Revisions to Negotiate in Your Small Office Lease in Kansas City

Revisions to Negotiate in Your Small Office Lease in Kansas City

Startups and small businesses negotiating for an office space—maybe for the first time—need to know the places in the lease where they have a little leverage and can negotiate for a better deal. Commercial real estate leases are presented to the tenant in a form that very much favors the landlord, but that doesn’t have to be the final word in negotiations. Small businesses might not have as much leverage as bigger companies, but careful planning and a knowledge of what to push for can lead to successful resolutions. And while research and planning is an important factor, a small  business can always benefit from having the assistance of a broker or an attorney in their corner. Here are a few places in a lease where tenants typically find success asking for revisions, as suggested in the article “Small Tenant Lease Negotiating”:

#1 Landlord Consent 

Landlord consent may be required of the tenant in two different cases:

  • Subleasing or Assignment – If a tenant wants to sublease a space or completely assign the lease to a new business, they may be required to get the approval of the landlord for the new tenant. While the tenant might not be able to negotiate for the elimination of this clause, one thing that could help is to require that the landlord must be reasonable in their rejection of a potential new tenant.
  • Transfers – If a business experiences some sort of change in ownership due to a shift in stock shares or a merger with another company, they may also have to get the consent of the landlord to transfer the rights of the lease to that new party. To have this flexibility, try to negotiate for landlord consent to not be required in the event that the transfer the result of a merger or a business buying the majority of your business’s assets. Often landlords will agree to this as long as the new ownerships has the same financial worth as the original.

#2 Common Area Maintenance Audits

Most standard leases do not contain any mention of an audit if there is a dispute over the common area maintenance rates, but it is common for a tenant to be able to negotiate for this right. Typically this clause stipulates that the two parties will try to resolve the issue within a specified period of time, but if they cannot reach an agreement, a certified third party auditor will be called in to resolve the dispute. It is also possible to specify that the landlord needs to assist with the audit costs in certain cases.

#3 Tenant Alterations

An original lease will often completely prohibit any alterations without the permission of the landlord, but this is typically seen as an extreme restriction—one that would require you to call the landlord every time you hang a picture on the wall. Try to limit this by negotiating for the right to make mall cosmetic changes to the interior of your space, for example painting the walls or changing the carpet. As long as the changes a tenant wants to make are non-structural and not visible from the exterior, most landlords are willing to allow the tenant to make cosmetic changes within a certain budget limit.

#4 Capital Improvements

Some landlords will want to pass the cost of capital improvements—improvements or replacements to the whole building or property—on to the tenant. However, because these alterations will increase the value of the property for the landlord beyond your tenancy, try to negotiate for the landlord to carry the burden of these costs.

The only two exceptions to this rule would be alterations to comply with new laws—but only laws put in place after the you move in, not improvements to correct pre-existing violations—and improvements that will lower the operating expenses of the building. However, you as a tenant should only be responsible for these improvements in proportion to the savings the landlord reasonably believes they will cause.

These are just a few of the possible areas where you might be able to negotiate for some revision in your lease. Be sure to also talk to a broker or an attorney about ways you can negotiate for better occupancy/abandonment requirements, revisions to the mitigating damages clause, and a request to waive punitive damages or claims for profit loss. Commercial leases can be complicated documents, but with the right preparation and support team, even new or small businesses can get a great deal on a perfect space!

Is your business looking for a small office rental space in Kansas City? Give us a call at 913-685-4100 to tell us what you are looking for in a space and find out more about our available affordable office space in Kansas City.


4 Ways A Lease For Your Office Rental Space In Kansas City Differs From A Residential Lease

4 Ways A Lease For Your Office Rental Space In Kansas City Differs From A Residential Lease

There are a few differences between residential and commercial leases—leases used for housing and apartment rentals versus warehouse or office space rentals. Here are a few particular things to be aware of that differentiate a residential space from a commercial space, as outlined in “Differences Between a Residential and Commercial Lease”:

  1. Laws about Habitability. When renting a residential space, landlords are required to provide a habitable space. If there is infrastructure, infestation, or heating problems with a space, the landlord is infringing on the tenant’s rights. However, this isn’t exactly the case for commercial space, although habitability could be a good negotiation point.
  1. Protections. Because it is assumed that commercial tenants entering into a written contract have knowledge or experience in doing this sort of business, there are a lot less legal protections in place for the tenant than there are for the average residential tenant.
  1. Negotiation. Negotiation plays a larger part in commercial leasing agreements. Tenants are expected to contact third party professionals to help give them insight for negotiating the price or incentives for the space.
  1. Lease Agreement. Commercial leases are usually more unique than residential agreements. Most of the time they are designed according to the tenant’s needs and the amount of time the tenant plans on using the space. This could range from one year to five or ten years. These set lease terms are then up again for negotiation once the term is over.

