How to Navigate Leasing in a New Development


How to Navigate Leasing in a New Development

When leasing a new office space, it’s easy to look at properties that already exist, but there is an entire market of new or partially built developments that have potential to be amazing office space, if you plan accordingly. In order to navigate leasing in a new development, follow our steps for success.

Understand When Delivery Will Be and Plan Accordingly

Delivery dates can be a moving target and it’s important to nail down a date that’s as precise as possible. If you don’t have a precise date, you could end up without an office space, which could be detrimental to business. Always have a backup sublease, option to go month-to-month in your current space, or potential space on deck to ensure you have a place to continue business.

Make Sure to Have Contingencies in Place

This is important just in case things aren’t ready, aren’t working or weren’t constructed properly. Make sure your new landlord will handle a punch list of items for completion. As a tenant, it’s vital to work with a broker that can review and request contingencies in your lease to protect your rights.

Make Sure Your Budget Can Afford It

Typically new office spaces are more expensive than existing space. That’s why it’s important to understand all of the costs that are associated with leasing in a new development. From calculating costs for a potential sublease to taking on the extra costs of moving into a new development, make sure to have additional money tucked away in case the leasing process doesn’t go 100% as planned.

Ensure You Can Get Growth Rights

As your company grows, your office space will need to follow suit. This is where growth rights come in. Finding this extra space can be especially tough for smaller businesses in new developments, but working with an experienced broker can ensure that your company will be able to expand when the time comes.

Make Sure the Building has All COOs

Nothing can derail a new office move-in than the building not being up to code. Save you and your team the hassle of a delayed move-in date, and make it a point to ask your landlord to show you the necessary certifications of occupancy.

Navigating leasing in a new development can be a great opportunity for business owners as long as the proper research and precautionary measures are taken. The best way to ensure a successful lease is by working with a qualified broker to make the leasing process as smooth as possible.

A Beginner’s Guide to Investing in Commercial Real Estate


Beginner's Guide to Investing in Commercial Real Estate-min

Investing in commercial real estate is a great way to diversify your portfolio as well as make some extra money. Unlike stocks and bonds, commercial real estate is a hard asset that provides income via rent collection and, in most long term cases, an appreciation of value. The best way to begin investing in commercial real estate is to thoroughly research your options – we’ve compiled a few tips to help you get started.

What is Commercial Real Estate?

Investing of any kind requires a good amount of research and before taking the plunge you should understand what commercial real estate encompasses. Office buildings are the most commonly known category of commercial real estate, but it also includes apartment complexes and high rises, retail strip centers, industrial buildings such as warehouses and special purpose spaces like amusement parks, hotels and sports stadiums. Once you have an understanding of what commercial real estate is, then you can devise a plan to invest.

Be Patient

Investing in real estate should not be about the short term. It should be about the long term and building equity. Everyone wants to make a quick buck, but investing takes time. Before investing in a plethora of properties, start small and take on a just one or two investments that you are certain will cover any associated costs you have – like the mortgage, taxes and operating expenses. Keep in mind how much you can charge for rent, and from there, weigh the amount of loans you would need vs your projected income after all expenses are taken out to make the best decision.

Understand Hidden Costs

Make sure to do your due diligence and understand the real estate taxes on the property, the condition of the property, and what kind of financing your lender will provide. Additional costs such as renovations, licenses/permitting, and vacancies can arise during the investing process. By keeping your properties leased up, there are tremendous tax and cash flow advantages real estate ownership can provide.

Make Sure to Have the Right Advisors

To make the most of your commercial real estate investments, work with industry experts. Before signing your name or committing to any property, seek out the guidance of a knowledgeable broker who can show you properties that may not be listed, and advise you on locations that will be the most fruitful for your investment. Work with an attorney to ensure that there are no legal issues with your potential investment. By failing to work with an attorney, you could suffer financially if any unknown legal issues arise. Finally, set up a discussion with a lender before you begin looking into properties to get a better idea of your borrowing guidelines and a realistic understanding of what properties you can afford.

By doing the right research, understanding your financial situation and working with industry experts, you can start investing in commercial real estate knowing you made the best decision for your financial well-being and portfolio.

How to Maintain Low Rent in Booming Areas


Commercial Real estate agent and customers negotiating

Up-and-coming areas can be a scary concept for some business owners. One day you’re paying low rent in a semi-popular part of town, then a few years pass and the area is booming, people and other businesses are flocking over and rent is skyrocketing. However, you don’t have to pay a fortune in rent or change locations if you take the right precautions. Here’s how you can hold onto your prime real estate at a fair rate.

Stipulate a Rental Rate

When negotiating the renewal clause in a lease, oftentimes there is a fair market value clause that leaves negotiation of rental rates open for when an area grows in popularity. But fair market value leaves too much freedom for the landlord to hike up the rates to match the new standard, which could end up being well above your budget. One benefit to using a good broker is that they know to negotiate for a specific rental rate based upon a finite escalation instead of relying on a fair market value agreement. This ensures that the you can afford the future rental rates and also reflects the increase of growth in the area.

