5 ITEMS TO CONSIDER BEFORE SIGNING YOUR OFFICE LEASE
1. Does the building portray the message you’re trying to deliver?
We have heard from many clients over the years they are not seeking anything “too lavish”, wisely choosing to be cautious about sending a signal that the luxury office setting is where all their clients’ money goes. Gone are the days, or should I say dwindling, are the days of all marble, chic, and high end finishes being selected for law firms and the like. On the other hand, opting for a property with faded striping in the parking areas, an old elevator and missing lightbulbs may send out a struggling business vibe. Find a property and suite that projects a relatable message to your targeted client base.
2. Can the building handle your business should you grow?
A sign of a successful, strong business is growth. Signing a 5 year deal on a space and bursting at the seams with time left on the lease is never a comfortable scenario. A building with ample suites in all size ranges or that offers adjacent suites is the best option if you foresee growth in your future. Your tenant rep should negotiate a first right of refusal for all or a portion of any adjacent suites on the floor you plan on occupying that become available during your tenancy. Landlords will gladly offer you a larger suite within their building should you need to expand. Look at it from their point of view, a quality tenant that wants to take down more space? Yes please!
3. I know you know – Location Location Location
This is a Biggie! Obviously, you have an area in mind for your office. Two primary factors we hear frequently are ease of access and drive time for your employees and clients. As employment rates decline the stakes are raised to attract quality employees. Having a building clear on one side of town vs. a more central location, could mean not only limiting your hiring pool but your client base as well. A location offering nearby amenities is also important to consider, having healthy options to grab lunch and get the heck out of the office can make everyone a lot happier. Safety should play a role as well. We recently represented a nonprofit that had only female staff. Buildings without a security guard present were automatically eliminated in some submarkets because safety is an utmost concern.
4. Does the layout work for you or are you making it work?
I can’t tell you how many tenants we have toured and each space we walked into was “perfect”, but as we measured and discussed which department would go where, which exec would want which office, we would quickly deduce that the space in its current configuration did not make the cut. Providing you have enough time, tenant improvements can be completed and the space can be configured to meet your needs. If time is a factor, and you’re limited to strictly second generation spaces. DO NOT “Make the Space Work.” If you need a breakroom, hold out for a space that provides one. Trust me after 8 months of cleaning out your coffee cup in a common area restroom you will want to scream. This is your business, you will spend hours and hours within the selected suite, really make sure you feel comfortable. As you walk the suites presented to you, imagine the flow of your business and make sure they are aligned. Remember when everyone is happy and comfortable - productivity, creativeness and moral all rise.
5. Do you have proper representation?
Ideally you have engaged a tenant rep within your market. (If you have not, call our team. We have a global reach and would be happy to match you with the perfect team in your market.) Confirm that your tenant rep specializes in commercial, and most importantly has the knowledge, experience and resources to get you the best deal terms possible. Does your lease include often looked over items like renewal rights, covered/reserved parking, and reasonable holdover language? If the above terms look foreign, it may be time to engage a professional. Your tenant rep should always recommend you have a real estate attorney review your lease draft before you sign. We are known to wear many hats, and are well versed on the lease language, but we are not attorneys. Leave room in your budget, often that small hit up front can save you thousands of dollars and heart ache down the line.
This is just to get you started. Office space is our teams main and only lane, and our passion. Everyone is good at something, our team excels in surveys, tours, proposals and negotiations of office leasing. Vacancy rates and new developments are what we dream about, and happy, returning, referring clients are what we strive for. Your interests are our interests.
Team Palmeri – Wainwright are exclusive tenant representatives within the Las Vegas market, by not representing any landlords in town are able to offer 100% fiduciary to their clients. Can your rep claim that?
Blog written by Natalie Wainwright - Tenant Representation Cushman & Wakefield Commerce