5 Tips for Renting Commercial Property in Overland Park, KS, in a Tenant’s Market

The Recession of the Late 2000s was certainly not an ideal turn for small businesses, but times of economic crisis do have on advantage for businesses: it is often a great time to hunt for office space for lease in Overland Park, KS. This has been especially true for small businesses, since larger businesses are downsizing and often subleasing spaces. For small business who act quickly, there is the possibility of being able to choose between multiple offers from landlords, and even leverage those different offers into negotiation power. Here are a few key tips for small business who want to take advantage of this renter’s market, as suggested in the article “6 tips for renting small business space”:

#1 Look for small Kansas office space for rent

One result of an economic downturn and a tenants’ market is more available spaces for businesses, but typically small ones. Landlords are looking for security and want to diversify their leases, so they are starting to look for a variety of small tenants rather than just a few big ones, which means they are splitting up previously big offices into smaller spaces for small businesses. This means the best deals are for small spaces, so keep an eye on that market and take advantage of investigating and comparing several options.

#2 Use your negotiating power

Never accept the listing price on a lease. Because landlords are especially hoping for higher rental payments in a tough economy, it pays to be on your guard for too-high prices. While you might not be able to get the rent itself lowered, you might be able to negotiation for concessions, such as an allowance for improvements or a period of free rent. This means the landlord doesn’t have to back down on the rates they are asking, but you can still get more value for what you end up paying.

Other things to negotiate for include a cap on annual increases (to protect yourself from inflation and rising rates), expansion options, management fees, and even bonus items like parking or snow-clearing services.

#3 Be picky about the lease term

While landlords generally tend to favor longer leases, in a tenants’ market you are much more likely to get the length you want, so don’t be afraid to ask. On the one hand, this could mean that if you are a startup business you have the flexibility of signing a short lease so that you are not stuck in the unfortunate event that your business fails or the fortunate event that you outgrow a space. On the other hand, if you foresee a stable future for your business, you have the opportunity to take advantage of long term cheap rent with a longer lease.

#4 Do your research on office spaces for rent in Overland Park, KS

One element of the research you should do is learning about your market. The best way to do this is to see a lot of different spaces so that you know what rates and amenities are out there and you can make educated comparative analyses – keeping track of details on spreadsheets is a good way to do this.

Another aspect of research is looking into the landlord of a property. Creditworthiness of landlords could be questionable in a rough economy, so it is important to know where your business owner stands. Are they in over their head with loans? Debt? You might find out a little more by running a credit check, as well as gathering some information from current tenants in the building.

Part of doing good research might also be working with a broker. In a tough economy, often landlord are willing to make a lot of concessions, and an inexperienced tenant might not even know to ask about certain things, like escalator clauses, more favorable termination terms, or mitigating personal guarantees. A broker can be in your corner and make sure that you don’t get taken advantage of.

#5 Be prepared for security deposits

Unfortunately, while a lot of aspects of leasing are favorable for tenants during an economic downturn, slack on the security deposit is not one of them. Landlords tend to be even more concerned about this because of the high level of risk. Not only are you concerned about your landlord’s credit trustworthiness, but they are extra concerned about how much of a risk you are. Be prepared to pay as much as 10% of your total lease as a security deposit, as well as submit a letter of credit or even offer a personal guarantee. This is especially important to landlords who make a lot of concessions, such as improvements or repairs to a space, because they don’t want to sink that money into a space only to get it back in just a few months.

Economic downturns are rough on small businesses, but for business owners who can read the market, they might just have long-term benefits in terms of cheap commercial real estate.

If your business is looking into commercial property in Overland Park, KS, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about what is available in our office park in Overland Park, KS.


6 Guidelines For Finding an Office Park in Kansas for Your Startup Business

Finding the right commercial property in Overland Park, KS, for your new startup company can be a big undertaking for a young business. Here are a few tips to follow to guide you as you look for a space that is comfortable and will allow you to grow, as suggested in the article “5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Startup Office Space”:

1. Look for a Good Landlord.

When narrowing down office spaces for rent in Overland Park, KS, make sure that you have a good landlord who understands your professional goals and needs for the office. It’s always a good idea to work with a landlord and find out how they respond to certain issues and how they feel about repairs that the office would need. A good idea is to contact previous tenants to get a good picture of what it’s like to work with that landlord. Make sure to discuss any issues or problems you might have with the space so that you can discuss them with the landlord before signing.

2. Be Ambitious…

Ambitious projects are always a good springboard for ideas and growth in all aspects of business, so definitely apply this attitude towards finding your own space – dream a little about the growth you anticipate and what kind of design, decor and setup would really take your business to the next level.

