Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney During Lease Negotiations


When negotiating a new lease or lease renewal for commercial office space, many business owners and operators believe they can use a trusted family lawyer, IP, tax, corporate or other non-real estate attorney to help mediate terms. While it may be tempting to choose a lawyer you’re familiar with over an expert in real estate, it’s critical to find legal counsel that specializes in real estate law to ensure the best outcome. Together with a skilled broker, a commercial real estate attorney will save clients money and mitigate the risks inherent in any transaction. Here are a few of the most common scenarios during lease negotiation that demonstrate the importance of going with a real estate lawyer.

Prioritizing the Essential Elements

Attorneys that specialize in real estate law know how to prioritize the numerous clauses in a lease and fight for their client on issues of crucial importance. A common trap for lawyers who are unfamiliar with commercial real estate are the provisions dealing with unforeseen incidents or disasters, such as how quickly a landlord is required to repair a space after a fire. While this may seem like an important item to negotiate, there are more urgent areas to focus on, such as hold over rate or relocation language. Attorneys familiar with the intricacies of real estate know that disasters, such as fires, are extremely rare in today’s commercial office buildings. Haggling back and forth for extended periods of time on issues that may never occur only costs a client more money.

Capitalizing on Opportunities

Real estate lawyers know how to take a potentially negative clause in a lease and turn it into a positive opportunity for their client. For example, landlords frequently wish to reserve the right to relocate an existing tenant after a lease has been signed in order to create room for an incoming tenant that requires a larger, contiguous space. Rather than sink a deal over this issue, a real estate attorney will negotiate the terms of the lease so that any relocation will be to a higher floor with better views, with the landlord covering the costs of the move and build-out of the new space.

Learning on the Fly

It’s no secret that legal counsel is costly and work is billable by the hour. Thus, clients shouldn’t want their attorneys to be learning on the job. Unfortunately, this is what often happens when you hire a lawyer that you have a personal relationship with but who has no real estate experience, as they will need to study the new terms. This can also reduce the effectiveness of the broker, whose deal-making prowess can be stifled by an inexperienced attorney. All in all, going with a real estate attorney can save you substantial money on legal fees.

The field of law is much like medicine, in that lawyers specialize in a specific area of expertise. You may trust a long-time general counsel who has helped out in other matters, but working with an attorney who’s well versed in real estate will help mitigate risk, save money and ensure the lease you sign is the best possible deal. Lease negotiations can be complex and contentious, and you’ll want an expert on your side to secure a successful transaction.

Tenant Advisory Group’s Fall Networking Events


Local business leaders gathered at the Executives Breakfast and Luncheon to network with other entrepreneurs and examine a number of topics that are currently affecting their businesses.

During the Executives Breakfast, guests discussed what they were doing to get in front of potential new clients. Here are some of the many responses:

Michael Grace, CEO, Vetted Placements: Networking is key. Go to the nice bars and nice restaurants and meet people. Think outside the box. Don’t hesitate to do cold emails and cold calling. When that doesn’t work, send the overnight FedEx, because people think it’s important.

Gary Breden, Business Performance Advisor, Insperity: Identify who the ideal client is, and then identify who can put you in front of those people. Going to events, developing affiliate programs and channel partners are all important. Build partnerships.

At the Executives Luncheon, participants were posed the question, “What employee-management issues have you struggled with in the past year, and how did you overcome it?” Here are a few of the responses:

Michael Nowak, CFO, ABN Amro: It’s a challenge to inherit a team that was not previously managed. Try to give them opportunities without taking a step backward.

Joseph Antunovich, FAIA, Founder & President, Antunovich Associates : We have a hard time with the lack of loyalty. My advice is to be loyal, be nice and be hardworking. People are our most valuable asset.

Thank you to all who attended!

If you’re a business owner with 20+ employees who is interested in attending future TAG events, please email Bill Himmelstein at Bill@TagCommercialBroker.com.