Even though you might have some experience with personally renting residential space, it is important to be aware of the differences in a commercial lease and how you can use those differences to your advantage.

If you are looking for Overland Park office space, give a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100!



Evaluating Your Employees in Your Office Rental Space in Kansas City

As a small business owner, it is important for you to know how each and every one of your employees is contributing to your business, whether they’re being productive and fulfilling expectations and goals. In order to have an accurate measurement of this, it is necessary to evaluate employees regularly throughout the year, even if you only meet with them for a performance review once a year. Here are a few factors to consider as you observe employees throughout the year, as suggested in the article “Keeping Tabs on Employee Performance: 5 Key Factors to Measure”:

#1 Adherence to Expectations

An obvious thing to measure is whether employees are adhering to the terms laid out in their contract. Do they respect company policies? Deviations from various obligations might suggest that employees aren’t performing at the level your business needs.

#2 Work Quality

Another thing to consider is the quality of the work the employee is producing, whether this is in sales, marketing, or in some other department. Do they produce quality work efficiently? Or are several rounds of revisions necessary? This can be a good indicator of an employee’s overall performance.

#3 Self-presentation and Habits

Does the employee follow  the dress code, or do you need to consistently have conversations with them about what is work appropriate? Does the employee have some bad habits, such as using computers for social networking, taking excessively long breaks, gossiping, or having regular or petty conflicts with other coworkers? Be clear up front about with the rules and expectations are, then check to see if the employee respects these expectations.

#4 Consistant Punctuality

One simple thing to consider is whether or not an employee shows up on time for work each day. If they consistently come to the office late, take an excessive number of personal days, or just generally do not contribute their share of the work, this could have a damaging effect on the entire office by over-straining other employees.

It is important to create a supportive and positive environment for your employees, but any business also needs a certain amount of accountability for it to function at its full potential. Make sure that your business is at the level it should be by regularly tracking employees’ performance.

If your business is interested in commercial space for lease in Kansas City, give a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more about our available and affordable spaces!


4 Ways Going Green Promotes Productivity in an Office Rental Space in Kansas City

It is no secret that the physical features of office space can have a direct impact on employees, specifically improving or hurting their mood and productivity levels. Discomforts such as stuffiness, noise, and depressing lighting can all contribute to workers feeling lethargic in an office space. Here are five ways a more green office can positively impact your work environment, as suggested in the article “Is Your Office a Downer? Five Green Design Secrets of Best Places to Work”:

#1 Bring in the Plants

Studies suggest that human beings connect with living things, including plants, an idea called biophilia. This means that live plants that are clearly in view can help reduce stress, improve creativity, And even based cognitive function among your employees. Having clusters of plants around the office also visually breaks up the space and makes it less monotonous.

#2 Where’s the Sunshine?

A lot of traditional workspaces only allow senior executives to enjoy sunlight in their offices, but sunshine can affect a whole office by making employees happier and even leading to better sleep, which is always good for productivity. If it is not possible for employees to sit by a window, even just taking a walk outside during the day can provide a boost.

#3 Good Air

Another thing that affects productivity is the quality and temperature of the air in an office space. Research suggests that high levels of carbon dioxide and other harmful compounds can make employees sluggish. Studies have shown that increasing ventilation can actually improve employee performance, as can ensuring an office space maintains a comfortable temperature, because too hot or too cold can also adversely affect productivity.

#4 A Balance of Spaces

Noise can also be a type of pollution that negatively affects employees. Well open office plans and more collaborative spaces tend to be great things for employees and also positively affect productivity, it is important that workers also have quiet places to go when they need to work independently. Having a separate spaces for collaboration and quiet work can reduce stress and allow employees to focus more efficiently on their tasks.

Recent research on office environments provide so much valuable insight into worker productivity. Consider implementing some of the simple ways to boost your offices mood and performance!

If your business is interested in office suites for rent in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our commercial space for lease in Kansas City.


3 Ways to Stay on Top of Emails in Your Office Space in Kansas City

The amount of time the modern office worker spends sifting through e-mails is astounding. Workers can spend a significant portion of their workday trying to read and respond to e-mails, with people in management positions having to deal with hundreds or thousands of e-mails on a daily basis – research suggests that one fourth of the average workday is spent on emails alone, the second biggest time commitment next to an employees actual job specific duties. E-mail can be a great way to communicate with clients, coworkers, or employees, but it can also become a very real drain on a person’s time and energy. Here are three suggestions for staying in control of your inbox, as suggested in the article “4 Tips to Better Manage Your Email Inbox”:

#1 Timing is Everything

Effective time management is the best way to keep your inbox from overwhelming you. The first step in taking control of the time you spend on your e-mail is setting aside specific periods throughout the day to check e-mail. The amount of time you spend on each e-mail checking session and the frequency of these sessions will vary depending on your business style. Some people like to limit themselves to just two or three times a day, but some entrepreneurs find it more effective to check e-mail every hour or even every 15 minutes.

