Business News Daily Features Tenant Advisory Group

Business News Daily _ Tenant Advisory Group

Business News Daily asked Bill Himmelstein about the effectiveness of office designs for small companies. While many small business owners assume that open offices are the top choice for all workers today, it may cause issues in some organizations.

You can read Bill Himmelstein’s commentary here.

Is Your Office Space Ready for Gen Z?

Is Your Office Space Ready for Gen Z _ Tenant Advisory Group

Conversations about what future employees want out of office design are no longer just about Millennials. Instead, the focus has changed to the newest members of the workforce: Generation Z. Corporations must begin to think about their future employee’s work styles to help them and their businesses succeed. Here are a few things companies need to consider to cater to the next generation’s office design preferences.

Acoustic Control and Privacy

Gen Z is competitive and determined, which means they work well when given designated areas of privacy for phone calls, meetings or deep focus work. In fact, roughly eight percent of the incoming generation wants an open office design, despite its popularity. (Likely due to the lack of privacy in a potentially disruptive environment.) While collaboration is still important, finding enough privacy to be able to complete work without distractions from colleagues or surroundings is a priority.

Natural Light

Daylight has been found to be the number one natural feature desired in workspaces, and it is vital for all employees, especially Gen Z. Designs that increase the amount of natural light promotes both health and work potential. Several studies indicate that employees who sit next to windows receive a more restful night of sleep than those who do not. Moving common areas next to windows with the most light, rather than containing light to private rooms, allows for maximum exposure for employees.

Financial and Mental Wellness Programs

Generation Z is mindful of what constitutes a healthy employer-employee relationship, which means they gravitate toward organizations that care about their workforce. Since student loan debt is a major focus for this generation, implementing programs that offer financial guidance will be a significant draw. Additionally, mental wellness initiatives will directly impact employee happiness and productivity, as well as attract new talent.

With the new generation comes new trends. Since the next workforce generation is almost here, corporations need to begin preparations now to remain ahead of the trends. Companies that fall behind the trends will lose out on the next wave of talent.

Networking Season is in Full Bloom

April Networking Blog _ Tenant Advisory Group

The April executives networking events brought together many new entrepreneurs to grow their networks and walk away with tangible knowledge. The Executives Breakfast and Luncheon created a convenient environment for entrepreneurs to offer valuable advice and build strategic connections.

At the Executives Breakfast, guests were prompted with the question: What are your best practices surrounding networking? Here are a few of the many responses:

Morrie Elstein, Vice President, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors: Take the high road and become a trusted partner. Everyone is always thinking about how to grow their business, and who their next client will be. Separate yourself by offering to help them grow their company. “How can I help you grow your business?”

Mark Meyer, President, ICI Staffing/E&M Development: Follow through on what you say you’re going to do, as it helps build your reputation and credibility. Also, reconnect with those who have supported you in the past. He jokingly added, “Attach yourself to Bill Himmelstein’s hip!”

Bill Himmelstein offered another discussion question at the Executives Luncheon: Most pivotal experience that has changed you and shaped the way you do business? Here are a few of their responses:

Dan Porcaro, CEO, PSM Partners: Listened to the CEO of the company who had a formula for integrating companies with an 80/20 rule. Fire 75% of clients and then over serve your current clients. About 90% of revenue comes from the top 25% of clients. Focus assets on the most essential revenue streams.

Joanna Sobran, CEO, MXOtech: Read the Pumpkin Plan. If you fill your land with lots of little pumpkins, then the big ones will have no room to grow.

Thank you to all who attended!

If you’re a business owner with 20+ employees and are interested in attending future TAG events, please email Bill Himmelstein at


TAG Executives Breakfast Guest List

Bruce Billmeyer, Partner, BCU Risk Advisors

Andrew Boron, President, Clear Spring

Steve Brown, CEO, Stratego Partners

Harry Cendrowski, CEO, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors

Jake Dayan, CEO, Community Tax

Morrie Elstein, Vice President, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors

Dave Feder, Principal, Office Revolution

Jon Fieldman, Managing Partner, Fieldman Law Group

Ben Fornell & Mike Dawson, Co Founder & CEO, Shurpa, Inc.

