Interview with an Office Space Owner
Updated: Oct 9, 2017
Deciding where to place your team for the foreseeable future is a big decision. By choosing your next team environment, you’re setting the stage for the culture you want to build and the talent you’ll attract. By no means does any rational person want to spend the majority of their day, their week, or their life in a work environment that sucks the will to live out of them. The corner office plant and that one window aren’t gonna be the magic sticks that encourage the best from your team and result in the most productivity.
Many facets go into creating a great team and company with long lasting appeal. The space you choose to do awesome things in is just one part, but a big one. To help you with a little insight, I sat down with a property owner from the Oak Brook area to talk about how he and his team approach the tenant and property owner relationship in a workspace setting. Check it out from a property owner’s perspective…
First off, and probably the most important question for you to answer - have you seen the movie Office Space and can you quote any famous lines?
(Owner) Yes, I had it on my laptop for many years and it was my go to movie. I watch it over and over. Phenomenal classic. Best quote - “I believe you have my Stapler” (#Officespace)
How long have you owned and managed office buildings?
(Owner) 4 years.
When you have a vacant space in between tenancy, what types of things do you do to get it ready for the next prospect to view?
(Owner) Depends on the condition of the space. If its updated already, then we like to present it as turn key as possible. If needed, we’ll stage it with furniture to have it show well so prospects can get a better flavor for the space. In some cases, we need to spend some money to bring the space up to better building standards. I think its important as a landlord to have money available to improve the spaces between tenants. It’s just good business to take care of your investments.
What types of criteria are important to you when evaluating a prospective tenant - outside of price?
(Owner) Financial wherewithal and creditworthiness are pretty important. Reputation and background checks need to be in good standing. Use is important, too, depending on the existing tenant mix in my particular building.
Is price of what they’re willing to pay more important than anything else?
(Owner) No. Absolutely not.
How do you go about finding new prospects for your spaces?
(Owner) I use local commercial real estate networks and also tools like CoStar and Loopnet where I post available spaces. (Note: He’s a licensed #realestatebroker with access to these tools) We also put up signage on the property to let passerby’s know there is space available.
What’s the coolest or more unique type of tenant you’ve leased space to in the past?
(Owner) A Family office tenant. This is attractive because they are looking for updated space and willing to sign a long term lease. In this case, the location was important as they do business with one of our other tenants.
What types of things do tenants say are important to them?
(Owner) Accessibility to highways and airports (his buildings are in the burbs). Co-tenancy and condition of the building they are considering is also important. We practice the need to have a good product to offer - meaning we want prospects and existing tenants to feel and experience a well-kept and updated facility. We try to do at least one noticeable upgrade each year.
You’ve started businesses before and sought out space, what advice would you give a young company who is growing and needing space for their venture?
(Owner) Find the right space. Make sure its accessible to your clients and employees. Be sure to work with your landlord to configure the space to lend itself to the culture you would like to instill within your organization. (#Culture)