Whatever your limits are, consider really enforcing these for yourself by exiting out of your e-mail program for most of the day, shutting off alerts and beeps from incoming messages, or even turning off your cell phone for certain chunks of time. You can also create an automated response that lets people trying to contact you know exactly when you will be checking your e-mail during the day and offering them a phone number to call if their issue is urgent.

Not only is it important to schedule your e-mail checking times, but also to really be productive during those periods. This means dealing with e-mails immediately as they come into your inbox. Try to make fast decisions and take action instead of postponing issues until another day. If you cannot respond right at that moment at least send the person a message letting them know you’ve received to their e-mail and you are working on providing an answer. Then add the task to a to do list or calendar and set a deadline for yourself to follow up with the person.

#2 Isolate What is Important

Promotional e-mails or spam can really clutter an inbox. Every now and then take the time to unsubscribe from newsletters or advertisements that you do not look at. You can even simplify this process by searching your inbox for the word “unsubscribe” and then sorting through those search results to see what you can eliminate.

In addition to occasionally unsubscribing from mass e-mails, you should also scan through your e-mails as soon as you open your inbox to determine what is important out of that batch of new messages. Delete anything that is spam or unnecessary, scan and archived e-mails that do not require a response, and then you will be at a point where you can better evaluate the tasks you really need to tackle. Remember that if an e-mail is important it should not sit unread in your inbox for days at a time.

#3 Stay Organized 

While it is good to consistently delete or archive e-mails, there are probably still many messages you will want to keep. It is a good idea to keep track of important communications with clients or fellow employees in case you need to refer back to them later to clarify an issue. Keep these old e-mails organized by taking advantage of labels, categories, and folders in your e-mail program. Group messages just like you would any other files so that you can easily locate E-mails about a specific topic or aspect of your job if necessary. You can put these folders into even broader categories labeled clients, finances, or projects. In addition to taking advantage of folders and subfolders, also be sure to mark your e-mails according to importance so that you can easily find high-priority messages when you need them.

If you have been feeling overwhelmed by the emails you deal with on a daily basis, consider stepping back to evaluate a better strategy for handling your correspondence. Setting a schedule for yourself, addressing things according to importance, and keeping your inbox organized might help you limit the amount of your workday spent on e-mail.

If your business is interested in office rental space in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about office lease rates in Kansas City.


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.


Create a Checklist for Your Small Business in a New Office Rental Space in Kansas City

Small business owners tend to be more successful the more organized they are with determining and executing their start-up needs. Before actually putting a business plan into action, it is important to make a checklist that includes financing, business registration, legal work such as licenses and permits, and leasing a space.  Think about what order these things need to happen in, such as creating a business plan in order to apply for a loan and registering a business with the necessary government offices before applying for a banking account.  Here are some tips for what to include on a checklist of essential steps to getting a small business up and running, as suggested in the article “Setting Up a Small Business”:

#1 Business Plan

The absolute first step in setting up a small business is creating a business plan, which will serve as a road map showing how you will get financing; how your budget will be organized into money for leasing, licenses and permits, employee costs, advertising, improvements and build outs to a space; and your overall vision for how your business will operate and generate profit.

#2 Finances

Once you have an idea of what your budget will look like, the next step is to get the necessary loans to start your business.  A good place to look is through the Small Business Administration, which keeps a list of recommended commercial lenders for start-ups.

#3 Hiring and Employee Expenses

Employee wages and benefits can be one of the biggest expenses for small businesses.  The hiring process is time consuming and can involve a little bit of a financial investment on your part to look into candidates’ legal backgrounds and references.  The expenses of paying employees—benefits included—must be factored into your initial operating expense plans.

#4 Registering Your Business

In order to establish your business legally, it is necessary to register with the correct government agencies. There are several options for how a small business can form: a corporation, a sole proprietorship, a limited liability partnership (LLP), or a limited liability company (LLC).  An Article of Incorporation is necessary for a corporation, while LLCs and LLPs require Articles of Formation or Organization.  All of these articles must be filed with the state, and a business’s name must also be registered with the county or state of location. Finally, in order to be able to open a business banking account and register for federal taxes, a start up has to apply for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the IRS.

#5 Rent or Buy?

The next step to establishing a small business is finding a space in which to operate.  If you are hiring employees, it is likely that you will not have enough space for them in your home, so it will be necessary to find a commercial space in which to operate.  Most small business owners choose to rent instead of buy to save on initial costs.  Many small businesses opt for Triple Net (NNN) Lease, in which lessees pay for space by the square foot and also pay for a portion of maintenance needs and property taxes.

