6 Options for Terminating a Small Office Lease in Kansas City

6 Options for Terminating a Small Office Lease in Kansas City

An office space lease can be a big strain on a business during an economic rough patch, and it might be necessary to either terminate a lease or find another way to relinquish a space to save money. Here are a few options for a tenant to consider if a lease becomes too expensive, as outlined in the article “How to Say Goodbye – Exiting Leases”:

  1. Subletting. Rather than simply terminating a lease, a tenant might consider subletting part or all of an office space to reduce the burden of rent. Before subletting, it is important to clearly understand what the lease says about subletting. Often subletting involves getting the approval of the landlord, but be aware that some strict leases allow landlords to reject a subleasing tenant without having to give any reason for their failure to consent. Some landlords might also include a clause in a lease allowing them to recapture a space if a tenant plans to sublet it, even if you only want to sublet a portion of the space. If you are able to sublet, remember that you will most likely still be considered liable for the space, so be careful who you choose to sublet to.
  2. Assignment. Another similar option to subletting is assigning the lease to another business. This sidesteps the issue of terminating the lease, but it also means handing over the entire space and lease to a new tenant. As with subletting, make sure your lease allows it and know that most likely the landlord will most likely have the right to approve or reject the potential assignee. Sometimes leases prohibit assigning or even subletting a space to other tenants on the property, so be aware of who your options are.
  3. Buy-Out. Another option is to buy-out the remainder of the lease obligations, which would make for a more amicable form of lease termination. This possibility is important to address when crafting a lease. When negotiating, the tenant should try to make sure their only obligation is to deliver the leased space “as is” on move-out day. Also, try to negotiate certain releases, such as a release from guarantees. However, releases can be tricky because this might also affect the return of the security deposit or any reconciliations for CAM payments if the tenant overpaid.
  4. Restructuring. Another option less drastic than a buy-out is to talk to your landlord about the possibility of restructuring the lease, possibly to include a shorter lease term.
  5. Defaulting. On the surface, this is the simplest option for a tenant who can no longer afford the lease, but this route is fraught with costs and liabilities, such as losing the security deposit or having to pay other fees. This also is a bad option if you have a substantial personal guarantee included in your lease, or if you have a lot of time left in your lease term and will be required to continue paying rent for a substantial amount of time.
  6. Constructive Eviction. This route is fairly uncommon, but in some cases it is possible to claim constructive eviction to be able to leave the space. In order to invoke this right, a tenant must prove that the landlord somehow interfered with the promised use of the property, depriving the tenant of the enjoyment or beneficial usage of the space. Some examples of actions that could lead to this possibility include a landlord failing to heat a space, provide electricity, or maintain certain things such as elevator functionality or sanitary conditions. In some cases, a tenant might be able to cite the actions of another tenant on the property if they were directly caused or sanctioned by the landlord. In the event that a tenant gets a constructive eviction, they are no longer able to use the premises at all and typically must leave pretty soon after the eviction is granted.

These options are important to be aware of not only if you need to terminate a lease, but also if you are beginning negotiations for a new lease and want to outline your options for exiting.

If you would like some information about office lease rates in Kansas City, give Kathy Woodward a DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100.


5 Steps to Take Before Signing Your Small Office Lease in Kansas City

5 Steps to Take Before Signing Your Small Office Lease in Kansas City

Before you sign your office space lease, make sure you have taken all of the necessary steps to get the most favorable lease possible. Here are a few things to check off your list before signing the dotted line, as suggested in the article “What Do I Need to Know Before Signing a Commercial Real Estate Lease”:

#1 Know the Jargon

Before tackling lease negotiations, it is important to study up on the terminology you will encounter. For example, you will most likely see the term CAM – Common Area Maintenance, a cost shared among all tenants.

#2 Read the Lease Carefully

Your brain will want to skim a tedious document like this, but take the time to read it closely to make sure everything is in order. Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions if there are parts that seem confusing. Carefully note all of your obligations, as well as the landlord’s, as you read.

#3 Prepare Your Business

Make sure that your business has its financial and legal ducks in a row before entering the lease. Don’t forget to file your Articles of Organization or Incorporation, and be ready to provide a guaranty – you will most likely not get out of doing this, but remember that guaranties are negotiable.

#4 Check for Assignability

Check to see that you can assign the lease in the event that you need to sell your business. Location might be a big part of the appeal for a buyer, so if a landlord can terminate your lease over a change of ownership, this decreases the value of your business in the eyes of a potential new owner. Try to include an assignability provision, if only just in the case of the sale of your business, though remember that the landlord will still want to vet the new owner for their financial responsibility.

