before they even get into work. Think about what the fastest routes are to your new office or if public transportation is an option.

#2 Traffic

Another thing to consider is traffic in the area. Even if the commute is a short distance, heavy traffic during rush hour could also affect the length of time it takes your employees to commute to and from work, so be sure to give the route a test drive yourself.

#3 Major Construction

If you know that a major road or a stretch of public transportation is due for a long term closure, this is something to also factor in, as these kinds of upgrades can sometimes take years. Check with local transportation services so you know what to expect.

Considering location and commute is important for attracting and retaining the staff that you want in your office.

If you are looking at commercial MLS listings in Kansas City, give one of our real estate brokers a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more about our Kansas City office space for lease.


2 Factors for Assessing a Commercial Office Space in Kansas City

2 Factors for Assessing a Commercial Office Space in Kansas City

There are two important components to consider when renting commercial real estate. Most important is the piece of property itself – the location, any necessary improvements, and the state of the buildings. The second is the lease, which encompasses the business side of the deal. Here are a few tips for weighing the pros and cons of each of these considerations, as suggested in the article “How to choose the right commercial property”:

The Property

One thing to consider is the state of the rental buildings. They might be in a very established area and highly trafficked, but if they are older buildings, they might require a lot of improvements and maintenance. Consider also whether the location is suited to your type of business. It might be important for you to be near the city center, but know that the rent will also be higher there than on the fringes of a city. For example, if you receive regular shipments you may want to be near easy highway access, or if you’re in retail you might want a location with a lot of foot traffic.

The Lease

Consider whether the type of lease offered is best for your business at this point in time. For example, a startup business will most likely want a shorter lease with options to renew, but a more stable business might want a longer lease and the benefits it offers. Make sure you understand clearly who is responsible for what costs, including maintenance, taxes, repairs and all of the other expenses associated with a commercial property. If the lease doesn’t make good business sense for your company at this time, it is wise to walk away no matter how much you like the property.

When selecting a commercial property, consider all aspects of the property in the lease. Do not hesitate to ask a lot of questions and negotiate for favorable provisions. Talk extensively with your landlord – through an attorney or commercial real estate agent if possible to get expert advice. You will be stuck with the space for at least a year or a two, so it is extremely important to make sure it’s exactly what you want.

If your business is looking at commercial MLS listings in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more information about our affordable office space in Kansas City or to set up a tour.


5 Tips for Making Good at the End of Your Office Space Lease in Overland Park

If your business is getting ready to move after a long lease term, you are probably starting to think about the make good clause in your lease. Here are a few tips for how to make good as you prepare to move, as suggested in the article “How to: make good at the end of your lease”:

  1. Review the lease agreement. Check the make good clause in your lease. These clauses vary from lease to lease—some are extremely vague, while others have very specific instructions.
  2. Make a list of any changes. List anything in the property that you have changed. The best way to make sure you include everything is to start at the front of your office and walk around it in a clockwise pattern, making note of any changes as you go. Be sure to cover the following common changes:
  • Partitions
  • Painting or other wall decorations
  • Added electrical points or lighting
  • Storage or fittings, including shelves
  • Floating carpet or floorboards
  • Computer areas
  • Heating and cooling
  • Window treatments
  • Signage
  1. Check with the landlord. Once you have taken care of listing everything you have changed, talk to your landlord about what to do regarding the changes. Sometimes landlord will allow changes to remain because they are improvements to the space, but some might require a cash settlement instead of making good. Often this benefits both new and old tenants if the new tenants are planning to remodel anyway.
  2. Redecorate as needed. Particularly if you are a long term tenant, you might be required to repaint the walls white or replace carpets.
  3. Clean up. It is always good to leave your premises in a clean condition. It is a universal practice to do any minor repairs and maintenance to get the place back to it’s original condition, even if these things are not specifically itemized in a lease.

It is equally important to create a clear make good clause upfront, which can benefit both the tenant and the landlord  Sometimes this is impractical if agents really need a tenant to sign a lease and the make good clause is causing problems, since usually new tenants are more concerned about how to make the space their own, rather than with how t get it back to its original condition years down the line. However, it is worth it for both parties to make clear and fair arrangements upfront, then take photos of the space to make it easier to get it back to how it was and avoid any disagreements about the original state of the space.

If your business is looking at commercial MLS listings in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find more about office lease rates in Overland Park.


5 Tips for Protecting Yourself if You Need to Break Your Kansas City Office Space Lease

Even if you are predicting nothing but sunny skies and steady growth for your business in the coming years, sometimes factors outside of your control can unexpectedly affect your business. Because leases are a sizable investment of your time and money, signing a lease always carries a risk in the event that you might have to end it early because of bankruptcy, being bought out, or forced to relocate for some other reason—a worst case lease breaking scenario.

On the other hand, a lease could begin to hurt your business because of the unforeseen success and growth you are experiencing. A best case lease breaking scenario would be needing to move because your business has outgrown the space.

