Moving Into a New Office

Moving into a New Office

The lease is signed, the paperwork is finished, and it’s time to move into your new office space. After months of searching and negotiations, you can finally call the perfect space your own. You may think the hard part is over, but the move-in process can go awry if not planned properly. Here are a few planning and preparation tips for a flawless move into your new space, from furniture to security and technology.

Logistics

You’ll need at least a few months to properly plan and hash out the logistics of the move. Measurements need to be taken, furniture ordered, inspections conducted, and more. The longer you have to plan and execute the many aspects of your move, the easier it will be when the time to enter the office comes.

Furniture

New furniture needs to be ordered well before move-in day, so don’t leave this task until the last minute. Be sure to order from trusted vendors – you don’t want to end up with furniture that has a missing screw or with complicated assembly you must perform yourself.

During this phase of the move, you also need to think about how you will utilize your new office space. Think about the type of office environment you want when deciding on desk layout and furniture selection. You want to maximize the space to best fit your company needs. And even the most collaborative spaces need ways to reduce office noise. Find ways to reduce noise in the office so that your employees can work in a distraction-free environment. The softer the furnishings, the quieter the space.

When moving furniture in, whether new or from your old space, hire a moving company to do your heavy lifting. While you may think it would save money to do it yourself or with your team, an accident or injury could be very costly for your organization.

Security

The scope of your security measures may be tailored to your business and its needs, but no matter what area you work in, some level of office security is necessary. And that security must be in place before move in. Hire security experts (if you do not have a security division) to survey the space and identify necessary security measures, from employee access levels to areas that may need heightened security, like your server room. If you’re relocating, maintain security at your old space until you have officially moved from the premises.

Technology

Technology is essential to most organizations these days, so your tech should be a priority during your move. If you have an IT team, have them conduct preliminary checks of the space to make sure the new office fits all of your tech needs, from enough outlets to IT infrastructure and network connections. This may also be a good time for your team to update your network and computer systems to fit with the most current industry best practices. If your organization does not have its own IT team, research and find professionals who can help make your tech move.

Move-in

While you should not rely on your team for the heavy lifting and moving required for relocation, you do want to delegate other moving tasks around the office to help the process. Task team members with certain duties and chores, whether it’s organizing aspects of the move specific to their department or making sure that all desks have been cleared out. If your team is relocating to a new space, it’s also a good time to take inventory and purge any unnecessary office or personal items. Encourage employees not to bring any items they will not need to the new office to avoid clutter.

There are other aspects of the move you need to be sure have been completed by move-in day. Issue a change of address so that clients do not send important documents or show up for a meeting at the old location, and to vendors so that your deliveries reach you at the right space and at the right time. You also need to communicate with your employees and ensure they understand procedures involved with the new space, from parking to building rules and layout.

And last but not least, enjoy your new space! Move-in can be stressful, but with the right planning and preparation, the moving process doesn’t have to be a nightmare. And when those few unavoidable headaches associated with a big move do come, just remember that moving into an office or relocating to the right space is a great step for your business.

6 Tips for Finding the Perfect Office Location in the Lowcountry

6 Tips for Finding the Perfect Office Location in the Lowcountry

The Lowcountry has become a premiere area for startups to launch and businesses to expand. In fact, the Holy City ranks 27th on the Forbes list for the “Best Places for Businesses and Careers.” As a result, many businesses are eager to call the Charleston-area home. If your organization is looking to relocate to or within the Lowcountry, here are a few tips for finding the perfect office space.

Determine how much space you need

First and foremost, you need to know how much space is required for your operations to run smoothly and your employees to work comfortably. Find a space that can accommodate your business now, and that may have room for growth if you are just starting out or expect to expand within a few years. 1,000 square feet for every four to six employees is a typical rule of thumb. And don’t forget about storage space for materials and supplies.

