TAG’s August Networking Adventures


TAG’S AUGUST NETWORKING ADVENTURES - Tag

Tenant Advisory Group had an exciting August, hosting multiple events including an Executive’s Breakfast, Executive’s Luncheon and Networking Boat Ride. TAG is committed to making connections that matter and hosts these events for the purpose of helping those in our network grow their businesses by coming together in relaxed, intimate environments designed to help build new strategic relationships.

Thanks to all who attended!

TAG Executives Breakfast Guest List

Eddie Lou, CEO, Co-Founder, Shiftgig; Rhonda V. Jensen, President, Jensen Litigation Solutions; Keith Glantz, President and Chief Creative Officer, Glantz Design; James Taylor, Managing Partner, Taylor Group; Stephen G. Daday, Klein, Daday, Aretos & O’Donoghue, LLC; John Fakhoury, CEO, Framework Communications; David Crowell, Managing Director, CEO, rmc International; Nick Espinosa, Chief Security Fanatic, Security Fanatics & BSSi2 LLC; Craig Castelli, CEO, Saber Hill Advisors; Mark Meyer, President, ICI Staffing; Michael Erin, CEO, Progressive Management; Fletcher Boyle, VP of Business Development and Strategy, Chicagoland Smile Group; Amber Autumn, Business Development, Summit Design + Build LLC; Daniel Porcaro, Managing Partner, Porcaro Stolarek Mete Partners, LLC; Adam J. Glazer, Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenber, LLC; Tyler E. Mose, CEO, Indirap Productions; Jim Anderson, President, Switchfast; Andrea Fox, Managing Director,

TAG Executives Luncheon Guest List

Stephanie Storkel, COO, Pedersen & Houpt; David Diamond, Partner, Kutchins Robbins & Diamond; Haskel Weiss, President, TWG Benefits; Jennifer Masi, Partner, Torque Digital; Bridget Brennan, Founder and CEO, Female Factor; Dan Walsh, CEO, Aurora Management Partners; Steve Dinelli, CEO, Blackbird Garage; Rich Bartell, CFO, 8th Light; Tom Patterson, Managing Partner, Patterson Law; Adam Glazer, Managing Partner, Schoenberg, Finkel, Newman & Rosenberg LLC; Brian Gurber, Partner, Pokorny & Marks LLC; Lisa Mirabelli, Business Performance Advisor, Insperity; Morrie Elstein, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors; Joanna Sobran, CEO, MXOTech; Jonathan Rothstein, Senior VP, MB Bank; Colleen Warner, CEO, LulaFit; Laurel Bellows, Managing Partner, Bellows and Bellows; Margaret Pagel, Partner, 8th Light; Irwin Cohen, CEO, Affiliated Equities.

TAG Networking Boat Ride Guest List

Josh Golden, CEO, Table XI; Tim Schumm, Founder, Carver Peterson; Joanna Sobran, CEO, MXOTech; Bruce Johnstone COO, Apex Design/Build; Dave LeTourneau, COO, Gregg Communications; Jordan Matyas, Managing Partner, 1818 Advocacy Group; Mark Meyer, CEO, ICI Staffing, E&M Development; Jim Anderson, President, Switchfast; Tim Smith, Managing Principal and COO, Catalyst Consulting; Tom Goldblatt, Founder, Ravinia Capital; Larry Levy President and Founder, CFO Options Inc.; Amber Autumn, Business Development, Summit Design + Build, LLC; Scott Nicholson CEO, KindredOnore; Tyler Mose, CEO, Indirap Productions; Pierce Hutchings, Partner, Club1 Hotels; Melanie DeCaprio, CEO, New Sky Strategies; Steven Thomas, CEO, BizIntro; Morrie Elstein, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors; Dr. Gabriel Martinez-Diaz, Dermatologist, CompHealth; Jonathan Rothstein, Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking, MB Financial Bank; Dave Stolarek, Partner, PSM Partners; Greg Fenton, CEO, VirDocs; Samuel P. Gussis, Managing Partner, Gussis Lichtenfeld & Alexander LLC; Grant Gochnauer, Co-Founder and CTO, Vodori Inc; Sanjay Sharma, Co-Founder, Bridge; George DePalma, CEO, DePalma Group Architects and Design; Andrew D. Bell, Spain, Spain and Varnet, P.C.; Kaitlin H. Reimann, Co-Founder, uBack; Sam Barhoumeh, Managing Director, ReadyNetworks; Joel Wicks, CFO, Belly Card; Brian Kasal, CEO, Four Star Wealth Advisors; Jay Breeden, COO, ACT Dental Practice Coaching; Becka Bates, CEO, Bates Moran Design; Michael Ward, Partner, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila; Doug Harris, CEO, Kaleidoscope Group; Pete Cunningham, CEO, CCO Healthcare Partners; Elizabeth Peterson, CEO and Founder, Eastwood Group; Stuart Baum, CEO, Larger Pond; Alap Shah, Co-Founder, SoMe Connect; Paul Raya, CEO, Cook Alex Law; Angelika Coghlan, Founder, Success Catalyst; Stefan Birrer, CEO and Founder, Phoenix 2P; Brendan Flanigan, CEO and Founder, Smark Labs; Jim Mattei, Sandler Sales