Here are some tips for putting your business in the best possible position in the event of having to break your lease for any reason, as explained in the article “How to prepare your business for the best and worst cases in a lease”:

  1. Subletting or Assignment Clauses. Try to negotiate for the right to either sublet some or all of your space to another tenant, or assign the lease altogether to a different party. This can majorly alleviate the financial troubles you might run into by ending a lease—for instance, if your business needs to relocate to a different space.
  2. Personal Guarantees. Pay particular attention to this part of a lease, because it is not favorable to you as a tenant, though you can often negotiate to get it to a more reasonable point. A personal guarantee makes you as a business owner personally responsible for lease payments in the event that your business breaks the lease. For instance, if you have a five year lease and you break it after two years, you will have to pay the last three years of rent from your personal savings. Read the fine print on your personal guarantee to find out what you are responsible for. Landlords typically ask for a guarantee if they are making a lot of adjustments to a space for your business, so see if you can only be held responsible for improvements that specifically will be used by your business, or ask if the amount you might have to pay could decrease as you get closer to the end date of the lease.
  3. Disability or Death Clause. This clause calls for the termination of a lease if the business owner becomes disabled or dies. This might be important if you are a very small business, such as a law firm with just one lawyer and a receptionist.
  4. First Refusal Rights. This clause means that a landlord has to offer spaces adjacent to your offices to you first before seeking other tenants. This could be good for your business if you need to expand because you will save time and money that would be spent on moving. However, there is usually a small window of time for you to take advantage of these offers, and often you have to either match or exceed another customer’s offer for the space, so don’t let yourself be pressured into adding the space if the terms do not meet your needs.
  5. Relocation or Expansion Clause. Putting this clause in your lease means that you can potentially move into another space the landlord has available in the event that you grow and need a larger space. The specifics of this clause differ from lease to lease, but be aware of the basics and ready to negotiate for this perk.

Unforseen boons and setbacks happen to businesses all of the time, and the best way to prepare yourself is by anticipating every possible scenario while negotiating your lease!

If you are looking at commercial MLS listings in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more about our office space for rent in Kansas City.


Clauses to Look at When Negotiating a Lease for a Kansas City Office Space

There are several different types of leases, so before you even begin to negotiate the lease contract, make sure you have an idea of what lease conditions will best suit your business, a topic discussed further in the article: Negotiate the Lease Contract.

You will want to start by both thinking about how long of a lease term you are looking for and making a list of provisions that would be best for your business.  If you choose a short term lease, you will have the opportunity to change demands within just a few years, but a long term lease means that you are secure in your space for a long period of time.  Negotiations might seem like an endless process, but do not hurt your business in the long run by allowing yourself to be stuck with a lease that is not as favorable for your business as it could be.  Do a little research and enter negotiations with some knowledge of at few basic clauses that you should be wary of, as well as ones that will be favorable to your business:

Unfavorable Clauses:

  • Making a personal guarantee in your lease
  • Assignment Clauses
  • Permitted Use Clause
  • Relocation Clause
  • Changes in rental rates based on the CPI
  • Limitations on Office Space Improvements.

Be aware of the ways that these different provisions could be harmful to your business.

Favorable Clauses

  •     An Exclusion Clause
  •     Defining the boundaries of a space
  •     Terms of security
  •     Etc.

These are additional terms that you might want to propose in negotiations to help your business.

Think about the possible terms you will come across and be sure you understand how they could help or harm your business!

If your business is looking at commercial MLS listings in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to set up a tour of one of our office suites for rent in Kansas City.


CTI Solutions Southcreek Office Park Special

CTI Solutions: Digital Content Management  & Digital Signage Systems is offering a special deal to Southcreek Office Park tenants!  If your business needs conference room tablet displays with Outlook integration, you can receive a 10% discount on hardware and software fees!  CTI Solutions is a full service provider for digital signage systems and develops apps for mobile and tablet devices.  Here are some details on this exciting offer:

  • CTI Solutions can create for you a completely customized look and feel for your business meeting displays.
  • Tablet displays range in size from 7” – 21”.
  • Employees can manually input information onto the touch tablets.
  • Tablets can show scheduled meeting information from Outlook on tablet displays outside of conference rooms.
  • Displays can have border lit notifications for when conference rooms are in use.

Location: 4315 Merriam Dr. Overland Park, KS 66203

Phone Number: 913-831-3700 ext. 233

Email: milesw@cti-kc.com

Give CTI solutions a call for options and pricing!

If your business has been looking through commercial MLS listings in Kansas City and is interested in finding office suites for rent in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out about our available spaces!  Our location in Overland Park puts you near all of the amenities and services the Johnson County area has to offer and gives you easy highway access to the heart of the city!


4 Tips for Small Business Moving Out of the Home and into an Office Space in Kansas City: Part II

Once you have decided that you are ready to move your small business out of the home, and you have assessed your budget and business needs, there a still a few more steps to smoothly transition into a new office space:

#3 Choose a Location

Making a final location decision will require some research.  You want to make sure the presence of your business will be felt, but also that you are visible and accessible to your regular customers or clients.  If you are in retail, it is a good idea to have a design or store concept ready to help you describe your business plan to landlords looking for a certain kind of tenant for their property.

#4 Update Your Paperwork

When you move to a new city, state, or county, you will have to make sure to update several different business requirements.  For instance, your “Doing Business As” name will need to be updated with the local government, as well as your business licenses and permits.  You will also need to make sure you understand your new location’s tax requirements.  Finally, make sure you notify your former state of your move.

If it is time to move your small business out of your home office, do not be afraid to take that leap, but do prepare yourself by assessing your needs and finances, doing a little research, and making sure you have all of your paperwork in order.

If you are looking at commercial MLS listings in Kansas City, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100 to learn about our available spaces!