Is Shared Office Space Right For Your New Business?

Today's economy makes starting and maintaining a business feel like an extreme sport. With prices rising and jobs decreasing it is difficult for anyone to survive in the tough economic times. Many disgruntled individuals who have found themselves walking out of their offices, cardboard box in hand, have decided that if job opportunities are simply…

Today's economy makes starting and maintaining a business feel like an extreme sport. With prices rising and jobs decreasing it is difficult for anyone to survive in the tough economic times. Many disgruntled individuals who have found themselves walking out of their offices, cardboard box in hand, have decided that if job opportunities are simply not available they'll create their own. As more and more people move toward entrepreneurship, they are finding creative ways to get the resources they need without having to pay big bucks or make huge financial investments to start their own small businesses.

Because one of the largest investments when starting a business is office space, many startups begin in home offices or basements. However, this is not ideal in all situations, particularly when the business requires regular meetings with clients or large amounts of equipment. In these cases, more and more people are turning toward shared office spaces. Shared office space allows many different small businesses to essentially split the cost of a lease and share the office space and equipment between them. In some cases, these small businesses are providing similar services. In other cases, they are completely different businesses. By working in a shared office space, small businesses are able to save the maximum amount of money, even more than short-term leases or temporary office spaces.

When the businesses sharing the same space provide a similar service, they can also save money by sharing specialty office equipment. Although this requires a little more coordination, if managed successfully these businesses could end up saving even more money on the purchasing of expensive equipment. If you are a business that already owns special equipment, you can even make some money by offering to rent your equipment to the other company or companies in your shared office space for a small fee. This is a quick and easy way to recoup the money you will be spending on your share of the lease.

Although shared office space can have its benefits in regards to saving money and sharing responsibilities, it can also present a unique set of challenges as well. Because you will have little jurisdiction over the actions and behaviors of the people you are sharing office space with, you may find yourself in challenging situations if you and the other party or parties do not agree on the use of the shared space or if there is some sort of disruption that is making it difficult for you to work. In these cases, it is important to arbitrate any arguments through the proper leasing authorities in a professional manner.

As such, it is important, when deciding on a shared office space, that you first acquaint yourself with the other individuals and businesses you will be sharing the space with. Learn about what they do and what their daily habits are in the office. Ask them if they have any particular preferences or issues and take note of those things. If you feel as though you may be incompatible or find that there are too many factors that do not line up between you and the other businesses in the shared space, you may want to keep looking. If, however, you find a shared space where you feel you can easily communicate with those around you as well as foster a positive work environment, you may be in luck.

Shared office space can be a great solution for new businesses searching for a place to call their own, outside their home, without bleeding their wallets dry in the processes. Being creative with your shared space and business equipment can provide you the most bang for your buck in today's tough economy.

Six Steps To Commercial Property Success

Commercial properties are a great addition to any investor's portfolio. Investors buy commercial properties and lease them for monthly income. However, buying a commercial property requires skill, knowledge and diligence. Purchase commercial property by following six key steps: Select a Property Type First, determine why you wish to purchase a commercial property. Buy the appropriate…

Commercial properties are a great addition to any investor's portfolio. Investors buy commercial properties and lease them for monthly income. However, buying a commercial property requires skill, knowledge and diligence. Purchase commercial property by following six key steps:

Select a Property Type
First, determine why you wish to purchase a commercial property. Buy the appropriate property for your needs. For example, if you need a business headquarters, consider an office building within city limits for proximate to employees, suppliers and customers. If you need to own farm houses outside a city, consider buying land. Below are other commercial property types:

• Apartment buildings
• Retail buildings
• Warehouses
• Mobile home parks
• Marinas
• etc

Arrange Financing
The second step is to arrange financing for your property. Commercial properties are relatively expensive compared to residential properties, so you should budget sufficient funds. Set aside reserves and find out the total loan amount you are preapproved for. Know the total capital outlay needed to close. Banks and individual lenders underwrite loans primarily based on a property's Loan to Value (LTV) and debt coverage ratio (DCR) and secondarily to the borrower's creditworthiness and experience. You will need to prepare a comprehensive loan package to “sell” the property and yourself to the loan officer.

Find a Commercial Agent
The third step is to find a commercial agent to assist in your property hunt. The commercial agent is a link between the seller and buyer. A veteran agent will likely have a “pocket” listing of properties available. The agent should listen to your requirements, make appropriate suggestions and help you avoid mistakes.

Make Offers
When your agent gives you a list of properties, be sure to cull a short list from it. Get the seller's profit and loss statement, a statement of cash flow and rent rolls. After selecting a few properties that meet your criteria, submit letters of interest (LOIs) to your agent, who will forward them to the seller. Each LOI will spell out general terms like price, financing, due diligence period, good faith deposit amounts, etc.

Conduct Due Diligence
Once your offer is accepted by the seller, perform due diligence to ensure the profit and loss (P & L) and cash flow numbers are accurate. Verify income and expenses. Beware of any objectionant tenant vacancy, inflated “pro forma” figures, deferred maintenance, ambiguous or onerous contract clauses and local commercial property competition. Beware of the overall commercial property market cycle. Have a qualified commercial real estate lawyer review all contracts.

