Common Tenant Mistakes

Common Tenant Mistakes

Avoid these Common Tenant Mistakes to  make your lease work harder for you.

Office space is more than a box where you do business.  An office lease is often the second-greatest expenditure for a business after payroll.  Make sure your office lease is more than a cost centre but a competitive advantage by avoiding these common tenant mistakes:

1. Procrastination

The #1 most common mistake is starting the lease renewal or relocation process too late.  Don’t put off searching for new office space until the last minute.

For tenants with space under 10,000 square feet, Industry wisdom says that tenants should start searching a minimum of 6-12 months ahead of time. It could take at least that long to search for the right property, perform due diligence and draft and negotiate the lease. If the space needs remodeling or construction to fit your business needs, it can stretch to 12 months or more.

For office space needs over 10,000 square feet, businesses should be looking 12-18 months ahead of the lease expiring. Office space options could be paltry with a short searching window, and waiting too long could result in settling for the best that is available, rather than finding the best possible fit.

Even for tenants that are aware of how long the process takes, it can still be a challenge to make something a priority that is so far in the distance compared to the fires that need to be put out on a daily basis.

2. Not assessing long-term priorities.

Look beyond the immediate needs of the business and factor in long-term needs such as obtaining lease terms that allow the company to expand, downsize or relocate as circumstances dictate.  Review your lease for these terms to ensure the future of your business.

  •  Expansion Rights
  • Cancellation Rights (Termination Right)
  • Extension Rights
  • Sublet Rights

This is also a great time to define the company image, the budget, type of workspace (private offices v. open-concept) and the amount of space required.  An architect will develop a space plan that considers layout, growth forecasts, and floor load capacity.  Don’t be stuck with expensive empty space or unhappy over-crowded employees.  Take the time now to assess long-term company priorities.

3. Inadequate representation.

A landlord’s core business is commercial real estate; yours is making widgets.  Therefore it can be assumed that the landlord has the edge on crafting leases that benefit their bottom line.  Don’t show up without representation.  An experienced and specialized Tenant Representation Broker is invaluable for finding the right property, negotiating a fair lease, providing market data and ensuring an optimal office location is selected for you. Brokers not only save the tenant time and money, but create leverage and help you use it effectively to negotiate the best rates, terms and incentives.

Business owners will not be aware of all the office space location options without using a Tenant Representation Broker.   An experienced Broker Team like Chris and Adam have a database of every property on the market, an extensive network, and know of options which are not yet vacant or even on the market.

Best practice dictates that you keep your Tenant Representation Broker involved in expansions, contractions, renewals and extensions that occur so they can ensure informed decisions are made and no opportunities for optimization are lost.

4. Paying too much rent.

Do your homework.  Companies and/or Tenants that do not obtain accurate and current market research may pay too high a rental rate. Landlord flexibility changes constantly depending upon many factors including current occupancy rates in the building and competitors nearby, length of lease, tenant’s use, parking requirements, financial strength of tenant, etc.

Negotiations are especially important with lease renewals, since Landlords are most competitive when the space is placed on the open market.

5. Bottom line over location attributes.

The value of office space to a business is more than its rate per rentable square foot. As with all real estate it comes down to location, location, location.  Location of clients, location of resources and location of employees.

A budget is always important, and you should never enter into a lease that’s unaffordable.  However, an office building reflects the company image and stands to impress clients and help recruit and retain employees.  Location is paramount–it can be the property’s biggest plus or biggest minus. Location effects employees commutes and talent acquisitions. Amenities should be considered as well, since happy employees are productive employees and never underestimate the power of natural light on worker productivity.

Finally, be proactive and plan ahead, be clear about objectives, do your research, pay attention to the details and get a team of experts on your side.  Once it’s over you can go back to business as usual confident in a good lease and great office space.

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Connectivity Critical Factor in Office Space

Connectivity Critical Factor in Office Space

Why Connectivity Should Be a Critical Factor in Choosing Office Space

Fibre, DAS & Wifi 6 are Must-Haves

The workplace has gone through a lot of changes over the last ten years due to emerging technologies.  Not too long ago, the office was a place for employees working a traditional 9-5.  Desks had landlines, fax machines and large desktop computers with dial-up internet connections.

Today, connectivity is synonymous with productivity, in offices.  In a WiredScore survey of Greater Toronto office workers 95% said internet outages or poor connectivity negatively impacts their companies and themselves, while 22% say they experience connectivity issues weekly.

Many companies sign long-term leases and therefore businesses must always take into account their future needs.  The benefits of fibre optic internet, DAS and Wifi 6 for commercial real estate occupiers is vital to future success and employee retention.   

