Category Archives: News

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Five ways to get a better deal on your existing office lease

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Are you beginning to notice your free seat on the morning commute being filled? Or, maybe finding a car space is a lot more difficult? And, what about those commercial property vacancies?

It’s no surprise that property leasing prices have skyrocketed. According to Sydney Morning Herald, A-grade office rentals in Sydney have risen 12.6 percent over the year up until June 2018, with the average office prices now sitting very pretty at the $1,030 per square metre mark.

With a combined average of only 4.1 percent of Sydney and Melbourne’s property vacancies available, businesses are feeling the squeeze… (and we don’t just mean on the overcrowded trains).

Rent Increase Gif

It’s not you… it’s the landlords

In this property climate, the chances of scoring a hot new commercial property deal with the incentive covering a new office fit out are slim to none. And capital contribution fit outs won’t be coming back anytime soon, with the property landscape staying this tight until around 2020 to 2021. Yikes.

So, if you can’t get your business into a brand-spankin’ new crib and your current lease needs a lot of work… what’s next?

We say work with what you’ve already got, and do it your way.

There are a variety of benefits for shoring up your current lease, but there’s no need to go in blind. We’ve got five tips on how to renew your current lease terms to get a better deal:

1. Build a relationship

Rapport, good communication, and transparency are key to any successful partnership, and building a relationship with your landlord is no different. Getting to know your landlord allows you to be more flexible when it comes to renewing your commercial property lease. If you’ve got a tenant history that’s as shiny as the dollars you always pay on time, you should have no problem getting your landlord on your side.

2. Start early

It’s likely that your landlord will wait until your lease is almost complete before they consider starting a conversation about it. For you, time and effort put into finding a space, as well as packing up and moving is just not worth it. It puts tremendous pressure on you as a business owner – leaving you with no choice but to pay the inflated asking price.

Beating your landlord to the punch allows you enough time to come to a mutual agreement. Begin the conversation 6 to 12 months before your lease is up, and remember to keep an email trail and records of any verbal agreements.

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Now is your time to put those endless hours of watching Law and Order to use.

3. Do your research

Knowing the landscape of market conditions allows you to come to a fair compromise that will work out in your favour – which is where an industry adviser can help. This ultimately means you might finally have the budget to buy that in-office bar and snooker table!

Remember, there’s pressure on your landlord here, too. The last thing they need is an empty office space in a few years time, so use this to your advantage.

4. Give and take

Landlords appreciate a little bit of give and take in your leasing negotiations but in this property cycle, there is less giving and more taking.

Consider offering to sign on for a longer lease period. This means your landlord can count on you for consistent income and can lock you in for the upcoming oversupply of office space in 2021. It’s a win-win.

5. Get a professional on your side

Are you thinking about renewing your lease? When you work with professionals, you’re leveraging extensive industry knowledge, leasing advice and decades of training in the art of the negotiation. It’s a specific skill – and it is gained from experience.

Kennedy Meme

CR Commercial Property Group offer services such as tenant advisory and tenant representation for this exact purpose, and we handle the whole process for you. If you’re looking to renew your commercial lease, or need some advice, get in touch.

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When is a deal a deal? The secret to getting the best deal on a new lease

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STAY PUT VS NEW LEASE

You have been in a workspace for a number of years. You and your employees are happy with the location and could probably make the drive with your eyes closed.

You know your lease expiration is quickly approaching and you, of course, plan on extending the lease.  Although providing notice on your current lease may seem like an easy decision, you could be costing your company by not pursuing all options and evaluating the market. This point is when the landlord has all the power, and where a tenant advisor can give you the leverage you need.

So, what does a tenant advisor do? And why would you partner with an advisor?

A tenant advisor works for you and your best interests.  Using employee, company, and customer data, an advisor can help you understand your specific needs and assist you with space forecasting for 3, 5 and sometimes 10+ years out. They’ll consider questions such as: how much square-meterage do you really need?  What location makes the most sense for you?  What rate should you pay compared to others in the market?