Keith Glantz, President, Glantz Design

Kevin Krumm, CEO, Objective Paradigm

Josh Lucas-Falk, Managing Director, Moment

Ben Olson, Managing Director, Forrest Capital Management

Mike O’Meara, CEO, O’Meara Capital Group

Paul Pagel, CEO, 8th Light

John Posner, CEO, Harrison & Held

Victoria Rock, CEO, Victoria Legal & Corporate Services

Joanna Sobran, CEO, MXO Tech

Craig Stout, CEO, Stout Risius Ross

Jon Talty, Chairman & CEO, OKW Architects

Robert R. Topping, CFA, CEO, Topping Capital

Ivan Vislavskiy, CEO, Comrade Web Agency

Rob Wilson, President, The Wilson Companies

Nick Zagotta, Managing Partner, Roberts McGivney Zagotta


TAG Executives Luncheon Guest List

Jeff Asperger- Meltzer, Purtille and Stelle, LLC

Daniel R. Bryant- Chief Executive Officer Sheridan Road Financial, LLC

Elizabeth Colón – President and CEO of Metaphrasis Language & Cultural Solutions

Zak Dabbas- Co Founder & CEO of Punchkick Interactive

Morrie Elstein

Slava Ruderman- President of Onward Technologies

Donna Salvatore- CEO Magalytics

Marne Smiley- CEO Bumper Lanes

Karen Todd- Principal Aurore Financial Group

Ryan Ventura- CEO of VEO Solutions

How to Best Time Your Office Occupancy

How to Best Time Your Office Occupancy _ Tenant Advisory Group

When moving to a new office space, there is quite a bit to consider to ensure the process goes smoothly. One area that often gets overlooked is transition timing and lease overlap. However, this is a key point to be aware of, as a disruption or delay in the build out process can mean operating without an office space for an unknown period of time.

Before the office packing begins, verify the new space will be ready when you need it. Check in with the landlord regularly to ensure the process is moving forward at the agreed upon pace. Internal processes – especially if there is construction involved – can take longer than originally anticipated, which is why an established and realistic timeline is crucial.

It is not unreasonable to establish consequences should the space not be delivered when promised. This will need to be written into the initial Letter of Intent and confirmed to be in the lease prior to signing. If key milestones in the buildout process are not met, then the incoming tenant should receive free rent, a push back on the commencement date, compensatory damages or other lease concessions.

In addition to including consequences in the contract, the tenant should reach out to their current landlord to prepare for the worst case scenario. Create a contract with the current landlord for a month-to-month lease just in case the new space is not ready in time. This allows for peace of mind with the business, as you won’t be left without a space in which to operate.

Landlords traditionally prefer to use their own recommended vendors when it comes to space renovations or construction. While they may prefer to work with contractors they know and trust, too often the reason they restrict outside work is because they receive a portion of the costs. However, this makes the landlord more accountable, which makes contract negotiations even more important. A licensed broker will know how to verify the landlord’s quotes and ask for their itemized breakdown of the associated costs. Additionally, good brokers will have their own set of preferred vendors who can review the quote to ensure it is accurate.

As a general rule, avoid moving spaces more than one month in advance, as it often makes no financial sense to leave the currently leased space to move into the new one early. Despite the free rent of moving in early, the old space is still accruing rental costs. Ideally, move into the new space around one month in advance to allow for a seamless transition.

Spring Networking with Tenant Advisory Group

March Networking _ TAG

Insightful discussions bloomed at the Tenant Advisory Group Executives Breakfast and Luncheon in March. At each of these events, entrepreneurs offered valuable advice prompted by a discussion question led by Bill Himmelstein.

At the Executives Breakfast, guests were asked: How do you help your employees be more successful? Here are a few of the many responses.

Jeff Bartelt, CEO, MidwestHR: You should communicate your vision for your company. Employees have a personal vision of where they want to be, so it’s important to align your visions and make sure to share goals and values at the beginning.