Manage The Manager
After you close escrow, be sure to manage your manager or management team. A great manager will keep an eye on expenses while maintaining or improving income generation. Either keep or replace the existing manager. In fact, preselect a manager long before you even close on the property. In this manner, you can have a near seamless ownership transition.

Tip – You do not want to be in the business of management. That's what managers are for. Your job is to sit back and let the manager deal with the day to day operations. You need to step out of the picture and just collect checks. Better yet, find the next commercial property for your portfolio.

Summary of Steps
• Select a property type
• Arrange financing
• Find a commercial agent
• Make offers
• Conduct due diligence
• Manage the managers

How to Successfully Develop Commercial Real Estate – Part 4

In Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this article, we discussed the three fundamental components underlying each of the major areas of the development process; money or financing, tenants and the lease agreement and finally the golden rule of real estate, location, location, location. Location is probably the single most important factor for attracting and…

In Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this article, we discussed the three fundamental components underlying each of the major areas of the development process; money or financing, tenants and the lease agreement and finally the golden rule of real estate, location, location, location. Location is probably the single most important factor for attracting and retaining quality tenants.

However, there are typically many desirable locations for the coveted tenant and the developers and land owners who control these locations are busy marketing and appealing the same tenants to their sites. It is important, therefore, that the successful developer distinguishing themselves in more ways than project site location. It is incumbent on the developer to demonstrate to the prospective tenants, financing and others that they have the leadership, experience and ability to bring the proposed development project to a successful conclusion. This dividing line will often come down to a clear and concise vision for the development effort-the project plan. This author believes there are five basic principles that must be addressed to adequately define and achieve a successful new development project. These five basic principles are who, what, where, why and how. The principles guide the developer through a simple, step by step process to developing a new project including the vision and project plan. Understanding the process is a fundamental concept in relation to buying the land, building the building, attracting contracts, securing financing and functioning as landlord.

We addressed the importance of the tenant in Part 3 of this article but what about the developer and the development team? The who president addresses this issue. The who principle breaks down into three basic components; who is the developer, who is the development team and who are the actual and proposed tenants and users? As the developer, you are the main force behind the promotion of the project and responsible for leading each and every aspect of the development effort. Do not underestimate the power of the personality and confidence of the developer in obtaining a lender to lend, equity investor to invest, tenants to commit and team members to join the development team. An experienced or novice developer can and will leverage the experience of the team to demonstrate the probable success of a proposed development project. The team typically consist of an experienced architect, general contractor, pool of engineers, real estate professionals-broker, lawyer and others. However, not every architect, engineer or GC will be acceptable. You must find those with experience in the location, product type and tenant user that you are trying to attract. Assembling the key players necessary is a fundamental element of creating a successful development project.

We will address the fundamental aspects of the what principle: what are you going to develop and build, in Part 5 of this article.

On My Commercial Property, Should I Try for a Tax Exchange or Just Pay the Capital Gains Tax?

Many commercial property investors purchased properties years ago. Those investments have produced income and appreciated over the years. An accounting function of the commercial real estate business is each year your accountant has been depreciating the property's value on a tax basis. You now want to get out of the business or maybe relocate and…

Many commercial property investors purchased properties years ago. Those investments have produced income and appreciated over the years. An accounting function of the commercial real estate business is each year your accountant has been depreciating the property's value on a tax basis. You now want to get out of the business or maybe relocate and you need to decide, should you pay the gains tax or create an exchange, an exchange which could be tax free! The first question I must ask myself is what will I do with the money? How will I structure the sale? What options do I have?

Let's say you need the income from the property, a tax free exchange may be the way to go. But maybe you have several options with this one thought. You can exchange your property for a like type investment (where in the country does not matter) and consider a full NNN deal on your new purchase. A NNN deal is when the tenant has full responsibility for maintenance, taxes and repairs as if they owned the property. You just receive a monthly rent check with no obligations to the tenant or the property. These type of deals usually offer a lower capitalization rate. Another option: You could sell your property and take a basic down payment and offer private finance. This method would give you (for example) 6% interest and you only pay gains tax as you exceeded the basis point of your estimated amount on file. I would suggest a balloon in 3-5 years so you can adjust the interest rate for the current times. We have seen cases when initially the finance is offered as interest only for the first 3-5 years. You have no gain at that point and make interest income without any property obligation. You can then close the door to more private finance and have the new property owner finance you out of the deal through traditional lending.

There have been times we have recommended a seller just pay the tax! Sometimes depending on your particular situation it may be a better route to just pay the tax. For example: You have a pension and social security and just want a junk of money in a safe CD. The gains tax is 15% of the difference of your basis value less capital improvements. Your gains tax is much less then income tax, but the cash flow decrees to whatever the CD offers.

Commercial exchanges have very specific time frames and rules. We just had a call from a seller who said “I just closed on the sale of my commercial building and I want to exchange it for another”. Big mistake once the closing check went into the sellers account the exchange is no longer viable. Commercial exchanges, selling off portfolio's and deciding what avenue to take is a process that should be done with a commercial real estate company that you can have good communications with.

Investing in Commercial Real Estate – Top 3 Time Management Strategies

One of the biggest differences I have found in the most successful real estate investors is their ability to manage their time. Quite frankly, the most successful investors I know and work with: A) Focus on the projects and activities that will help them achieve goals. B) Are fierce about how they spend their time,…

One of the biggest differences I have found in the most successful real estate investors is their ability to manage their time.