So, in summary:

  1. Tenant advisors bring all available space to the table. While landlord representatives may be biased to the space that they are representing, tenant reps have no allegiance to landlords. This allows you to see the full market and grasp all market options and prices.
  2. When the tenant advisor compares properties, “apples-to-apples”, they are able to show how “hidden” costs can impact the rental rate per year and over the life of the lease.
  3. As a tenant, you may see a lease document once every 5, 8, or maybe even 10 years. The tenant advisor see’s hundreds of leases and has the advantage of knowing market averages and what articles may need to be included in the lease.  Leases are typically drafted by the landlord, meaning they are written in the landlord’s benefit.
  4. Negotiations are a process with a lot of back and forth. Since the landlord will be taking care of you and your space for the term of the lease, having a tenant advisor mitigate the transaction can ease any harsh feelings that may occur.

These are just some of the examples of how a tenant advisor can help you gain leverage with your upcoming lease. You owe it to yourself and your company to seek professional guidance in any lease transaction, so get in touch with the right help today.

 

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Be Part of the Solution for the Growing Gap in Project Management

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The gap is widening between the employers’ need for skilled project management, and the availability of skilled professionals that can fill the roles. Not only is this attributed to the dramatic increase of the number of jobs requiring specific skills, but the retirement rate and the significant demand in project talent.

These are driving the industry towards an increase in independent project managers over the next 5 years, as dedicated practitioners are struggling to hire the right mix of technical and leadership skills, alongside strategic business management.

It can be seen that too many organisations have little centralised control in their offices, especially in the handling of landlords, designers, architects, builders and construction managers.

As it has been found that project managers contribute to national productivity and supports the GDP which links to the standard of living, it is important to find a solution for the growing gap that is occurring.

Analysis concurred that the lack of future practitioners has far exceeded expectations, originally concluding that project related jobs would exceed 52.4 million by the year 2020. By the start of 2017, this was already exceeded, reaching 66 million.

Becoming a project professional can be done through a number of pathways, and now is the time to approach it. It needs to start with organisations, especially with a projected 2.2 million new project oriented roles needing to be filled annually until 2027.

There is an evident need for solutions to be implemented across the board. In our industry tier, it can start with single providers being made responsible for your real estate, project management, design and construction facility management. This will not only heighten the level of commitment by each project, but will allow you to have focussed and direct avenues of business. This can be seen as a single point of accountability, so you can have peace of mind and a trusted partner to manage all these business-critical functions.

It can also lead to future job development, and a more structured business model, directly aiding the industry and assisting the solidity of national growth.  This can be done through strategy and action, ensuring that you have relevant opportunities to the skills and knowledge that you are able to supply.

To put in place a workplace strategy, or to find methods of project management that are best suited to development within construction, get in touch with CR Commercial Property Group.

Fitout Partners and Designers: How to Ensure They’ll Work Together

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Experience is the key to this game and you simply can’t learn that.

 

The starting point for selecting the right fitout partner for you is to make sure that you are comparing apples with apples. A good fitout partner should have all the key disciplines, workplace consultancy, design, IT, project management, construction partners, furniture suppliers as well as post contract support and facilities management.

It is important to consider the nature of your fit-out partner, and whether they will be able to form a positive relationship with your in-house team. You must ensure that they align with your business models and ethics, and understand the importance of delivering high quality work in line with your company name and culture. A fitout partner could be working with your company for weeks or months or years on end, so it is vital to ensure that they are the right fit across the board. Analyse their track record and performance, look for their experience, and study their technical skills and knowledge.

A factor that should be considered amongst this is whether the project itself is suitable for the fitout partner. Evaluate whether the project is too big or too small for them. See if they specialise in high or low value contracts, and that they can easily service your project from wherever they are based. Make sure they use language you understand and do not merely communicate in industry jargon.

Most importantly, do they seem as if they really want your project? Are they committed?  Will they do whatever it takes to deliver your brief on time and within budget?

Your fitout will involve significant costs, and the implications of your chosen fitout partner failing to complete the work on time, or at all, could be substantial.

