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Mild temperatures make fall the perfect time of year to conduct a thorough review of your commercial property. A few preventative maintenance steps can help you avoid unexpected repair costs that might become a bigger emergency in extreme winter weather.
Here are 5 easy steps to prepare your commercial building for winter:
1. Fully inspect the roof.
Your roof provides unparalleled protection to many of your systems and building infrastructure. Even small leaks can turn into major, costly issues if not promptly addressed. Ensure a professional roofer carefully inspects exposed surfaces and drainage systems, particularly if it's been a while since routine maintenance was last performed.
2. Check the HVAC.
Ensure all your freeze protection systems are reliably and properly powered. Valves are often affected by the extreme heat of the Columbus summers, which can result in faulty operations and leaks when winter sets in. Go through each heated and chilled water system to pinpoint small problems before they become big ones.
3. Maintain the mechanical and plumbing systems.
Ensure freeze stats are set at correct temperatures and heating systems are properly operating. Have leaky valves, damaged actuators and linkages repaired. While tedious, an routine audit helps you locate and correct problems before an emergency occurs.
4. Inspect the insulation.
Even small breaches in insulation can lead to big problems, like high operating costs. Review each insulated system for damage or missing protection, and make necessary repairs. Consider the climate and exposure to the elements when determining the best level of insulation for your commercial property.
5. Don't set it and forget it!
Monitor how your commercial building responds to season changes over time. Consistent data collection enables you to identify when systems don't operate as intended. In winter months, for instance, your HVAC system might labor to bring the building to a comfortable temperature.
To minimize energy consumption, adjust the set-back temperature or identify over-performing heating elements.
Don't know where to start? DRK and Company in Columbus, OH, offers facility maintenance services to keep things running smoothly in your commercial property. We have been serving Columbus for more than 40 years with commercial property management. Preserve and improve the value of your real estate investment by contacting DRK and Company today at 614.540.2404.
Whether you're a new entrepreneur looking for your first office space or a seasoned executive looking to expand your growing company, it's always in your best interest to use a tenant representative when searching for commercial real estate and negotiating the terms of your lease.
Tenant Reps work with commercial buyers just like a buyer's agent in a residential transaction. If you're considering going it alone for your next commercial lease, here are the top 3 reasons why you need to get a broker ASAP:
- Market Expert
Finding commercial property is only part of what a tenant rep can do for you. Knowing which deals are good – and which aren't – is also an important part of the process. Tenant brokers are market experts, and they have a good sense of fair-market pricing. They also know which lease varieties are common in the area and can advise whether or not a proposed offer is reasonable.
2. Negotiating Expert
Often, commercial real estate negotiations are long and complicated. They usually involve both business and legal points. Plus, the multiple business terms in your proposed lease might make it hard to track the deal and tell if you're coming out ahead or behind. Tenant representatives make a career out of skilled negotiations and manage the leasing process for you.
Tenant Reps also send RFPs to landlords/owners requesting amenities, terms, conditions, allowances, etc. on your behalf.
3. Process Expert
Tenant representatives are not only market and negotiating experts, they are skilled in managing the entire leasing process across multiple disciplines, including architecture, real estate law, and financial analysis. Your tenant rep has knowledge in these areas and the best connections to local experts who can assist with your transaction. Tenant reps also coordinate and manage the team of professionals involved in the leasing process.
At DRK and Company, our skilled tenant representatives will take the time to understand your goals, how you'll utilize your new office space, and how your new real estate fits into your overall business objectives. Our consultants negotiate lease terms for you and pride themselves on sound business management.
Find out how a DRK tenant rep can help you expand your business. Contact an agent today at 614.540.2404.
"The City of Columbus has helped our company immensely with job creation tax credits (which have allowed us to create more jobs), insight and feedback," says small business owner Tanisha Robinson. "I can't think of a better place for entrepreneurs than Columbus."
Are you considering launching a new business? Are you expanding or relocating an existing one? The City of Columbus has several programs consisting of a mix of federal, state and Franklin County tax incentives, and loans and grants, which can provide gap funding/assistance in realizing your dream.
Businesses in the Columbus metropolitan area benefit from:
- No personal property tax
- No inventory tax
- No state corporate income tax
Tax Incentive Programs
Several programs are available to assist new and existing businesses complete commercial, industrial, office and residential development projects. These incentives include:
- Job Creation Tax Credit – This refundable tax credit is given to companies that create at least 10 new jobs within 3 years. The credit is applied toward the company's commercial activity tax liability.
- Ohio Community Reinvestment Areas – This program provides qualifying companies with an exemption of up to 100% of improvement value for up to 15 years on property taxes. It's designed to offer real estate tax abatements on the increased value of real property improvements. Today, this program is used as an economic development tool to help businesses in expansion.
- Ohio Enterprise Zone Program – This program gives real property tax incentives for businesses that expand in or relocate to Ohio. The Enterprise Zone Program helps stimulate economic development and allows Columbus to offer competitive business recruitment packages to prospective businesses. Certain qualifying businesses might be eligible for additional benefits, too.
