If you are looking to move your business into a new office rental space, check out these fundamental real estate hunting rules to keep in mind when looking at your options, as suggested in the article “How To Lease Commercial Real Estate: Part 1”:
Create Leverage – don’t stop your search until you have found several places that meet your basic requirements. This will provide you with a bit of leverage in negotiations and give you some safety nets if a space falls through.
Use Your Head – do not get emotionally attached to any location until you have logically determined that the lease terms are good for your business.
Know the Expenses – do not sign a lease until you know exactly what expenses you will be responsible for, including maintenance.
Be a Good Reader – request a pro forma copy of a lease from a potential landlord and make sure you read through it very carefully.
Analyze Your Options – make yourself a spreadsheet that includes all of the details of properties you are interested in. Some of the things it should include are unit lease price, square footage, incremental expenses (i.e. maintenance), length of lease term, and any pros and cons.
An organized and thorough search process will only benefit your business in the long run!
Employee feedback can be an important part of improving your business, but sometimes it can be hard to obtain. Be open to your employees’ thoughts, let them know they are being heard, and seek out not only the positives, but also the things you do not really want to hear. Here are three practical ways to seek feedback from employees, as suggested in the article, “5 Steps To Getting Better Employee Feedback, Even If You Hate It“:
Ask Often. The opportunity to give feedback should not feel like a one-time deal or a privilege to your employees. Show them that you value their opinions and you are there to serve the team as a leader by soliciting feedback frequently and consistently.
Eat together. People love free meals, so having events like a BBQ, an ice cream social, or any catered parties is a good way to talk informally with your employees. Take the opportunity to mingle with them and listen to what they have to say both about work issues and about other things that are important to them.
Check back in. When you say you are going to make a change, check in with your employees to see if they feel like things are actually improving. Allow them to help measure whether ideas are actually being carried out.
Be consistent and genuine in gathering feedback from employees, and you will earn their respect and hopefully improve your business in the process.
The Springhill Suites by Marriot near Southcreek Office Park is re-opening…and they are offering a special deal to Southcreek tenants! Springhill Suites is back with a new look, new breakfast, and more. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience their fresh, contemporary suites, with separate areas for sleeping, working, and eating so you will have plenty of space to get comfortable. Here are some details on the Grand Re-Opening Promotion:
Location: 12000 Blue Valley Parkway, Overland Park, Kansas
Discount Price: $89.00 (plus tax). Call or go online to make your reservation, and reference “Grand Re-Opening Promotion.” Call 1-800-Marriott (800)-627-7468 or visit www.marriott.com/mciss and use the corporate promo code LPR.
Features of the Re-Opened Springhill Suites:
king or double queen suites,
sleeper sofa in all suites,
complimentary breakfast buffet,
37” flat screen TV HD with HBO,
newly expanded workout area and indoor pool with outdoor patio.
Overland Park Soccer Complex
Overland Park Convention Center
Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
Ritz Charles Wedding & Event Venue
Country Club Plaza
Town Center Plaza
Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun
Oak Park Mall featuring Nordstrom’s and The American Girl Store
Availability: offer available through January 31, 2014. Some blackout dates will apply, and there is limited availability.
By the end of your search for office space, you will be more comfortable with knowing your business’s needs and how different office spaces can meet those needs. You will be almost ready to sign a lease. However, there are sometimes a few little clauses to remember to look over before signing. Although these clauses are small, they are important for insuring that your business is in the perfect space. Here are a few of these little clauses to consider:
Insurance – Some landlords may require insurance coverage, which might be up for negotiation.
Parking – Does your business need reserved spaces? Will you be charged for parking spaces?
Relocation – This clause gives landlords the power to move tenants to a new, similar office space. Often you can make sure landlords will be responsible for the cost of the move.
SNDA – This clause states that your lease will still be honored if your landlord defaults.
After Hours A/C – There might be additional costs you need to be aware of for running heating or A/C after business hours.
Don’t miss out on Grant’s Cause 5K on Saturday, September 21st! Proceeds from this 5K run or walk will go to the Gillespie family to help their unborn son battle spina bifida, a disease that requires expensive healthcare. Go to their website to learn more about Grant’s story and get yourself registered for the race. Here are some more important details about this upcoming event:
Date: Saturday Sept. 2nd Time: 9:00 am
Location: Starts at Joel Dean Hitt Park. 813 Allendale Lake Rd.
Price: $20 for participants. Free for children 12 and under. Donations are welcome!
Registration: Complete your registration online at www.grantscause.com
Volunteer Opportunities: 5K fundraisers could not happen without the help of a team of volunteers, so email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would rather spend the day helping out than running!
Family friendly race
Strollers are welcome
Registered participants and volunteers will receive t-shirts
Music and emcee provided by kcradio.com
Snacks and drinks provided for participants after race
Park open for kid play
Event is rain or shine
Sign up today for a fun Saturday event and the opportunity to assist a Kansas City family!