 

TAG Executives Breakfast Guest List:

Sponsored by Gary Breden, Business Performance Advisor, Insperity

Mason Awtry, President, Rightsize Facility

Kyle Deming, Founder, Wojo Design

Bob Domenz, CEO, Avenue Marketing Strategy & Activation

Atish Doshi, President & Founder, Black Sheep

Charles Falls, President, Demi & Cooper Advertising

Matt Gibbs, Co-Founder, UPshow

Michael Grace, CEO, Vetted Placements

Andy Hulett, Partner, EmPower HR

Jim Kales, CEO, Aspire

Larry Kaul, CEO, Kaul Sales Partners

Richard Kincaid, Founder & Managing Principal, Sage Greenlife

Julie Kolodziej, Managing Partner, Matlin Law Group

Kevin Krumm, CEO, Objective Paradigm

Rich Lenkov, Managing Partner, Bryce Downey & Lenkov

Stan Logan, Chairman, Quality Back Office

Neal McNamara, Co-Founder, Virtas Partners

Chris Miller, Managing Partner, Kelley Kronenberg

Dave Norris, COO, RedRidge Finance Group

Domenic Rinaldi, Managing Partner, Sun Acquisitions

Josh Strauss, CEO, Pekin Singer Strauss

 

TAG Executives Luncheon Guest List:

Joseph M. Antunovich, FAIA, Founder & President, Antunovich Associates  

Jeff Asperger, Partner, Meltzer Purtill & Stelle LLC

Barbara Best, Founding Partner, Capital Strategies Investment Group

Adam DeGroot, President, DeGroot Logistics

Laura Dribin, CEO & Founder, Peritius Consulting

Morrie Elstein, VP, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors

Christopher Gandy, Founder & President, Midwest Legacy Group

Larry Marin, VP, Near North National Title  

Ruth Minnick, Global Business Development Director, Unispace

Michael Nowak, CFO, ABN Amro

Mike Perich, Sewing Supplies Division CEO, Bernina International

Jonathan Rothstein, Senior VP, MB Financial Bank

Tim Schumm, President & Founder, Lucas James Talent Partner

Steve Whittington, Founder & CEO, LifeWorking Enterprises  

Kate Winston, Agency Lead – Strategy & Growth, EnvisionIt  

Tenant Advisory Group’s Fall Networking Events


The September Executives Breakfast and Luncheon inspired a number of great discussions and offered Chicago business leaders the opportunity to broaden their networks.  

At the Executives Breakfast, attendees discussed “creating work-life balance and how to manage work-from-home employees.” Here are some of the many responses:

Mike Maddock, Founder & CEO, Maddock Douglas: You don’t live to work; you work to live. The example the founders set is what the employees will follow. Don’t let people down.

Grant Gochnauer, Co-Founder & CTO, Vodori: Culture is a big component, and founders set the tone of the culture. It depends on where you are in the life of the business. There’s a sense of community, team dynamics and trust that is hard to facilitate when working remotely. Likewise, it’s hard to optimize remote work.

During the Executives Luncheon, guests were asked, “What have you done to create strong cultures in your organization?” Here are a few of the responses:

Michael Reddy, President, Digital Authority Partners: 1. Create shared goals and objectives, as we are trying to avoid silos. We have a few goals set that reach across the entire company. 2. Be good to people and offer full healthcare, strong 401ks and an open vacation policy. Don’t set hours of working. Work hard, remain available, communicate and be transparent to help the team understand priorities and what is on the horizon.

Jeremy Bird, CEO, 270 Strategies: We take space very seriously and have no doors. We are promoting a culture of transparency. We bring everyone together twice a year for company-wide retreats. We have a call every Tuesday for “triple bottom line.” Impact, innovation, and profit.

Thank you to all who attended!

If you’re a business owner with 20+ employees who is interested in attending future TAG events, please email Bill Himmelstein at Bill@TagCommercialBroker.com.

 

TAG Executives Breakfast Guest List:

Chris Beaulieu, Owner, Christopher Beaulieu & Associates

Mike Berntsen, CEO, Penthouse111 & Gentlemen’s Cooperative

Robin Berthier, CEO & CO-Founder, Network Perception

Brian Black, Managing Director, Tenant Advisory Group

Gary Breden, Business Performance Advisor, Insperity

Mason Cole, Managing Partner, Cole Sadkin

Stephen Daday, Managing Partner, Klein, Daday, Aretos & Donoghue

Grant Gochnauer, Co-Founder & CTO, Vodori

Robert Jacobi, President, Arc Technology Group

Jeff Jozwiak, Principal & Co-Founder, Norcon

Greg Kris, Managing Partner, Kris Ampersand

Kevin Krumm, CEO, Objective Paradigm

Andy Mack, CEO, SnapMobile

Mike Maddock, Founder & CEO, Maddock Douglas

Craig Manske, Managing Principal, Development Solutions Inc

Mark Meyer, Founder, E&M Strategic Development

Domenic Rinaldi, Managing Director, Sun Acquisitions

Mitchell Roth, Managing Partner, Much Shelist

Jon Talty, Chairman & CEO, OKW Architects

Tim Van Mieghem, Partner, The ProAction Group

Jim Vaselopulos, Founder, CEO, Rafti Advisors

Jeremy Waitzman, Partner, SFGH

Jessica Wu, COO, Vetted Placements

Igor Zhizhin, President, American Street Capital

 