#5 Negotiate 

This is so important – the lease you were given is not set in stone! As you read the lease make a list of provisions that you still want included or ones that you do not like and talk these over with the landlord – you never know what they might be willing to concede.

Once you’ve found a space and settled on the rent, don’t forget to take these few extra steps before signing the lease!

For information on office lease rates in Kansas City, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100!


7 Ways to Bring Summer Fun Into Your Office Space in Kansas

7 Ways to Bring Summer Fun Into Your Office Space in Kansas

It can be hard to be cooped up inside all day during summer, even for working adults who are used to the lack of a summer break. Think about boosting the morale of your employees by making their summer at work a bit more enjoyable. When employees are happier, they tend to be more productive and work better with others—so everybody wins. Here are a few ways to encourage a little summer fun in your office, as suggested in the article “4 Super Summer Fun Tips For Your Business”:

#1 Let people enjoy the fresh air. 

Fresh air makes people feel better and a little more connected to the outdoors, so open a few windows if the weather permits it. You might also improve air quality by adding a few plants, which have been proven to reduce illness and even rid the air of pollutants.

In addition to increasing employee access to fresh air within the office, why not go the extra step and allow employees the opportunity to work outside when the weather is nice? Encourage them to bring laptops and direct them to outdoor areas where they can work productively. A little bit of fresh air will do everyone some good.

#2 Give extended breaks and lunches.

Every now and then, consider allowing your employees the opportunity to spend a little more of their day outside the office to enjoy good weather. They will come back feeling refreshed and recharged—and probably much more likely to overcome the lethargic afternoon doldrums that set in post-lunch.

#3 Throw summer parties.

Contrary to the comic heyday that TV and movies have had with company events, they can actually be really fun for employees and a great way to boost morale. Of course, these need to be carefully planned an executed—otherwise they might end up a little like an episode of The Office. But since people do spend a lot of time at work, they often develop close friendships that are worth nurturing. Company parties are a great way for employees to see both each other and management in a different light. Obviously, summertime events like these are a great way to take advantage of outdoor weather, so consider hosting events like rafting, ballgames, or picnics.

In addition to official company events, employees might enjoy and appreciate the occasional spontaneous gathering during the work day. This does not have to be anything big—just an hour at a park with some frisbees, snacks, and sodas. As long as these events don’t detract too much work time, people might appreciate a short opportunity to relax and enjoy the weather.

#4 Give a little time off.

This seems a bit drastic at first, but it can be beneficial to your business in the long run. Well-rested employees tend to be more creative, happy, and productive. Employees’ moods can affect everyone in the office, so it is beneficial to all to foster a happy atmosphere. Additionally, employees will remember and appreciate this time off for the rest of the year, especially since most people prefer time off in the summer to enjoy the weather or spend time with their kids.

#5 Consult Your Employees

Ask your employees themselves for summer fun suggestions, and then let them vote on what they want to do. This will get more ideas circulating, generate excitement for summer, and allow employees to feel like they have a say in planning things.

Companies like Google and Facebook have demonstrated the benefit of a little fun introduced to an office space. While you don’t need to go out and buy some scooters and ping pong tables, there are plenty of simple ways to introduce a little summer fun into your office and boost everyone’s mood, creativity, and ultimately productivity!

If your business is looking for Overland Park office space for rent, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more about our affordable spaces!


5 Questions You Should Address in Your Office Space Lease in Overland Park Negotiations

An office space is always going to be one of your business’s biggest expenses, so it is in your best interest to negotiate the most favorable least possible. While leases do vary, there are a few common points of discussion that come up in most lease negotiations. Before you sign a lease, here are a few questions to raise with the landlord, as suggested in the article “How to Negotiate a Better Commercial Lease”:

#1 How long is the lease and what is the rental rate?

Remember that landlords usually offer better terms for tenants who agree to longer leases. However, this is not in your best interest as a tenant, because you want to be able to renegotiate the lease or leave if you need to. A good way to meet in the middle is to try to negotiate for a two year lease with several options for renewal.

Try to limit the rent increases for later renewal terms to small amounts based on inflation or the cost of living, rather than on “fair market” price—this price does not take into consideration your years as a stable and loyal tenant. Be cautious with incentives the landlord offers upfront, because this most likely means that you will somehow have to pay more later. Agreeing to base rent increases on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one way to protect yourself from unfair or unexpected escalations.

#2 Are there any limitations how how you can use the space?

One thing to distinguish early on is exactly how much of this space you can actually use, since usable square footage is different and notably smaller than rentable square footage. Additionally, leases often include a list of the activities the landlord allows in the space. You might not think much of this if your business only has a single purpose at the moment, but it is to your benefit to request “all illegal uses” in your lease in case you want to expand to other activities as new opportunities arise.

#3 What extra costs are included in your lease?

