3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Looking for Commercial Realty in Kansas City

When you run your own small business, you will eventually be faced with the task of finding commercial space for rent. Regardless of what city you operate your business from, there are a few common questions to ask yourself as you evaluate your professional needs and what an ideal space looks like for your business. Here are a few questions to consider as you start this process, as suggested in the article “The Secret of Looking for Commercial Office Space”:

  1. What kind of space do I need? First consider the general question of what kind of space your business needs. Do you need an office suite, or is it important for you to have a storefront? This will be the first step in narrowing down what you’re looking for.
  2. How much money can I spend on a space? Next it is important to determine your budget. Not only will this prevent you from wasting time looking at spaces you can’t afford, but it will also ensure that you don’t get too attached to a space before realizing that it is out of your price range.
  3. What extras do I need? Is it important that this space has foot traffic? Do you know that you need a conference room, or at least two private offices? Make sure to determine the things that your business absolutely needs, so that you can work with a commercial real estate agent who can weed out unsuitable options based on your preferences. Obviously it is important to be flexible on somethings, but know the bottom line necessities your business can’t do without.

Consider these questions as you begin the search for an office space!

If your business is looking for Kansas City office space for rent, give a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our available space!


The Tenant Benefits of a Renewal Option for an Office Space Lease in Overland Park

Negotiating a renewal option is crucial for a tenant. Landlords benefit very little from these clauses, but for a tenant they can mean leverage in future negotiations and more favorable terms down the line. Here are a few of the benefits of renewal options, as suggested in the article, “Negotiating the Renewal Option”:

  • A good renewal option protects you from circumstances in which other tenants in the property might want your space. You can negotiate to still have first rights to the space even if the other tenant will pay a higher rate or a larger tenant wants to expand into your space.
  • A renewal clause is essential in the event that you have to invest a lot of money in making improvements to space, because a move would result in the loss of that money.
  • A solid renewal cause is a good way to put a cap on the rental rate for another lease term.
  • Your renewal clause can also protect you from unfavorable market conditions in a few years, especially if you have negotiated in detail your renewal rental rate.

Don’t forget about the importance of this renewal option as you negotiate your primary lease. It might seem like thinking too far ahead, but this foresight could save your business a lot of money in a few years.

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


3 Kinds of Overland Park Office Space Leases

There are many different types of commercial real estate leases, so it is important to familiarize yourself with each type and what they mean in terms of rental rate before signing an office space lease. These leases can be distinguished by rent calculations and how expenses are factored in. Here is an overview of the three major types of leases and some of their variations, as outlined in the article “Types of Commercial Real Estate Leases”:

#1 Gross Leases

In a gross lease, also called a full service lease, your rent covers all of your expenses. The landlord is responsible for taking care of costs like insurance, taxes, utilities, and maintenance, the costs of which are covered by tenants’ rent.

If you are considering a space that offers a gross lease, you should find out what services are provided and the frequency of those services. While it might sound convenient to have the landlord handle expenses, sometimes things like inefficient energy consumption could end up coming out of your pocket. The upside of a gross lease is that you know exactly what your expenses will be for the month or year, rather than worrying about unexpected maintenance expenses, which ultimately leaves you with more time to focus on your business.

#2 Net Leases

There are a few different types of net leases, but in general net leases involve a lower rental rate for the space with tenants paying additional charges for extra expenses to the landlord such as maintenance, operations, taxes, insurance, or shared services such as trash pick-up, water, sewer, parking lots, landscaping, fire sprinklers, etc. Here are a few common types of net leases:

  • Single Net Lease – In a single net lease, tenants pay a base rent plus a certain share of the building’s property tax that is proportionally based on how much space the tenant occupies. The landlord is responsible for all other building costs beyond that, except for janitorial services and utilities, which the tenants pays for themselves for their own spaces.
  • Double Net Lease – In a double net lease, tenants pay for a share of both taxes and property insurance on top of their base rent, and the share is based on how much of the space the tenant occupies. The tenant is also responsible for utilities and janitorial services, but the landlord takes care of other expenses such as repairs and maintenance of common areas.
  • Triple Net Lease – A triple net lease is the most common type of lease for retailers and freestanding commercial buildings. Also called the NNN lease, in this lease the tenant covers three things besides their base rent: taxes, insurance, and common area maintenance fees. Often utilities for common areas and operating expenses are included as well, such as the cost of a lobby receptionist. However, this is still not quite a full service lease, because tenants still take care of expenses in their own space, such as janitorial services and utilities. Again, the percentage that a tenant pays is based on the amount of space they occupy in the property. These leases tend to favor landlords, so carefully review the fees you might have to pay and try to negotiate for caps. The expenses for these leases can also fluctuate from month to month or year to year, so bear in mind that it might be tricky to predict costs. However, base rent for an NNN lease space might be lower than for a full service lease, because you will have more responsibility in taking care of the building.
  • Absolute Triple Net Lease – In this lease, which is more rare than triple net leases, a tenant is responsible for expenses in the case of every possible real estate catastrophe, such as rebuilding after a natural disaster or paying rent on a condemned building.

