Office Space Rental: A small business guide to renting office space

By Shantanu Mohan

June 17, 2018

If you are thinking about leasing an office space, here is a playbook of the things you should consider before signing on the dotted line. If you are unsure about anything or have a question please contact me and I will get you an answer.

Get aligned, get ready, be knowledgeable & be ready to commit

  • Define your space needs and be clear on the location
  • Use web resources narrow down your search to a set of buildings
  • How to create an RFI – If you need one please contact us and we can help you put one together
  • Get representation from a tenant rep it may not be a broker
  • The only person who will understand your priorities is you – so learn to negotiate
  • Bend their reality and bargain hard: Be the one to move the process ahead and show that you are serious. Even the landlord has good, bad, generous and stingy days. Remember the other side is also human, just like you.  Don’t be in a rush, but in every interaction you should the be one moving things along – credibility means money. 

Tactical empathy…understand the world of the landlord

  • Understand the importance of open ended questions

Understand landlord, building & the TRUTH

  • Speak with a tenant: Research a few tenants in the building.  Do this when you are in the midst of lease negotiation or LOI discussons – do this too soon and you are hosed. Go on Linkedin and ask to speak to someone confidentially explain your intent. If you are strategic you will get the right office space operator to show you under the kimono.  This will help you draft the lease. If I would have known that my landlord would charge me $120 for ID’s and $175 EVERY time I used the elevator I would have put an exception in the lease for such costs.
  • Indicators of building culture: Ask a the building agent about a hypothetical question about a commonly recurring problem. Make a note of it. Then ask the question again in the future, but differently.  Compare fact, fiction and story.  The culture will be clear. 
  • How to filter the sweet talk and get to the bottom line….fast

Operating Costs

  • Real Estate Taxes
  • Building Operating Costs
  • Recurring charges

This is what you must to understand

The true meaning of “Loss Ratio“…”this is how much I am screwing you”  – The loss ratio in my building is 33% which means 1 out of  3 times my landlord is screwing me. If I was to account for the number of times I have called them on their BS – it is 1 out of 3 times I have caught them trying to get 33 cents more out of  dollar.  

Design, technology & construction: How to get tenant improvement dollars

  • Speak to your staff, Crowdsource initial design
  • The UX: Look and feel
  • Architect, designer and Operator

The PMO

The worst PMO experience and the best PMO experience.  

  • Hire a PMO who’s compensation is pegged to dollars saved + $50 / hour capped a certain price
  • Insert recapture language for delays and failure to perform

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