Quite frankly, the most successful investors I know and work with:

A) Focus on the projects and activities that will help them achieve goals.
B) Are fierce about how they spend their time, and who they spend their time with.
C) Work consistently like this until it becomes a habit.

Given this, here are some specific time management strategies to consider:

1. Have a Clear Objective In The First Place.

You have probably heard the quote, “If you do not know where you are going, then any road will do.” The best place to begin thinking about time management is to have a clear goal in mind, given whether you want to be an active investor or a passive investor.

Take some time to determine exactly what you want your financial picture to look like in 12 months, 36 months, 60 months, and 10 years.

Once you have your “end picture” in mind, you will be much more effective in determining what kind of properties will help you achieve your goals. Remember that the investment properties are simply an investment vehicle to help you get to your ultimate financial goals.

2. Block Time to Work “On” Your Investment Business.

This is one of my biggies. Every single week, without fail, block 2 to 3 hours out to work “on” your investment business. The idea of ​​working “on” vs “in” your business is something I got from Michael Gerber, and it works like magic.

Here is what I mean:

Set aside time to strategize on your business, without interference. This is more difficult to do these days with phone calls, text messages, emails being a source of interruption.

When you block time off, include blocking off ALL interruptions. This is your time to focus on how to increase the income from your investment real estate. Where can you increase income? What type of property would be your next purchase? How can I decrease expenses, and increase cash flow? Questions like these are what you should focus your efforts on. I like to do this at the beginning of the week, and the ideas I get during these sessions help guide my activities for the rest of the week.

3. Ask Yourself The Right Question.

Consistently ask yourself, “Is what I am doing right now going to help me get the results I want to achieve?”
This is a great checkpoint of whether you are being most effective with your time. Are you working on the projects and activities that will help achieve your finanicial goals?

What I am really sharing with you here is that successful time management is all about your habits, and maintaining focus on your results. Make the decision to be more effective in your business and I guarantee you will be rewarded handsomely.

Why Is Healthcare Facility Construction So Expensive?

Healthcare cost in the United States continues to rise at an alarming rate. With the aging baby boomer population, the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and current economic climate attempting to understand and control these costs has become more important than ever. One aspect of healthcare cost that always seems to…

Healthcare cost in the United States continues to rise at an alarming rate. With the aging baby boomer population, the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and current economic climate attempting to understand and control these costs has become more important than ever. One aspect of healthcare cost that always seems to cause confusion and even frustration is healthcare facility construction. Why is healthcare facility construction so expensive?

Many medical facilities house patients who are receiving critical services. Because of the critical nature of these services the individual patient may not be able to adequately care for themselves in fire, emergency or other threatening situation. As we will see, many of the systems and features in healthcare buildings are designed and installed in such a way as to protect the patients who may be incapacitated or compromised. The easiest way to demonstrate this and why healthcare facility construction is so expensive is to take a virtual a tour. With a tour, we can demonstrate and identify the unique features and inherent cost of a typical healthcare facility, many of which are designed to protect the patient user.

Let's start our tour at the main entrance. Often, you can pull the car, van or ambulance right up to the front entrance under a large canopy or the porte cochere. This canopy or porte cochere is typically equipped with sprinklers, special lighting and designed for the loading and unloading of the handicapped. For medical buildings, there are often two two porte cochere, one for the general public and one for patient transfers. If we take a moment to walk around the building, before going inside we might also notice windows surrounding each floor (windows for each patient room), extra wide sidewalks, multiple handicapped parking spaces and access points, handicap van or ambulance throughway and parking and covered or reserved parking for doctors. In addition, we may find an oxygen tank and other medical gases for delivery of these gases to patient room or surgery suites. Medical gases delivered to patient rooms and or surgery suites are a very unique feature almost exclusive to medical facilities.

If we continue our walk around the building we might see the HVAC system. A healthcare oriented HVAC system must deliver specifically, filtered and controlled air and do so even though out the entire building. As we pointed out earlier, we are often dealing with incapacitated or compromised patients who may be weak, in pain or physically handicapped. Fundamental patient comfort like, clean, controlled, even air flow must be a non-issue in healthcare facilities. Finally, the outside tour of the building might reveal a generator. A generator can be used to power emergency backup and certain life safety systems. These generators are often housed in large, separate structures and can have a material impact on overall building cost.

As we approach the main entrance the building signage may indicate the facility is operated on a 24 hour, 7 days a week basis. The 24/7 nature of the building coupled with the safety concerns of incapacitated or compromised patients is very important in relation to hidden costs and features associated with healthcare facility construction. Almost all MEP systems (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) in a healthcare building will be oversized and or redundant. The oversized or redundant nature of these systems allows for part of the system to be worked on while the rest of the system continues to function. Healthcare facility HVAC air handlers for example, are often larger than typically required to achieve higher static pressures and the required air flow capacities indicated earlier. Oversized or redundant systems are a common theme in medical building construction and significant contributing feature to the expensive nature of the facility.

Once inside the building we will find a fire or emergency control panel. The panel for fire and emergency systems for many commercial buildings, including healthcare are often found just inside the main door. This placement helps facilitate action by appropriate personnel when alarm sounds or disaster strikes. However, healthcare directed fire and emergency control systems often build-in unique or special features. The systems are often more flexible, allowing for multiple choices and options. Options such as evacuation notice or warning, barrier control, zone by zone evaluation, general or isolated announcements and lock down.

