Co-Working vs. Traditional Office Space in Overland Park, KS

Co-Working vs. Traditional Office Space in Overland Park, KS

A lot of businesses are experimenting with new office space models, ranging from remote offices, to hot desking, to co-working spaces. For businesses who want to keep their offices fully occupied, here are two different options to try, each with their pros and cons: the co-working space versus the traditional office model. Below are some details on each, as described in the article “The 21st Century Debate: Remote vs. Office vs. Co-Working”:

Co-Working Space

A co-working space is a great option for businesses who have extra space that they want to do something with. Provided that their lease allows them to sublet, they can rent out this space to very small businesses or freelancers who just need a desk. These tenants could belong to a variety of different businesses and not even be in the same industry.

The benefit of this option is that it is a good financial arrangement for all parties – freelancers or small businesses can more easily afford this kind of space, and you can reduce your rent costs by making sure that no spaces in your office sit empty. The mixture of potentially different industries can also lead to interesting relationships and insight that might not be possible when everyone in the office is in the same field.

However, the downside of co-working is the possibility of a dysfunctional environment if employees and renters do not get along, which can negatively affect productivity and creativity for your business.

Traditional Office Space

While companies like Facebook and Google are very visible examples of non-traditional office spaces, the tradition space is still the dominant mode in the U.S. In this setup, collaboration between employees is easy, and the arrangement is ideal for employee-client interactions. Management can also more easily monitor employee performance and encourage teamwork.

The drawback of this option, besides the usual distractions that can come from colleagues working in close proximity to each other, is the expense, since your business has to shoulder the cost of the entire office space alone.

What works for your business depends on your financial situation and the work habits of your employees. If what you are doing right now is not working as well as you would like, don’t be afraid to change things up and try a new model!

If your business is interested in Overland Park office space for lease, give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park a call today at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our available space!


How to Lease Office Equipment for Your Office Rental Space in Overland Park

One of the many expenses to consider as you move into a new office space is how to acquire office equipment. For small companies just starting out, leasing office equipment might be the cheapest and most convenient option, plus it gives you the flexibility to change out your equipment for more  updated models down the line. If this sounds like the best route for your business, here are a few steps to take when renting office equipment, as suggested in the article “5 Office Equipment Leasing Tips for Startups”:

  1. Figure out your finances. Most equipment leasing businesses will want certain paperwork from you, including financial statements, tax returns, and a written lease proposal. Since companies are interested in the soundness of your financial background, they are probably going to want to know about your credit history as well, so consider getting a credit score just to check before you start this process. Remember also that even if your paperwork is excellent, some companies simply do not want to lease to new businesses (i.e. businesses that are under two years old). When you start talking to an equipment rental company, make sure that one of the first questions you ask is whether they will work with a new business. This way there will be no surprises when lease signing time comes.
  2. Only apply to a few companies at a time. While common sense would dictate that it is best to look at as many options as possible, when looking for office equipment try to keep it to only two prospects at a time. This is because too many different applications at once could cause leasing companies to question whether they should lease to you at all.
  3. Look for industry specific equipment. For instance, you might be able to find rental companies that specialize in catering, printing, or some other industry, and thus they will have a good selection of equipment that is industry specific. Looking in this narrower range will ensure you get the equipment that your business needs to function.

If you are a new business starting up, you could really save some money and get some modern equipment that perfectly meets your needs by renting office equipment instead of buying!

If your business is interested in office suites for rent in Overland Park, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our Overland Park office space for lease!


4 Tips for Rocking Negotiations for an Office Space Lease in Overland Park

Negotiating a commercial lease can be a long and daunting task, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come out of that process with a really great deal. Here’s some tips for being a strong lease negotiator, as suggested in the article “How to Get a Good Deal on a Lease”:

#1 Negotiate the Term of Your Lease and Rental Rate

One of the first things you’ll do is negotiate with your landlord the duration of the lease and how much you will pay, typically based on the square footage of the space. Conventional wisdom suggests that small businesses should play it safe with short-term leases, for example a year or two with the option to renew, but often landlords are willing to make substantial concessions, for example free rent for a period of time, for tenants willing to stay for a longer period, i.e. five years. This is something to factor into your decision-making process. Another thing to do before deciding on your rental rate is to remeasure the space. Sometimes the listed square footage is based on an old floor plan or has been reconfigured so many times that the square footage has changed.