Tenant Advisory Group’s Affiliate Architect


New Architect Affiliate - Tag

We are excited to debut our newest affiliate architect, George DePalma of the DePalma Group. This partnership opens up new opportunities for our clients to take advantage of elite space planning, architectural services and interior designers. Tenant Advisory Group is able to provide a variety of new services to help your business thrive.

About DePalma Group

Since 1977, our professional team of Corporate and Retail Strategists, Architects, Interior Designers, Space Planners, Graphic Designers and Visual Merchandisers have worked together as the DePalma Group, providing comprehensive, integrated service and innovative solutions for business and public spaces. The DePalma Group is dedicated to providing highly personal service from a proactive and focused multi-disciplined staff.

Expand Your Office Space to the Great Outdoors


EXPAND YOUR OFFICE SPACE TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS - Tag - Blog Header

Companies are always tweaking their work environments to boost productivity and employee satisfaction, but are they running out of ways to change the office? Not yet. Businesses are electing to create outdoor office spaces to help staff relax and reconnect with nature. However, are outdoor office spaces a good idea?

The Perks

A well-designed outdoor office space makes for an effective recruiting tool, attracting top talent to the unique design. It increases employee satisfaction, reduces turnover and boosts productivity. Allowing employees to wander outside to work will give them more of a feeling of freedom, exposing them to much-needed natural lighting and fresh air. It can also contribute to the company culture, as an outdoor workspace offers a relaxed, casual way to connect across departments.

The Pitfalls

Weather can be unpredictable and sometimes brutal. Outdoor workplaces will be unusable for a large chunk of the year, due to cold, heat, wind, rain, etc. Another downside of an outdoor workspace is it can be more difficult to keep secure. There is also a fine line to walk when creating an outdoor workspace, as it can quickly become a distraction if it is too recreation-centric.

The Right Mix

If executed properly, an outdoor workspace can add a fun, unique dimension to an office. A large majority of the office should remain indoors while still incorporating outdoor elements such as natural lighting and plants. Well-developed indoor spaces will always be necessary, especially for roles that demand an environment with limited noise and distractions.

Corporations are finally thinking outside of the box and creating outdoor workspaces where employees can elect to work in a new setting or simply recharge. With the reversal in workspace design comes a number of benefits and pitfalls. However, as with most office designs, the best layout incorporates a mixture of styles to cater to every unique employee.

Adjust Your Office Layout, Increase Employee Productivity


Adjust Your Office Layout, Increase Employee Productivity - Tenant Advisory Group

Increasing employee productivity has been a challenge faced since the early days of the traditional office space. Unfortunately, many companies overlook a simple yet crucial solution: office layout. Improving the overall design of a space can do wonders in improving corporate culture, leading to better productivity.

Small Changes for Huge Impact

Creating a healthy environment is essential to increasing productivity, as it impacts both the physical and mental health of your employees. The first step is to make sure the office is physically comfortable by maintaining a reasonable temperature, comfortable office furniture and adequate lighting. Consider natural sunlight and plants to make the room more approachable and improve the overall mental health of workers. (Poor lighting can cause people to feel more tired, experience eyestrain and can even amplify the effects of depression.) When planning the design of an office, it’s also important to consider the furniture, as your employees will be using it in a full-time capacity.

Distraction-Free Zones

To foster a comfortable atmosphere in your office, limit noise in designated areas so employees may concentrate. While the open office layout is feasible for some industries, the best design will incorporate zones dedicated to employees who need to be on the phone as well as workspaces that focus on minimizing distractions. Additionally, place noisy office appliances and equipment in a separate area to decrease noise.

Adaptive Workstations

Rather than creating an office that is either all cubicles or one open room, design an environment that incorporates the advantages of both styles. Designated workstations will give your employees the benefit of an organized, private work environment, while an open area will promote collaboration and camaraderie. An adaptive workplace will also allow workers to find an area that best suits their current project to help their individual productivity.

The design, layout and future planning of an office is critical to the success of a business, as it can eliminate a variety of problems and induce stronger results for the company. With so much to consider when searching for a new office, working with a knowledgeable, professional broker can save you time and money, while achieving better results.

