In my last post I wrote about how important the details are in negotiating a successful office lease transaction. I received some interesting and positive feedback from many people on this topic, including an architect who we’ve worked with on several projects. Martin Goldstein is the Principal of Venture Architecture and has a similar mindset when it comes to understanding tenant’s requirements and designing and building cost effective spaces to meet those requirements. His comment to me was “the reason your projects are successful is because you want to know why”. As I reflected on this I realized that most of our clients have the same mindset. They want to know how best to design and build space to meet the unique needs of their employees. They want to know what the all in costs are including required up front capital prior to making a decision. They want to understand the trade offs between a longer lease term and higher tenant improvement allowance vs. a shorter term and lower allowance. And the list goes on.
There are numerous stories of companies that have found out after the deal was done that there was a significant up front capital cost associated with the planned transaction or they did not allow enough time to build new space and move. Both of these scenarios and others happen frequently and create risk and add cost. How many companies are there that have followed the herd to create an open plan space only to realize that it is noisy and distracting for many employees and can adversely affect productivity?
Admittedly, I am biased in my belief that companies end up with with much better long term solutions when they are curious and want to know why. Of course that also assumes that they take the time to evaluate and hire an external team with the necessary experience and skill to drive the process.