As we step into the main lobby there are likely to be two elevators types, one for public use and one for transporting patients. A patient designed elevator must accommodate a gurney or stretcher and often opens to the front and the back. Since patient elevators open to the front and the back, space needs are greater than a typical passenger elevator. Exit corridors off the patient elevator to the patient oriented porte cochere are common in healthcare facilities. In a well designed, well operated, medical building you will rarely see a patient roled out on a stretcher through a main lobby or public hallway. As we stand in the main lobby and look up or down we might also see safety lighting features, special ceiling tiles, and large number of sprinkler heads, specially designed flooring and even bacterial resistant window coverings.

If we could look behind the walls or benefit the floor we are likely to find significantly larger plumbing requirements, increased fire wall separation, reinforced foundation and sophisticated monitoring or tracking systems. Often the hallways themselves will be much wider than typical office building and handrails may be installed. Of course, you are likely to continue to find; safety lighting, increase sprinkler heads, special ceiling tiles and safety flooring. We can not go much further into the building without getting into specific tenant needs but you are likely to find features unique to medical facilities. Features such as telemetry, sophisticated call systems, biometric or customized security systems, and exotic tracking features. There are also more practical issues and needs that must be addressed in medical tenant space such as; special air filtering and exhaust, infectious waste disposal, unique storage issues, family meeting and grieving areas and even chapels.

There are many other special features and systems in healthcare facilities. However, there is at least one remaining material issue that clearly adds cost. All of the special, unique or important systems and features are expected to be transparent to the patient, their family and visitors. In today's healthcare environment, the patient and family expect and even assume the facility will be state of the art but user friendly, convenient and comfortable!

Credit Tenant Lease (CTL) Finance Can Be Used for Construction and Development – 2 Simple Methods

Credit tenant lease (CTL) financing is a very efficient capital solution for the acquisition and refinance of single tenant, real estate that is net leased (NNN, NN or bondable) to an investment grade tenant. Because CTL bankers do not place restrictions on loan-to-value (100% LTV) CTL offers the highest loan balances in the commercial real…

Credit tenant lease (CTL) financing is a very efficient capital solution for the acquisition and refinance of single tenant, real estate that is net leased (NNN, NN or bondable) to an investment grade tenant.

Because CTL bankers do not place restrictions on loan-to-value (100% LTV) CTL offers the highest loan balances in the commercial real estate finance industry, this makes CTL perfect for buyers who want to finance their purchases with long term, high leverage, fixed rate, fully amortized commercial mortgage loans, on a non-recourse basis. Likewise, CTL is the best method for pulling equity out of existing assets or refinancing older, high interest mortgages as they come due.

But, while CTL has proven itself in the purchase and refinance arena, many investors who build single buildings or develop large scale projects do not realize that CTL loans are also available to finance assets being constructed from the ground up. As long as there is an executed, long-term net lease in place, and the tenant is credit worthy, CTL is a viable option.

Method 1; Standby Letter of Credit

Once a lease is signed a CTL banker can turn it into cash. Developers who want to use CTL to fund construction can do-so by utilizing a financial instrument known as as a standby letter of credit.

First the CTL banker originates, underwrites and fully funds a fixed rate, self amortizing commercial mortgage loan with terms that are coterminous with the lease. The loan amount can be just enough to cover construction or up to the full value (lease fee valuation) of the entire finished project.

The funds are deposited in a financially sound (rated A1 or higher) commercial bank (preferably one with offices near the project) and placed in certificates of deposit (CDs) with staggered maturities covering the estimated construction period. The Developer is credited with all interest that the CDs earn.

Next the bank, and the borrower, with the consent of the CTL Trustee, execute a standby letter of credit. This instrument protects the interests of all parties and will stay in place until the tenant begins to occupy the building and pay rent. The bank, for a small fee, administers the loan during construction, making distributions to the developer on a predetermined draw schedule. The builder makes interest only payments on the loan while the project is being built. The interest payments can be made using the deposited loan transactions and are offset somewhat by the interest that is being earned by the CDs.

When the building is complete and the tenant moves in the standby letter of credit is dissolved and the loan begins to amortize. Any remaining loan requests are released to the developer and administration of the loan is transferred to the Trustee who will collect rent, pay the mortgage, and distribute any positive cash flow to the borrower.

Method 2; Forward Commitment

Forward Commitments are not to be confused with Letters of Intent (LOI) or Term Sheets; Forward Commitments are formal loan documents that are binding on all parties. Unlike a term sheet or LOI a Forward Commitment must be honored; if a builder delivers the building in accordance with the specifications within the time allotted the lender will fund and close.

Construction and development lending was the first type of financing to drop-off when the credit crisis hit and it will be the last kind of lending to recover. There are many things that can go wrong with a construction loan and nowdays the economy can change drastically in the 9-36 months it takes to build a quality building. These facts place development loans in the high risk category and bankers have shied away from them for the last 4 years.

The key to getting a construction loan is to take away as much risk as possible from the construction lender; and a Forward Commitment from a CTL banker is the perfect way to do it.