Just because the rental rate is low does not mean you won’t end up paying a significant amount of money each month. Be aware that your lease could hold you responsible for other costs, including security, utilities, maintenance, repairs, and a variety of other services. The best way to handle this is to try to negotiate caps on the amount you have to pay for any of these extras. Another expense you should address is the cost of making any improvements to the space. Talk to your landlord about what you have permission to do and how the cost of this work will be divided between you.

#4 Do you have first rights to another space in the property?

This can be useful if you have an eye on a better spot in the building or think you might need additional space someday. “First refusal” or “First offer” rights mean that the landlord has to offer you a space and give you the opportunity to accept or reject it before opening it up to a new tenant.

#5 What happens if you need to share the space?

Talk to your landlord about assignment for subleasing options in the event that your business is not doing as well as you hoped and needs to rent out some of your space to another tenant to stay profitable. Make sure you clearly spell out with your landlord what their policy is in regards to subleasing or sharing a space. Be careful of very strict leases that treat a change in leadership in your company or even additional investors as assigning or subleasing the office space.

While you might not get everything you want in a lease, it is important to at least address these issues and consider looking at other spaces if a landlord is particularly inflexible.

If your business is interested in executive office rental in Overland Park, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our available spaces.


4 Tips for Securing the Best Overland Park Office Space For Your Business

If you’re a new business hoping to lease an office space for the first time, there are a few steps you can take to break down this process and make it a little less overwhelming. Here are a few  tips for finding and leasing the space of your dreams, as suggested in the article “How To Find & Lease Retail Space,”

#1 Determine Your Budget

The most important thing to do before you even start looking for a space is to determine your budget, because this will help you narrow down your options from the start. You do not want to start your search by looking at spaces that your business will not be able to afford.

#2 Calculate Your Space Needs

If you can come up with a basic idea of how much office space you need – an estimate within about 250 square feet – this will also really help you narrow down your options.

#3 Compare Your Options

Now that you have your general parameters, it is time to find around five spaces that you know would work for your business. Don’t limit yourself to just one space, give yourself these options and then you can compare compare the details more closely. Some  important factors to consider are the size, cost, and location of the space.

#4 Negotiate the Lease

Once you have found a space that best suits your needs and budget, it is time to begin negotiations. This can be a tricky process, so you might consider seeking expert help to make sure you get the best possible terms.

Leasing a space can be an involved process, but a good place to start is by keeping these main steps in mind!

If you need to calculate square footage needs for your business, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100.


3 Ways to Motivate Employees in Your Office Space in Kansas City by Challenging Them

As someone responsible for a group of employees, figuring out how to engage and motivate them can be a difficult task. Often companies approach this by increasing social events or perks such as free meals, but some studies have suggested that employees are most satisfied with their work when they are being challenged to actually use their skills and abilities. Here are a few suggestions for ways to challenge employees who are itching for a new problem to solve, as suggested in the article “Want to Make Your Employees Happy? Ask Them to Do Something Hard”:

#1 Expand their current work. Don’t overload your employees with a bunch of new and different tasks, instead assign them more complex work that builds on the work that they are already doing.

#2 Apply their experience in new ways. You might also challenge them to step a little outside of their comfort zone by bringing their skills and experience to a related but different area. They might bring a fresh perspective and enjoy working with a new problem.

#3 Challenge them with the unfamiliar. If an employee is really looking for a challenge and is prepared to handle it, consider putting them to work on something that they are entirely unfamiliar with, but you know they will be capable of working through. An employee who really wants to grow might be grateful for the opportunity to expand their skill set.

A big part of successfully challenging employees is knowing their interests and boundaries, but if correctly done, these kinds of challenges can be rewarding for you and your staff!

If your business is interested in commercial realty in Kansas City, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100!


Three Things to Remove from Your Desk in Your Office Space in Kansas

If you haven’t cleaned off your desk in a while, it might be a good time to revaluate what you actually need on your desk. Not only does your desk affect your productivity, but it also says a lot about who you are. Here are a few things to consider removing from your desk, as suggested in the article, “What You Should Take Off Your Desk Right Now”:

#1 Useless Objects

Useless objects could cover a wide range of things. Think about old tax documents, thank you cards, knick-knacks, or random office supplies that you don’t use very often. These items are dead weight. If you haven’t used them in over a year or no longer appreciate their sentimental value, and might be a good time to get rid of them. Think about what positively affects your energy versus what just takes up space.

#2 Piles of Work

While it might seem like a good idea to pile up the work you have waiting for you on your desk, this can actually be a bit overwhelming and add to your clutter. Put those items away, and instead just keep the to do list on your desk.

#3 Computer Cords

If cords are still cluttering your desk, consider updating your technology. Going wireless will not only give you more workspace, but it will cut back on visual clutter.