Check them out thoroughly.  Satisfy yourself that they have the right level of financial stability and insurances to cover the project and survive the frequently turbulent commercial property sector.

It still surprises us how many professionals take things on face value and do not take up references when embarking on such a huge undertaking. It is therefore not surprising how many people subsequently live to regret it. The best advice here is to meet with them, speak with their clients, and carry out the proper due diligence.

Ask for confirmation that what you see is what you get. Check that the people you meet during the selection process are the people that you will work with and not just the “front men” or sales people. Ensure that you meet with them and form an understanding of the people that you will be working with. Too often, the projects start with the key people and your project is then passed down the line to a more junior person.

 

CR Commercial Property has no problem with you reviewing our capabilities – its why we wrote this article.

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Formulating an Exit Strategy from Your Existing Building

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The search for new office premises is exciting and energising, but the same cannot be said for the process of an exit strategy for your current location. The anticipation of moving to a brand new location is an exciting time to hit the refresh button, to implement all those bold fit-out ideas that you and your colleagues have been wanting to do, to have your space arranged as you’ve always wanted but would be too disruptive to daily operations to spend time doing.

However, all of this is overshadowed by the need to move out from your current premises as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible. That’s why it is important to have an exit strategy in place, with tangible goals and timelines to work to in order to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

 

Things you need to be aware of

The most important considerations when it comes to moving out from your current address are your lease obligations.   Lease obligations go on until the end of the lease term, and it is essential that you review your lease carefully in order to fully qualify and quantify all of your responsibilities.

 

Developing an exit strategy

To plan your departure, it is essential that you:

  • Think ahead and develop an exit strategy
  • Assess all dilapidations and obligations
  • Quantify disposal costs
  • Review lease obligations

 

As the experts in office relocations and make goods, CR Commercial Property Group can help you develop an effective exit strategy that ensures that the process is as smooth as possible for you.     To speak to one of our project managers,  simply call 9299 2777.

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Appoint a Specialist Project Leader Who Works Only for the Tenant

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Fitting out and designing new offices is always a stressful endeavour, which is why you need to make sure that the right independent expert is appointed to oversee the project and ensure a turn key solution is delivered according to the budget and timeline that you have allocated.

Typically, the responsibilities of overseeing the creation of a new office may fall to a facilities manager or director, or perhaps an appropriately skilled director or senior manager in the organisation.  However, it may be impossible to find someone in the company with the skills, experience or the time to assume responsibility for the project, which is where independent project leaders come in.

What to look for in an independent project leader

Having a dedicated representative to oversee your project means that you can rest assured that someone with professional expertise will be handling your needs and producing results.    A good project leader is one who has had prior experience of turnkey projects and solutions along with deep understanding of all the regulations and requirements that need to be followed in order to ensure that everything is ethically managed.

Also equally as important is the need to choose a project leader who is committed to and comfortable with familiarising themselves with your organisation, somebody who is able to clearly communicate with senior management, employees and key stakeholders.   They must respect and be devoted to understanding every aspect of the business when it comes to operations and processes, so that they can provide relevant recommendations on the construction side of office fit-outs.   You want them to maintain and enhance productivity and efficiency — rather than making things worse!

Engaging an independent project leader that you can rely on to provide costings and schedules that are realistic, reasonable and — above all else — achievable is critical to the success of the project.   In simple terms, your success depends on them.

How CR Commercial Property Group can help

Our team of independent project leaders here at CRCPG all have many years overseeing new office designs, constructions and fitouts for organisations of all sizes, across a broad range of industries.   Our project leaders are dedicated to working closely with each and every one of our clients to ensure that we truly understand what their needs are, and to make the journey as smooth as possible.   You can then focus on running your business.

Call us today on 9929 2777 to discuss your needs.

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To Relocate or Not to Relocate

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There may are many reasons why you may be relocating your office. Sometimes it may be because there’s simply no choice due to a lease expiry. Or it may be because of changes in your business that means that your current location is no longer optimal, and that being located somewhere else would be better. Whatever the reasons are, the decision to relocate is one that is not to be taken lightly, as making the wrong move could be seriously costly for your business and have long term ramifications.

