Given the high cost of your company's real estate portfolio, it's understandable that much ink gets spilled discussing property strategy. For those strategies to get executed, though, you also need to have a clear grasp of best practices at ground level. Here are five tactical commercial real estate tips to help maximize your office leasing experience.
1. Pay Your Rent... On Time
This might seem like an insultingly simple tactical commercial real estate tip, but it isn't. Especially if you're a large company paying a large landlord, it's easy for dates to get missed, checks to get mailed to the wrong bank lock box, or other simple errors to occur. While many landlords will give you leniency if it happens a few times, a late payment could be exactly what a landlord needs to cancel a valuable renewal option.
2. Track the Market
The commercial real estate market is in a constant state of flux even in the most conservative markets. As such, it's in your interest to either track the market yourself or to have your tenant representative do it. That way, you are in position to make changes if conditions call for it.
3. Just Ask
You can have the best strategy in the world when it comes to managing your commercial real estate portfolio, but one of the most important tactical commercial real estate tips is to just ask for what you want. Do the building's rules preclude having animals in your space, but does your human resources department say that you need to have a dog-friendly to retain talent? Just ask. Want to give up 2,000 square feet because your employees are working from home? Just ask. The landlord might have someone else that wants the space. The worst thing your landlord can say is no.
4. Do What You Can
When you have work done in your space, your landlord will usually charge you a markup over what the vendors charge them. Then, those costs could be subject to an additional CAM administration fee or its equivalent. While you probably can't do heavy construction, your workers can probably plunge a stuck drain or change a burned-out florescent tube using bulbs they ordered from your office supply vendor, instead of using bulbs that the maintenance vendor marked up. A few small jobs can save your company big dollars.
5. Don't Go It Alone
Your tenant representative isn't just for strategic work -- his or her tactical commercial real estate expertise can help you maximize the entire life cycle of your office lease. Between getting you into and out of spaces, your representative can keep you up to speed on the market, connect you to vendors and make you aware of the latest trends both in terms of desirable geographies and strategic and tactical ways to use your office space.
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