Steve Krull, CEO & Co-Founder, BeFoundOnline: A company’s culture can’t be contrived. You must put your values on the wall and wear them on your sleeve, as well as follow through on your promises. Being successful means believing in yourself and the people around you.

Entrepreneurs in attendance at the Executives Luncheon shared their advice based on the discussion question: What does success look like to you? Here are a few of their responses.

Steve Gustafson, Managing Partner, Gould & Ratner: It’s about creating ongoing relationships. The key to success is to be a long-term team member for their clients.

Rob Sprague, COO, Smart Lift: For a company to be profitable, build a healthy culture that develops people to be successful in business and life. Lead from your strengths and outsource your weaknesses.

Thank you to all who attended!

If you’re a business owner with 20+ employees and are interested in attending future TAG events, please email Bill Himmelstein at


TAG Executives Breakfast Guest List
Jeff Bartelt, CEO, MidwestHR
Martha Bell, Principal, Tilton, Kelly & Bell

Bruce Billmeyer, Partner, BCU Risk Advisors

Richard Carden, Managing Partner, MBHB
Bob Domenz, CEO, Avenue

Brad Farris, CEO, Anchor Advisors

Steve Gustafson, Managing Partner, Gould & Ratner

William D. Himmelstein, CCIM, CNE, Founder & CEO, Tenant Advisory Group, LLC
Rhonda Jensen, President, Jensen Litigation Services

Steve Krull, CEO & Co-Founder, BeFoundOnline

Joe Liberty, COO, Better Business Planning

Larry Marin, Vice President, Near North National Title

Chris Miller, Managing Partner, Kelley Kronenberg
John Naughton, Vice President, Juneau Associates

Adriano Pedrelli, Impact Polymer LLC

Mark Rickmeier, CEO, Table XI

Ken Thompson, Managing Director, Level X Consulting

Keith Verisario, President, Wine Sergi Insurance

Haskel Weiss, President, TWG Benefits
Jonathan Weiss, Managing Partner, Levin Ginsburg

TAG Executives Luncheon Guest List

Joe Alioto, Managing Director, Madison Street Capital

Stuart Baum, President, Large Pond

Laurel Bellows, Managing Partner, Bellows Law Group

David Diamond, Managing Partner, Kutchins, Robins & Diamond

Morrie Elstein, Vice President, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors

Steve Gustafson, Managing Partner, Gould & Ratner

William D. Himmelstein, CCIM, CNE, Founder & CEO, Tenant Advisory Group, LLC
Tom Madura, Controller, Carroll Seating Company

Jordan Matyas, CEO, 1818 Advocacy Group

Dan Porcaro, CEO, PSM Partners

Jonathan Rothstein, SVP, MB Financial Bank

Mohammed Saleem, President, AES Services

Joanna Sobran, CEO, MXOtech

Rob Sprague, COO, Smart Lift

Jordan Weiner, President, Internet Consulting Inc

Bill Himmelstein Visits WGN Radio

Bill Himmelstein Visits WGN Radio _ Tenant Advisory Group

Tenant Advisory Group’s own Bill Himmelstein Bill Himmelstein was invited on WGN Radio’s Startup Showcase to talk about TAG and the commercial real estate industry.

You can listen to the full interviewhere.

Will This Be Chicago’s Next Top Neighborhood?

Will This Be Chicago’s Next Top Neighborhood_ _ Tenant Advisory Group

The Clybourn Corridor has been the focus of many discussions lately, as well as a primary target for major developers like R2 Developments and Sterling Bay. The stretch of land was once an industrial hotbed, but now it is experiencing a renaissance as the area transforms from industrial parks to retail, office and residential buildings. As the Clybourn Corridor continues to develop, it leads to an interesting question: does it have what it takes to become a top Chicago neighborhood?

Pro: Cheap Land

Cheaper land now translates to lower rents in the long run. This is extremely attractive for developers and businesses seeking relief in rent prices without being too far removed from bustling downtown Chicago. Clybourn offers a great location without the inflation.