Columbus offers businesses a variety of loans that can assist area companies as they grow and create jobs in Ohio. Some loan programs include:
- Research and Development Investment Loan – This fund provides loan financing between $500,000 and $5 million to Ohio businesses for projects research and development activity projects.
- 166 Direct Loan – This loan provides money for land and building acquisition, construction, expansion, or renovation, and equipment purchases for eligible businesses.
Innovation Ohio Loan Fund – This fund was created to assist existing Columbus, OH, companies in developing next-generation services and products. It's good for acquisition, construction, and related capital costs of technology, facilities and equipment purchases.
The State of Ohio also offers Columbus businesses grants to promote economic development, business expansion and job creation. Some available grants include:
- JobsOhio Economic Development Grant – This grant provides funding for businesses that create new jobs.
- Roadwork Development – These funds are allocated for public roadway improvements, including engineering and design costs. Projects typically involve manufacturing, research and development, high technology, corporate headquarters and distribution activity. To qualify, the business must create or retain jobs.
Additional incentives might be available at the municipality or Franklin County level. These incentives include:
- Performance-based incentives or job-growth incentives
- Additional workforce training assistance
- Loan programs
The City of Columbus is committed to ensuring your success – the city cannot be successful without entrepreneurs like you. If you're looking for real estate to start your business in Columbus, the experts at DRK Realtors can help. Contact us today.
Commercial real estate leases might seem daunting, especially since they're a long-term commitment and a heavy investment. But, they're not as complicated as you might think.
Generally speaking, there are three main types of commercial real estate leases:
- Gross, or Full Service, Leases
- Net Leases
3. Mortified Gross Leases
All these leases have one thing in common – they all provide a base rent with options for who pays for which operational expense. Here's a breakdown of the different lease types:
Gross/Full Service Lease
With this lease option, the tenant's rent covers all operating costs, including expenses like utilities, maintenance and property tax. The landlord pays these property operating costs with the tenant's rent. While the base rent might seem relatively high, it's the only cost to the tenant.
Many tenants prefer a gross lease – the rent is fixed, and they don't need to worry about operational costs. In the summer, for instance, you won't spend any more money as energy consumption increases.
A gross lease is easy for the tenant – they can forecast expenses and concentrate on growing their business.
You'll find gross leases mainly for retail, industrial and freestanding commercial properties.
This commercial real estate lease is highly adjustable. While the base rent might be lower than a gross lease, a net lease requires the tenant to pay fixed operating expenses, like insurance, maintenance and property taxes. The 4 types of net leases include:
- Single Net Lease: The tenant pay rent, a portion of the property tax, and utilities directly. The landlord assumes building expenses.
- Double Net Lease: Similar to a single next lease, a double net lease requires the tenant to also pay a portion of the property insurance.
- Triple Net Lease: This is perhaps the most common lease agreement – on top of their base rent, the tenant also pays for some or all of insurance, property tax, and common area maintenance.
- Absolute Triple Net Lease: This is probably the most uncommon commercial lease. In this magnified agreement, the tenant assumes all costs – they have sole responsibility of the building. While the tenant basically "owns" the building without buying it, they are also responsible for all property damage and catastrophic instances.
Modified Gross Lease
This lease offers fair middle ground for both tenants and landlords. A modified gross lease fosters a range of negotiations and dialogues around operating costs. Here, the lease rate remains fixed – even if costs increase or decrease.
Before signing a lease for your next commercial real estate space, read the proposed agreement carefully. Clarify with the landlord exactly what expenses you are responsible for.
Location, location, location – one of the biggest questions you'll need to answer with any new business is where you will locate it. Will you work from home, or set up a commercial space?
A home-based business certainly has some advantages. For instance, your commute and rent costs are nonexistent. But, you'll also sacrifice valuable business opportunities, like "walk-in" customers, brand development and community outreach. There comes a time in every small business or startup when working out of a home office becomes more of a hindrance to growth than a cost-savings measure.
Consider these top 5 reasons to choose a brick and mortar location for your new business.
1. Room to Grow
Avoid growing pains by investing in more space than you have at home. This gives your business room to expand when the time comes.
2. Professional Relationships
Many business analysts believe that a brick and mortar location offers a more professional and credible feel.
3. Room for Employees
When your business expands, you'll need a larger workforce. A commercial building will give you room for your new team members and provide everyone with enough private space to be productive.
4. More Energy
When you hire more employees – or even work out of a shared workspace – you'll have more people around to fuel your creativity. Sometimes, just being around and talking with others can spark a great new idea.
5. More Focus
Leave your home concerns where they belong – at home. When you leave the house to go to your office, you'll have more time and energy to focus on your workday and foster your business development.
Only you can determine what work environment is the most beneficial to your business, and where your work-life balance will be ideal.
When you decide it's time to expand out of your home, DRK and Company can help. We're your commercial real estate specialists in the Westerville, OH, community. Contact an agent today at 614.540.2404 to find the right brick and mortar location for your business.