Try to eliminate this clutter and instead keep things on your desk that both make you productive and boost your sense of well-being and energy!

If your business is interested in Overland Park office space for rent, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100.


Thinking Like a CEO When Looking For Commercial Realty in Kansas City

Looking for a new office space but don’t even know what you need yet? Here are a few things that a CEO of a New York Stock Exchange publicly traded company listed as top priorities in a new office space, as outlined in the article “5 Things CEO’s Want from their Office Space”:

  • Image. An office space should project a professional and positive image to both clients/customers and employees. The space should make an impression, but not be too extravagant – the kind of space that helps a company attract and keep good people.
  • Wellbeing. A good space should reflect concerns for the health, safety, and wellbeing of those who work there. Some things to consider are security, lighting, and amenities in the space and near the property.
  • Collaboration and Efficiency. A space should be designed with the goal of enhancing productivity, especially by allowing employees to work together.

If you are thinking about renting a new office space, consider thinking like these experts as you decide what kind of space will best serve you, your employees, and your clients!

Looking for office rental space in Kansas City? Give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100 for information on our available spaces or to set up a tour!


3 Indicators That Your Business Needs to Move Out of the Home and Into an Office Rental Space in Kansas City

3 Indicators That Your Business Needs to Move Out of the Home and Into an Office Rental Space in Kansas City

Moving from the home office to a real office space is a big but positive transition for small business. Consider these three indicators that your small business might be ready to relocate, as outlined in the article “When is it time to move out of the home office?

#1 You can no longer tell work from home.

Has your office clutter started to take over your entire house? It might be time to move on, even if it is just finding a storage facility or outsourcing your mail. But these could also be indicators that your business is growing and needs more space. You might also find that at the same time your work is literally invading your home life, it might also be invading the mentality of being home. If the lines are becoming blurred between work time and home time, it might do you and your family some good to find a new physical space for your work. On the flip-side, home might be affecting work in the form of distractions. You might find yourself more productive in an office space. The initial expense of the space might be a worthwhile investment for your increase in productivity.

#2 You need to have serious client meetings.

While some businesses thrive in a casual home environment, such as daycares, tutoring or even home spas, it can seem unprofessional for other types of businesses to meet with clients in a home, especially if your home is located far from the business center of the city.

#3 You can’t do it all by yourself any more.

It might be possible to hire a few staff members at home, but things can become crowded quickly when a home becomes an office space and not just a family based business. Consider whether you’re ready to share your kitchen and bathrooms, or what will happen if your kids need to stay home from school. The need to hire staff can be a good sign for a business, so if you expect this growth to continue and doyou think you can budget for a space, it might be a good time to move.

There our variety of office space options available to small business owners, so take your time and look for one that makes the most financial and business sense for you.

If you’re looking for a small office lease in Kansas City, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100 find out about our available office space.


3 Aspects to Understand About Renewal Options for an Overland Park Office Space

The process of creating an option to renew begins in lease negotiations. Landlords don’t always want to grant these provisions to a tenant because it limits their options down the line. However, most tenants demand this option, so it is fairly common in leases. The renewal clause determines when the tenant can ask for renewal, the length of the renewal period, and either the rental rate or the way that rate will be determined for the renewal period. Here are a few parts of the renewal option to be aware of as you negotiate your lease, as suggested in the article “Negotiating the Renewal Option”:

  • Notice date – renewal clauses usually require tenants to notify their landlord that they want to renew their lease within a specified period of time, usually a year to several months before the end of the lease. As a tenant, try to negotiate to make this period as long as possible, which will give you time to evaluate all of your options and make the best decision.
  • Rental rate – sometimes the renewal clause will actually state the renewal rental rate, but more often just the formula for this rate is stipulated and will be according to fair market value.
  • Term – the renewal clause also typically states the length of the renewal term. When you’re negotiating your lease, try to ask for several different potential options for lengths of the renewal term so you have some room to choose when the time comes.
  • Fair market value – if your rental rate is going to be based on fair market value, It is important to clearly define fair market value. Your goal is to make this interpretation as detailed as possible to avoid leaving it up to the landlord’s discretion at the time of renewal. There are a lot of aspects of this to discuss; one of the important things to ask for is a cap on the renewal rental rate. Also consider including a provision that determines that a third-party arbitrator will be consulted in the event of a disagreement.

Be sure to thoroughly consider your renewal option as you negotiate your initial lease. Make this clause as clear and detailed as possible to avoid complications and disagreements when it comes time to renew. It might be worthwhile to solicit expert advice to make sure this aspect of the lease is fair and favorable.

Give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100 if you’re interested in executive office rental in Overland Park!