Pro: Local Talent

The Clybourn Corridor is conveniently located near the popular neighborhoods where young, tech-savvy talent want to live. C.H. Robinson, a third party logistics and supply chain management provider, is hoping to take advantage of this central location by building its new headquarters in the Clybourn Corridor. By taking livability into account, as well as building a brand new headquarters with modern amenities, C.H. Robinson has positioned itself to win over Millennial and Gen Z talent.

Pro: Well-Connected Landlords

Many businesses in Lincoln Park, Old Town and River North find themselves stuck with inexperienced landlords from small- and medium-sized leasing companies who don’t have many benefits to offer their tenants. As large leasing groups like R2 and Sterling Bay moving into the area, these local businesses know they’ll benefit greatly from the high-quality service and negotiation possibilities these expert landlords consider standard in their business dealings.

Pro: Tons of Hype

The Clybourn Corridor is already making a name for itself with the redevelopment of the Finkl & Son’s steel plant, the C.H. Robinson headquarters, the rapid purchasing of land and many other projects on the horizon. Additionally, the transformation of the corridor is being fueled by the City of Chicago changing the area’s zoning restrictions to allow residential buildings, as well as the amenities offered in nearby neighborhoods and along the corridor itself.

The Clybourn Corridor has all the markings of a popular neighborhood: big-name developers, an influx of businesses, popular shopping centers, restaurants and the abundance of entertainment attractions, such as New City. While the potential exists, the area is still in the early stages of development. The Clybourn Corridor is a place businesses should watch closely as it continues to mature.

February Small Business Networking With TAG

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February brought more than just snow this year. Tenant Advisory Group presented phenomenal networking opportunities for local business owners. Entrepreneurs across numerous industries gathered to expand their networks and find collaborative partnerships to grow their companies.

Both the monthly breakfast and luncheon saw valuable advice shared based on the discussion question: What’s the best way you’ve recently found new growth opportunities? Here are a few of the many responses:

Joanna Sobran, CEO of MXOtech: We used to do inbound marketing, but it stopped working. We hired a sales team, along with a coach, to buildout a sales playbook and processes to help hire a sales team.

Jonathan Rothstein, Senior Vice President, MB Financial Bank: I love finding ways to make my client’s lives easier, and one way I do that is through keeping the clients best interest at heart. We employ a marketing program called CORE; it breaks down the numbers to building a business and wants to be part of a client’s joint chief of staff.

Dan Porcaro, CEO, PSM Partners: There are ten different ways to sell, but you need to track them all. The best one is networking, as partners are great at spurring growth.

Thank you to all who attended!

If you’re interested in attending future TAG events, please email Bill Himmelstein at