Banks give no credence to LOIs because they have no teeth. Any lender can back-out of any LOI at anytime. Experienced (Developers who have taken an LOI to a construction lender know this to be true.) A Forward Commitment, however, is a formal and legally binding permanent loan commitment to be closed when the building is finished. Banks recognize that Forward Commitments significantly mitigate the risk their capital is exposed to. Most banks will have no problem financing construction when they know that permanent financing is already in place; after all what do they have to lose.

Before a CTL banker will issue a Forward Commitment they will fully underwrite the project and verify the terms of the net lease. Again, the tenant must be investment grade and the building must be stand-alone and single tenant. The lease must be triple net (NNN), double net (NN) or bondable and should be at least 10 years long. The CTL lender and the borrower will go through the entire CTL process up-to closing. The closing date will be based on the estimated construction time and should correspond with rent decisionment.

With a Forward Commitment in-hand, a developer will have little problem securing construction from a bank or insurance company. They provide construction capital and the pre-negotiated CTL loan pays-off the bank loan and provides the long-term, fixed rate debt necessary to make the project viable.

Now Developers and Builders have two ways to use CTL finance to obtain construction money as-well-as permanent financing. They can take funds provided by CTL finance deposit them in a bank, and have the construction financed through a Standby Letter of Credit. Or, if they prefer, they can have the CTL banker issue a Forward Commitment and use that document as leverage in order to get a traditional construction loan.

Whether buying, refinancing or building, CTL lending remains an excellent capital solution for single tenant, net lease investors and developers.

How to Find Affordable Office Space to Match Your Budget and Needs

Although it may seem as if there is no affordable office space to find, there's a solution to your problem. In these unpredictable economic times even landlords and those that handle the leasing have to make concessions. Although a certain space may have commanded a certain amount in the past, it may not be worth…

Although it may seem as if there is no affordable office space to find, there's a solution to your problem. In these unpredictable economic times even landlords and those that handle the leasing have to make concessions. Although a certain space may have commanded a certain amount in the past, it may not be worth quite as much in this day and age. So checking into your options may be well worth it in the long run!

First Determine Your Budget

In many instances it's not just enough to say that you want affordable office space. That may be relative to what you want out of it. It may be relative to the area in which you live in. It also has much to do with your budget and what your specific needs are. If you are a startup then you may not have a starting point with which to measure this. If you are unsure of the future of your business, then you may be in your own category.

Sit down and look at all of your business expenses as a starting point. Although your rent should combine a significant category, it should still be affordable. It should allow you a place to do business but it should not be out of your reach. Be honest with the figures so that when you start shopping you know what an affordable office really costs.

Be Honest With What You Want

As many landlords are looking to lease out the space that they have available, they may be willing to work with you. In your quest to find an affordable office, be honest about what your needs are and what your budget contains. This is nothing to be ashamed of and in all honesty a landlord would much rather hear the truth up front.

Do some research of your own and figure out what options are available to you. There is some type of office to fit every budget and there before you want to dig into what you have open in your area. Shopping around before you go to meet with landlords or leasing professionals can give you an idea of ​​what is out there and what sort of flexibility you have to work with.

Know What You Need and Work for It

You got to be where you are with your business because you have what it takes. The same holds true for finding affordable office space. There are options out there but sometimes you just have to know how to find them. You may have to try and work a deal or go for a temporary measure but be open to the possibilities. This can take some time and a shift in mindset but it will ensure that you end up with office space that fits your budget and fulfills your needs.

The Benefits of Temporary Office Space

When searching for office space, there are a variety of options available. While some prefer to purchase space and immediately customize their space for their business, others find particular value in temporary spaces that allow them just what they need for a short period of time or until they're ready to expand and purchase their…

When searching for office space, there are a variety of options available. While some prefer to purchase space and immediately customize their space for their business, others find particular value in temporary spaces that allow them just what they need for a short period of time or until they're ready to expand and purchase their own space.

Temporary office space is rentable commercial property that a small business owner can rent for an agreed upon amount of time. While there are many reasons for businesses to seek temporary spaces, they are most commonly rented when the project being worked on is temporary in nature or if there is a need for a short term space in a variety of locations over a period of time. This is common with construction work or contract work that takes the business owner and the business from region to region regularly.

When searching for temporary office space, there are many things to consider. Whatever your work, by nature, is best suited with temporary space or if you're simply looking to find a place to set up shop for a short time before moving to a larger or more permanent space, there is a temporary office for you. Search local listings or consult a realtor who specializes in office spaces to help you find the perfect space for you. While some temporary office spaces are bare and ready to set up as soon as you sign your lease, others come fully serviced with everything you need to start working right away. This is beneficial for those looking for a quick and easy way to start their business without having to worry about buying, and then moving, lots of furniture and equipment.

Though your office may be temporary, make certain it is still in a good, safe location that will allow you to run a successful business and to grow. Even if you're on a tight budget, make certain that all the basic necessities can be reliably accessed such as internet and phone services. If you're going to be somewhere for a short time, you'll want to make the most of it and do not have to spend hours worrying about faulty lines that are slowing down or completely interrupting your work flow. It is also important to consider the other offices around you. Talk to other renters around your prospect temporary office space.