#2 Expenses and Maintenance

The next thing to negotiate is all of the extras you will have to pay for in your space. A lot of this is based on the type of lease that you have, but typically most expenses get passed onto tenants in some form or another. The most common expense is common area maintenance (CAM) costs, as well as utilities. Be aware that landlords will also try to hold you responsible for bigger costs, such as repairs and maintenance, for example of the walls, the roof, and parking areas, and the heating and cooling systems. Be aware of this, especially in older buildings. It might be worth having the heating and cooling system, the plumbing, and the electrical system inspected to look for any obvious problems, which you can then bring up to the landlord as points of negotiation.

#3 Choose a Broker Carefully

Make sure that the broker you’re working with is really working for you. Be aware that a lot of brokers work for landlords and are paid on commission. One reliable source of recommendation is a good real estate lawyer, who can recommend someone who will work with you in good faith. You also want to make sure you’re working with a broker that understands your market, for example the office space market or the retail market. Ultimately, working with broker is very important for small businesses, and trying to negotiate a lease alone won’t necessarily save you money. Utilize your broker in negotiations, but remember that it is also up to you to stay abreast of and verify all of the points they are helping you negotiate.

#4 Have an Escape Planned

Is important to negotiate the details of terminating the lease upfront, even if you hope that never has to happen. There’re a few parts of the lease that can protect you in the event that things don’t go as planned:

  • “Good-Guy” Clauses – most landlords will insist on a personal guarantee, but a good-guy clause in a lease means that you’re only responsible for rent owed before you leave a space if you terminate the lease early, rather than paying rent until the end of the lease term. These clauses are not very widespread, but it is worth asking about.
  • Personal Guaranty Release – you might not be able to get a good-guy clause, but a lot of landlords might agree to release you from a personal guarantee after certain period of time, rather than paying rent until the lease ends.
  • Sublease – this provision allows you to sublease a portion of your space to another business, which could be useful if you end up with space you don’t need and costs that are too high.

A few other provisions hold the landlord responsible for meeting certain standards in order for your lease to be valid:

  • Exclusivity Clause – this clause prevents the landlord from leasing another space in the property to a direct competitor of yours.
  • Co-tenancy – A lot of smaller businesses, especially in retail spaces, rely on anchor tenants to draw in a lot of customer traffic. The co-tenancy clause allows attendants to break their lease without penalty in the event that this anchor tenant leaves and is not replaced by the landlord within a specified period of time.
  • Guaranteed Points – A lot of times landlords advertise the space as having a few guaranteed selling points, such as a certain amount of customer traffic or certain percentage of occupancy. If you can, try to get these things in writing with concessions guaranteed to you in the event that the property fails to meet the standards.

Keep these points in mind as you prepare to negotiate a commercial real estate lease!

If your business is interested in Overland Park office space for lease, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Overland Park.


What is the Difference Between Rentable and Useable Square Feet in a Kansas City Office Space?

What is the Difference Between Rentable and Useable Square Feet in a Kansas City Office Space?

Do you ever wonder why it seems that the price listed in a lease seems to be for more space than what you actually get in the office? One of the biggest sources of confusion for potential tenants is the difference between actual office space square footage and square footage listed for rent purposes. Rentable square footage typically incorporates not only the office space itself, but also common areas of the building. Because of this, tenants effectively pay rent for more space than they occupy and they need to be aware of this as they search for commercial space. Here are some clarifications of common misconceptions regarding usable versus rentable square footage, as outlined in the article “Understanding the Common Area Factor: Rentable vs Useable Square Feet:”

Usable Square Footage

Usable square footage is typically defined as the space a tenant actually inhabits. In smaller rental properties, this might simply be the area inside your office suite, which does not take into account entry or exit areas or columns – so the space is measured as if the columns don’t exist. However, janitor closets, restrooms, elevators, lobbies and corridors are factored into the square footage and the tenant is responsible for a certain percentage of the cost of these spaces. Larger spaces that consist of a full floor or multiple floors include everything in this area such as restrooms, mechanical and electrical rooms, etc. These full floor tenants also are responsible for a portion of common area expenses – even ones that aren’t on their floor – such as the main lobby of the building.