Negotiate a Right to Terminate

The termination option is also an extremely valuable piece of negotiation leverage. A landlord will not offer this unsolicited. For leases longer than five years, it is very helpful to have a termination right. By negotiating this into the lease, should rates dip below market value, then you will be able to exercise the right to terminate and move or use this as leverage to reduce your rate. Conversely, if rents have skyrocketed, you can utilize the leverage of the termination right to extend your lease and keep your rates below market for the foreseeable future.

Sublease Your Space

Another option you can consider when the rent goes up is to sublease. As always, any business leasing a space should work with a broker to ensure that a sublease clause is included in the lease. From there, if the ability to sublease is allowed, you can move elsewhere to pay a lower rate while subleasing your original space to help offset the overall costs. This is especially beneficial if you are able to reduce your square footage as well.   

Maintaining your presence in a popular area all comes down to your lease. Working with a reliable broker to negotiate the correct terms can take the stress out of rising market rates and give you peace of mind about staying in your space.  

Elkhorn, WISCONSIN. I-43 AND SOUTH 67


Elkhorn, WISCONSIN. I-43 AND SOUTH 67 Layout

Description: A 10.5 acre property is available for development. The property is 10 minutes from Lake Geneva and Lake Delevan. The nearby area has over 100,000 full-time residents with over 300,000 visitors per year. The adjacent business park has over 4,500 visitors per day, and the traffic count for I43 is 22k per day and for route 67 it is 9k per day. The site will feature a Love’s Travel Center, as well as a Fairfield Marriott hotel with 70 rooms. It is a great opportunity for a restaurant and other retailers to cater to the Marriott and Love’s guests, as well as the industrial park traffic.

Size: 10.5 acres

Location: Elkhorn, Wisconsin. I-43 and South 67.

Understanding Costs Associated With Moving to a New Space


glass commercial building Reflection

When you’re looking for a new space, having a budget is essential. As you check out potential locations it’s important to understand the not-so-obvious costs that may pop up as you transition to your new place.

Parking

Just as we mentioned in our location blog, understanding parking is an essential part of running a business. Depending on the area you’re looking to move to, parking can be a lot more expensive than you initially thought. If a significant percentage of your employees are driving to work and parking, you may be able to make a deal with a nearby garage so your team has the resources to get to work easily.

The Lease

Before signing the dotted line on your new lease, you should understand every associated cost. You’ll be locked into this lease for an extended period of time, so it’s of the highest importance to know exactly what that means for you and your business. There will be a security deposit required which is typically 30% of your landlord’s out of pocket expenses, and additional fees for utilities not included, after-hours HVAC use, and possibly janitorial services. There may also be termination penalties if for any reason you were to break your lease earlier than expected.

New Furniture

Different spaces call for different furniture, and what you have on hand may not always work in your new office. If you’re adding collaborative spaces or just expanding from your old office, it’s necessary to budget for any additional furniture you may need. Furniture can range anywhere from $15 to $25 per square foot, so It’s a good idea to take note of what furniture would translate to the new location and what pieces you would need to purchase.

Mover’s Insurance

If you decide to use a moving company to get everything from Point A to Point B, you’ll want your items to be protected. Buying an insurance policy to cover the cost of all the items you’re bringing to your next space can save you a lot of hassle if anything were to get damaged or lost. While purchasing insurance may be a little more costly upfront, ensuring the protection of your assets will give you peace of mind during your move.

Phone and Data

There’s an expense associated with wiring your space, getting your data hooked up, and potentially getting a new phone system. Often times even when a landlord commits to turnkey a space, the cost to setting up the wiring may not be included.

Phone and data wiring and set up fees start at around $2 per square foot and depending on factors like how many workstations you have, the types of ceilings you have, etc, it can go up to about $5 per square foot. Also, there can be a lag time from when you call to set up your internet service and when it actually commences. So be sure to start this process as early as possible.

A discrepancy with your budget can push back your move and set you behind. Take the time to look into any extra costs that could come up, and budget for the unpredictable. This strategy will ensure that money will not inhibit your big move.

5 Things to Consider When Searching For A New Office


Modern coworking office interior

Relocating and choosing a new office space is a lot of work, no matter the size of your company. However, it also provides an exciting opportunity to start fresh in a new space. Carefully consider the following points to ensure you get the most out of your move.

Location

Select a location that works for both clients and employees. You want a space which clients can find easily and employees can comfortably commute to – perhaps close to public transportation or with a parking lot if many clients and employees will drive to reach you. Consider where your key employees live and whether the space is convenient for them.

Cost

Find a space that doesn’t stretch your finances too thin. Make sure to calculate the full cost of the space and consider any hidden costs carefully to make sure nothing sneaks up on you (parking, utilities, any necessary construction, taxes, phone & data set up, janitorial, new furniture, etc).