Making a list of the amenities that are important to you in a temporary office will help you decide which space to pick. In some temporary office space situations, you may be required to share waiting rooms or receptions areas. In other situations you may be required to follow stricter tenant rules than in others. Take note of all the nuances between the various temporary office spaces you are looking at to best determine which ones fit with your work style and will make reaching your goals as a business more effective in the limited amount of time you will be spending there. Not all temporary spaces are rented out by small or contract based businesses. Temporary offices can also be of benefit if you find yourself in a situation where your permanent location is unable to be used. This can occur in the case of unforeseen damages such as fire or water damage. Temporary office spaces can serve as a quick and easy solution to continue business while your permanent location is being repaired.

Temporary office spaces are an excellent solution for those looking for a non-permanent workspace or who do not yet have the resources to enter long-term lease agreements. With a variety of options available, you should have no trouble finding the perfect workspace for you.

The Pros and Cons of Virtual Office Space

It sees like today there is a virtual version of everything real. Office space is no exception. And with the current state of the economy, it is no surprise that many businesses are searching for ways to maintain revenue while cutting expenses. One of the largest expenses that businesses face is overhead – which usually…

It sees like today there is a virtual version of everything real. Office space is no exception. And with the current state of the economy, it is no surprise that many businesses are searching for ways to maintain revenue while cutting expenses. One of the largest expenses that businesses face is overhead – which usually comes in the form of expensive offices. As such, many businesses are going the way of virtual offices. Instead of walking into a brick and mortar location and sitting at a desk, you simply open up your computer or turn on your phone and log into work. Time cards are being replaced by online time trackers and face to face meetings are turning into webcam to webcam meetings.

With changing technology and the advancement of easy online communication programs, virtual offices are becoming more and more effective for everyday use. By saving thousands of dollars, if not much more, on rent each month, businesses can better sustain themselves in these tough times. Although many businesses are not completely replacing their physical office space with virtual space, many are adding on virtual space instead of expanding to larger physical locations that will extremely cost more money.

Virtual offices are also beneficial for those who are starting out on their business ventures. For those who simply do not have the money and resources to open their own office or prefer to work from home, virtual space provides a simple solution. Simply use the computer and phone you do have and maximize their business potential through programs that will best help you run your business. Virtual meeting software is available on line as is invoicing software and phone services. Of course a website can be managed and accessed from anywhere as well. Virtual offices are a perfect low budget way to build and sustain a business that you hope to cultivate and one day expand. Because it allows you to save a lot of money that would otherwise go to a leasing company, you can better use your profit on building up the more important aspects of your business.

In some cases, location is very important for the credibility of a business. While virtual space growing in popularity, people tend to gravitate more towards businesses that they can physically see and visit. As such, it is important to consider that although a virtual office space may be working for you at the moment, finding a physical location, even a small one may very well have its benefits when looking to expand your brand. If you're working with a team, you may find it becomes difficult to communicate or develop healthy working relationships when not consistently in the same place during the same time like in the case of virtual office space. Although this type of virtual communication works well for some people, it is not ideal for others. Consider this when thinking about virtual office space.

“Going virtual” has its pros and cons. On one hand it requires very little initial investment other than the basic needs such as a computer and phone. On the other hand, it does potentially create a little more distance between you and your client as well as limits the face to face communication you have with your staff or clients. Regardless, virtual office space used effectively can enormously increase the amount of work that is done with the least amount of expense needed to do it. In tough times, when big business is at risk of failing and foreclosures are at all time highs, a virtual office can really go a long way in saving you money.

Business Owners: Save Money With Flexible Office Space

Although traditional office space works for many businesses, today's shaky economy has more business owners searching for ways to save money on long-term leases. Through utilizing flexible space that allows for shorter-term leases and temporary renting arrangements, businesses are able to save thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on rent payments a month.…

Although traditional office space works for many businesses, today's shaky economy has more business owners searching for ways to save money on long-term leases. Through utilizing flexible space that allows for shorter-term leases and temporary renting arrangements, businesses are able to save thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on rent payments a month.

A flexible workspace is ideal for the small business owner who is just starting out and not ready to commit to a traditional lease term, short or long. By having the opportunity to negotiate terms that work specifically for the small business owner, he or she is not taking a huge financial risk but is still able to rent an office. In traditional lease terms, for short or long term leases, the rules and regulations are often more strict and require standard adherence for all tenants across the board. With flexible space, a more individualized approach makes renting commercial real estate an option for people in all situations, even those who are looking to downscale.

With the economy in an unreliable place, many larger businesses are finding themselves struggling to make ends meet. Layoffs are a norm and the number of them is only expected to increase. One way that big businesses are trying to save is on their brick and mortar expenses. As office office buildings are being closed, businesses are looking towards flexible workspaces to provide them the time and space to keep moving forward without the burden of committing to long term leases they may soon be unable to afford.

If you decide to use a flexible office space, be sure to use the time you have to build up your business. Because you will be saving a lot of money on rent, you are able to save up the funds to make purchases on items you will need when you move out of your flexible office space. This is also a great time to prepare your business for the move. Get all the paper work you need done. Apply for small business loans to help support your move once you are ready and work on building up a valuable staff. Although you may not have room to support a robust staff in a smaller flexible office space, you may be able to bring people on using virtual office techniques that allow your employees to telecommute to work. This will save you money while still providing you the ability to train the staff you want to move into a more permanent office space when you are able.