3. …But Be Realistic.

Thinking big is a great way to get ideas flowing, but obviously it’s also necessary be realistic. Consider the possibility of making expansions and growth, but also look into what your exit strategies are if you do not meet these targets.

4. Location Is Key.

Location should be the first thing you think about, so before you work on anything else make sure you know where you want to have your office space. T There are two different ways of going about this, depending on your staffing concerns: If you have team of people you are working with already, it might be a good idea to pick a place where they can commute to easily. If you are looking to recruit talent, make sure you have a location that is ideal for attracting potential employees.

4.   Know What You Can Change.

You should want your office to be reflective of your company culture and what kind of work you want to do there. So if you know you want to tear down the drywall and install a new break room, make sure you run this by the potential landlord first. Having an idea of what you want your space to look like is good, but it is even better to make sure you have the landlord’s permission to do so first before you even sign the lease. A few things to double check before signing include making sure you can repaint, rewire and/or change anything other than the desk and chairs. This could save you a headache over remodeling in the long run.

5. Determine Your Ideal Lease Term.

Know how long you want to stay in space so that you can factor this into lease term negotiations. Ideally you don’t want to sign a long-term lease just in case your team grows quickly. A shorter lease makes growth easier and gives you more freedom in case you want to get out of your current lease. However, longer leases should be considered if the landlord is offering good incentives. but when in doubt a shorter lease is better for a smaller company.

With good research, some creative thinking, and careful planning, it is definitely possible to find the perfect office park in Overland Park, KS, for you and your new startup!

If you are looking for an office park in Kansas with a small Kansas City office space for rent, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to set up a tour of one of our small office suites!


3 Ways to Handle The Personal Guarantee For Your Kansas City Office Space for Rent

3 Ways to Handle The Personal Guarantee For Your Kansas City Office Space for Rent

Commercial leases for office spaces for rent in Overland Park, KS, often require tenants to put up a personal guarantee, which holds the individual business owner responsible for paying back their business loan in the event that they break the lease. These personal guarantees are becoming more and more common in commercial real estate leases as the result of a tougher economic market, and landlords are often unwilling to budge on this requirement.

However, even if you cannot eliminate the personal guarantee completely, there are ways to mitigate its effects. Here are a few points to negotiate with your landlord to make the personal guarantee a little more reasonable and less of a weight on your shoulders, as suggested in the article “Personal Guarantee For A Commercial Lease”:

  1. Ask for a time limit. This is one of the most basic and important steps for negotiating personal guarantee terms. With a personal guarantee, a landlord is really just looking for some sign that you are a reliable tenant who will not default easily, so keeping the personal guarantee in place for part of the lease will work just fine to establish a track record of reliability. If your lease term is five years, for example, try to ask for only a three year personal guarantee period.
  2. Limit the period of rental payments after termination. Another limit you can place on this guarantee is stipulating how long you have to pay rent for in the event that you default on the lease. If a tenant defaults with a few years left in their lease, there is a legal precedent of courts only requiring former tenants to pay rent for the reasonable amount of time (depending on the commercial real estate economy) that it should take the landlord to find a new tenant for the space. By setting this amount of time upfront—for example six months to a year—you can avoid all of the drawn out and costly legal proceedings that would be necessary to determine it after breaking the lease.
  3. Provide a letter of credit. If you do have good finances, sometimes landlords will accept a letter of credit in place of a personal guarantee for a specific amount of rent. Landlords can then use this letter of credit to recoup some losses in the event that you leave the property. This option is yet another way to reassure the landlord that you will be a stable and reliable tenant without having to put to much of your personal finances on the line.

These are just a few basic ways that you can reduce the weight of your lease’s personal guarantee. Personal guarantees are definitely an area of leasing where your business could benefit from the insight and expertise of a broker or lawyer. Professionals who know the commercial real estate market might be able to help you smoothly negotiate these terms or come up with even more alternatives.

Want to find out more about properties available in an office park in Kansas? If your business is thinking of renting commercial property in Overland Park, KS, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more about the spaces available in our office park in Overland Park, KS!


6 Ways to Organize Your Kansas Office Space For Rent

6 Ways to Organize Your Kansas Office Space For Rent

Remember that time is money, and looking for those old files you saw three weeks ago in your commercial property in Overland Park, Kansas, will take a lot of time if you aren’t organized. Letting go of that digital and physical clutter can really help your business be more productive, so here are a few tips, as outlined in “Clean It Up! Being Productive at Work Starts with Organization,” to keep your office and computer clean and organized to save you valuable time:

#1 Organize physical paper as soon as you can.