#3 Modified Gross Lease

The modified gross lease is a compromise between the landlord-friendly net lease and the tenant-friendly gross lease. This lease, which is also sometimes called the modified net lease, includes several of the “nets” in the rent—usually insurance, taxes, and CAMs—but leaves the tenants responsible for their own janitorial services and utilities. In this lease the tenant and landlord must negotiate ahead of time what expenses are covered in the rent. Tenants tend to favor this type of lease because they know their rent will still be the same even if insurance, taxes, or CAM costs fluctuate, but at the same time they can control themselves what they spend on things like electricity and janitorial services.

The bottom line when looking at any lease is to keep an eye out for all types of expenses and how exactly you will be responsible for them.

If you are interested in learning more about Kansas City office space for rent, give a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100!


10 Tips for Tenants Seeking Office Rental Space in Kansas City

Finding an office rental space requires consideration of many factors: finances, location, property rules, and so much more. Here are ten suggestions from the article “Office Space Leasing Tips” to help you consider a property from several different angles:

  1. How close are amenities and services you might need, such as lunch places or dry cleaners?
  2. Check out the building’s directory to find out what kinds of tenants you will be sharing a building with. Know the quirks of these businesses, such as the fact that telemarketers are often in and out for 24 hours a day, and tenants who practice medicine might take up a lot of parking at certain times a day.
  3. Be aware of the parking options in the space. Do you have to pay for spots in a parking structure? Will your customers/clients have to pay for parking? Calculate what the cost of parking would add to your rental rate.
  4. Make sure your lease is thorough and that you understand all of it. Do not go for a short lease in the hopes of making it more readable, which may lead to confusion if certain issues arise.  Instead make sure that you cover every potential problem and understand clearly the expectations and repercussions.
  5. Know the rules for the property and any zoning laws so that you can make sure they do not conflict with the way you operate your business.
  6. Insurance is a tricky but essential part of moving into a new space, as you are most at risk for theft in a new or unfamiliar setting. Make sure that you are fully covered by the time you move in.
  7. Signage is in important thing to factor into the cost of a space, because it can be expensive. Be sure that you also understand what the rules are for signage in a space.
  8. Make sure you visit the property at night to check on safety issues and lighting. Take others with you to get second opinions.
  9. Check to see if your location is easy to find by asking someone to find the property who does not already know where it is. This will simulate what a customer or client might experience when trying to seek you out.
  10. Look into sub-leasing opportunities from current tenants in the building. Landlords typically want to lease their vacant spaces first, but you might get a good deal by investigating all of your options in the building.

Start the process early to leave yourself plenty of time to consider all of these issues!

If your business is interested in Kansas City office space for rent, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100 to set up a tour of one of our available spaces!


Clauses That Provide an “Out” of Your Small Office Lease in Kansas City

Leases almost always favor the landlord, but try to negotiate on things that are important to your business.  You might want to try pushing for clauses that address what happens if you need to leave your space before the lease is up.  Here are a few to consider, as suggested in the article, “How to Get a Good Deal on a Lease“:

  1. Exclusivity Clause – This guarantees that your landlord will not lease a space in the same building or development to a direct competitor of yours.  If a landlord violates this clause, you would be able to free yourself from the lease.
  2. Co-tenancy – Retail businesses in shopping centers often rely on big name “anchor” businesses to draw in traffic, so they have a vested interest in this big businesses staying open.  This clause releases the tenant from the lease if a landlord does not replace an anchor tenant within a certain period of time.
  3. Subleasing options – A subleasing clause might allow you as a tenant to sublet some or all of your space to a similar or complimentary business.

It is important to know the conditions under which you can end a lease before signing the bottom line.

If your business is looking for Kansas City office space for rent, give a DDI Commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100!


Six Suggestions for Negotiating the Renewal of Your Office Space Lease in Overland Park: Part III

If you are thinking about renewing your office space lease for another term, start this process early.  There are several steps you can take to help you negotiate a favorable lease for your business.  Here are a few final tips on carrying out this process, as included in the article, Eight Tips for Negotiating an Office Lease Renewal:

#5 Work With a Commercial Real Estate Broker

If your business can afford it, it might be worth consulting a commercial real estate expert and even having them negotiate with the landlord for you.  They can also assist your research by providing insights into the current market conditions.  If you only deal with leasing every so often, it is hard to keep up with current information and be the sharpest negotiator, so consider utilizing the assistance of an expert.  You might want to hire a tenant only commercial real estate representative, so that you know that your interests as a tenant are their primary concern.

#6 Organize the Financial Information

Consolidate the information you have and set up a system of easy comparison by assembling a spreadsheet that includes the costs associated with all of your potential spaces.  You do not need to keep this a secret from your landlord; it is important to get a complete picture of all of the information to make a data-driven decision for your business.

Starting early, doing some research, consulting experts, and staying organized can help your business renew a lease or move with the knowledge that your final decision was the best possible option.