In order to determine whether relocation is the right decision, it is important to evaluate the reasons behind why a move is necessary and to determine whether the benefits truly outweigh the disadvantages.

We’ve compiled a list of things that need to be kept in mind when it comes to relocation — read on to make sure you’re making the best decision possible!

Your greatest assets

The most important asset for any organisation is their employees. As such, every decision made by management needs to consider what effects it will have on the rest of their organisation. Is the new office one that presents a much nicer environment and location? Or is the new workplace one with less comfortable surroundings, one that is much more difficult for your employees to get to? It is important to consider the impact that relocating will have on employee morale and productivity, so make sure that the move is one that is for the better.

Keep an eye on the future

Businesses change rapidly, and a decision that is right in the present may not be in the future. If you’re predicting a significant growth in your organisation over the long term, making the move to a larger facility sooner rather than later is more cost effective, even if there is a lot of unused space to begin with. Constant relocation is expensive, especially because of the disruption to operations that it causes.

Location, location, location

Postcode envy exists in the commercial real estate market too, and businesses are often willing to pay significant premiums just to have a prestigious address. At the same time, it is important to think about your location from a logistical standpoint too. For example, if you have production facilities or warehouses in outer suburban regions, perhaps an inner city office is not the most efficient solution — especially if the majority of your clients aren’t nearby.

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What to Know About Home Working and Hot Desking

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In the age of laptops and instant communication, the nature of work is becoming more flexible than ever before. People can still be working and collaborating with colleagues even while on the other side of the world, and with workplaces becoming increasingly digitalised the need to be physically present in the office is becoming redundant for many industries.

The capacity to work remotely has led to the rise of flexible arrangements, such as home-working and hot-desking. As a relatively new phenomenon, the debate over the pros and cons of both continues. Read on to find out more, and to see if working remotely is the right option for you and your organisation.

Home working

Working from home has many benefits, with the most obvious one being that home workers are spared the arduous morning commute to and from the office. It allows people to spend more time with their families and presents a quieter atmosphere with less distractions.

However, home working is not without its detractors. Many home workers have said they can feel isolated and out of the loop with the rest of the organisation due to the lack of time spent with colleagues. Additionally, some often point to the fact that, without supervision, management cannot be certain whether employees are working at full capacity or not.

Hot desking

With the skyrocketing value of property in the CBD and prime locations, it can be unviable for businesses to buy or lease office space — especially if they are smaller organisations.

Enter hot-desking, an arrangement where desks and workstations are shared by multiple people at different times. This means that valuable space is not dedicated to individual employees that are not at their desks often enough to justify it. It is also deployed as a tool by some organisations to encourage collaboration by having employees sitting next to different people each day.

Some of the downsides attributed to hot desking are that it actually decreases productivity, as a significant portion of time is spent by employees having to set up and pack up their things every day. Some people also complain about the lack of familiarity and comfort that comes with having to sit at a different desk each day, feeling like outcasts with no place in the office to call their own.

Why Companies Need a Tenant Representative When Negotiating with Landlords

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When it comes to addressing corporate real estate needs, it is vital that you have a trusted authority who is on your side and representing your best interests. Landlords will always have representation, which is why it is equally important for tenants to have a representative too.

Why a tenant representative is the best choice

Tenant representatives assist you with negotiations using their knowledge of market trends and understanding of the laws that govern the real estate industry, helping you to avoid making mistakes and being placed in a position of disadvantage. They have a fiduciary obligation to ensure that the needs of the tenant are being met, and can also use their expertise to help you with future real estate needs, such as expanding into other locations, expanding or downsizing the current space that you occupy or renegotiating leases.

Qualities to look for in a tenant representative are those that have an understanding of the industry you’re in. But even more importantly, it is essential to look for a trusted authority who you know has many years of experience, and is someone that you can rely on and feel comfortable with.

