Real Estate Management, Development, and Brokerage

Tenant Login

 

Category Archives: Ask The Expert

To buy or to lease office space? That is the question.

125 Wolf Road Albany NY Office SpaceThe pros and cons of buying and leasing office space.

If you’re considering new office space to upgrade, downsize, relocate or expand your business, you’re faced with making one of two choices: purchasing a building or leasing space in one that someone else owns. Which one is right for you and your business?

Your decision ultimately comes down to your business finances and a realistic plan for where it’s heading over the next decade. Here are a few other things to consider:

Benefits of Leasing

  • Tax deductions. If you lease commercial office space, you can deduct lease payments on your taxes, saving you some money on the back end.
  • Repairs and maintenance. When you lease, the landlord is typically responsible for keeping your building in good shape and working order. Be sure to clarify who is responsible for repairs and maintenance when you enter lease negotiations.
  • Location, location, location. Leasing in prime business corridors can be a lot less costly than buying in these areas.

Benefits of Buying

  • Tax deductions. Although you can’t deduct full mortgage payments on your taxes, you can deduct your mortgage interest payments. Every little bit helps.
  • Build equity. When you buy, you’ll build equity, which can be used to grow your business in the future.
  • Income potential. If your building has more space than you need right now, you can rent out the extra space and pay down your mortgage more quickly.

Disadvantages of Leasing

  • Lease increases. When you lease office space, you may be subject to annual or term lease increases that are out of your control and hit your bottom line. Be sure to discuss lease increases with your landlord when entering lease negotiations.
  • Lack of control. If your aesthetic is modern, but your landlord’s is mid-70s department store, your surroundings may not adequately reflect your brand or feel like “home.” As a tenant, you might not have a say in property improvements and decor.
  • Growth concerns. If you plan to lease office space in an existing building, discuss the potential for future expansion and growth with your landlord. Many building owners are more than happy to accommodate and plan for future growth and changing space needs.

Disadvantages of Buying

  • Loss of flexibility. Your business – and business needs – will change over the next decade, from fluctuations in staffing and client loads to course corrections in business strategy. Owning a property can tie you to a location and decrease your flexibility.
  • If you’re a business owner, you already expend a lot of time and energy on maintaining and building your business. Add the stress of maintaining a building to your to-do list, and you’ve more than doubled your commitment.
  • Financial commitment. Purchasing real estate is a major financial commitment requiring a hefty down payment. If your business will take a hit due to a shift in resources, buying might not be your best option.

If you’re thinking of buying or leasing your next office space, contact The Anderson Group. We provide full-service commercial property management and office space leasing – from general facility management and maintenance to housekeeping, landscaping and office space planning.


For more information or to view properties in our portfolio, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

 

 

Also posted in Commercial Office Space, Small Business Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Workplace Water Efficiency. Quick tips to save water and money.

workplace water efficiencyThe summer months are upon us, and July’s heat and humidity are taking a toll…from droopy landscaping to cranked-up air conditioning units. It all adds up to a strong case for money saving water-efficiency practices in the workplace.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, commercial and institutional buildings account for 17 percent of the nation’s yearly water consumption. In addition, over the past decade, water and wastewater rates have risen “at a rate well above the consumer price index.” The EPA warns that as municipal water systems age, building owners can expect water costs to increase to offset the cost of replacement.

The good news? There are some simple, cost-effective measures you can employ to conserve water and save on operating costs in your commercial building. The three biggest culprits when it comes to water usage in office buildings are restrooms, landscaping and HVAC equipment.

RESTROOM UPGRADES

Did you know that something as simple as a leaky toilet can waste as much as 21,600 gallons of water per month? That can cost up to $2,100 per year. Toilet and urinal flushing typically account for one-third of a commercial building’s water consumption.

