Sep 10, 2015

6 Ways to Reduce Occupancy Costs

By Don Catalano



Occupancy costs greatly impact a bottom line, so keeping them as low as possible is a boon for any business. Whether you're in the process of searching for a new space or are already locked into a lease, there are a number of ways that you can minimize occupancy costs. These tips will help you identify ways to reduce current costs or allow you to lease a space at the lowest possible cost.

1. Don't Go It Alone.

If you're preparing to search for a new office space, enlist the help of a corporate real estate broker. Brokers have access to properties before they're advertised to the general public, which can help you snag a great deal that you would miss out on otherwise. Plus, brokers can help ensure that your commercial lease agreement includes fair rent and occupancy cost reimbursement terms. Brokers are paid by the landlord, so you won't incur additional costs by using the services of one.


2. Make Conservation a Team Effort.

Already in your space? Being thrifty when it comes to your utilities will help you to reduce your monthly occupancy costs and make your workplace greener. To have a real impact, conservation must involve your entire team. Stress the importance of turning off lights in rooms that aren't in use, keeping the thermostat at a sensible temperature, powering down computers at night and other energy-saving strategies. When conservation becomes a part of the culture, you can slash the cost of utilities.

3. Consider a Long-Term Lease.

Many landlords are more concerned about long-term stability than short-term income. By agreeing to take on a longer lease or renegotiating your lease with an extended term, you can often decrease rental costs.

Pros and Cons to Short or Long Leases


4. Sublet When Possible.

If your work team has shrunk or you didn't need as much office space as you initially believed, don't let that empty space go to waste. Subletting empty portions of your office can bring in income to offset occupancy costs. When leases don't allow for subletting, consider closing off the unused space or try to find a creative use for it. For example, you might be able to stop leasing an offsite storage unit by moving items into your empty space.


5. Rethink Where Employees Work.

With advancements in technology, many jobs that once needed to be completed onsite can now be accomplished via telecommuting, and many employees prefer being able to work from home. Consider instituting office sharing where members of the team come into the office on alternating days and complete the rest of their work from home. You'll be able to rent a smaller office space while providing the perk of telecommuting to your team.

6. Don't Be Overly Ambitious.

As you search for the perfect space, you don't want to be short sighted and select an office that doesn't give you any room to grow. Still, it's important to be realistic about your future needs. Evaluating future space requirements practically can help you avoid ending up with costly unused square footage. Brokers can provide great insight into how much space you're likely to really need.


View some of our other commercial real estate articles:

9 Must-Haves for Commercial Real Estate Office Space

Protecting Yourself from Signing the Wrong Office Lease

Key Performance Metrics for Corporate Real Estate


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Don Catalano

Don Catalano