Importance of Fibre Optic

Internet connectivity is the foundation of numerous day-to-day applications such as video conferencing, cloud computing and big data analytics. As more businesses move towards using these applications, their bandwidth requirements intensify, underscoring the importance of internet connectivity for workplace productivity.

Companies that use cloud computing need reliable transfer of data over the internet, to store and access their information from data centres. The “cloud” is an extension of the office facility, and therefore, high-quality internet connectivity should be a paramount consideration.

Fibre optic internet is the most efficient telecommunication infrastructure available today. Fibre optic internet provides faster upload and download speeds, along with superior connectivity when compared to traditional fixed-line copper broadband.

We’ve compiled a list of questions Tenants should ask when looking for Fibre connected office space. Click here to download the Fibre Optic Checklist for Tenants.


Can’t get a decent cell signal in your office?  It’s a very real problem. Spotty mobile coverage is a large source of frustration that can impact workers’ productivity — it can even make or break their decision to stay with a company.  Cell phones are second only to email as the preferred method of office communication. 

Newer buildings use Low-E glass to keep out heat and reflect sunlight.  But this glass prevents radio frequency waves from penetrating too.  The same radio frequency waves smart phones require to work well. 

Businesses need to ensure reliable in-building cell phone connectivity to support the growing numbers of employees who use mobile devices to do business –- and who expect always-on, reliable indoor signals. 

New office space being considered needs a strong cell signal.  Ask if the building has been wired with a Distributed Antenna System (DAS).  It’s a system consisting of amplifiers and antennas distributed throughout the building using fibre and ensures a strong cell signal for employees.

Wi-Fi 6

There is a new Wi-Fi standard being rolled out in 2019, Wi-Fi 6.  It’s a major advance over previous standards, and can make your network more productive.  

It is faster, which translates into additional bandwidth for each user.  It’s bandwidth that will be important for future video conferencing needs, fewer laptops and more reliance on mobile devices.

Wi-Fi 6 will support more connections, transmit data faster and save battery life of devices.   An open floor plan and scores of devices trying to connect to a single access point clogs the current network.   Wi-Fi 6 fixes many of these limitations and should be a consideration when looking for new office space. 


With the decline in traditional, locally-hosted IT systems and the growing adoption of internet services like cloud storage and software as a service (SaaS), buildings without fibre are not a viable option for many companies anymore. 

The explosion of cellular connectivity has made smartphones and tablets indispensable in our personal and professional lives.  Ensuring constant connectivity through cell service and Wi-Fi is paramount to employee retention today.

Telecommunication infrastructure has become a major competitive advantage and an essential workplace amenity.  By using a commercial real estate broker that specializes in your market, they can secure office space that is right for your future technological requirements.

Is your office space ready for the future?


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8 Signs It Might Be Time For New Office Space

8 Signs It Might Be Time For New Office Space

There is never a perfect time to move for a business.  Finding new office space takes time.  It’s natural to want to stay in your current location for as long as possible.  However, ignoring signs that it’s time for a change could be bad for business and long-term sustainability.

Below are 8 indicators it’s time to start looking for new office space.  If any of these sound familiar, a move should be seriously considered. 

1. Cramped Office Conditions & Lack of Privacy

Are meeting rooms overbooked? Is all the desk space occupied?  Are employees shifted around with each new hire? And nowhere to make a confidential phone call?  If these are problems you are facing, new office space might the solution or at least consider an office redesign.

2. Too Much Unused Space

Now that telecommuting has gained popularity, many businesses find that they need less office space.  Consider moving to a smaller office to save on square footage costs. Telecommuting employees can use shared work areas when in the office to conserve space and reduce overhead.

3. Employee Turnover Is High

Is employee turnover rate mystifyingly high?   Add questions about office space, location and amenities to exit interviews to determine if an out-of-date office, lack of amenities and lack of access to public transportation are lowering morale and employee retention.  Offices lacking modern technology, desired amenities and public transit cannot compete with the modern employment pool today, especially the millennials. 

4. Difficulty Recruiting Top Talent

Having trouble recruiting new personnel? Many companies now build their company culture around their real estate location and offered amenities to recruit and retain top talent.  When you want and need the best talent, you’re going to face competition.  Moving to a new office space can become your advantage with a great location and top amenities to entice candidates.

5. Wi-Fi & Cellular Service Is Unreliable

Being able to access Wi-Fi and cellular service throughout an entire office is a true necessity today that significantly impacts day-to-day operational efficiency.  If dropped calls and poor connectivity are interfering with your team’s ability to work, it is time for new office space.  Many buildings now offer superior digital connectivity as part of a buildings infrastructure. The Internet is among the top three most important factors in searching for office space, along with cost and location.

