FOCUS ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT
Companies searching for new office or industrial space in today’s soft office market, or conversely today’s healthy industrial market and listing brokers and landlords are guilty of this as well… They often tend to focus almost exclusively on rental rate. In other words, the lowest price should be enough to positively influence a tenant’s decision to lease space in a building. The result? We’re “commoditizing” commercial space alternatives while losing the focus on what is right and best for the tenant.
SPACE ISSUES BEYOND PRICE
Let me be the first to say that economics are always important and competing buildings must be reasonably similar. However, economics are not the most important element when it comes to making a real estate decision. I have often told clients, “What difference does it make if the landlord provides the space at no cost, if the space is not functional and does not effectively work for you?” Retail clients generally seem to have a better handle on weighing the intangibles when they make space decisions. They understand that there are issues far more important than price. Issues such as exposure, vehicle traffic counts, ease of access, parking and neighboring tenants. Issues that will impact their long‐term success more than a marginal reduction in their base rental rate.
TOTAL COST SOLUTION
So many components go into a good real estate decision, and price is only one of those components. Tenants need to look at a “total cost solution” rather than just a “rental rate” solution. The latter is the proverbial tail wagging the dog kind of decision, and decisions like that never work well over the long term. That’s why establishing a preliminary budget is critical to the process. So that companies don’t waste time looking at what they can’t afford. Companies often do themselves a disservice by discounting the importance that a well thought out facilities plan plays in their long‐term success. Space, like any other component of a firm’s business plan, should function strategically. Ultimately, ensuring long‐term success for the firm. The list of items that ensure long‐term success generally relegates price to the lower tier of importance.
RANKING CRITICAL ISSUES
Companies must address, evaluate and rank the importance of critical issues. These may include parking availability, access, visibility, building efficiency, flexibility to expand and contract, on‐site or close‐by amenities, public transportation availability, security, sustainability issues, building management, landlord financial viability ‐‐‐ and, obviously, the financial structure. Whether internally generated or broker generated, tenants must understand the total cost of the deal. One deal may provide more dollars for tenant improvements; another deal may offer less tenant improvement dollars but more free rent. Yet another may offer to graduate or step the rent and pay moving costs. And in the end, a simple consideration like ease of client access or proximity to public transportation may trump the lower base rent deal.
Guard against making an impulsive, “head in the sand” facility evaluation. Select a member of your team and a competent real estate broker who will ensure that your firm makes a well thought out space decision, not a decision based on a single issue like rental rate. Make sure you have completed the proper due diligence before signing on the bottom line!
NEED HELP FINDING THE RIGHT SPACE?
Reach out to one of our
TRUSTED. DEDICATED. EXPERIENCED.
brokers at Paramount Real Estate Corporation:
Office: Nancy Powell, Vice President