Rentable Square Footage 

Rentable square footage is every inch of floor space in a property, including restrooms, electrical rooms, and janitor closets. This excludes things like holes in the floor for stairwells and elevators, but every other space is included in the rent. The cost of the rent then consists of the listed rentable square footage multiplied by the lease rate per square foot. There are calculations to help determine rentable square footage for different size tenants. For instance, a less than full floor tenant should multiply usable square footage by the floor common factor, then take this number and multiply it by the common factor of the building. A larger tenant would also multiply usable square footage by the common factor of the building to account for shared spaces and amenities in the building.

The Common Area Factor

Another important piece in this puzzle is the common area factor, which is a number that accounts for the shared spaces on either a single floor or in the whole building. These common areas might either be used by all of the building’s tenants or be pro rata shares that are specific to one tenant suite.

  • Floor Common Area Factor – this number represents the tenant’s common areas only on their floor. It is different for different properties, but typically it is 8% of the space, meaning the factor is 1.08.
  • Building Common Area Factor – this consists of all the tenant common areas in the building and determines the rentable square footage number for which a tenant will actually pay. This also ranges from about 6-8%.

Quoted common area factors in a listing are typically a combination of the floor common area factor and the common area factor for the building. Often the total common area factor is is around 12-20% based on the building. In different markets, sometimes these calculations are slightly different, so it is important to clarify with an attorney or an agent exactly what is included in the cost of rent and the listed square footage.

Making Comparisons

When considering your options, keep in mind the different common area factors or even the shape of the space and how it can impact your bottom-line cost. Use a usable square footage metric when comparing buildings just to make sure that you are consistent in the numbers you’re generating for evaluation. Bear in mind that two spaces that have the same rental rate might actually have different values based on the common area factors or even the efficiency of the space’s design.

Address all of these issues before you sign a lease, as there is very little that can be done after a lease is agreed upon. Make sure that your own legal representative verifies that the common area factor number that your landlord provides actually corresponds with the reality of the space. Again, this is one of those tricky parts of leasing and makes it worthwhile to work with an expert to ensure that you’re getting the best deal based on accurate information.

If your business is looking into commercial space for rent in Overland Park, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more about our Overland Park office space for lease and potentially set up a tour.


5 Tips for a Successful Office Space Lease Term in Overland Park

Sometimes dealing with problems with your landlord during your commercial real estate lease is something you can think about beginning of the lease. Here are a few steps to help you avoid problems during your tenancy, as suggested in the article “6 Steps to Avoid Issues in Your Commercial Lease”:

  1. Clarify the terms. Before you instruct the lawyer to prepare the lease, make sure that the terms are drawn up in a heads of agreement to be signed by both parties. This can help avoid arguments over the actual commercial terms during the execution of the lease and the duration of the term.
  2. Utilize professionals. It is important to make sure that a lawyer is the one who prepares the lease, particularly one with experience in commercial real estate who can help facilitate the deal smoothly. In addition, an experienced property manager can also be an asset in making sure that a property is maintained properly throughout the lease.
  3. Take care of approvals. If you as a tenant are doing any building or improvements, make sure you get the necessary approvals in order before starting – for example, dealing with local councils. Dealing with any regulations beforehand can help avoid problems down the line.
  4. Understand your obligations. Make sure that your lawyer clearly points out your obligations as a tenant, and then communicate clearly with your landlord during the early stages of your lease in order to take care of any duties – for example, the approvals suggested in number three.
  5. Inspections. Inspect the property carefully before the lease begins and note the condition of the space. This will make things easier for both the tenant and landlord at the end of the lease. If possible, take photos to document the condition of the space.

If you’re beginning the negotiation process for your lease, keep these steps in mind to ensure that your tenancy runs smoothly and you maintain a good relationship with your landlord. Dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s early on can help prevent potential problems from even arising in the first place. The key is to make sure that all aspects of the lease are clear and the lines of communication stay open.

If your business is interested in Overland Park office space for lease, give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable spaces.


