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Frustrated by how much time and energy it takes to lease or buy commercial real estate (office, medical, dental, retail, industrial, etc.), whether you have to open up multiple locations across the US or even just one?

What to look for in commercial real estate deals

Although you’re great at what you do relating to your business, you’re probably not an expert at all the aspects of commercial real estate that affect your bottom line:

  • Finding suitable locations on and off the market in the areas you need to open an office in.
  • Knowing what the markets are so you don’t overpay.
  • Writing the offer correctly.
  • Making the necessary changes to lease or purchase contracts. These can be over 100 pages long that contain numerous financial and legal exposures and hidden landlord/seller profit centers.
  • Reviewing the annual operating expense bills that you have to pay your share of.
  • Figuring out if the space you are trying to lease was measured correctly and even how it was measured (this is an area that landlords commonly overinflate unreasonably).
  • And so much more.

Good commercial brokers and real estate attorneys often miss some of these points, even when they’re working as a team. If these commercial real estate pros aren’t catching all of these landlord profit centers, then you can bet you aren’t either.

The benefits of outsourcing your commercial real estate functions

Why not stop trying to do it on your own, since you don’t specialize in the commercial real estate field? By outsourcing your commercial real estate functions

  • You’ll be sure that it’s done right.
  • You won’t leave money on the table.
  • You can free up your time to work on the profitable company business that you specialize in.
  • You can outsource the work to a commercial real estate broker that specializes in this and will do it right.
  • There’s no cost to you.

That’s right: done right at no cost to you. How can you do this? The trick is finding the right broker, which is not easy to do.

What commercial landlords and sellers don’t want you to know

  • Landlords and sellers love it when you don’t use a broker and try and do it yourself. Or if you use their broker or even the same brokerage firm that they use. It’s kind of like using your opponent’s attorney in court — which not only isn’t allowed, but wouldn’t be too smart.
  • Since the landlord or seller pays the broker representing you the commission, landlords love it when you don’t use one, because they keep this money. You lose out on having an expert in the commercial real estate field represent you. But the landlord doesn’t give you a credit in any way for saving him money.

The experience of 1,000 leases at work for you

After completing almost 1,000 leases in the past 27 years — mostly representing the landlord — I have never seen a tenant do well trying to do it on their own or using the landlord’s broker or brokerage firm. And I have never seen a tenant get a credit for saving the landlord paying a commission because the tenant didn’t use a broker.

Landlords and sellers have a team representing them, consisting of architects, accountants, attorneys, insurance brokers, property managers, brokers and others that all specialize in commercial real estate. Trust me, you need your Read Original Article

You are a business owner with barely enough time in the day to run your company, much less worry about real estate. Someone on your staff reminds you that your lease will be expiring in a few months, so you start to think about what that will mean. Mostly, your current space works for you. You might need more or less space and the carpet and the paint might need replacing but it works. You are comfortable and moving is a hassle!

At the same time, you begin to notice all of the “Available Space” signs on your way to and from your office some in nice buildings. You call some of them and discover that although there is a sign in front of the building, there isn’t necessarily any space that would suit your operation and the rents seem about the same. It all becomes a little overwhelming, and soon you contact your landlord and “ask” him if you can renew your lease. He says, “Sure, I’ll send you a simple lease amendment. Just sign it, and you’ll be good for the next five years.”

You have taken the path of least resistance; done deal. You read the amendment and notice that they are going to repaint your space and drop your rent a few cents per square foot but wonder if they are really giving you a “market” deal. Still, you’ve have your business to run, so you sign it, and it goes back in the file until next time.

The high costs of being a landlord’s dream come true

You are a landlord’s dream come true! You may have saved some time, but it came at a high cost – usually 20% to 40% or more in occupancy costs and with short and long term legal/economic exposure that would surprise you and cause you to not to renew your lease if you knew they existed.