Inspecting restroom faucets and other fixtures for leaks is a simple, yet impactful way to make sure you aren’t flushing water (and money) down the drain. You can also replace bathroom fixtures with more efficient models, such as low-flow or ultra-low-flow models. Look for plumbing fixtures certified by the EPA’s WaterSense Program. Certified products use 20% less water without compromising performance and include water-saving toilets and high-efficiency faucets.

OUTDOOR WATER USE

We’ve all seen it: A sprinkler system aimed directly at pavement or going full tilt during a rainstorm. The fact is, landscaping water usage can account for 20% of your facility’s water consumption, making it a great area to target when looking to conserve water and lower your bill.

There are a number of practices you can employ to conserve water outdoors and save money in the process, including using native plants, reducing grassy areas, weather-based and seasonal irrigation schedules (adding a rain sensor on your irrigation system and watering less on cooler days) and installing WaterSense-certified irrigation products. Even something as simple as fitting your hoses with automatic shut-off nozzles and spreading mulch around landscaping can save water and reduce evaporation.

HVAC COOLING SYSTEMS

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, water used in HVAC cooling towers accounts for almost all of an HVAC system’s water consumption.

The fact is, all cooling towers lose water through evaporation, drift (water lost when water droplets are transported in exhaust air), and blowdown (water drained from cooling equipment to remove mineral build-up) and, therefore, consume a significant amount of water. Keep your cooling towers in good working condition through regular inspection and maintenance so your system operates at peak efficiency.

workplace water efficiency

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, WaterSense program

Other ideas for conserving cooling tower water include investing in cooling towers that use recycled water, such as storm water and using cooling tower blowdown to water your landscaping.

Develop a Water Management Plan

It’s good practice to routinely monitor your facility’s water usage. If things seem off or you’re paying more than you anticipated paying, there’s a good chance you have efficiencies that can be corrected.

Develop a workplace water efficiency water management plan to cut down on water usage and trim your water bill. Because leaks are a major culprit, they should be one of the first things you look for. Check regularly for leaks and make repairs as quickly as possible. Swap your outdated fixtures for water-efficient ones. Adjust your landscape-maintenance routine based on seasonal and daily weather changes. A few minor adjustments can add up to major cost savings and help the environment in the process.


The Anderson Group knows small businesses. To inquire about commercial properties in The Anderson Group portfolio, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

 

 

 

Also posted in General News, Office Productivity, Office Space Efficiency, Small Business Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Not your father’s office space.

millennial office spaceOffice space planning for the millennial generation.

In today’s office environment, bigger isn’t always better. Gone are the days when each employee was treated to his or her own private office, racing up the corporate ladder to larger, more coveted offices.

According to a report by Property Portfolio Research, the size of the average American office has decreased by 21 percent over the past decade. And real estate data provider, CoreNet Global, estimates that American offices now average 151 square feet per worker. Put together, it provides fertile ground for workspaces that are more collaborative, more open, occupy fewer square feet and, yes, cost less. So just how much office space does your small business need?

The rule of thumb for office space planning is this: Think smart. Plan well. If you’re moving into a new office, reorganizing your current space, downsizing or “smart-sizing,” keep these three tips in mind when determining how much space you need.

  1. Make a List. Check it Twice.

Any good planning project begins with a list. If you’re planning office space, start early by defining your space. with a list of employees and their office space requirements. Maybe the boss needs an office, but Becky, George and Lisa need cubicles in a shared, open area. If you need a conference room, reception area, break room or storage space, you’ll want to add that in, too.

  1. Plan for Growth

Why spend time and money planning and outfitting your office space, only to outgrow it and do it all over again? If you plan for growth now (think three to five years out), you can avoid growing pains later. A good rule of thumb is to carve out 125 to 225 square feet of office space per employee. But if you plan to grow your company, don’t forget to add in those future employees.

  1. Get Technical

When planning your office space, don’t forget to include your technology needs, such as access to and wiring and cabling for computers, servers, fax machines, telephones, copiers and video conferencing equipment. It even includes break room appliances, such as a refrigerator and coffee machine. Think about where these items will live so your contractor can plan for them before you move in.

