8 Words to Know When Renting an Overland Park Office Space

If you are thinking about renting an office space for your business, there are a few terms you should be familiar with before you start the process. Knowing these terms will give you a better idea of what your business is looking for and will help you understand the language of landlords and commercial real estate attorneys. Here are a few words and phrases to know, as suggested in the article “Vocabulary for Commercial Real Estate”:

  1. Common Area Maintenance – also called “CAM” fees, this is the amount of additional rent that a tenant must pay for the maintenance of common areas on the property, including the cost of landscaping, insurance, lighting outside the building, property taxes, and the cleaning of common spaces.
  2. Gross Lease – a type of commercial lease in which a tenant pays a flat rental rate that covers all of the expenses that the landlord takes care of, such as insurance, maintenance, taxes, and utilities.
  3. Net Lease – a type of lease in which the tenants pay for the operating costs of the building themselves.
  4. Escalation Clause – a clause in an office space lease that gives the landlord the ability to raise the rent to accommodate inflation, tax increases, and operating costs.
  5. Letter of Intent – a preliminary document formed by the landlord and tenant stating their agreement to begin lease negotiations. Often both the tenant and landlord utilize the help of legal experts at this stage of the process.
  6. Vacancy Rate – the percentage of all the space available in a property that is considered vacant or unoccupied at the time.
  7. Occupancy Rate – the percentage of spaces in a commercial property that are occupied at a given time.
  8. Usable Square Footage – the square footage number of the space that the tenant rents solely for their use, which includes both the office space itself and their private areas such as storage closets or restrooms.

If you are beginning to search for commercial real estate, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the vocabulary of the process. Doing a little research and seeking expert help can save your business money in the long run if it means you get a better lease deal.

If your business is interested in commercial space for lease in Overland Park, Give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park A call at 913-685-4100. We can answer any questions you have about our available office spaces and even set up a tour for you!


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.


5 Ways to Boost Employee Morale and Productivity in Your Kansas City Office Space

Making an office space more efficient has the double positive effects of both boosting employee morale and, in turn, also generating greater productivity. By engaging employees and improving general office productivity, you might also see an improvement in operations and profit increases—creating a positive cycle of job satisfaction and a better bottom line for everyone. Here are a few things to try to improve the efficiency and mood of your office space, as outlined in the article “5 Tips to Improve Office Space Efficiency and Productivity”:

#1 Improve Lighting

If at all possible, try to utilize natural light in your office space. Studies have shown that sunshine can improve people’s moods, and lack of sunlight can actually lead to decreased work motivation. Even simply keeping blinds and curtains open—as long as it doesn’t interfere with anyone’s workspace—could help boost mood and make the office cheerier.

#2 Set Boundaries

It is important for small businesses who operate from home to restrict disturbances while concentrating on work, such as putting a “do not disturb” sign on an office door. This approach can also apply to an actual office space, particularly if there are open area work spaces. Headphones can be a sign that someone doesn’t want to be bothered, or certain workstations can be designated for quiet, independent work, whereas others can be for a more collaborative environment.

#3 Work on Organization

Sometimes a cluttered or disorganized space can really drag down productivity. Take some time to do a little cleaning and rearranging as necessary. Buy cheap storage options such as bins or small shelves, create labels  for files and binders to make it easier to find them, and think about ways you can start to go paperless using cloud based software for storage of documents you don’t need regularly. If you have no idea where to start and cannot invest the time in such a project, look into hiring a professional to help your office get organized.

#4 Simplify Your Space

This goes hand in hand with getting organized. Sometimes the solution is to purge unecessary items, not just put them in more boxes. Get rid of things that take up too much space and don’t add a lot of function. Cut down on clutter such as piles of papers. Try to keep the space tidy and create less cleaning work for yourself in the future by keeping to the “less is more” rule.

#5 Add Scents

Air fresheners can really improve a space, and other options are also available, such as dried flowers or scented oils. Fragrances can really improve mood and motivation. Consider scents like vanilla, lemon, lavender, jasmine, rosemary, cinnamon, and peppermint. Another simple and natural way of boosting the office mood is adding plants to a space. Plants can both improve the appearance of an office and are proven have a positive effect on mood.

#6 Improve Meeting Rooms

Employees often spend a ton of time in meetings, so consider ways to make this necessary part of office life more comfortable. Add a water cooler, a coffee pot, or even some of the above mentioned fragrances specifically in a meeting area.

While these tips and practices may all seem to small and simple, sometimes little difficulties such as florescent lighting or a cluttered office can be barriers to productivity. Consider putting into practice some of these suggestions to help improve efficiency, morale, and productivity in your office.

If your business is interested in office suites for rent in Kansas City, give a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100.