TAG Executives Luncheon Guest List:

Jim Anfield, Principal, Aptitive

Jeff Asperger, Partner, Meltzer Purtill & Stelle LLC

Jeremy Bird, CEO, 270 Strategies

Fred Bliss, CTO, Aptitive

Timothy Czmiel, Managing Partner, Virtas Partners

Jeff Durocher, CMO, Advance Search International

Daniel Ebert, COO, Greenheart

Morrie Elstien, VP, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors

Jessica Freiburg, Partner, Sassetti LLC

James Gustin, Partner, Fig Media

Rhonda Jensen, President, Jensen Litigation Services

Pat Monahan, CEO, Riverside Graphics

Dan Porcaro, CEO, PSM Partners

Michael Reddy, President, Digital Authority Partners

Mark Rickmeier, CEO, Table XI

Jonathan Rothstein, Senior VP, MB Financial Bank

David Sanchez, Founder & Director, 10 MGMT Agency

Mitch Weinstein,  Managing Partner, Chuhak & Tecson

Executives Networking with Tenant Advisory Group


Every month, Tenant Advisory Group hosts an Executives Breakfast and an Executives Luncheon to provide an opportunity for Chicago business leaders to build new, meaningful connections and discuss topics relevant to running a business.

During the Executives Breakfast, attendees were prompted with the question, “what is the best way to handle growth, and what do you wish you would have done differently?” Here are a few of the lessons shared in response:

Matt Green, Cofounder, VentureScale: Stay in your lane and focus on your role. Make sure you have goals set, and strive to achieve them.

Paul Detlefs, President, The Prestwick Group: Do not underestimate the power of delegation. Hire others to take stuff off your plate to focus your efforts. Consistently make an effort to simplify your business as you grow. Also, constantly look at the right structure for your business – is it the right time to take it to the next level? Should we spin off and outsource departments? Systematize your business and create process sooner.

Scott Nicholson, CEO, KO Business Solutions: I wanted to control everything and didn’t have systems and processes in place fast enough. Develop internal talent that grows with the company by creating a curriculum of classes that internal teams can take to develop.

At the Executives Luncheon, guests were asked, “what are some key lessons learned in growing a customer or client base?”

Zak Dabbas, CEO & Founder, Marco & Associates: Always look ahead to see what’s next. Never rest on your laurels. Maintain a clear and shared mission and vision, and breed a culture where everyone is an ambassador of the company. You’re only as good as the worst person on your team, so build a strong culture to elevate the level of energy and excitement at the office.

Ruth Minnick, Global Business Development Director, Unispace: Offer to provide value beyond services/products. Take care of each relationship, as you never know where it’s going to lead.

Thank you to all who attended!

If you’re a business owner with 20+ employees who is interested in attending future TAG events, please email Bill Himmelstein at Bill@TagCommercialBroker.com.

 

TAG Executives Breakfast Guest List

Mason Awtry, CEO, Rightsize Facility

Craig Castelli, Founder & CEO, Caber Hill Advisors

Paul Detlefs, President, The Prestwick Group

Kenny Estes, Cofounder, West Loop Ventures

Matt Green, Cofounder, VentureScale

Tom Gregg, President, Vehicle Acquisition Network

Josh Haid, Managing Partner, Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group

Rhonda Jensen, President, Jensen Court Reporting

Mike Kupfer, President & CEO, Black Diamond Solutions

Stan Logan, Chairman, Quality Back Office

Jim Macdonald, Managing Director, First Analysis

Andy Mack, CEO, SnapMobile

Joseph McCoy, Partner, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila

Scott Nicholson, CEO, KO Business Solutions

Ben Renda, CEO, Global Capital

Ron Repking, Founding Partner, Sriracha Partners

Mitchell Roth, Managing Partner, Much Shelist, P.C

Karen Sanders, President, Sanders IT Consulting

Allan C Sutherland, Founder, President and CEO, In-telligent LLC

Rosemary Swierk, President, Direct Steel & Construction

 