TAG Executives Breakfast Guest List

Steve Brown, President, Stratego

Andrea Fox, CEO, Cloud Dental Marketing

Dan Gloede, CEO, Hatch Loyalty

John Gotschall, CEO, Coach Financial

Rick Gray, Chief Executive Officer, TalentRISE

Richard Grossi, CEO,Kensium Solutions

Jerry Holisky, Managing Partner, AGDG

Rhonda V. Jensen, President, Jensen Litigation Solutions

Scott Kitun, CEO, Technori

Craig Lowder, President, MainSpring Sales Group LLC

Anna Maria Viti-Welch, President, Guy Vitti Insurance

Larry Marin, VP, Near North National Title

Chris Miller, Managing Partner, Kelley Kronenberg

Scott Nicholson, CEO, KindredOnore,LLC

Garrick Nielsen, Partner, Oxford Bank

Grigory Pekarsky, Managing Broker/Partner, Vesta Preferred Realty

Graham Peck, Founder, The Alpha Group

Dan Porcaro, CEO, PSM Partners

Mark Rittmanic, CEO, ForteOne

Keith Verisario, President, Wine Sergi Insurance Group


TAG Executives Luncheon Guest List

Stuart Baum, President, Large Pond

Doug Bax, Managing Partner, Williams Bax & Saltman

Laurel Bellows, Managing Partner, Bellows Law Group

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz, CEO, JJR Marketing

Melanie DeCaprio, President, New Sky Strategies

David Diamond, Managing Partner, Kutchins Robbins & Diamond

Bernard Dier, President, Midwest Business Consulting

Morrie Elstein, VP, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors

Erin Inman, President, Primera Engineering

Mindi Knebel, CEO, Kaizen Health

Margaret Pagel, VP, Sales & Marketing

Dan Porcaro, CEO, PSM Partners

Kim Robinson, President, Frontline

Ed Rossini, President, Palmer Printing

Jonathan Rothstein, SVP, MB Financial Bank

Jay Rudman, CEO, TopStepTrader

Joanna Sobran, CEO, MXOtech

Tim Webb, CIO & MP, RCM Wealth Advisors

How to Spot a Desirable Landlord

How to Spot a Desirable Landlord _ Tenant Advisory Group

The landlord is an integral part of the commercial real estate leasing experience, which is why this person or entity needs to factor into any final decisions. A lot can be revealed about a landlord by the way they handle the negotiation process, as this is a window into how they treat existing tenants. For example, someone who tries to use bait-and-switch tactics isn’t going to change once you become a legally-bound renter! An easy way to tell a good landlord from a bad one is to identify if they value quality tenants over maximized profits.

Communication is Key

Good landlords are transparent and responsive, especially when they want you as a tenant. Ideally, a future landlord will stay in communication regardless of the situation, providing explanations for any lapses in response. Remember, there are most likely other deals in process that may prevent you from winning the space. However, a worthwhile leasing professional will work with a prospective renter to find a different available space.

Well-Capitalized is Ideal

When a landlord has a large amount of money to negotiate with, they are referred to as “well-capitalized.” There are a variety of reasons why a landlord is flush with capital, such as a recently refinanced building, or having a REIT or sovereign wealth fund as owners. Regardless of the source of funding, this means they are able to offer larger concessions in the form of free rent or tenant improvement allowances. In addition to incentive packages, well-capitalized landlords are able to invest more money back into improving the building. Independently-owned operators typically don’t have access to the large amount of funds needed to pay for a tenant’s buildout or even fix ongoing problems properly or in a timely manner.

Professionals are Best

Tenant Representatives are generally well liked by successful landlords as they work with all parties involved to ensure terms are met, stipulations are understood and proper channels are followed. The quality of business a tenant representative brings to the table – high-quality ancillary professionals – often encourages landlords to make more concessions on a deal with either a current or new tenant.

However, short-sighted landlords can become concerned about paying a broker to renew a tenant or acquire new business. These owners don’t take into account the long-term benefits, rather than the short-term costs. It demonstrates a potential unwillingness to pay to keep the building in good shape, repair the elevator or HVAC or clean the windows and building. If a landlord pinches pennies now, they will surely react poorly down the road when something doesn’t go their way.

The lowest price option is not always the best choice, as it commonly comes with a lack of amenities, service, upkeep and concessions. While lower rent is attractive, there is much more value derived from concession packages. Additionally, if a business uses its own money for a buildout then they won’t have that capital available to invest in the business, making it a very costly way to use available funds.

Landlords gain a lot of value when they sign new tenants or retain existing ones, especially if the building is up for sale, and good landlords know a broker can help them do exactly that to increase the value of their building.

Tenant Advisory Group’s Penthouse Soiree

Tenant Advisory Group’s Penthouse Soiree _ Tenant Advisory Group

Tenant Advisory Group kicked off its 10th year in business with a fantastic event at Gentleman’s Cooperative this month. The evening was filled with food, drinks, entertainment and rewarding networking opportunities.

Guest List:

Anil Ahuja, President, CCJM Engineers

Sandy Asanovic, The Simons Group

Amber Autumn, Business Development Summit Design + Build, LLC

Sam Barhoumeh, Managing Director, Ready Networks LLC

Stuart Baum, President, LargerPond Marketing

Laurel Bellows, Founder, The Bellows Law Group

Bob Berland, President & CEO, Berland Communications

Brian P. Brammeier, CEO, HIGHERGROUND Managed Services

Don Bora, Cofounder and Principal of Technology, Eight Bit Studios

Fletcher Boyle, Chicagoland Smile Group

Steve Brown, President, Stratego Partners

Richard Carden, Managing Partner, MBHB

Mason Cole, Founding Partner, Cole Sadkin LLC

Melissa Costello, Founder, MELISSACOSTELLO.COM

Bejan Douraghy, Founder & CEO, Artisan Talent

Ric Edinberg, Executive Director, INSITUM US

Jonathan Eisler, Managing Director, Perspectives Organizational Consulting Group, President, Association of Consultants to Nonprofits

Morrie Elstein, VP, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors

Eric Feldman, Founder, Eric Feldman & Associates, P.C.