A great way to deal with your physical paper copies is to scan them, file them somewhere on your computer and shred the actual physical copies. This is something you could do for invoices, receipts, letters and just about any desk clutter that is taking up too much room. For more important documents that you don’t want to get rid of or want to keep close by, look towards more common organizational techniques like file boxes and folders. It is best to deal with the physical papers right away so that you can eliminate any paper mountains obscuring desks or shelves.

#2 Create an effective file organization system.

This works for both your physical papers and computer documents. For physical documents, well-organized file drawers and folders work fine, but if you are a more computer savvy business, you may want to look into a cloud-based system where you save and back up files on a joint cloud service.

However, that’s just half the battle. You want to make sure that what you are filing is actually up to date as well in terms of labels and organization so you can access it after you store it. The best way to do this is to make sure to have everything dated and organize everything according to these dates; even if these documents are just edits to a previous ones, save these edits with a new date.

#3 Get rid of those unused files and programs.

Uninstalling or even deleting unused desktop icons as well as purging defunct programs from your computer will create more room and less clutter on your computer. Remember that organization of your computer’s desktop is just as important as your physical desktop. Keeping it clean will make sure that you have things visually organized.

#4 Make a list.

One of the simplest ways to stay organized and manage your tasks is to make a list of things that need to be done that day, week or month, and even in the next year or two. Keeping a list with different goals in mind can help you accomplish things in both the short term and long term. Many professionals say this is the best way to stay organized; the simple pen and paper method helps with understanding what needs to be done. Even though there are several apps out there for this sort of thing, there is something satisfying and tangible about the physical version, so grab yourself a whiteboard and hang it in the office to get your day started.

#5 Clear your desk.

Simple and easy—clean your desk at the end of each day; it will help organize your thoughts and make sure that your next day will be a new start without any leftover work from the day before. Many new businesses require their employees to have their desk clean for the next workday. It helps with general organization for the whole office.

#6 Use new technology to keep yourself organized.

There are thousands of new organizational apps to choose from to manage emails, meetings, etc. These apps and software claim to help organize your files and create daily project lists that will help you through your day. Ask around about what works for friends and co-workers, and experiment with a few different apps until you find what works for you.

Remember to stay organized in your Kansas office space for rent even after you do a major cleanup! Make a habit out of it. Once you have things nicely filed away, put into separate boxes, or stored on a hard drive, remember that the papers will still keep coming. Stay ahead of your organization, figure out what you need to keep, and make sure you have things ready to go before it gets out of control.

If you are looking for office spaces for rent in Overland Park, Kansas, at an office park in Kansas, give one of our real estate agents a call at 913-685-4100 to set up a tour of our commercial property in Overland Park, Kansas.


Commercial Property in Overland Park, KS 101: A Guide to Finding Guide to Finding and Leasing Space

Commercial Property in Overland Park, KS 101: A Guide to Finding Guide to Finding and Leasing Space

Finding and leasing the office space best suited to your business is a multi-step process that involves doing a little homework before actually starting the search for your perfect office park in Kansas. Here are a few key things to consider if you are looking for commercial property in Overland Park, as suggested in the article “How to Find the Best Commercial Space for Your Business”:

#1 Decide What Type of Property You Want

There are so many variations of commercial leases, so before you start seriously looking, try to narrow down what exactly your business needs. The first thing to focus on is what kind of property you are looking for. You know you want commercial real estate, but even within this category there are sub-categories:

  • Business Park – A property with a group of buildings designed primarily for business use with very light industrial use. A business park tends to be the cheapest option and is a common choice for doctors, law offices, and other professionals.
  • Commercial Retail Property – This type of property includes strip centers, malls, and other complexes that feature store-front businesses. This might not be ideal if you are looking for more of an office space, but a lot of commercial retail property owners also have some units in business or industrial parks.
  • Industrial Parks – This kind of property usually consists of warehouses and is best suited to manufacturing or other heavily industrial businesses. However, some property owners have started recently building out and renovating these spaces to accommodate more traditional office space tenants.

#2 Decide What Type of Lease You Want

Once you have narrowed down what type of property you need, the next step is to figure out lease options. The first difference to consider is between leasing and subleasing:

  • Lease – A lease is between you and the landlord and states that you are the main business occupying the property.
  • Sublease – A lease in which the business that already has the primary lease with the landlord arranges to rent out some or all of the space to another business. Not all leases allow for subleasing, and in this situation the original tenant cannot transfer the rights in their lease to the new business if they were not named in the lease originally.