TAG Executives Luncheon Guest List

Jeff Asperger, Partner, Meltzer Purtill & Stelle LLC

Lou Costabile, CFO, MasterMind Group

Zak Dabbas, CEO & Founder, Marco & Associates

David Diamond, Managing Partner, Kutchins, Robins & Diamond

Morrie Elstien, VP, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors

Charlie Franklin, Managing Partner, Franklin Law Group

Rick Gray, CEO, TalentRISE

James Gustin, Partner, fig Media

Michele Gustin, CEO and President, Fig Media

Celia Jones, CEO, The Escape Pod

Dan Kardatzke, President & CFO, Solstice

Bruce Menkes, Managing Partner, Mandell Menkes

Ruth Minnick, Global Business Development Director, Unispace

Dan Porcaro, CEO, PSM Partners

Mark Rickmeier, CEO, Table XI

Jonathan Rothstein, Senior VP, MB Financial Bank

Joanna Sobran, CEO, MXOtech

Rick Stearns, CFO, Origami Risk

WeWork’s New Tenant Rep Service Offering Will Hurt their Business


When coworking companies came onto the scene, they quickly became a tool for commercial real estate brokers to help young and small business owners find a temporary space. However, this symbiotic relationship may be in jeopardy with the announcement of WeWork’s tenant representation services as brokers will be far less likely to bring their clients to a competitor. The coworking business’ move to diversify their service offerings may cause harm to their referral partners’ business and therefore, maybe also their own.

It is a common practice for tenant representative brokers to bring small business owners to coworking spaces while these entrepreneurs grow their company, as a coworking lease is a great short-term solution. Once the business grows to a certain level, the owner will want to find a permanent spot with their own branding and more privacy. However, instead of contacting the broker who brought them to WeWork, this entrepreneur may now decide to use a WeWork tenant representative.

Because of this conflict of interest, brokers will no longer be inclined to bring tenants to WeWork, as they will be consistently working against their industry referral partners to grab the business of these growing entrepreneurs. Unfortunately for WeWork, this could also contribute to a loss in business — one that would only add to the $900 million loss already reported in 2017.

Recently, Moody’s dropped its rating of WeWork from the lowest possible credit rating to six grades below its junk credit rating. The reason for its harsh assessment is due to WeWork’s $702 million of unsecured debt and negative free-cash flow, despite its growth from raising capital. According to Tenant Advisory Group founder and CEO Bill Himmelstein, the strategy to open up a new line of service is likely in response to its disadvantageous earnings and credit rating that hurt the company’s chance at securing a new round of funding.

WeWork’s idea for a new service line may make sense as a short-term strategy, but it overlooks long-term consequences that could have a catastrophic impact.

Bill Himmelstein Talks Luxury Amenities With The Chicago Tribune


The Chicago Tribune reached out to Bill Himmelstein to discuss the rising trend of luxury amenities and its effectiveness in attracting renters.

Click here to read the full article.

Mid-Summer Networking With Tenant Advisory Group


Chicago entrepreneurs gathered at Tenant Advisory Group’s July Executives Breakfast and Luncheon to connect with other professionals and share their insight.

During the event, attendees were asked about “the biggest mistake they have made as a business owner.” Here are a few of the many responses:

Rick Gray, CEO, TalentRise: I did not do enough homework on the people driving the revenue of the business. I went too hard too fast and needed to step back and rebuild trust. I wanted to change the mentality of “my score matters” to “our score matters.”

Morrie Elstein, Vice President, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors: I didn’t hire the right partners, and I needed to make leadership changes, as the wrong people were selected. I also would have done more thorough background checks.

At the Executives Luncheon, guests were asked what they see as “the biggest threat to their industry and how they plan to overcome it.” Here are some of the responses:

Josh Strauss: Robotic advisors and passive investing on your own are the biggest threats. If there is any complication, there needs to be a specialized advisor. Passive investing works well in a growing market.

Joanna Sobran: The biggest threat is ourselves. We need to find a way to merge some of the various business lines to focus momentum and so they become really good at everything they do.

Thank you to all who attended!

If you’re a business owner with 20+ employees who is interested in attending future TAG events, please email Bill Himmelstein at Bill@TagCommercialBroker.com.

TAG Executives Breakfast Guest List

Mason Awtry, CEO, Rightsize Facility

Craig Castelli, Founder & CEO, Caber Hill Advisors

Mike Cavanaugh, Managing Partner, FinTech Ranger

Paul Detlefs, President, The Prestwick Group

Kenny Estes, Co Founder, West Loop Ventures

Grant Gochnauer, Co-Founder & CTO, Vodori

Matt Green, Co-Founder, VentureScale

Tom Gregg, President, Vehicle Acquisition Network

Richard Grossi, CFO, Kensium

Josh Haid, Managing Partner, Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group