Physical Space

Look for a space that will allow room for growth. Opt for a space that could potentially accommodate a growing team or evolve with your business. Also, check that any new space has sufficient area to allow for breaks and group or client meetings.

Infrastructure

As you evaluate your options, look for a space with easy-to-use and secure IT systems, particularly if you need a reliable internet connection for your business to function properly. Understand and test the current technological infrastructure of each space you consider to ensure it can accommodate your business needs or if a potentially expensive build-out may be required.

Employee Needs  

Think about what amenities you’d like your new space to offer employees. Sunshine can be a great easy perk as access to natural light can affect mood, energy levels and alertness. See if your new location has space for a stocked beverage center or coffee bar. Also, consider investing in employees’ health with an on-site fitness center or dedicated wellness room.

Where you work matters. That’s why we’ve partnered with an online software platform to make it easy to search for spaces that are specific to your needs. All you need to do is enter your information here, and you will be given access to a database of office space listings complete with virtual tours, floor plans and all-in monthly prices. Finding the space of your dreams is only aclick away.

Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney During Lease Negotiations


Tall infrastructures

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.

How to Find a Coworking Space


Laptop at Tall Commercial Property Work 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.

How to Find the Right Office for a Fast-Growing Startup


Street Level Office

The rapid growth of a startup causes changes to come quickly, which makes it challenging to find an office space that will grow with the business. When beginning the search, consider the projected growth, business plan and the needs of the company to find the best suitable space.

Growth

Young companies experiencing hockey stick growth will quickly find themselves with an overcrowding issue, especially if they didn’t plan ahead during the search. Plan for an extra 10 – 20 percent of space to prevent overcrowding in the future. In doing so, you’ll save money by avoiding lease termination fees, as well as eliminate the hassle and expense of subleasing and seeking a larger space before the lease expires.

Landlord

Being able to grow within a building or a landlord’s portfolio is extremely important. Seeking space in a smaller building, like the ones typically found in River North and River West, can be quite limiting, especially as many of those landlords only own one property. Leasing from a larger landlord, like the ones found in the Loop, provides a tremendous amount of flexibility when the time comes to expand. A larger building, or office portfolio, allows that landlord to easily relocate a growing tenant to accommodate their expanding space needs.

Location

Real estate will always be about location. When finding the right office for a startup, consider where it’s located in proximity to employees, current clients, potential clients and vendors. Remember that if the space is out of the way, it will make it difficult for prospective clients to find the business. Location also plays a role in employee retention and morale, as well as talent acquisition.

Needs

When launching a new company, one important aspect is the cultivation of its culture and the office needs to reflect and reinforce it. A financial services startup may need a more structured environment with more private offices and sound proofing. Whereas a creative firm will want an office with more open spaces for collaboration. Additionally, confirm if the space will be able to accommodate the specific needs of an industry. For example, a company with heavy IT needs will want a space that is able to power and protect all of the equipment.

Finding the right office for a startup will build a solid foundation for future growth and success. Remember that having an experienced commercial real estate broker involved from the beginning of the process will save both time and money. Tenant Advisory Group has worked with a variety of growing startups and is happy to share how they have successfully handled the needs of budding businesses.

The Best Negotiations Come from a Complete Commercial Real Estate Team


Commercial Real estate agent and customers shaking hands together celebrating finished contract after about home insurance and investment loan, handshake and successful deal. 5 Reasons to Work with a TAG Broker

Negotiating the terms of a commercial real estate lease is difficult, as it is fraught with jargon, clauses and paperwork, and even the slightest misstep can have dire consequences for a business’s bottom line. Hiring the right real estate broker and attorney team to handle this delicate process is the best way to guarantee the most favorable terms while saving you time and money.

They Understand the Industry

Too often, a business owner will request help in negotiating lease terms from an attorney friend or a neighborhood real estate agent. However, these professionals may not be familiar with the industry-specific ins and outs of a commercial real estate lease. A dedicated real estate attorney/commercial broker team will review the terms of the lease with expert eyes, navigating the provisions and clauses to establish the final document.

They Can Ask for More

Real estate is a hyper-local specialty, meaning an experienced commercial real estate attorney/broker team is going to have market knowledge regarding tenant improvement allowance and rent abatement. The team will understand where to push back and what is fair for the market. This will result in a far less contentious negotiation, establishing a good rapport with the landlord from the beginning.

They Can Strategize

There are many ways to “get more” out of your lease, and only professionals working in the industry would even know to ask. For example, the lease renewal clause is a point of concession that can greatly benefit your lease terms down the line. A commercial real estate attorney/broker team will work together to create a plan that will include more than simply lower rental costs.

When working with Tenant Advisory Group, we have access to a deep bench of quality connections, including top-tier real estate attorneys to help achieve the best results possible.

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