5 Cost Efficient Ways to Improve Your Overland Park Office Space Decor

While decor is not necessarily a high priority item in a small business’s budget, it is possible to create an inviting space without spending too much money or violating any lease terms. Here are a few key things to focus on when sprucing up your space, as outlined in the article “6 Tips for Decorating the Perfect Office Space”:

#1 Reception Area

Some spaces might not have a reception area built in, so you will need to add one yourself. Instead of going with plain plasterboard walls, try to do something interesting that will make a good first impression on clients or customers, like setting up a rail or hanging a curtain to delineate a reception space. It can look good and add character to an office without costing too much to create or remove at the end of your lease.

#2 The Floor

If you can choose what to do with your carpeting options, look for a carpet tile. It is easy and cheap to replace just one stained carpet tile, versus having to replace the carpet in the entire office.

#3 The Walls 

There are ways to create a bright, colorful space without actually painting the walls—If you leave the walls white, you will not have to repaint them at the end of the lease. Instead, create pops of color through furniture items, colored dividers, workstations, or hanging framed artwork prints around the office (be sure to use removable hooks).

#4 Break Area

If you’re looking to both break up the office space and boost employee morale, consider creating a little break area where people can go to be away from their computers. Some offices put in pool tables, foosball tables, or TVs, but even  simple couch or a table and chairs can be a nice area for staff to get away for a few minutes.

#5 Plants

It is hard to go wrong with plants in an office, and adding greenery could be an extremely cheap way to really transform a space. Not only do they brighten up a space, but plants are proven to improve people’s moods. Be sure to pot the plants correctly to avoid any issues with soil or water stains on your carpets.

Consider these tips for improving your space if your goal is to keep the budget low and make good at the end of your lease without any problems!

If your business is interested in commercial space for lease in Overland Park, give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park a call at 913-685-4100!


7 Ways to Use Office Supplies for Organization in Your Overland Park Office Space

Do you feel like you cannot be productive when your workspace is constantly cluttered?  A little organization might get you back at the top of your game.  Here are a few tips for tidying up your space using materials you already have in your office, as suggested in the articles “Office Hacks: Part I & Part II”:

1.DIY Charging Station. If you have so many devices to plug in that your workspace requires a power strip, consider hiding some of the ugly cords by making a charging station out of a simple box.  Simply cut the bottom off of a nice looking box and cut separate holes in the side of the box for each cable.  Put the power strip inside and feed the cords through the holes—this will prevent cords from getting too tangled and looks a lot nicer than a power strip!

2.Cord Organizer. Another way to keep cords organized is by using large binder clips to clamp the foldback, or extra cord, to the side of your desk, then threading the end of each cable through the handle of the clip to keep them from getting tangled.

3.Keyboard stand.  You can also use large binder clips to prop up your keyboard.  People prefer their keyboards to be at various levels—especially since typing all day can cause wrist problems—so adjust yours to a level that is comfortable for you by clipping the binder clips to the back of the keyboard and using the handles of the clips to prop the keyboard up.  You can slightly adjust the handles or use bigger or smaller clips to set your keyboard at the perfect height for you.

4.Post-it decorations. If you want some cheap, easy decoration for your wall, create shapes out of post-it notes.  Keep it simple with abstract designs or try to recreate a favorite painting.  It is quirky, interesting, and very easy to create and take down.

5.Wall mount for a tablet. Sometimes your tablet might be best served hanging on a wall—for instance if you need to watch something or give a presentation to someone.  Create an affordable wall mount for your iPad or tablet by using 3 or 4 hooks on the wall in the size and shape of your tablet.  Slide the tablet into the hooks to use it temporarily, or leave it up as a clock, weather station, or virtual photo album.

6.Water reminders. Many people drink cup after cup of coffee throughout the day to stay alert and focused, but staying hydrated is even more important and can also help you clear your mind.  Remind yourself to keep drinking water by buying a large water bottle and adding labels to it from top to bottom for each hour of your workday.  This will help you drink certain amounts of water regularly throughout your day.

7.Make your own phone speakers.  If you need a little music to stay focused, try creating these easy phone speakers out of a toilet roll and two plastic cups to amplify the sound a little.  Simply cut a slit into the toilet role to hold your phone, then cut holes into the sides of the plastic cups and connect them to the toilet roll so the cups are lying on their sides.

Get creative with the materials you already have in your office to find ways to keep yourself as organized and efficient as possible!

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


4 Resources for Finding an Office Space in Overland Park, KS

If you are just starting your search for an office space, there are several different resources you can utilize to find spaces in the area where you are looking. The rise of internet listings in particular has made this process a lot easier, allowing businesses to look at several different options before making a decision on a space. Here are a few suggestions, as outlined in the article “How to Search for Office Space”:

#1 Online Listings

One good place to start is websites like Craigslist, LoopNet, or Cityfeet, which are inexpensive services that allow leasing agents to list available spaces. Check as many sites as you can find to compare spaces.