2 Types of Tenant Improvement Allowances for an Office Rental Space in Overland Park

2 Types of Tenant Improvement Allowances for an Office Rental Space in Overland Park

If you know you want to make improvements to a space, the key is to address this as early as possible in negotiations. The tenant improvement allowance your landlord gives you as well as the length of your lease have an impact on the rental rate you will settle on. The two most important things you as a tenant should try to do during these negotiations is to get as much of an allowance as you can from the landlord and to also try to maintain control of the building process as much as possible. Here are two different types of tenant improvement allowances, as described in the article “Negotiating the Tenant Improvement Allowance”:

#1 Turn Key Build-out

In a turn key build-out structure, the landlord is responsible for all of the build-out expenses, which are factored into the rental rate and the plan for the office space that takes into account construction.

#2 Stated Dollar Amount

In a stated dollar amount structure, the landlord provides the tenants with the lump sum to put towards the build-out. Often this also covers any architectural and engineering expenses.

While many tenants prefer the turn key approach, there are pros and cons to both. The main goal that tenants strive for is to reduce out-of-pocket costs and to get the most out of their improvement allowance.

If your business is interested in finding the Overland Park office space for lease, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Overland Park.


2 Potential Layouts for an Overland Park Office Space

Designing the layout of an office is an important part of setting up a functional business.  It can be difficult to balance employees’ need for privacy with the desire to create an atmosphere of open communication. Recently, the trend in office furniture and design has been shifting from traditional layouts to accommodating concerns about making offices more teamwork friendly.  Here are a few ideas to utilize in your small business space to create a productive and welcoming environment, as suggested in the article “Office Workplace & Workspace Designs That Work”:

Open Space

The traditional image that comes to mind when imagining a large office space is a maze of cubicles—but this has become associated with an overly divided and sanitized space that blocks communication between employees and stifles corporate culture and personality.  Designers have been trying to change this approach by creating open office spaces that allow employees to see each other, experience natural light, and communicate more easily. An option with this layout is also to add a small meeting table to the middle of a department space for meetings, as well as adding more private spaces for confidential gatherings.

Hub Layout

Another way to foster natural communication and gatherings in an office is to create a central hub at which these interactions can take place.  This area can contain shared equipment such as fax machines, copiers, and scanners, and a break area with coffee, snack machines, and water coolers.  If you want to make it more comfortable, consider adding tables and chairs to encourage informal meetings, birthday celebrations, or just casual conversations.  This can also be the location of a company bulletin board, employee award postings, and any other important messages. By centralizing shared resources, you can encourage interactions between employees who might not otherwise talk.

Office design has to be a strategic process that starts when a business first moves into a space and continues throughout the duration of a tenancy.  Too often it can be dictated by random expansion as new employees are brought on board.  The most functional office layouts are created by carefully considering employee interactions and productivity at every step of office changes with the ultimate goal of encouraging collaboration and maximum efficiency.

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



13 Overland Park Office Space Lease Facts To Know Before Negotiations

If you are new to the renting commercial real estate process, there are some terms and ideas that you should familiarize yourself with before you dive in. Understanding these leasing details, described in the article “Commercial Real Estate: What You Need to Know Before Leasing,” will help you enter negotiations with a little more confidence:

  1. Gross Lease. This is the most simple type of lease to understand, as all of your expenses are bundled up in the price per square foot.
  2. Net Lease. In a net lease, you pay for both price per square foot and for a specified amount of other property expenses. A double net lease includes insurance and taxes, while a triple net lease includes insurance, taxes, and maintenance.
  3. Percentage Lease. This type of lease is most common in retail spaces and requires you to pay base rent for square footage plus a certain percentage of your sales.
  4. Lease Length. Most tenants want a short term lease plus options to renew. This option allows you flexibility if you outgrow a space, but it also gives you the option of sticking with a space that is working well for you. However, keep in mind that landlords prefer longer leases, so a longer lease term might give you more negotiating leverage for something else.
  5. Other Expenses. Commercial leases are not like residential leases; in commercial leases the landlord is not necessarily responsible for property maintenance and fixing things like HVAC systems, for example. Make sure that you clarify in the lease who is responsible for what costs.
  6. Rent increases. Landlords will typically try to charge you annual rent increases, also called escalations, which are based on the consumer price index or a similar calculation. Be sure that you fully understand and are prepared to deal with these increases before entering the lease.
  7. Signage. If your business requires signs, make sure you discuss any regulations for posting signs.
  8. Subleasing. You as a tenant will want to push for the option to sublease your space if necessary. This offers you a bit of a safety net if you cannot pay rent or need to move to a different space.
  9. Build Outs. If you are planning on altering a space you need to talk to your landlord about what is allowed and who is paying for improvements. Sometimes if you sign for a longer lease term a landlord might be more inclined to help with the cost of build outs. Remember also that if you cannot use a space while it is being altered, you want to try to avoid being held responsible for rent during that time.
  10. Exclusive Use. An Exclusive Use clause prevents a landlord from leasing a nearby space to one of your business’s competitors, which might be especially important if you rely on foot traffic.
  11. Co-Tenancy. Sometimes properties have “anchor” tenants that other tenants depend on for foot traffic. If this is the case for the property you are considering, you might want to consider a co-tenancy clause, which gives you the freedom to end your lease if that tenant leaves.
  12. Assignability. If you need to sell your business, you will want to make sure your lease allows you to pass the lease along to the new ownership.
  13. Exit Plan. In the event that you absolutely have to break your lease, you will want to have negotiated for minimal penalties, such as only 2 or 3 months worth of termination fees. 