If you want to talk to a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City (http://www.ddicommercial.com/our-agents/) about our available Kansas City office space for rent (http://www.ddicommercial.com/), give us a call at 913-685-4100!


5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Office Space in Kansas City

You may have resolved to exercise more or to finally get to some projects around the house this New Year, but have you thought about some resolutions for the office?  Here are a few suggestions for ways to make 2014 a productive New Year in the workplace:

#1 Set Clear Goals

An obvious first step to improving your year is setting goals, but make sure these goals are clear and attainable so they provide motivation and not frustration.

#2 Delegate!

Do not take all the work on yourself, which can be tempting in a small business environment.  Save yourself some stress and achieve a more balanced work lifestyle by passing along tasks to others.

#3 Try Something New

Whether you take a free ecourse or talk to other people in the business for new ideas, stretch yourself to do something new.  You might improve your business skills, or you might just find a new area of interest unrelated to your business, which still adds a healthy element of balance to your life.

#4 Schedule Time for Yourself

Part of achieving healthy balance is knowing when to scale back and take time to reenergize.  Try to make a weekly commitment to do something you enjoy and be as firm in honoring that time as any other business commitments.

#5 Be a Good Community Member

There are plenty of worthy causes out there—find one you are interested in and resolve to volunteer, donate, or even be a leader in an organization.

You spend so much of your time at work—don’t neglect this part of your life as you are considering your New Year’s resolutions!

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


Common Terms in an Office Space Lease in Overland Park: Part II

As you enter negotiations for an office space lease, you will want to have some idea of what clauses you can expect to find in the lease.  Here are a few more common lease terms that you will typically run across:

3.      Use Clause.  The use clause defines how you will be able to use your space.  Limitations might include what kind of business you will conduct, what products or services you will sell, or even something as vague as the quality of your operation.  Landlords might impose these restrictions for a few reasons:

  • The landlord is worried about liability issues for certain types of businesses.
  • The landlord has made agreements with other tenants to not rent to competition.
  •  The landlord dislikes certain kinds of business activities.

You will want to try to avoid these restrictions as much as possible; in the best case scenario, your landlord does not include this clause at all.

4.      Exclusive Clause.  This is a promise by the landlord that states that you are the only business in the mall or building that may carry a certain product or engage in a type of business.  If you have this clause, it means that other tenants will have clauses that forbid them from conducting business that would violate your exclusive clause.  Typically the most powerful “anchor” business in a building gets these exclusive rights.

Do a little research and be prepared to be a savvy negotiator for your business!

If your business is looking for Kansas City office space for rent, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100!


Determining Office Size for an Office Space in Kansas City: Part II

commercial real estate broker in Overland ParkDetermining the amount of office space your business will need requires consideration of several factors.  Here are a few more to think about as you search for a space that will be a comfortable, smart, and financially feasible location for your business (also, if you missed Part I – here it is):

Area Layout
How do you want to arrange your office?  Do you need a reception or waiting area, a conference room, a break area, extra storage, or open office space?  Estimating the necessary size of open office space can be challenging, but picturing necessary elements of this space in scale can make the task easier.  For instance, if you know that 15 employees work in cubes, then think about the size of each cube.  Here are some guidelines for standard cube sizes:

  • Supervisor’s Workstation – (100 sq. ft.)
  • Standard Cubicle- (48 sq. ft.)
  • Small Cubicle – (25 sq. ft.)

Special Arrangements
You will also want to consider things like parking arrangements.  The typical preset ratio landlords use for parking spaces is 4:1000 four parking spaces for every 1,000 SF you lease.  Check out the space’s parking lot to see if it appears to have adequate parking.  If you have doubts, talk to the leasing representative for the space.  Next, think about any special requirements such as reserved parking for top management, parking garages, and handicap access.

Check back for a few final factors to consider as you determine what sized Kansas City office space for rent your business needs.

If you would like an expert to help you figure square footage for a new office rental space, give us a call at 913-685-4100!


What Kind of Kansas City Office Space for Rent Should My Business Look For?

When there are so many different types of office suites out there, it can be difficult to determine which kind of space is best for your business.  There are three different types of typical office spaces: a traditional office, executive suites, and flex space.  Here are some details on each of these types of spaces:

#1 Executive Suites
Executive suites are a group of several tenants, usually from different businesses, who share resources in order to form a fully functional office space.  In this setup, a small business will often rent just one office and share common areas with other small businesses.  These common spaces can include:

  • Restrooms and break rooms
  • Reception area
  • Print/mail or storage rooms

You might see this type of space referred to as business suites, serviced offices, corporate suites, or executive offices.  If you are considering a space like this, make sure you find out about any potential services and fees you will have to deal with on top of rent.  Often this arrangement is the most financially viable option for small businesses.  The major con to this is that you have to share common spaces with other businesses, which could lead to frustrations over the use of common amenities.

Check back to later posts about other potential kinds of office space for your business!

If you would like to speak to a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City about executive office rental in Overland Park, give us a call at 913-685-4100!