Control Three Major Operations Factors to Cut Costs, Enjoy Space

July 13, 2010
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Managing shopping center and office building operation costs is never easy for tenants, but controlling these three factors should help you not only save money but also fulfill your business’s needs better:

Factor #1: Location

It’s important to find a balance between an ideal and affordable location. A downtown, main street area space most likely will cost much more than one a few blocks away. Whether you are a retail or office tenant will help you prioritize locations. Retail tenants typically need a location that has heavy foot traffic to maximize their number of customers while office building tenants tend to build a customer base using methods other than random visits to their offices. If customers don’t need to visit your space to do business with you, think about cutting costs by renting space in a location that isn’t in a prime area with lots of visibility.

Factor #2: Layout

You can maintain control of your operating costs by getting involved in the design and construction process of your space, when possible. If your business isn’t set up properly, you’re not getting a good deal--no matter how low the rent is. Paying for empty private offices or lots of windows doesn’t make sense if you aren’t using them. Avoid renting space that isn’t tailored to the type of business you have if there are other locations that fit your operation better.

Being able to utilize every aspect of a buildout will save money and make your business more productive. For example, retail tenants that don’t rely on displays to showcase merchandise should keep storefront areas to a minimum and focus on customizing buildouts inside, where they can use the space for more important things.

Factor #3: Leasing

Structuring your lease to fit your budget goals is the most important thing you can do. Being locked into a lease that diminishes your profits because it is out of your price range or doesn’t address your business’s needs could turn into a nightmare.

Using a commercial property broker who knows the market in which you want to rent space can negotiate terms that fit your operations. Despite the tenant-friendly economy, many owners are not willing to automatically offer concessions as an incentive. Brokers are experts in dealing with owners and can work out a deal that you may not be able to on your own.