Because many spaces offer the option of being fully serviced (meaning already set up and ready with the essential furniture and office equipment), you are also able to save money on purchasing bulky furniture and tools that will be difficult to move. This is particularly advantageous for the small business owner or a startup company that does not want to or simply can not make an initial investment on more expensive office items.

Flexible office solutions make a lot of sense in today's economy and can provide new businesses with the leverage that they need to get going even on a tight budget. However, they're not only for the little guys. Big business can use flexible workspaces to help save them money and extremely improve their bottom line.

Why Is a Commercial EPC Important for Businesses?

What is a Commercial EPC? Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) help in improving the energy efficiency of a building, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. A commercial EPC, as the name suggests, is provided for a commercial building, by a highly qualified Non Domestic Energy Assessor (NDEA) after an exhaustive inspection of the building's dimensions, fabrics, electrical…

What is a Commercial EPC?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) help in improving the energy efficiency of a building, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. A commercial EPC, as the name suggests, is provided for a commercial building, by a highly qualified Non Domestic Energy Assessor (NDEA) after an exhaustive inspection of the building's dimensions, fabrics, electrical and mechanical fittings etc. The Commercial energy perfomance certificate will provide the energy efficiency rating as well as a recommendation report containing measures that can be taken to improve the same. A Commercial Energy Certificate is valid for ten years. The ratings range from 'A' to 'G', with 'A' being the most efficient, and 'G' the least.

How is a Commercial energy performance certificate different from a domestic EPC?

An EPC for a commercial building as opposed to a domestic one is much more intensive and requires the NDEA to be highly technically qualified. Commercial EPCs are a lot more complicated since buildings such as factories could have different parts of their plans for different functions. Also, shops may have a separate area for a warehouse, and hotel rooms can be of different sizes. Consequently, the inspection takes much longer in the case of a commercial EPC, and it includes several steps such as these:

* General building observations including orientation and dimensions, kind of energy usage.

* Taking photographic evidence of various features.

* Taking detailed measurements of walls, floor and ceiling.

* Observing the type of heating and cooling in the rooms.

* Observing lighting in the rooms.

* Taking note of the ventilation provided.

Apart from the steps listed above, there are several more that are involved in a Commercial EPC survey. Once the data is collected, the EPC is processed using the Simplified Building Energy Model Interface (SBEM), which is a software to calculate the energy efficiency rating, and is Government approved.

Owing to the complexity that is involved in the process, and the differences in the types of commercial buildings, it is very difficult to predict a fixed cost for a Commercial EPC. However, it is quite obvious that they are expensive.

Why is a Commercial EPC important to have?

One of the primary goals of any business is to cut costs and overheads as far as possible. Energy is one of the largest factors when it comes to overheads. A Commercial EPC is very useful as it reflects the overall energy efficiency of the property and also provides recommendations on how the efficiency can be improved. By implementing these recommendations, a business can reduce the carbon dioxide emissions and increase the energy efficiency to a great extent.

South Loop Office Space

Overview South Loop is a popular downtown locale where both residents and business owners flock to. It is located in the heart of the city which offers much for those who lay down their roots there. Restaurants, entertainment hotspots and a wide array of other business establishments make shopping, dining and fun an easy option…

Overview

South Loop is a popular downtown locale where both residents and business owners flock to. It is located in the heart of the city which offers much for those who lay down their roots there. Restaurants, entertainment hotspots and a wide array of other business establishments make shopping, dining and fun an easy option for all.

About the Residents

Residents of the area live in a variety of residences. Lofts and city apartments are popular in the South Loop neighborhood and those who live there are of a wide array of ages. Many of the homes in this area are converted lofts which are now contemporary and highly coveted by city dwellers. Printer's Row and Dearborn Park are two popular residential areas here.

Things to Do

There is plenty for residents to enjoy in this neighborhood. The same rings true for business owners who lease property there as well as those who work for them. Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium offer tons of entertainment value for individuals as well as Soldier Field. There are also many cultural aspects and avenues for those who live and work in this neighborhood to take advantage of.

Business Atmosphere

The business atmosphere is perfect for business owners hiring to lease office space in the city. No matter what type of business you may own nor how large or small it is, there is a spot in here for your company. Transportation options are plentiful which makes it easy for customers and employees to reach the business. Major interstates such as I-90 and I-41 allow people to reach this city locale and then take one of many city streets to your exact location. The Metra line and CTA buses offer public transportation options as do taxis through the city.

Other Businesses

More and more businesses are opening up shop in this area. Some of the more well-known ones include Kozy's Bike Shop and Cactus along with a wide array of professional offices and retail shops. Those who live here can get practice any goods or services which they desire without having to leave the neighborhood.

Dining and Shopping Options

The South Loop neighborhood offers plenty of shopping and dining options for residents, visitors and those who work in the city. Russian Tea Time, Epitome, Bongo Room and Charming Cuisine are some dining establishments to try. As for shopping options, Sandmeyer's Bookstore is a must on your to-do list. Also, enjoy various unique boutiques and well-known retailers intermingled with one another.

