MAP understands that every business has different needs when it comes to office space.
Every project is organized to maximize efficiency and negotiating leverage. MAP uses the most sophisticated commercial real estate information database in the industry, which, together with our process, ensures that our clients get the right space at the right price. Throughout the transaction process, we work diligently to keep you and your team informed and updated.
Everything about the way we organize each client’s project is designed to eliminate time spent investigating less than ideal alternatives and to insure that at the end of the process you have multiple negotiated options and not just one.
The building-selection criteria include a host of factors, such as location, cost, access to public transportation and parking, floor size, ability to expand, environmental and accessibility issues, and the financial stability and the responsiveness of the building owner. Having multiple options maximizes your negotiating leverage
We begin by defining what you are looking for in your office space. This enables us to satisfy both what you require and what you desire.
To address the way that your ideal space feels to the people who will work there and functions for them, and the image it projects to people who will visit, we work with you to prepare a detailed analysis of your organization’s space needs. This is called your “program of requirements” and it’s the basis on which to evaluate the relative merits of alternative spaces – including your current space.
At different stages of your project, MAP prepares financial analyses of potential alternatives. These analyses take into account a multitude of variables, such as base rent, rent escalation, real estate taxes and operating expenses (T&O), construction allowances, and other landlord concessions, including free rent and moving allowances, as well as the effect of a building’s occupancy rate on your future T&O pass-through expenses.
These analyses show the general and relative cost of alternative spaces, even before we tour them with you. During negotiations with the shortlisted buildings that remain after space planning, our analyses make it easy to follow back-and-forth negotiations, revealing how the buildings are competing to win your next lease.
They show you the cost of each line item, by month and year, in total dollars and in present value. And as the fact-finding process moves forward, we define those costs with increasing precision, allowing you to make increasingly informed decisions.
We also prepare mirror analyses, which show how much “profit” a landlord stands to make from their proposed terms. This information can be especially useful in the context of renewal negotiations, and puts additional negotiating power in your hands.
Building Tours and Space-Planning
After researching the market to identify spaces that appear to satisfy your program of requirements, we accompany you on site visits of the best of those spaces. While touring, we discuss their relative merits and issues that will affect your decision-making — and your bottom line, allowing us to develop your first shortlist of alternatives. Walking through a space can reveal issues that may not be apparent from a marketing brochure.
Space planning allows us — early in the process, to reject those spaces that are not worthy of further consideration. If “wrinkles” in an initial space-plan cannot be sufficiently ironed out, no additional time is spent considering that space, even though on the tour it may have seemed “perfect.”
We usually recommend using a third-party architect to do all of the space-planning, rather than working with all of the architects from the buildings we are considering. This saves time and brings greater insight to the whole space planning process. In most cases, buildings will agree to pay the market-rate fees for a third-party architect. MAP can provide the most appropriate recommendations, based on the specifics of your project.
Requests for Proposals (RFPs)
Touring spaces reveals the ones that are worthy of space planning. Space planning reveals which of those spaces really is worthy of further consideration. The spaces you prefer go onto your new short-list, and we send their brokers a request for proposal (RFP).
RFPs focus attention on a variety of issues (i.e., rent escalations, options to expand, renewals, and early termination, among others). RFPs allow the building’s proposals to be tailored to the specific issues that concern you. They also save time by eliminating from further consideration early in the fact-finding process, those buildings whose owners will not or cannot meet requirements that are critical to your organization. Sometimes it makes sense to do a space- plan before issuing an RFP to that building. Sometimes it makes sense to issue an RFP, even before touring space in that building.
The “space plan” is a drawing that shows how well a proposed space will accommodate your organization’s requirements. MAP will oversee space planning for each building. Developing plans at this stage helps identify problems that are not apparent during a physical tour of the space.
If revisions to the plan cannot sufficiently resolve problems, we disqualify that space from further consideration. The space plan also reveals the exact square footage that you need in one building, compared to what you would need in a competing building. MAP can provide financial analyses to you even before taking you to see spaces. The analyses at this stage are based on a hypothetical square footage. After space planning, the analyses are revised using the actual square footages
Each building will use their space-plan, which now includes explanatory notes by the architect, allowing for more accurate estimates, (i.e., location and size of power requirements, voice/data locations, cabling specifications, illumination, HVAC, etc., sometimes dollar allowances are specified for various finish-items) to obtain an estimate of the construction cost to build-out their space to your specifications. After we receive the construction estimates, we again revise our financial analyses to give you even more precision on the cost of the alternatives under consideration.
The space plan also can become an integral part of a detailed “work letter”, which is an exhibit to the lease and sets forth the responsibilities of the parties and the construction logistics, including important stipulations about the quality of workmanship and materials used in construction. In many transactions, the space plan is ultimately replaced by construction- or “working-drawings”, which are generated in order to obtain a building permit.
Together, the steps in the MAP method—developed over 30+ years and 800+ client transactions—provide you with maximum information, giving you more flexibility, control, and, ultimately, a decided negotiating advantage.