When booking summer vacation plans, you may discover that there are differences from what you and your family members look for in a hotel experience. Ask your kids? They could stay at the pool all day and night. You might require a golf course nearby, and your spouse might want a spacious room with balcony and a view.
Contrary to those enjoyable hotel features, there are certain services and amenities that may not ever get mentioned; for example, a daily maid service, enough electrical plugs to charge all of your family’s gadgets, TV channels that fit your family’s needs, and great personalities at the front desk to help when you need more towels at 10 p.m. These are services that we expect from hotels, but when unavailable, they can negatively impact the vacation.
Service is a critical but sometimes forgotten component when selecting a new office space as well. Executives get caught up in making sure there is enough parking, enough space for expansion, and that the building has the needed amenities for retaining and recruiting employees. Although these are important needs to check off of your list, the overall management of the building from a day-to-day basis is equally as important—and will either give your staff headaches or make it a great place to work.
Here at CASE, Lisa Donovan leads a BOMA-award-winning property management team. I recently chatted with her to get her tips on questions tenants should ask before making your office relocation decisions.
• Determine who will be managing the property on a day-to-day basis.
• Is the manager on site or at another location?
• If they’re at another building, how are day-to-day issues handled?
• What is the tenure on property of the manager? How many buildings do they handle?
• How many engineers/porters are assigned?
• What is the typical turnaround time on a work order?
• Is the management company in-house with building ownership, or is the function outsourced to a third-party provider?
• When problems occur how are they reported and managed?
• Does the interaction seem to be reactive (“We’ll respond when you have an issue”) or proactive (“Let’s meet quarterly to make sure your needs are being met”)?
• Ask if you can conduct tenant interviews with other major users in the building.
• Is the property Energy Star-certified?
• Ask to see an emergency response plan for fire, storm, tornado, etc.
• How does the property management team handle security?
Just like my family’s needs for the hotel this summer, every company’s real estate space needs are different. Hopefully you have a solid relationship with the real estate professional who’s representing you, and they can help identify the pros and cons for each of the questions above and weigh them based on your criteria.
As principal, John Conger oversees operations at CASE Commercial Real Estate Partners, a full-service firm with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.