#2 Social Networking Sites

Use Facebook or LinkedIn to ask for recommendations from professional colleagues or friends, or even simply post a request for suggestions on one of these sites. This could save you a lot of time if you get a good recommendation, and it is always nice to have the assurance of a referral.

#3 Property Managers or Owners

If you already have your eye on a specific property, go directly to the firm that owns or manages it to get the most accurate information about what is included in the space or how it can be customized for your business. A larger firm might also be able to direct you to similar spaces in their property to the one you are interested in.

#4 Brokers

If you are looking in a particular geographic area, utilizing a broker might be the best way to look at multiple spaces in that location and compare them. Brokers get a commission from the landlord for bringing a tenant to a space, so make sure you are aware of any fees that might be included in your lease or demanded upfront.

Take the time to use your resources to find as many options as you can so that you have lots of room to compare! The internet and referrals are always good places to start, with added advice from professionals if you need to meet more specific needs.

If your business is interested in finding a commercial space for lease in Overland Park, give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park a call at 913-685-4100. We can set you up with a tour of one of our spaces and talk to you about what size and layout would work best for your business’s needs!


4 Things You Should Find Out Before Signing an Office Space Lease in Overland Park

Before you commit to a lease, make sure that you have covered all of the important issues with the leasing agent regarding your rent and any questions that could arise during your tenancy. Here are a few questions to make sure you ask, as suggested in the article “Four Questions to Ask Before Signing a Commercial Lease”:

#1 Does the listed square footage describe usable or rentable square feet?

Note that these two numbers are different: usable square footage is the space that makes up just your office space, whereas rentable square footage also takes into account shared space in the property, such as lobbies, walls, restrooms, etc.

#2 What does rent cover?

Know what kind of lease you are signing—a net lease, gross lease, percentage lease, etc. Leases can be all over a spectrum ranging from everything being included, such as janitorial services and utilities (gross), to you as a tenant being charged for operation expenses (triple-net lease). Know what kind of lease you are getting into so you can evaluate and plan your budget accordingly.

#3 Who pays for maintenance costs?

This is a question you want to have an answer to before anything goes wrong in your space. What is handled by a property’s maintenance staff, and what is handled by you the tenant? Think of things such as leaky roofs, squeaking doors, bad faucets, electrical ballasts, etc.

#4 Does my rent increase each year?

Most leases will stipulate small yearly rent increases, but there are various ways to structure these increases:

  • fixed yearly increases
  • variable increases that take into account changes in property expenses
  • adjustments based on the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for your location, a rate set by the U.S. government

Talk to your agent about how increases for your lease will be determined.

It is important to have a clear answer to all of these questions before signing a commercial real estate lease so that there are no surprise expenses during your tenancy. Do a little research and get some clear answers from a leasing agent before you sign the dotted line.

If your business is interested in commercial space for lease in Overland Park, give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park a call at 913-685-4100. We can talk to you about rental rates, calculating square footage, property management, and any other questions you may have about renting a space in Overland Park!


Tips for Handling a Loner in Your Overland Park Office Space

If you are trying to develop a sense of teamwork in your office, you might have someone who just resists efforts to collaborate. This loner might be introverted, defensive, and exhibiting a me-versus-them kind of mentality. While they might be a major hindrance to teamwork, they might also be too valuable to let go. So how do you handle them? Here are different approaches for handling a “lone wolf” in your office, as suggested in the article “Building a Sense of Teamwork Among Staff Members”:

Give Them a Role

Assess what their strengths are and assign this person to a special niche or task within the team – something that they can do successfully. Affirm their strengths while at the same time emphasizing the importance of their role within the greater context of the team.

Peer Pressure

While loners might be on a different wavelength than their coworkers, they might still respond to explanations that their behavior is causing a negative environment in the office and creating ill will. Talk to them about how some changes might move the person back within the group, reduce bad feelings, and eliminate that me-versus-them atmosphere that they might be professing to suffer from.

Be Honest

It might be best just to lay out the reality of the situation. Affirm that the person has great experience, valuable skills, and might have even served the business for a time, but make it clear that the expectation is that they need to work with other people in the office. Everyone, without exception, might need to work together and embrace a collaborative mentality for the success of the whole business. If nothing else, they might respond to the fact that their job will be in jeopardy if they cannot work within a corporate culture of teamwork.

Dealing with a loner can put an employer between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, they might be good at what they do, and their experience and skills might be hard to replace. But a negative environment does not foster success, and teamwork might be crucial to the fruition of some projects. Consider ways to be firm with the person, while still making it clear that you value what they have to offer.