Business Personal Property Valuation

Business personal property (BPP) can be challenging to value because of the limited quantity of data available and primary reliance upon the sales comparison approach. Relatively speaking, a voluminous quantity of data is available when valuing real estate as opposed to valuing business personal property. Many real estate appraisals consider three approaches to value: cost…

Business personal property (BPP) can be challenging to value because of the limited quantity of data available and primary reliance upon the sales comparison approach. Relatively speaking, a voluminous quantity of data is available when valuing real estate as opposed to valuing business personal property. Many real estate appraisals consider three approaches to value: cost approach, sales comparison approach and the income approach. By contrast, most business personal property appraisals depend primarily upon the sales comparison approach. While it is possible to develop a reasonable estimate of the market value for business personal property, the values ​​tend to be more subjective than the value of real estate.

The sales comparison approach approaches upon principles of substitution and supply and demand. Purchasers of business personal property will seek alternatives and choose the alternative most beneficial for them considering cost, quantity and quality. For real estate, comparable sales data is available with in-depth descriptions of the real estate, including quantity and quality. For business personal property, is more difficult to obtain accurate information regarding the quantity and quality of property involved in a sale. For example, assume the XYZ Company recently closed its Chicago operation and sold the furniture, phone system, network servers, personal computers and related items for an office with 30,000 square feet of space and 120 employees. The sales data includes the quantity of desks, chairs, file cabinets, personal computers, network computers, etc. However, it does not contain precise information regarding the condition and age of each of these items. Real estate is more homogeneous and easier to describe versus the sale of a quantity of business personal property.

Real estate appraisers often gain insight from preparing each of the three approaches to value for real estate assignments. However, personal property appraisers typically focused primarily upon the sales comparison approach. They do not have the benefit of contrasting the value conclusion through the sales comparison approach with values ​​via the cost approach and income approach.

It is important to define the asset being valued. Referring back to our example of the XYZ Company which closed its office, is the assignment to describe a value to each item as though it is going to be sold individually or is it to assign a value to the aggregate collection of furniture, computers and equipment ? An alternate approach would be to define a value based upon selling subsets of the whole. For example, the furniture to one purchaser and the computers and phone system to a second purchaser.

The definition of value also substantially affects the value conclusion. Market value would typically be defined as the value assuming both the buyer and seller are knowledgeable regarding the property, either the buyer nor seller is under distress to buy or sell and an adequate amount of time is allowed to market the property. A liquidation value would also assume that both buyer and seller are knowledgeable regarding the assets. However, it would assume a very brief period of time to sell the property. Value in use describes the value of the assets to the current owner. It is not indicative of what a third party would likely pay to purchase the assets.

In addition to performing an appraisal to estimate the market value of business personal property, other techniques sometimes considered for valuing business personal property are IRS depreciation schedules and evaluation district depreciation schedules. These may or may not result in a value conclusion that is similar to market value. However, it is the writer's experience that they typically produce a value in excess of true market value.

Common Mistakes Commercial Leasing Agents Make Every Day

Having worked with many leasing agents and real estate principals I have seen more than the average number of mistakes made. Unfortunately the mistakes derail or delay progress in building market share or statements. Here are some of the biggest mistakes I have seen and my thoughts about them: Lack of focus on getting 'For…

Having worked with many leasing agents and real estate principals I have seen more than the average number of mistakes made. Unfortunately the mistakes derail or delay progress in building market share or statements.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes I have seen and my thoughts about them:

  1. Lack of focus on getting 'For Lease' signboards into and on as many listings as possible – This is such a common problem and so counterproductive. When you get more sign presence into your market you will generate more inquiries; it's that simple. The tenants in the building or the local area will see the signboard and call you to talk about space leasing needs. When you want to dominate the local leasing market, then signboards will be a very big part of that.
  2. Not enough Email marketing of vacant space – Today we are blessed with email software that easily drives our listing information to the masses. Certainly we need to comply with spam rules and legislation so all the people in your email list should have agreed to be there or have opted-in. The key is to ask all prospects and contacts that you meet to be part of your database. An individual leasing specialist should have at least 1000 local businesses and people in their database for dispatching email newsletters. The frequency should be each 14 days.
  3. Direct Mail use is infrequent – The traditional letter is still and sometimes even more so, the most effective lead in for a contact call to business leaders that will not take your call, or for the times when you are stopped by a gate keeper. It is more work to send a letter (compared to email) but the conversations to meetings are much higher.
  4. Contact calls are rarely made – Not enough contact calls are made by many leasing agents. It is a daily task and should be the most important fact in your daily calendar. When the contact calls become part of the diary process (at least 2 hours per day) and you are making calls to 50% new people in you alloted time, business will grow. This is the most important skill to develop in your career.
  5. Database growth is slower or non-existing – Show me an average leasing agent and I will show you a poor database. Many leasing agents do not take accountability for their database growth and accuracy. Many agents use only their diary for tracking names and contacts. Lack of accuracy to customer and prospect relationships means that your business will go nowhere. Listings will be harder to get and your market will not know you for what you do.
  6. Business leaders in the local community do not know you – These people must know you personally; not your office. Commercial leasing is a game of who you know. Your individual name and profile should be promoted at every opportunity. You should be the leasing agent that the business leaders know and respect.

These simple facts are the most common problems that I see in the commercial and industrial property leasing industry. They are easily fixed but they take personal discipline; many agents struggle with that even though they have the best intentions. Change your habits to include these tips and you will change your career.