Bill Himmelstein Moderates Panel at TechWeek


TechWeek 2017 - Tenant Advisory Group (1)

At the 2017 Chicago TechWeek, Bill Himmelstein was a moderator for the Building Company Equity panel at the TechWeek Chicago Launch Startup Showcase.

Launch is the place to see exciting companies pitch, and to learn about different business models in the trending, local tech ecosystem. This event is the place where future hero companies get discovered, and it provides an atmosphere for early startups to meet mentors, obtain professional evaluation and global recognition. It features the best entrepreneurs and their businesses in front of regional and local angel and VC investors.

 

Techweek photos 2017 - Tenant Advisory Group

Techweek photos 2017 - Tenant Advisory Group (1)

New Services Offered by Tenant Advisory Group


PSM Partners - Tag

We are proud to announce our newest partnership with Dan Porcaro of PSM Partners. This exclusive partnership enables us to offer you premium phone and data brokerages services, as well as cloud services. Through this new affiliation, TAG will be able to provide even more services and solutions to help grow your business. Click here to learn more about Dan Porcaro.

About PSM Partners

Porcaro Stolarek Mete Partners, LLC (PSM) is a business and technology consultancy located in downtown Chicago. They focus their business strategy efforts on strategy development and strategy execution for firms under 500 million in revenue. Their technology consulting offerings center around getting small and mid-sized businesses to the cloud, managed services and IT strategy consulting. PSM also has a carrier services group that brokers voice and data services for their clients.

Overcrowding an Office is Bad for Business


OVERCROWDING AN OFFICE IS BAD FOR BUSINESS - Tenant Advisory Group

When building your office floor plan, it’s always better to have more room than not enough space. Packing people into an office lowers employee satisfaction and can lead to a counterproductive work environment, which may negate any money you save in rent. By offering your staff more free-space and a comfortable office, not only will you leave room for growth, but morale will maintain a healthy level, leading to a happier and more efficient business.

Office Environment

The structure of an office plays many roles from safety (overcrowded spaces can block exits) and employee happiness to an effective recruitment tool. For example, the open office design has become popular among employers and employees in recent years. Originally, the idea was that it promotes collaboration and enhances the energy of the office. However, the reality of this layout is that only a small subset of businesses benefit from it. Oftentimes, this style of office layout amplifies the negative effects of overcrowding, as finding a quiet moment to compose emails, reports or make phone calls can be a challenge. A poorly strategized, overcrowded work environment can have a direct effect on the productivity of a business.

Less Productive Employees

Employees are the lifeblood of any business, and their productivity is directly tied to their happiness. Smaller, packed offices have a negative impact on the mental and physical health of employees. Not only are environmental stressors increased by the higher noise levels and reduced concentration, but funneling employees into a compact space can also increase the risk of communicable illnesses. (This means colds can incapacitate more of your workforce). Additionally, more workplace conflicts can arise from the frustration of a packed, loud environment. More sick days, frustrated workers and a lack of privacy all lead to a decline in employee happiness and productivity.

Prepare for the Future

A strong business model considers the future growth of a company. In order to avoid overcrowding an office, search for an office space that accounts for reasonable projected growth. Oftentimes, an extra ten or twenty percent of office space can prevent a lot of issues from arising. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, it has the potential to provide greater returns in the future by avoiding terminated lease fees, increasing the lifespan of office equipment and better lease terms that come with a longer lease duration. Not only that, but a company that places its employees first with a comfortable work environment will attract more top talent.

Properly building your office for its current population plus future growth will offer many long-term benefits to your business. Increased productivity, safe workspaces and a boost in employee morale all stem from providing employees with a comfortable workspace. Speak with a professional broker when searching for a new office, as they will be able to offer valuable advice that can contribute towards the success of your business.

Three Reasons Why Businesses Are Investing in Chicago


THREE REASONS WHY BUSINESSES ARE INVESTING IN CHICAGO - Tenant Advisory Group

Site Selection magazine has listed Chicago as the best city for corporate investment for the fourth consecutive year. This comes as little surprise with the long list of large corporations that have been moving their headquarters into downtown Chicago. So, what makes this city such an attractive investment for businesses?

Home to Headquarters

Since Google moved to Chicago, a number of other large companies have thrown their hat in the ring, such as McDonald’s, Wilson Sporting Goods, Cars.com and Motorola Solutions. While the stream of corporate giants relocating to Chicago appears to have slowed, other large businesses (Kraft-Heinz, ConAgra and GE) have announced their plans to relocate to downtown Chicago as well. This trend has extended beyond the corporate giants, as World Business Chicago reports that the entire Chicago metro area saw 350 corporate expansions and relocations in 2016.