According to the Energy Information Administration, if commercial and industrial spaces cut their energy usage by just 10%, they could save the economy a yearly average of nearly $20 billion! Check out some information on saving energy by going paperless in your office:
Tip #5: Go Paperless
The Clean Air Council found that each American uses an average of 650 pounds of paper per year, and America on the whole disposes of enough paper annually to build a 12-foot wall from New York City to Los Angeles! Help reduce that amount of paper and energy by asking yourself before you print a document or an email: Do I truly need this hard copy? How long will I actually keep it? Could I find an accessible place to save it on my computer?
Keep any reference guides or employee manuals on a common server or some sort of public hub instead of handing out hard copies. This can potentially save you a lot of paper, and also ensures that employees will always have access to the most updated versions of these documents.
It is impossible to go completely paperless, so make sure that there are accessible recycle bins for employees to dispose of any paper waste. Consider buying paper with a high percentage of recycled content and refilling ink cartridges instead of pitching them. Set up printers to print double-sided if possible.
Save some money on paper and help reduce paper waste in general by implementing a few paperless strategies!
The SpringHill Suites offers rooms with up to 25% more space than standard hotel rooms for an exceptional value. This particular hotel just completed a $2 million renovation of their guest rooms! Here is what is included at the SpringHill Suites:
Spacious king and queen suites that include mini kitchens and living areas
Large desk with good lighting and an ergonomic chair
Free full, hot breakfast buffet every day
Free internet access in all of the rooms
Newly renovated guest rooms
This Southcreek Suites of Summer Promotion rate starts at $85.00 and is valid until 7/7/13!
Fairfield Inn & Suites offers a variety of upscale but affordable rooms for all kinds of travelers! Here is what is included at Fairfield Inn & Suites:
Here are a few final tips to keep in mind while searching for a new office space for your small business:
5. Understand your market. It is so important for you as a tenant to be educated and to look at a lot of spaces. There are a lot of terms and nuances for small business owners to understand, such as renewals, termination rights, escalator clauses, and more—and these things can be favorable for your business in the current economy if you know how to negotiate them. It might be worth considering finding a good broker or attorney to help you with this process. 6. Investigate your potential landlord. You will want to check into the creditworthiness of the landlord—are they in any kind of trouble? Restructuring loans they can’t pay? In this economy, you need to be careful and make sure you know a little about the financial health of the property owner you are renting from.
This is a really good time for small businesses to be looking for new office spaces, and opportunities like this might not be around again for a while. The market is in transition and landlords are anxious to fill their properties, so now is a good time find space. Do a little research and put yourself in a position to find yourself an attractive deal!
If you think it might be time for your business to relocate, now is the time to do it, especially if you are a small business. The current economy has forced landlords to be more open to renting to smaller tenants, increasing your office space options. Here are a few more tips for how to capitalize on this opportunity:
3. Try to get concessions. Do not accept the rent rate at face value. Landlords are so desperate to generate any revenue from a property, that they will be more open to negotiation, so you might be able to get lower-than-advertised rent rates. Landlords will ideally want to lower rent in the form of improvement dollars, which means they will subsidize renovations to the space, or give you a rent-free period, so that it does not seem like rent prices are actually going down. You might also be able to negotiate a cap on rent increases in anticipation of inflation in the future. Another thing you could negotiate for is perks like parking spaces, garbage removal, maintenance and repairs, or snow-clearing if necessary. 4. Take the security deposit seriously. Landlords find these very important because they are concerning about the risk of tenants failing in the recession. If you are moving into a new space, your security deposit will most likely be about 10% of your total lease, and you might also have to provide a letter of credit or a personal guarantee. The only possible exception to this rule is subleases, which might only be able to afford to ask for one or two months’ rent as the deposit.
Do a little research so you are aware of all of these aspects of relocating your business, especially in this economy!
One of the few upsides to this economic rough patch is that the real estate market for small offices is full of good opportunities. Here are a few tips for small business on how to capitalize on this chance to get a good deal on a small office rental:
Think Small – Landlords who previously were not interested in leasing to smaller tenants now want to diversify and are interested in dividing larger spaces into smaller ones for smaller tenants. This has increased the number of office spaces small businesses can consider in their searches.
Get the right duration. Whether you are looking for short term or long term, you have a decent chance of getting the lease length you want. Previously, landlords could set a lease length at around 5 years, and not have to negotiate, but now tenants have more of an upper hand. Smaller businesses should stick to one or two year leases, because you do not know how long you will be around, but thriving companies might consider taking the opportunity to get a long term lease.
Knowing a little bit about how the current state of the economy affects the real estate market can help you make informed decisions as you search for commercial realty in Kansas City.