Here are just a few of the items that you might have missed:

  • Lower rent (those continued escalations over the past years have caused your rent to be above market for comparable space).
  • Free Rent (most sub-markets are seeing as much as 1 month free for each year of lease term).
  • Improvement allowance (air conditioning/heating, new carpet, paint, move walls, lighting upgrades, etc.).
  • New base year for real estate taxes and other operating expenses, limiting which expenses are even allowed and can increase and be added to future years.
  • Options to expand or contract your space or to renew or terminate your lease early; and one of the most common, rent reductions a year or more in advance of when your current lease term ends.

Most importantly, there are hidden landlord profit centers in your lease. You may never have heard of them, and don’t understand that they can increase your rent, but they’re very real, and expensive:

  • Measuring your space and the building common areas incorrectly.
  • Operating expenses with no limits.
  • The large amount of your share of property tax increases due to the sale of the project will surprise you.
  • Earthquake insurance costs, an expensive type of insurance, where you pay your share of a shocking 20% deductible of the entire project’s value (which could bankrupt many tenants).

The lease’s clauses are usually more important than the economics of the deal itself and many times it would save you money to have a higher rent but better lease clauses!

If your rationale is that your landlord would not want your broker involved you are correct. Re-read above, and you’ll know why. It’s not primarily because your landlord doesn’t want to pay a broker’s fee. It’s primarily because many of the countless economic deal points and clauses in your lease that you are not equipped to negotiate are landlord pro Read Original Article

Let’s face it – it is difficult to buy, sell, lease or manage commercial real estate properties without the help of an expert. Would you go to court without an attorney? Then why would you negotiate a lease without an expert representing you?

Hiring a good licensed commercial real estate agent is your best bet against losing thousands of dollars you will likely spend when you make costly mistakes, or miss out on solid commercial real estate investing opportunities.

That is why finding and hiring the right commercial real estate agent should be your first priority. This critical step can make or break your commercial real estate venture. And, as important as these issues are, there is simply much more to a good commercial real estate agent than finding the right property and negotiating the deal terms.

A good commercial broker negotiates your lease correctly. A great one is your watchdog even after your lease is signed.

A good commercial agent will also assist you:

  • Whenever you have a dispute with your landlord.
  • In reviewing what a lease clause means.
  • Auditing invoices from your landlord for issues like annual operating expenses, and so many other areas that usually arise over the course of a lease or after a purchase.

This agent should be your partner for all matters concerning commercial real estate, especially pertaining to the original transaction that this agent made with you. If your agent can’t perform these services because his knowledge is limited or he doesn’t want to take the time to do so for you, it would be in your best interest to find one that can.

Most agents do not have the full knowledge required to represent you best so be careful to choose the right agent. Too many agents make their commission initially on a transaction and then do not help or check in with their client later to see if they can help them further although they may not be able to help them because of their lack of knowledge or experience. Check references to find out if your prospective agent gives good follow up service throughout the terms of your sale or lease and has the knowledge and resources to do so. Choosing the wrong agent now can cost you money, time and headaches later.

The differences between residential and commercial brokers — and why it matters

Not all real estate agents are created equal.

  • Residential real estate agents, sometimes known as Realtors, are qualified to sell houses and other small residential dwellings but are not usually qualified to give advice regarding commercial property. Residential agents normally have little knowledge of and experience with commercial properties. This lack will end up costing you time and money as well as increase your legal liability.
  • And likewise, a commercial agent may not be the right choice to represent you in selling or purchasing a house as they are not usually experienced in such matters.
  • Using an experienced and trusted third party such as an attorney, accountant, and a real estate agent as an intermediary in negotiations is a time-tested and proven method of obtaining the best deal. (That’s why so many prudent businesses still use these methods today).
  • Always use a reputable, licensed, trained and experienced commercial agent regarding a commercial real estate transaction.

There are three types of agents:

  1. “Buyer Agent” (also called “Tenant Agent” or “Lessee Agent”).
  2. “Seller Agent” (also called Read Original Article
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Westlake Village: The Old Plug Nickel location (now a wine tasting bar called Cuvee Terrace) in WLV is being sold and leased to one of my clients that has a couple of very high end successful Italian restaurants in other cities.

