A company image is an accumulation of the opinions, impressions, beliefs, and visions people experience about you, your products and services, your employees, and your company as a whole. Office spaces create either a positive or negative impact on your company image, depending on the type of services you provided. For example, if you design computer software, repair shoes, or have an import/export business, you most likely get very little foot traffic — then the right space for you may be in a more convenient low-cost location.
However, if you have high visitor traffic, the right space for you may be a nicer facility that will play a bigger role in creating a more positive company image from the moment someone approaches the front of the building.
Make sure you know the market conditions, whether they are either tenant-friendly or landlord-friendly. Upgrading to better space in a tenant’s commercial real estate market is more cost effective than in a landlord’s market, which normally commands higher rental rates. The most important task is to hire a tenant advocate who will work on your behalf to locate the appropriate space by taking advantage of the current market conditions.
In a tenant’s market, it is a prime opportunity for businesses to take advantage of lower rental rates and move into their dream space, or simply to obtain a cheaper rate.
Listed below are some examples of the savings a good tenant advocate can negotiate on your behalf, which also includes early renewals.
Even if time remains on your existing lease, don’t rule out the possibility of an early renewal. For example, a client with 4,500 square feet had almost a year remaining on the lease when Customized Real Estate Services, DBA CRES & Associates approached them about their lease renewal. We told them we could get them a better deal, and the results equaled success with a 15% savings realized just for renewing seven months early.
Before ever signing a new or lease renewal, consider the following options:
- Get representations. You want a tenant advocate/broker and a lawyer working on your behalf, just like the landlord’s representative works on their behalf.
- Keep in mind there’s no such thing as a standard lease. It is all about negotiations and knowing who has the power in the marketplace.
- Consider several buildings including LEED or Energy Star certified buildings before making a final decision, and be willing to walk away if you do not get a competitive rental rate. Do not fall in love with your first building.
- Let your landlord know you are shopping the market during the renewal process – even if you are not in the mood to look for space, just saying this will strengthen your negotiations at the bargaining table.
No matter what strategy you pursue, keep in mind the right space does not necessarily have the cheapest rental rate. Consider other factors, like operating expenses, which are normally less at LEED and Energy Star buildings. Also, these types of buildings may provide a more positive image with customers, especially Fortune 500 companies, who have sustainability goals. This is critical because they like to do business with companies who have similar business values.