6. Paying More Than Your Neighbours

Do some research to find out what the average rental rate is in the area. If you’re paying more than others around you, it’s time to renegotiate your lease or move. A commercial real estate broker who specializes in your region can give you insight into what your neighbours are paying.

7. Punctuality Is A Widespread Problem

Does it seem like the majority of your employees are late every morning? Evaluate whether the location of the office is to blame for their lack of punctuality. Is your location difficult to access due to traffic, crowded parking lots or distance from public transportation? Are elevators slow or not the right size for the number of people in the building?  All these factors contribute to employee punctuality and can be remedied with an office move.

8. Your Brand Identity Has Evolved

Over time, the company’s brand image has changed. What was ‘on brand’ years ago is now out-of-date.   Think about the message the current office and location conveys to the team, customers and the general public.  There is no bigger reboot to company culture than an office move. 

When moving to new space never ignore all those unwanted patterns of behaviour the current space created.  Allow yourself enough time to build a well thought out office plan to ensure enough meeting rooms, ample work areas and quality digital connectivity for all employees to avoid lost productivity.

When done right, moving to new office space is a move in the right direction for productivity, culture and employee morale.  Always work with a qualified commercial real estate broker who will take the time to fully understand your needs and timelines.  A good broker will conduct a market analysis and present multiple options.  They will analyze the economics of each new location and negotiate the best deal possible for your business. 

Contact Chris and Adam to get started today.

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The A, B and C’s of Office Building Designations.  Understanding the Difference.

The A, B and C’s of Office Building Designations.  Understanding the Difference.

When exploring options for office space, buildings are often marked with a letter designation of “A”, “B” or “C”. Understanding the differences between the Classes of A, B, and C buildings will help you focus on options that are the right fit for your company. Each class of building has its benefits and drawbacks.

Class A

A building designated as Class A is the highest quality building in the area. Most buildings with this designation have been constructed within the last 15 years or have been renovated recently.


Maintenance and repair should be minimal with this class of buildings.  This  helps to stabilize Common Area Maintenance (CAM) costs and reduces inconveniences. Buildings in this class have a good reputation and prominent businesses are tenants.  Usually Class A buildings are more energy efficient and may have green features that minimize utility costs for tenants.  Class A buildings are usually professionally managed which means concerns are addressed quickly.  These buildings tend to have many great amenities such as: café’s, a gym, security services and shared facilities like common boardrooms or tenant lounges.


With so many benefits, Class A buildings have the highest rental rates.

Class B

Class B designations are given to buildings that are older but usually still in good condition with professional property management services provided and offer limited amenities to tenants.


Despite their age, Class B buildings are still functionally sound and are not likely to have major unexpected repair and maintenance issues. Due to the age of the building rental rates tend to be reasonable, making Class B buildings optimal for small businesses. Buildings with professional management services offered ensures the same responsiveness to concerns you would receive in a Class A building.  Amenities are usually limited and not best-in-class.  For example, most Class B buildings will likely have a small café, but unlikely to have other offerings such as a gym or security guard etc.


Class B buildings are not shiny and new which can result in higher Common Area Maintenance fees and utility costs. Older buildings also require more routine maintenance and lack energy efficiency features and cost savings newer buildings offer. Offering office amenities is any easy way to attract and retain top talent.   If your company is in a growth phase the lack of amenities in Class B buildings could be a hurdle. 

Class C

Class C buildings are the oldest in a geographic area and are usually low rise office buildings. These buildings may or may not offer on-site building management.  They also tend to lack all amenities such as; renovated common areas, cafe & coffee shops, gyms and security services.  But offer functional office space at below average rental rates and are ideal for short term-leases.


Class C buildings have the lowest rental rates. Space is usually more readily available even in areas where commercial real estate is in high demand.  A good Tenant Representation Broker can use this to negotiate more favourable lease terms and secure funds for tenant improvements. 


Class C office buildings do not usually provide the corporate “look” that many companies are seeking.  The lack of amenities can negatively impact attracting new employees and decrease employee morale. You get what you pay for and it’s more than likely in a Class C building that repairs and maintenance will be required frequently. 


An office lease is usually the second-greatest expenditure for a business.  A Tenant Broker Representative ensures that an office lease is more than a cost centre but a competitive advantage.  The Tenant Brokers’s job is to secure the best terms and perks for your company in any class of building.   They will also  provide insight into the property management services, utility costs and maintenance fees you can expect.  Providing you the peace of mind and the best possible terms.

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