Search the internet for companies that specialize in it or property management companies that offer space-planning services. You’ll get an expert assessment of your current office space and future needs, including office workflow, space usage, amenities, energy efficiency, leasing costs and technology requirements. You could even save as much as 20% on your current occupancy costs and eliminate office space that doesn’t fit your needs.


For more information about space planning or to sign up for The Anderson Group’s Smart Office Audit, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Commercial Office Space, Office Productivity, Office Space Design, Smart Office Audit | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

10 Simple Ways to Reduce Office Waste

Save money, save time, save the planet. reduce office waste

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. commercial and manufacturing activities are responsible for as much as 45% of the 150 million tons of waste the country generates each year. In addition, transporting and burning this waste creates greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

What is your business or office building doing to reduce office waste and its carbon footprint? If the task of managing and reducing office waste seems daunting, fear not. The reality is that it’s not difficult at all. And small changes can add up to big dividends.

Consider these 10 simple tips to help your company and office building improve waste management operations, reduce costs and enhance sustainability.

1. Buy Recycled Paper

It’s an easy first step: Purchase chlorine-free paper with recycled content. According to RecycleWorks, buying 20 cases of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 390 gallons of oil, 7000 gallons of water, and 4100 kwh of energy, in addition to eliminating 60 pounds of air-polluting emissions and 8 cubic feet of landfill space.

2. Get Comfortable Going Paperless

Before you hit “print,” determine if it’s something you really need on paper. Can it just as easily sit on your hard drive for access when needed? Much of what we print at the office is set aside and then discarded without a second glance.

3. Reuse Boxes and Packing Material

When you get a shipment, save the box and packing materials to use when you have a shipment going out. You can also shred old documents and reuse them as packing material.

4. Buy Used or Remanufactured Furniture

In the market for office furniture? Check Craigslist for inexpensive used furniture, or purchase like-new remanufactured furniture at a fraction of the cost from a dealer near you.

5. Reduce Your Junk Mail

Take a periodic look at the junk mail your office receives. Unsubscribe from lists and publications you no longer need. Call companies and advertisers and tell them to remove you from mailing lists. And make the switch to digital delivery of publications and newsletters you still want.

6. Reduce or Replace Paper and Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Consider getting rid of your company’s supply of disposable cups and encourage employees to bring in their own reusable mugs.

7. Replace or Properly Dispose of Your Single-Use Batteries

Invest in rechargeable batteries and battery chargers for small office devices like cameras. It’s less expensive over time and much better for the environment. If you do stick with single-use batteries, be sure to dispose of them properly.

8. Buy Recycled Toner Cartridges

Save money (typically 15% to 50% per order) and landfill waste when you buy toner cartridges that have been refurbished and refilled. When the toner runs out, simply package up your cartridge and send it back to the manufacturer for reuse. Contrary to popular belief, remanufactured ink cartridges do not damage your print heads or result in poor print quality.

9. Make Paperless Payments

Ask vendors to send your bills electronically. Online billing is greener, quicker and more secure than paying by mail. According to PayItGreen.org, a 20% reduction in paper-based billing cuts gas consumption by 102,945,600 gallons, prevents nearly 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and saves 1,811,275 trees.

10. Make the Switch to Compact Fluorescents

When your light bulbs burn out, consider replacing them with compact fluorescent bulbs. They’re more energy efficient and last longer than traditional bulbs, which saves money and the environment.

Dave Eck, maintenance manager with The Anderson Group, says commercial property managers who understand the benefits of sustainability programs reap rewards in terms of tenant loyalty and the bottom line.

“We practice energy efficiency throughout our property portfolio, and we help our tenants save money with Smart Office Audits. We helped one company save $50,000 by retrofitting their light fixtures,” says Dave Eck, maintenance manager with The Anderson Group. “Successful waste management needs to be an ongoing, well-publicized, company-wide initiative.”