Rhonda Jensen, President, Jensen Court Reporting

Mike Kupfer, President & CEO, Black Diamond Solutions

Guy Logan, CEO, Logan Consulting

Stan Logan, Chairman, Quality Back Office

Jim Macdonald, Managing Director, First Analysis

Andy Mack, CEO, SnapMobile

Joel Manning, Managing Partner, Manning Silverman

Joseph McCoy, Partner, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila

Scott Nicholson, CEO, KO Business Solutions

Grigory Pekarsky, Managing Broker & Partner, Vesta Preferred Realty

Ben Renda, CEO, Global Capital

Ron Repking, Founding Partner, Sriracha Partners

Mitchell Roth, Managing Partner, Much Shelist, P.C

Karen Sanders, President, Sanders IT Consulting

Allan C Sutherland, Founder, President and CEO, In-telligent LLC

Rosemary Swierk, President, Direct Steel & Construction

Jon P. Talty, AIA, Chairman & CEO, OKW Architects

John Udelhofen, CFO, One North Interactive

Jason Van Zant, Managing Director, Keystone Capital

TAG Executives Luncheon Guest List

Jeff Asperger, Partner, Meltzer Purtill & Stelle LLC

Rory Dunne, Founder and Co-Managing Partner, Karbal Cohen Economou Silk & Dunne, LLC

Morrie Elstien, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors

Jessica Freiburg, Managing Partner, Sassetti LLC

James Gustin, Founding Partner, Fig Media

Judy Hogel, Executive Director, Chicago Family Business Council

Jonathan Rothstein, Senior Vice President, MB Financial Bank

David Stolarek, Senior Partner and Co-Founder at Porcaro Stolarek Mete Partners, LLC

Josh Strauss, Co-CEO, Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management

How to Find a Coworking Space


Coworking spaces can be the perfect solution for a variety of working scenarios — from a solo entrepreneur just starting out to an executive from a large corporation seeking a change in scenery. Much like the businesses they serve, no two coworking spaces are the same. In fact, there are many aspects to consider when selecting a coworking space, including amenities, cost, location and clientele.  

Assess Productivity Pitfalls

When searching for a coworking space, look for one with an atmosphere that is conducive to your individual company’s productivity. Since there will be many people working in close proximity to your “office,” your employees could become distracted. Take a look around the space before signing a lease to see what other businesses are doing and whether or not their day-to-day work is too loud for you and your staff.

Check Networking Opportunities

The professional composition of the coworking office is another factor to consider, as networking can be a large benefit. A space full of professionals from different industries can expand a network fast, providing a budding business with new opportunities and ideas. Many coworking offices host happy hours, workshops and other events to build and foster relationships among tenants.

Investigate Growth Potential

The amenities a coworking space offers can really set it apart from the other options. While a brand new startup may be able to get by with a desk and laptop, a growing business needs additional technology, storage and multiple desks. Young companies expand fast, so make sure the selected coworking space can accommodate a little growth until the business is ready to lease its own office. Additionally, the space should be able to meet the needs of the company, such as meeting rooms, private booths, printing and other professional necessities.

Coworking spaces offer leases with much shorter terms than traditional office spaces, but that doesn’t mean you should rush in to sign. Request a day pass so you can ensure it will be a good fit. Pay attention to the amenities, the other tenants and what the space may be lacking to ensure it meets the needs of the business. This is the time to uncover potential problems, such as Wi-Fi reliability or overall space maintenance.

Conducting thorough due diligence prior to signing a coworking lease is critical, as the office will play a large role on the productivity of a business. Create a list of what is essential to the company, and verify the space can meet those needs. Selecting a coworking office may seem like an easy decision, but it should be taken seriously, as it can either improve or harm productivity.

180 N. Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60601


 

Description: Here is an opportunity to sublease an open-loft office space (ideal for tech or creative companies) right in Chicago’s Loop. This office is fully-furnished with all new, modern furniture including higher desks and benching. The space features a large conference room, a reception and waiting area, one private phone room, a kitchen and break room, 36 workstations and two offices, one large and one small.

The sublease is move-in-ready and available immediately. The lease is set to expire on January 31, 2023. However, the term is negotiable.

Size: 5,473 SF

Cost: $26/SF Gross

Location: 180 N. Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60601

20 N. Clark, Suite 2620, Chicago, IL 60602


 

Description: Here is an opportunity to sublease a fully-furnished property in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. The office has a great view of downtown, new corridors and is a class-A building in a business-central location. The space features two main offices, three breakout rooms (which can be used as smaller offices), one conference room, a break room, 16 cubicles, a reception desk and waiting area.

The sublease if available now with a term ending December 31, 2026.

Size: 3,011 SF

Cost: $32/SF 

Location: 20 N. Clark, Suite 2620, Chicago, IL 60602

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