#6 Storage

If you have a small space for your office, you will most likely need to look into off-site storage options—which are typically relatively inexpensive—to leave more room for working in your commercial space. Look for a place that has both a strong gate and a combination lock, and be sure to check to see if it is climate controlled if you need to store important paper documents.  If you do need storage for your office, try to go for file cabinets and containers that can be stacked to take up as little floor space as possible.

#7 Setting Up Communications

Another thing to add to your checklist is setting up a phone line for your office.  Look into IP broadband phone systems with voice over versus a traditional phone system to potentially save a little money.  You can also look at online auctions or used office furniture stores to try to find a secondhand phone system—often you can get a good deal on a functioning phone system if you look carefully.

#8 Creating Workstations

The next step is purchasing furniture for your office, which you can find deals on through used office furniture stores or even closing sales held by local businesses.  In addition to looking for deals on furniture, try to maximize your use of each piece so you do not have to buy as much.  For instance, a cabinet will do just fine as a place to put a printer, versus an entirely different table for it.

#9 Equipment

Instead of outright buying equipment for your office when you are first starting out, try to lease as much as you can, including copy machines, computers, and fax machines—if possible try to get units that can fax, print, copy, and scan all in one piece of equipment so you don’t have to purchase as much toner or ink.  If you have major copy jobs, you can outsource these to a printing shop in your area and save a little money.  See if you can set up a corporate account with a print shop and maybe get some discounts on regular print orders.

When you are planning a startup, make sure you create an extensive checklist before taking action!

Give us a call at 913-685-4100 to talk to a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City about our affordable office space in Kansas City!



3 Steps to Cleaning Out Clutter in Your Office Suites for Rent in Kansas City

Clutter in an office space can be a major block to productivity.  Here are a few tips for keeping things clutter free, as suggested in the article “How to be clutter free in a wireless workplace”:

Step 1: Think about your needs.

Every office has different priorities and concerns, so it is important to think about what your office needs before making any changes.  Do you have multiple rooms in your office or one work area that contains technology?  Are you usually on the go?  Think about how you work before deciding what will actually be on your desk.

Step 2: Address your desk.

Do you need a telephone if you usually use your smart phone?  Would a wireless keyboard and mouse free up some space?  Little things like this can make a big difference in decreasing the clutter caused by wires.  If you have a lot of files sitting out, consider putting them in a cabinet under your desk or scanning them and saving them on an external hard drive.

Step 3: Update.

Sometimes it is important to take a look at your technology and see what can be updated.  Consider wireless backup drives, wireless headphones, and a wireless printer to reduce cords.  You can also make sure your Wi-Fi is boosted with a router to make sure it is functioning at peak performance.

Reduce the clutter of cords in your office by taking some time to purge and upgrade if necessary!

If your business is looking into office rental space in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more about our office lease rates in Kansas City.


6 Things to Look For When Touring Commercial Realty In Kansas City

When searching for commercial office space for lease, it is essential to take a tour of all properties before singing anything so that you know exactly what is included in the space. Be sure to make yourself a checklist of things to investigate before you go to a space so that you can make sure it meets all of your requirements and easily compare it to other spaces. Here are six things to check for when you are looking at a prospective location, as suggested in the article “Commercial Real Estate Corner”:

  1. Safety. A safe environment is a top priority in any kind of space, and a landlord’s concern for safety should be apparent on a tour. Check for locks on both doors and windows, lighting in parking lots in common areas, and cameras or a watch staff for after hours. You can also ask about getting access to any incident records.
  2. Handicap Accommodations. Make sure that the premises are equipped with elevators, wheelchair ramps, wide entry doors, and handicap accessible restrooms in order to sure that all guests and employees feel welcome and comfortable. If these accommodations or not present, keep in mind that adding them could be quite expensive.
  3. Condition of the Space. Check to see if the space is in good physical condition by looking for any signs of structural issues or problems with tenants. Check for unpleasant stains, odors, or cracks. Don’t hesitate to ask the landlord about anything you see before agreeing to sign the lease.
  4. Common Space. Check to make sure that common areas that are not technically in your office space are still well maintained, including restrooms, elevators, lobbies, and hallways, as these spaces will still make an impression on visitors.
  5. Amenities and Services. Find out if there are businesses nearby that could be convenient for your company, such as a bank or an office supply provider, or even places that our employees might like to be near, such as gyms, restaurants, coffee shops, or day care.
  6. Parking Lots. Check to make sure that there is enough parking for both your clients and employees, and make sure you are aware of any parking fees, versus what is included in the lease. If weather is an issue in your location, ask about snow plowing services.

Be sure to include these essential items on your checklist as you tour spaces!

If your business is interested in setting up a tour of an office rental space in Kansas City, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100.