The Anderson Group helps keep your business running. For information about commercial property management services or available commercial properties in our portfolio, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

Also posted in Albany NY Business, Commercial Office Space, Commercial Property Management, Energy Efficiency, Managing Your Business, Office Productivity, Office Space Efficiency | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Commercial Office Lease Terminology 101: What to know before you sign on the dotted line

commerical office leaseYou’ve found commercial office space, and you’re ready to sign your lease. But before you do, make sure you’ve done your homework.

Whether you’ve hired an attorney to help you negotiate or you’re a seasoned professional going it alone, it’s a good idea to brush up on your commercial office lease terminology. Here’s a quick primer on common lease types and commercial office lease terms and what they do – and don’t – mean.

Common Area Maintenance (CAM)

Common area maintenance costs derive from the care of building areas that are used by all tenants. CAM areas can include spaces such as hallways, lobbies, restrooms, sidewalks and parking lots. Your lease should spell out the CAM areas (and related maintenance services, such as snow plowing, landscaping, etc.) included in your rent.

Double Net Lease (NN)

A double net lease incorporates taxes and insurance into your lease payment, but the landlord is responsible for paying maintenance costs.

Gross Lease

When you sign a gross lease, you agree to pay for your space’s square footage, and your landlord agrees to pay for all other operating expenses, including utilities, maintenance, insurance and property taxes.

Leasable Area

“Leaseable area” is a blend of your office square footage plus a percentage of the square footage in the building’s common areas.

Improvements and Alterations

If you plan to customize or otherwise alter your leased space, make certain that you and your landlord are on the same page about who is responsible for doing the work, how long the work will take, and who will pay for it. You will also want to iron out how the changes you plan to make will impact your rent now and in the future.

Insurance

Your landlord may require you to carry insurance to supplement policies they carry on your building. It’s a good idea to discuss your insurance needs with your insurance agent before you sign a lease. To learn more about commercial insurance needs, see Commercial Renters Insurance: Does Your Small Business Need It?

Maintenance and Utilities

This clause spells out your responsibility to maintain your leased space. Are you responsible for paying utilities or are they included in your rent? Is routine maintenance covered under your lease terms? How about housekeeping services? This section of your lease should answer these types of questions.

Net Lease

A net lease includes your cost per square foot, as well as some costs associated with daily operation of the property, including common area maintenance (CAM) costs, utilities, insurance and property taxes.

Permitted Use

The permitted, or general, use clause will define how you are allowed to use your leased space. Permitted use will depend upon a number of factors, including building location and zoning laws, but might include such uses as manufacturing, retail and food service. Communicate your business as fully as possible when searching for space to ensure that your prospective landlord and prospective office space can meet your needs.

Premises

The premises clause should clearly define the space you’ll be leasing. In addition to physical office space, for example, your lease may give you access to common areas, such as conference rooms, break rooms, parking lots and storage rooms.

Renewal Option

You may have a renewal clause in your lease giving you the right to extend your lease term. The renewal clause should include a start and end date and specify rent costs.

Term

The term clause states your lease start and end dates. Although it seems like a no-brainer, be sure to read the fine print. Some lease terms begin the date you sign the lease; others begin upon move-in. Be sure the lease you’re signing defines your start date so you know when you can move in and when rent begins.

Triple Net Lease (NNN)

A triple net lease is a lease agreement where the tenant (or lessee) is responsible for the property’s ongoing expenses, including real estate taxes, building insurance, and maintenance, in addition to paying rent and utilities.

Signing a lease is a big step for your business, so it pays to make sure you know what you’re signing before you put your name to it.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your landlord to walk you through your lease, and be sure to ask questions along the way,” says Willard Anderson, partner at The Anderson Group. “A reputable landlord and a fair lease have nothing to hide.”


The Anderson Group helps keep your small business running. For information about commercial property management services or available commercial properties in our portfolio, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

Also posted in Albany NY Business, Commercial Office Space, Managing Your Business, Small Business Articles | Tagged , , | Comments closed