The vacant space in the same center as Lure Seafood just past The Counter location has signed a lease for a New Zealand Pacific Rim type restaurant called Aroha that is one of my clients.  In the old 90210 Pho location in this center to the left of The Counter, a new restaurant called Kaze which somehow fuzes Japanese and Italian foods together signed a lease.

In Agoura Hills, Vincitori Italian (owns Spumoni in NP also and replaced China Star here)  just opened up recently in the Agoura Hills City Mall where the Agoura’s Famous Deli is and there will also be a new Kosher Israeli restaurant opening in the next couple of months just to the left of this Deli.  I am involved in both of these deals.

Padri’s will be opening up a high end Mexican restaurant in the Whizzins Center where Latigo Kid used to be in the next couple of months.  Latigo relocated to the old Alamo location in the Vons anchored center at Kanan and Thousand Oaks Blvd. in Agoura Hills.

Calabasas: The old Red Robins in Calabasas is being leased by the Agoura Famous Deli owner and it’s yet to been seen what it will become.

Westlake Village: The Gelsons/Sprouts/Vons center in WLV (all owned by one owner) is performing a 25-million dollar renovation and is going to not only remodel but also build new buildings in some of the parking areas as well as try to connect all 3 different plazas into one.  New restaurants/food uses coming here are:  Leilas (rumor only, not confirmed), Mendocino Farms, Pitfire Artisan Pizza, Le pain Quotidien, Pressed Juicery and Firefly.   And here is what the new plaza will look like with a list of current and new tenants:   http://s.lnimg.com/attachments/52094D72-3578-4790-A932-A1142E78AB9C.pdf.

Besides me representing Tifa Chocolate and Gelato for a potential second location at the new Target center in WLV called The Shoppes at Westlake, here is what else is going on at this center:

Target is under construction with a July 25, 2014, grand opening date and they own their land.  The goal is to get all other Tenants open on or around this date, with the exception of buildings B and E, which will be later phases delivered in September.

Here is a website link that will show you a site plan for each building so you can see where each tenant is going in this new center.

Building J – In N Out

Building G

  • Suite A:  Hook Burger
  • Suite B:  Negotiating with several food users
  • Suite C:  In Leases with a sit-down seafood restaurant
  • Suite D:  In Leases with a dessert tenant

Building F

  • Suite A:  In Leases with a sub sandwich tenant
  • Suite B:  Greens Up!
  • Suite C:  Olio E Limone Ristorante
  • Suite D:  Olio E Limone Pizzeria & Enoteca

Building C

  • Suite G:  Los Agaves
  • Suite F:  All Tressed Up (blow dry bar, also offers make-up application)
  • Suite E:  In Leases with a wireless tenant
  • Suite D:  Endless Beauty (high end beauty supply)
  • Suite B & C:  Salon suites tenant (haircut and color services)
  • Suite A:  BCBC Nail Salon

Building D

  • Suite A:  Negotiating with sushi concept
  • Suite B:  Negotiating with women’s apparel
  • Suite C:  Negotiating with a jewelry store
  • Suite D:  Negotiating with a home goods boutique
  • Suite E & Read Original Article
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Business Categories

Synergy Business Connections helps businesses grow through relationship marketing and we follow the exclusive category format with one member per Conejo Chamber of Commerce business sub-category. Your business sub-category appears on your Conejo Chamber profile page, right under your business name, to see if your category is eligible. We welcome you to join us at a meeting as our guest to experience the Synergy network for yourself.

Some messages from our group...

What makes the Conejo Valley special, unique or interesting?

I like to call Thousand Oaks "the biggest little town in the country." Even though its size is well over 100,000 residents, it still has a small town feel. You are liable to see someone you know every time you go out. I also like the fact that it has protected itself from the blight that has ruined so many other communities in Southern California by restricting things such as billboards, building structure and height, paid parking lots, and corner strip malls. 

— Cary Ginell - VC On Stage