Jon Fieldman, Esq., Fieldman Law Group, P.C.

Dr. Gloria Garguilo, Owner, Garguilo Periodontics

Chris Gersch, Founder & CEO, Verde Solutions

Matt Gibbs, Founder, UPshow

Adam Glazer, Managing Partner, SFNR

Grant Gochnauer, Co-Founder & CTO, Vodori Inc

Rick Gray, CEO, Talent Rise

Mark Grazman, Strategic Business Development Consultant, Booksy

Michael Haeberle, The Patterson Law Firm

Adam Hirsen, CEO, UPshow

John Paul Hills, Hills Capital Management & Wintrust Commercial Banking

Rachel Horvath, COO, Move-tastic!

Pete Horvath, Founder, Move-tastic!

Robert Jacobi, President, Arc Technology Group

Ryan Jacobs, Founder, CloudSpotter

Andre Janus, CEO, Cristaux International

Leonard Kang, VP Solutions-Midwest People Driven Solutions

Jefferey Ogden Katz, The Patterson Law Firm

Lina Khalil, Co-Owner, Fetch PR

Richard Kincaid, Founder, Sagegreenlife

Josh Kritzler, President & Co-Founder, PCGSportsDesk

Stephen I. Lane, Law Offices of Lane & Lane, LLC

Michael LaVista, CEO, Caxy Interactive

Eddie Lou, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, Shiftgig

David Macknin, President & CEO, Alper Services

Michael Maddock, CEO & Founding Partner, Maddock Douglas

Mark Meyer, CEO, ICI Staffing

Chris Miller, Managing Partner, Kelley Kronenberg

Michael Millhouse, President, BridgePoint Technologies

Bryan Minier, Managing Partner, Lathrop Gage

Heather Morrison, CEO, MAPS

Tyler Mose, CEO, Indirap Productions

Mark Nadolski, Founder, VES Creative

Scott Nicholson, Partner, KindredOnore,LLC

Dave Norris, Chief Operating Officer, RedRidge Finance Group

CJ Parrilli, CFO, Cristaux International

Adriano Pedrelli, President & CEO, ImpactPolymer LLC

Phil Penton, CEO, Xcite Advertising

Daniel Porcaro, CEO, Porcaro Stolarek Mete Partners LLC

PJ Rashid, Managing Partner, Popskull

Paul Raya, Cook Alex

Ron Repking, Founding Partner, Sriracha Partners

Gregg Salkovitch, Managing Partner, Right Choice Resources

Tim Schumm, Managing Partner, Carver Peterson Consulting

Aalap Shah, Partner & Co-Founder, SoMe Connect

Sangeet Shah, Owner, Midwest Express Clinics

Mike Shannon, Co-Founder & CEO, Packback

Adam Silverman, Managing Partner, Adelman & Gettleman

Josh Strauss, Pekin Singer Strauss

Dave Stolarek, COO, Porcaro Stolarek Mete Partners LLC

Robert Szafarowicz, VP of Buzz, Cristaux International

Bob Tangredi, CEO, PHSI

Jim Vaselopulos, Founder & CEO, Rafti Advisors

Ivan Vislovskiy, Co-Founder and CEO, Comrade Web Agency

Anna Maria Viti-Welch, President, The Viti Companies

Jeremy Waitzman, Partner, Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer LLP

Tony Wilkins, Mentor, Junto Institute, CE), AEWilkins Holdings

Bryan Wilson, Kogut & Wilson LLC

Will Wright, Managing Partner,Dunmore Capital Partners

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