Top-Tier Talent

Within Chicago’s city limits is one of the country’s largest concentration of universities. Which unsurprisingly leads to 36 percent of people in Chicago earning a four year college degree, compared to the 30 percent national average. Corporations are moving to be closer to where their employees want to live, which allows them to create a greater range of amenities to provide a higher quality of life for their workforce. Compared to California, New York and Boston, Chicago has a low cost of living while maintaining a high caliber quality of life (clean parks, museums, elite restaurant scene, iconic sports teams, etc.).

Good For Business

Chicago leads all major U.S. cities in direct foreign investments, which is a critical element of creating a successful global economy. With the 350 corporate expansions and relocations in 2016, came nearly $2.8 billion in new investments and roughly 14,000 jobs. Chicago is a leader when it comes to business growth, and that doesn’t exclude small businesses. The city of Chicago ranks among the best in the world for tech startups to plant their roots, as Chicago has a reasonable cost of living and cost of operating a company. After three consecutive years as the leader of corporate relocations, more top talent is following. This has helped lift Chicago to become a renowned technology hub, as well as a location for companies and their employees to flourish.

The last four years have been significant for the city of Chicago, as it grows into its role as the nation’s best location to invest. With access to highly educated talent, an elite business community and a leading startup scene, Chicago appears poised for ongoing, long-term success.

What You Need to Know About the FASB Updates


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FASB UPDATES - Tenant Advisory Group

Recently, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) updated their standards effectively changing the way companies must list their lease on their balance sheet. This will undoubtedly have rippling effects on businesses, and the leasing process as a whole. The update has the potential to alter the landscape of the commercial real estate lease.

What’s New?

The FASB updates aim to maintain consistency among accounting practices. The update will make businesses account for the entire value of a lease in year one. While it is purely an effect on paper, bankers, lenders and investors will need to understand the changes that will show up on a company’s ledger. The impact will be felt the most by large businesses, however small- to mid-sized businesses will still be affected. The updates will be implemented as of December, 15 2019 for publicly held companies, and Dec. 15 2020 for privately held companies. While this may seem far down the road, preparations to compensate for the potential change in your business’ ledger should start now.

The Impact

Commercial real estate leases need to be negotiated with the new changes in mind, as the new standard will inflate the debts of a company during the first year of the lease. This could impact compliance with current loans, affect future loan approvals and potentially mislead investors. The mandatory listing of a full lease as a liability will be a challenge for accounting teams of larger corporations who strive to maintain consistent earnings. The new standards may throw a company’s books out of balance, and this will be a major factor to consider when negotiating a lease.

The Advantage of a Professional

A professional broker who is trained in understanding the new FASB regulations will be most effective at negotiating optimal lease terms to minimize the impact on your balance sheet. This will include new ways to structure the base rental rate, timing of rent increases, separating out operating expenses and focusing on expansion rights rather than lease renewals that would leave a larger mark on your financial ledger. The ever-changing policies and guidelines are an important reminder to seek the assistance of a professional broker, such as the ones at Tenant Advisory Group. We work closely with our clients to advise them of the best way to proceed in signing a lease while keeping in mind the various impacts of the new FASB guidelines.

Three Important Aspects of Proper Space Planning


THREE IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF PROPER SPACE PLANNING - Tenant Advisory Group

Organizing the layout of your new office space is about more than just configuring desks — this complex art is actually an important contributor to your overall company culture and happiness! You’ll need to consider important factors like gathering areas, noise level and relaxation stations. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind while planning a new office space.

Remember the Employees

Employees will spend a significant amount of time in the new office, so it’s important to consider their wants and needs to increase workplace satisfaction. A well-designed office should adapt to the needs of the workers, and match the culture of your company. For example, a collaborative business will want an open space and less private offices, as that will promote communication. Space planning can also set aside an area where employees can personalize their work environment to create a sense of ownership and encourage productivity.

Plan for the Future

A company is never done growing, so leaving room for expansion when space planning can save money down the road. Consider how fast growth will happen and how many employees the company may need to accommodate down the road. Don’t forget about storage as well. How much will your company need? Every business has different storage and filing needs, but it is always a critical aspect of a successful office layout.

Attract Top Talent

Proper space planning can create an inviting place to work, allowing you to attract top talent. Everything you can do to increase the quality of life for your employees will be reflected in the productivity of your office. Americans spend almost as much time at the office as they do at home, so building an office space that makes your employees happy is vital to the success of a company. It is definitely worth the extra budget to create an inviting and comfortable work environment.

Companies with several departments may want more than one type of layout within the office, as each department may thrive in different layouts. (Accounting may want cubicles, marketing may want an open floor plan and executives may want private offices). Working with an established broker will give you access to other professionals, such as an architect, who can help design your office layout.

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