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5 Things to Avoid When Entering Into a Lease – Office Space Edition

Congratulations –  You have, or are working within a successful business that demands office space. Now’s the time to either obtain your first office, or expand into an exciting new space to more adequately accommodate your growing workforce. Not so fast, though. As with anything, there are a few pertinent components to selecting your company’s ideal office space. Eliminate potential stress triggers when deciding to enter into a lease agreement to better focus on what matters most; your business.

5 Things to Avoid When Entering Into a Lease – Office Space 

Failure to Align with Corporate Ideals

It’s easy to get excited about a big move and disregard details that could potentially effect crucial goals of a business. Failure to clearly identify current and long-term priorities is a significant mistake any company can make when looking for office space. It is critical to take a step back and view the bigger picture in terms of what is important to you and the company. Similarly, it is important to identify how corporate image will be impacted based on the commercial space selected. Corporate image is important to convey to your customers, prospects and employees. You don’t necessarily see luxury brand retail stores situated next to a fast food restaurant or with similar aesthetics for that matter. Same ideals stand for office space, in the look, layout and feel of that particular office.

Not Properly Evaluating Layout of the Space & Location

You just signed the lease to your new office space and are over the moon with excitement. It’s move in day and the stress hits immediately by lack of storage, desk space or room for specialty equipment. Not adequately estimating the amount of space needed for equipment and employees is huge! For instance, on average, for every employee you should account for at least 151 square feet of workable space. Having too much space could pose as a short-term issue if massive growth is anticipated in the near future, otherwise those are just more budget-straining dollars that could have been allocated more effectively. Contrarily, if there is not enough space as-is with your new lease, this can hinder employee productivity and effective forms of collaboration.

Additionally, the question needs to be addressed in what type of environment does your business require? Are you going for a more traditional office space with some cubicles and closed offices? Or perhaps a modern open floor plan to maximize collaboration efforts on massive projects.

Location, location, locations – a seemingly obvious factor that is too often overlooked. When considering locations for your next office space, take into account traffic patterns, visibility from the road, what’s in the immediate surrounding area and notice if there is ample parking and public transit nearby.

Throwing Away the Budget

Easily one of the most important questions of them all – what can I afford? Do your operating expenses, payroll, HVAC, furniture, insurance, maintenance, and moving costs align with your budget? It’s also important to educate yourself on what the current market is and trends presenting themselves. Does it make sense to hold off for another year due to the stability of the economy, or will the space you desire already be occupied by then? Lastly, ask yourself if your budget matches up with your corporate image? If you’re a rising leader in the technology industry, an attractive, modernized office space in heavily populated Silicon Valley sounds like an ideal move for you. On the contrary, if you’re a smaller startup with not much funding, this would not mirror the same office space options that would better suit the technology company with more prestige and capital. To play devil’s advocate for a moment, it’s also necessary to think futuristically. Is there a lot of buzz about a specific area you’re interested in about massive development happening in the near future? Perhaps budget isn’t everything in a decision when considering the future benefits of occupying that specific location – but critical nevertheless.

Not Considering Corporate Growth & Technology 

To nod back to a the previous point of “Not Properly Evaluating Layout of the Space & Location” ask yourself what’s the future growth of the company? Are there additional options to grow my business in this location in the future, or will it require another move? Technology is also a factor in every business now which impacts the day to day functionality of operations and the execution of best industry practices. Is there a certain technology that the business needs that is only available in certain locations? Perhaps your business needs access to data centers, requires a larger electrical capacity,  or may need backup power and servers.

Choosing The Wrong Broker – Or Not Having One At All 

This can inevitably be a costly error, but does happen often. Not only on a monetary value of cost deficit – but time as well. Considering commercial real estate contracts from beginning to end average between 60 days to a couple of  years, should be enough information to call your favorite local broker right away. In addition, the fact that a company’s second or third largest cost is typically office space lease, should inject concern into the budget-conscious business mind of the decision maker. There’s infinite reasons why about 90% of all office space leases signed in the U.S. are executed with a knowledgeable broker.

 

 

Big Box Bust – A Demise to Tech Craze

The Plunge

The big box bust that’s storming through the nation doesn’t seem to be lightening up any time soon. Unprecedented  retail mega-stores now shutting down at an incomprehensible pace due to evolving consumer trends via internet purchases and accommodating delivery services.  Kmart, Toys ‘R Us, Sears, Carson Pirie Scott, Abercrombie & Fitch, Barnes & Noble, J. Crew (U.S.), GNC, even Subways are shutting the doors in large batches across the country [1]. The iconic brands dissolving across the nation not only pulls at the nostalgic heart strings of many, but sheds light on the shifting ideals of what it is to be a retailer in conjunction with progressive consumer habits or preferences. With the shopping demand surging through the internet, this has left many retailers to discover a massive decrease in sales over the past decade. Some retailers, such as Rue 21, a tween clothing store, even filing for chapter 11 before even experiencing significant financial trouble as a proactive measure that is likely an inevitable hardship tumbling their way.