Do research ahead of time to make sure that there are no surprises during your negotiations or later in your lease!

If you are interested in an Overland Park office space for lease, give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park a call at 913-685-4100!



Factors to Consider When Leasing Equipment for an Overland Park Office Space

While leasing office space equipment has many advantages, there are also a lot of other factors to consider that might not make it the best fit for your business. Here are a few things to think about if you are considering renting your equipment, as suggested in the article “Leasing Business Equipment”:

  • If you are planning on renting for just a short period of time, this might be a cheaper option, but long term renters should be aware that the lifetime cost of renting a piece of equipment will usually be higher than purchasing it.
  • You are forfeiting ownership interest by renting, which means that if you have become dependent on the equipment and want to purchase it at the end of the lease, it might be too expensive.
  • One way to try to establish equity in an asset is to negotiate for some of your rental payments to go towards the purchase price so that you might be able to fully purchase the item at the end of the lease.
  • To avoid unwanted legal effects, you might want to consider hiring a lawyer to help you with the equipment lease before agreeing to it.

Do some research before leasing equipment and decide if this is the best option for your business.

If you are interested in Overland Park office space for lease, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to set up a tour of an affordable office space in Overland Park!


6 Tips for Managing the To-Do List in Your Office Space in Overland Park, KS

Small businesses can be a lot of work and it is easy to get overwhelmed quickly.  Whether you are training employees, keeping an eye on your future, or learning how to do new things, there are never enough hours in the day.  Check out these tips to help you maximize your productivity and keep a little of your sanity, as suggested in the article, “6 Steps to Managing Your Overwhelming Workload“:

  1. Prioritize.  Your to-do list will always be long, and you will almost never get it all done in a day.  Accept this fact, and begin to prioritize the most urgent and important tasks.  Be careful to make sure that what is urgent does not always edge out things that are important to stay on top of in the long term.
  2. Develop Discipline.  The reality of being a small business owner often entails sacrificing pleasure for work.  If your business is something you want to be a priority, be aware that often you cannot choose the things you would like to do over the things you need to do.
  3. Practice Time Management.  Limit the time you spend on certain tasks so that you stay sharp and focused.  Be aware of what tasks make you less productive the more time you spend on them and limit your time on these projects.
  4. Delegate!  Stick to tasks that are in your skill set, and outsource ones that are not.  Do not waste your time tinkering with a computer for several days when you could call in a technician to do the job in a half hour.  Though we are often reluctant to give critical tasks to others, delegating projects and problems that can be dealt with by other capable hands can free you up to do more productive things.
  5. Don’t Be a Perfectionist.  This does not mean accepting mediocrity, but do not slave over projects that will not produce any more value no matter how much time you spend on them.  It is frustrating, a waste of energy, and takes your time away from other tasks that do need more work to produce value.
  6. Figure Out Your Pace.  If you are going to be the primary worker in your small business for several years, you will need to develop a pace that you can sustain for this time.  However, sometimes there will be short periods when you might have to work at 110% to get your business through a critical time.  This can be a successful strategy if you are able to generate some revenue, hire more employees and then delegate so that you can scale back.

Work hard, but also learn to work smart!

Give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park a call at 913-685-4100 if you are interested in Overland Park office space for lease!