There are pros and cons to both of these options depending what your business is looking for in terms of the amount of space and the level of commitment in a lease. Another thing to consider is the different ways that leases are structured. Here are some examples of common types of leases:

  • Gross Lease (Full Service Lease) – In this type of lease, common to office or industrial spaces, the landlord pays for most or all of the expenses associated with the property—taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. These costs are passed on to the tenant through their rental payments in what is called the load factor.
  • Net Lease – In this lease, a tenant pays for a portion of other expenses (i.e. taxes, insurance, etc.) on top of a base rental rate.
  • Double Net Lease – Tenant pays base rent, plus insurance and taxes.
  • Triple Net Lease – Tenant pays base rent plus insurance, taxes and maintenance.

Again, there are pros and cons to the different types of leases, so it really comes down to whether your business would like to simply pay a consistent lump sum or possibly save a little by paying more or less each month

#3 Make a Checklist

In order to evaluate and compare spaces as logically and systematically as possible, make yourself a checklist before you even start looking. Here are a few things to include on your checklist:

  • Customer Accessibility – One of the most important factors is how visible and accessible you are to your customers. Make sure that you will have some sort of sign that is visible from the road if your space is not. You might also ask whether the property owner helps advertise for the businesses in the park in order to draw in more traffic for everyone.
  • Maintenance – Another thing to check for is whether not the property is maintained. A well-maintained space suggests that the landlord will be responsive to your need and also will create a positive impression of your business for clients.
  • Parking – Check on the parking situation both by asking the landlord about how many spaces you will be assigned and observing the parking lot at various times a day on different days to see how full of the lot gets. Also check to make sure that there are handicapped spaces available as well as wheelchair accessible entrances to the property.
  • Restrictions – Make sure to ask the landlord upfront about any restrictions relating to how your business can operate in the space, including hours or limits on customer traffic, and in regards to advertising, for example specific rules about the size or color of signs.
  • Safety – Check out the basic safety measures of the property, including whether they have an alarm service, security, nighttime lighting and fire alarms, as well as the proximity of fire hydrants and police and fire departments.
  • Insurance – Safety concerns are also related to insurance, as most places will require that you have some sort of general commercial liability insurance before moving into the space. Be sure to make sure you take care of getting insurance before you sign the lease so that you are not surprised by this problem later.

Deciding what kind of property you want, what type of lease best suits your business, and making a general checklist with which to evaluate spaces is a huge first step in preparing yourself for a smooth search for an ideal office park in Overland Park, KS.

If your business is looking for office spaces for rent in Overland Park, KS, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our Kansas office space for rent!


4 Steps for Creating an Option to Expand in Your Office Park in Overland Park, KS

4 Steps for Creating an Option to Expand in Your Office Park in Overland Park, KS

If you are negotiating your lease for commercial property in Overland Park, KS, be sure to consider whether or not you want to negotiate for an expansion clause. An expansion clause gives you the option to expand into more space in your office park in Kansas after a certain point in your lease. If you think your business is going to grow and you are interested in having the option to expand, here are a few steps to take when negotiating your initial lease with a landlord, as suggested in the article “Things to Consider When Negotiating Expansion Rights”:

#1 Identify the Space

The first thing you want to include in your option to expand clause is a clear identification of the space you would want to expand into. Be clear whether it is in the same building or another property that is owned by the same landlord.

#2 Determine the Cost of Expansion

Obviously the ideal situation is to find a space adjacent to yours to identify as your option space to minimize costs, but with any space you choose, it is important to budget for the cost of expansion. Do you need to knock down walls or make any other structural changes? Discuss with the landlord who will shoulder these costs. Often landlords will agree to take on construction costs that will be beneficial to future tenants or raise the value of the space after you leave.

#3 Negotiate the Rental Rate

It is important to talk upfront about what the rent will be in the optioned space. Even if you don’t have a specific number, it is possible to come up with a formula for calculating the new rent. A common agreement is to either apply the current rental rate or a fair market rate based on square footage—whichever amount is lower at the time of your expansion. However, make sure that you also specify how fair market value will be determined, so that this calculation is not left up to the landlord alone. Waiting to monitor the landlord’s decision at the time of the expansion could result in a messy legal process that drags on and ends up costing you more than you planned on spending for an expansion.

$4 Set the Expansion Window

Finally, you will need to negotiate with the landlord to determine when you have the right to exercise the expansion option. Obviously for you as a tenant, the longer the timeframe, the better, but the landlord will most likely want a narrower window to avoid the possibility of space being tied up for too long, so be prepared for some give and take in these discussions.

If you want your business to have the opportunity to grow into more space in your office park in Overland Park, KS, create that option at the beginning of your lease by negotiating for an expansion clause!

Interested in Kansas office space for rent? Give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more about our office spaces for rent Overland Park, KS.