Tech giant, Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, has forever changed the way modern shopping behavior is executed. Everything from groceries, digital books, electronics, clothes, school supplies, pet food, and more can be purchased and usually delivered between a few days and even hours, depending on the type of account a user has. The unfathomable convenience bit makes shopping on Amazon extremely attractive in that one can shop for anything, at any time, and have it delivered directly to their desired location. Inevitably, as Amazon popularity skyrockets, big box retailers suffer drastically, causing a wave in the economy and the way in which commercial real estate evaluates retail sectors [2].

With vacancy rates increasing in large shopping malls, the challenge of finding occupiers for big box spaces becomes evident. Throughout the U.S., stores previously occupied by, now-bankrupt,  retailers are being converted into shared office space or restaurants.  More than ever, mall owners are welcoming unconventional tenants to obtain some of the estimated 200 million square feet of retail space that has closed, or expected to do so since early 2017 [3].

“Landlords need to be creative, strategic and quick with their large-sized vacancies — the Silicon Valley has become a hotbed for small- to mid-sized retailers coming from all parts of the country to take advantage of our increased population density and disposable income. These large vacancies can be flipped into very lucrative, higher dollar-per-square-foot units with the right strategy in place.” explains Senior Vice President, CSR Commercial Real Estate Services, Jonathan Hanhan.

Getting Creative

As countless big box stores remain vacant, the leaders in commercial real estate are challenged to think outside of the box (pun intended). Ginormous buildings with a naturally open layout, such as Macy’s department store, have been converted into movie theaters, music entertainment venues, and even sporting arenas [4]. This new wave of occupancy bingo creates massive opportunity to get creative and move fast. In conjunction with the e-commerce craze, more of these spaces are being converted into warehousing units. In other areas, restaurants, fitness centers, and office space is taking over. Iconic Silicon Valley’s tech bubble creating crisis for local retailers with the rest of the nation not far behind.

Big Box Bust - Numbers don't lie

Are you a business owner looking to buy, sell, or lease commercial property? Contact our experts today.

The information furnished has been obtained from sources we deem reliable and is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and changes. Although CSR Commercial Real Estate has no reason to doubt its accuracy, we do not guarantee it. All information should be verified by the recipient prior to lease, purchase, exchange, or execution of legal documents. 2018 CSR Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.
Sources:
[1] https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/investing/T052-S001-12-retailers-that-may-soon-disappear-forever/index.html
[2] https://www.investopedia.com/news/5-companies-amazon-killing/
[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/08/coworking-spaces-are-one-way-mall-owners-are-filling-empty-stores.html
[4] CoStar

3 Notable Sales in Q2

Industry professionals, Tony Odom & Jonathan Hanhan, successfully closed deal after deal in CSR’s Commercial Real Estate division in the 2nd quarter. With a typical deal taking anywhere from 6 months to multiple years to sell, or lease, these featured time-efficient, model transactions set the bar for local competitors in the Bay Area.

425 E. Santa Clara St, located in downtown San Jose, posed as the ideal opportunity in ever-growing Silicon Valley for highly-desired office space. An increase in the implementation of collaborative office spaces in famously tech-savvy Silicon Valley has become evident in the past decade. With 9,848 SF of stand-alone office space, secured onsite parking space, and additional revenue potential created endless possibilities for eager buyers.

2730 Bayview Dr, Fremont, CA symbolizes massive breakthrough in the marketplace as CSR Commercial Real Estate strategically earned the business of Fremont with virtually no inventory in the immediate area. Not only did the 2,501 SF industrial condo complex sell in just four days, but also closed in 16 days and sold at an unprecedented price of $350 per SF.

135 El Camino Real, located in coveted  technology hub, Menlo Park, CA, sold in record timing. It’s high-traffic location, walking distance from Downtown Palo Alto, created a realization of its true rarity in having the opportunity to own in the surrounding area. The 1,450 SF building is situated in a mixed-use zone, just minutes from infamous Stanford University.

Are you a business owner looking to buy, sell, or lease commercial property? Contact our experts today.

The information furnished has been obtained from sources we deem reliable and is submitted subject to errors, omissions, and changes. Although CSR Commercial Real Estate has no reason to doubt its accuracy, we do not guarantee it. All information should be verified by the recipient prior to lease, purchase, exchange, or execution of legal documents. 2018 CSR Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.