How about dual real estate agents?

Dual real estate agents maximise their revenue opportunity in the marketplace by representing both landlords and tenants. While it may sound good to have just one external party acting as an intermediary between both you and the landlord, in reality this creates the very real possibility of a conflict of interest being created. As a result, they are restricted by the advice that they can provide to landlords or tenants, meaning that neither party may be receiving the best advice. Additionally, the fact that dual real estate agents straddle the fence means that they may not have the same level of expertise for either sides to the same degree that a dedicated landlord and tenant representative possesses.

The verdict

To avoid conflicts of interest and to ensure that you are always getting objective, professional advice at all times, hiring a tenant representative who is Australia’s No. 1 Trusted Authority in Real Estate Services is smart. They will represent your best interests free of the constraints that dual real estate agents experience, in order to ensure tenants are always receiving the best results for their real estate needs.

If you’re in need of tenant representation services, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today to get the ball rolling!

 

Office Fitout Disasters and How to Avoid Them

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Leading organisations are increasingly recognising that their employees are their single greatest asset. They understand that a good quality working environment is a key ingredient in attracting and retaining talented staff.

Research has shown that increased standards of design can have a substantial positive effect upon the productivity of the occupiers of workplaces — not to mention greater employee satisfaction. People who work in well designed, well located workplaces naturally feel more valued as an employee and as a result, are more productive and less likely to be thinking of switching companies.

If planned, budgeted and managed correctly there is evidence that a good fitout can dramatically improve operational efficiency, enhance corporate image and competitive advantage and increase your client base. Unfortunately, for every business that gets a good fitout, there is another company that does not.

Read on to find a list of the most common mistakes that companies make when trying to manage the process without a professional that can manage the entire project on their behalf…

 

  1. Attempting to fit-out without a clear project brief
  2. Biting off more than you can chew
  3. Flying solo
  4. Assuming that all fit-out partners are the same
  5. Being seduced by cheap sales tactics
  6. Believing your fit-out partner’s choice of sub-contractors will have no impact on the project
  7. Believing that an investment in a Workplace Audit will be a waste of time and money
  8. Selecting the wrong building
  9. Believing that building surveys are not worth the paper they are written on
  10. Failing to consider green issues
  11. Designing your offices for the business you have today, not the one you want tomorrow
  12. Thinking that improving the workplace will make no difference to productivity or staff efficiency
  13. Expecting the power supplies granted to you by the Landlord will meet your requirements
  14. Losing control of the budget
  15. Expecting that senior management and staff will understand and agree with every aspect of the project
  16. Assuming your new landlord will just ignore dilapidations as a gesture of goodwill
  17. Allowing the comms room to be an afterthought
  18. Expecting that the new era of digital telecommunications will mean phone lines and broadband can be installed within hours of placing an order
  19. Concluding that ergonomic desks and chairs will make the staff too cosy, comfortable and inefficient
  20. Selecting end of line furniture ranges to make sure you get the best deals – you can always mix and match later for a nice mosaic look
  21. Taking no interest in storage requirements
  22. Treating tax as an after-thought
  23. Taking for granted that you are fully insured every step of the way through a project
  24. Avoiding taking any responsibility for health and safety matters, and hoping that the OH&S will not interfere.
  25. Disregarding the need to look after staff welfare and well-being
  26. Pretending that the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) does not exist or affect your business
  27. Thinking that vacating your existing premises is as simple as slamming the door and putting the key back through the letter box
  28. Assuming the physical move is best controlled by you
  29. Believing that drafting your own fit-out contract offers the best protection
  30. Taking for granted that most of the companies which share your office building will always be supportive, considerate and co-operative
  31. Taking your landlord for granted
  32. Ignoring statutory and other approvals until after the project has been completed
  33. Taking a back seat once the project goes live
  34. Accepting defects and snagging issues at the end of the contract
  35. Thinking it’s all over, but…..
  36. Failing to appoint CRCPG – Australia’s No. 1 Trusted Project Manager for Office Fitouts and Designs.