If your business is interested in commercial space for lease in Overland Park, give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park a call at 913-685-4100 to set up a tour of a space!


Factors to Consider When Selecting a Commercial Space for Lease in Overland Park

While budget is and should be a major factor when selecting an office space, there are plenty of other things to consider as well before leasing a space, including the quality of the landlord services and the building’s features. Do not overlook all of these considerations when selecting a space, or it could cost you later in your tenancy. Here are a few factors to consider as you look at spaces, as suggested in the article “How to Pick the Right Office Space”:

#1 Operating Expenses

Remember that you will end up paying more for a space than just rent. Other costs will include energy, maintenance, taxes, and other expenses that the landlord will pass along to you. Make sure you talk to your broker about how a space’s expenses compare to other spaces in an area, particularly similar facilities.

#2 Infrastructure

Make sure that the systems in the building you are looking at fit your business’s operating needs. For instance, if you use a lot of technology and thus need major power and cooling resources, you will want a building that has enough HVAC power for you. Or if your employees need to be in and out of your space throughout the day, you will want to make sure you have enough affordable parking spaces. If your company relies on 24/7 power, you will want to make sure you have access to a backup generator. Consider what you need to operate your business, and make sure that a building you are looking at meets all of those needs.

#3 Space Efficiency

This goes hand-in-hand with operating expenses: make sure that the true bottom line cost of a space is really as good as it sounds. While some spaces might have lower rental rates, you might find that part of the space is not usable for working because it is made up of lobbies, restrooms, elevators, etc. This would mean that you might not be able to fit as many desks into the space as you would a smaller one with a smaller load factor. As you look at spaces, be sure to compare useable square footage and take into account common areas that you cannot use as you please.

#4 Environmental Friendliness of a Building

Not only are many businesses choosing to become more sustainable in general, but often local governments are requiring businesses to meet certain green requirements. Make sure that you work with a broker that understands green requirements and terminology when it comes to buildings, so that he or she can make sure that a space meets your specific requirements. For instance, make sure your broker understands the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System—which was created by the U.S. Green Building Council—as well whether or not the properties you are looking at have achieved ratings on this system.

#5 Property Management

You will want to investigate the property management team in a building, since these are the people who will act as a liaison between you and the building owner. Consider talking to current tenants of the building to find out how responsive managers are and to get an idea of the overall quality of things like security, maintenance services, and engineering. Good things to measure would be the property manager’s involvement with the building and the amount of contact they have with tenants. Here are a few common issues tenants have—ask about how often these complaints are raised and how they are addressed:

  • The promptness and thoroughness of maintenance staff
  • HVAC systems—specifically the temperature of the building
  • Parking accessibility
  • Condition of an elevator

Be sure to get an idea of how each of these potential problems will be handled by a property’s management team.

#6 Tenant Mix

You will want to look at the type of tenants you will be sharing a building with to make sure none will be clashing or competing with your business. On the other hand, a good tenant mix could make a building more attractive if the current tenants create a positive image of the location or help boost your brand.  Another good scenario would be if client of your business or a complementary service is located in the same building.

While it would be foolish to discount a financial analysis of two properties, it is still important to research and make note of other factors as well. Sometimes a particularly good benefit could tip the scales towards one property or another if all other factors even out.

If you are interested in learning more about property management, infrastructure, and other features of our commercial space for lease in Kansas City, give a DDI Commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100! We can answer your questions and set you up with a tour of any of our available spaces!


3 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Kansas City Office Space

Start fresh in your office this spring by taking some time to clear out clutter and get yourself organized.  Here are a few tips, based on the article, Spring Cleaning: 5 Tips for Organizing Your Office:

  1. Put Away or Throw Away What You Don’t Need.  You might have stacks and stacks of papers floating around that you no longer use.  Throw away (or recycle!) what papers you can, or set up a filing system that allows you to store things you do not use regularly.  The same goes for office supplies—you need easy access to things like pens and your laptop, but envelopes and tape could probably be given a home in a desk drawer.
  2. Get Electronically Organized.  When you can no longer see that vacation picture of your family on your desktop through the mess of icons, it is time to start virtually de-cluttering.  Delete what you do not need, and organize everything else into folders.  Consider using online file storage such as Dropbox or GoogleDrive to free up computer space.
  3. Find Some Time.  It is important to not only find time to clean, but also to take the time each day to stick with the organization systems you have established.  A few seconds at the end of each day could save you from another big cleaning project down the line.

Make your office space a little more enjoyable this spring by taking the time to do a organizing.

If your business is interested in commercial space for lease in Overland Park, give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park a call at 913-685-4100.