Set your price point

It’s also necessary that you determine how much your business can afford to pay for office space. Set a budget with a little bit of wiggle room, and narrow your search to spaces that fit your budget. You may be able to negotiate price and terms, but with a high demand for space in the Charleston area, you shouldn’t count on being able to negotiate in order to fit your budget.

Think about your employees

With about 35 people moving to Charleston each day, traffic in the area has become quite congested. While it will be impossible to find a space with only a five minute commute for all of your employees, be considerate and try to choose a centralized location that is relatively convenient for most of your employees.

Visit multiple spaces

When researching office spaces, the Internet is a great resource. However, you may think you’ve found the perfect space in your online research only to find that in person the building isn’t well maintained or the space isn’t as big as you expected. That’s why it’s important to have multiple options and to actually visit each space. You may find that your last choice ends up being the right one!

Consider a coworking space

Coworking spaces have become a popular trend in business, especially for smaller organizations or those working with a tight budget. There are multiple coworking spaces available in the Charleston area, offering a range of office space options for individuals and organizations to choose from.

Try to talk to current tenants

If possible, try to talk to the space’s current tenants or other tenants in the same building. Ask how the space has worked for them, what they would change if they could, and other questions about their experience in the space and with the landlord. Tenants may also have inside information and tips about traffic in the area, or nearby restaurants and activities.

Benefits of Owning a Property in Charleston

Benefits of Owning a Property in Charleston

The Charleston real estate market is on a roll these days, with the population rising and businesses moving in to take advantage. In fact, Charleston’s population is growing at three times the national average. As a result, properties are going quickly. If you’re interested in owning property in the Holy City, you should act fast. The following are just a few of the benefits of owning a property in Charleston.

Economic growth

The Charleston economy is growing in practically every sector. The economy is now diversified among business, manufacturing and development, the health industry, and more. Manufacturers like Boeing and Mercedes have helped expand the manufacturing industry and provide jobs. With Charleston ranked as one of the top tourism destinations in the U.S. – and named Travel + Leisure’s best city in the world in 2016 – the visitor industry has continued to remain strong. The area population grows at a rate of 48 people per day, making the area a hotspot for new developments and business expansion.

Real estate market

The manufacturing, commercial, and residential markets in Charleston are doing great and expected to continue on a positive trend. Many are choosing to buy property instead of renting due to high rental rates. Because the market is doing so well, we may soon see a shortage in property until development catches up. The key to taking advantage of the Charleston real estate market is to act quickly.

Great spaces

With development going strong, a lot of great spaces are opening up all over Charleston – on the peninsula and beyond. These spaces are designed to give Charleston residents and visitors a unique experience that takes advantage of the area’s residential and retail markets. Some developments offering both commercial and residential spaces are 601 Meeting and WestEdge in the heart of downtown and Central Island Square on Daniel Island.

Job market

The expanding job market and the opportunities it provides are another benefit of owning property in Charleston. In 2016, one of every four jobs created in South Carolina was created in Charleston, and job growth is expected to increase. With a growing startup and tech communities, Charleston is becoming an innovation-based job market. It’s an exciting time for business and job growth in Charleston, and office space is going quickly as a result. Developers are looking to keep up with the upswing in employment opportunities and company growth, so business owners should keep an eye out for Charleston spaces.

Charleston’s economy and real estate market are expected to continue on positive trends, with the city continuing the economic growth it has experienced for decades. If you have been considering buying property in Charleston, now is the time to take advantage.

 

Location Spotlight: Downtown Charleston

Location Spotlight: Downtown Charleston

It’s no secret that Charleston has been booming over the last few years. From advances in industry, development, and business, both Charleston’s economy and population are growing. With new people flocking to Charleston and new business developing, the Holy City is seeing steady commercial growth, and with good reason: one study ranking the best cities to start a business in 2017 found that out of 358 metro statistical area, Charleston ranked number 82. Downtown Charleston has become one of the prime spots for businesses and retail stores looking to get in on the city’s successful growth. Here are a few of stores and businesses that are planning expand to or break ground in Downtown Charleston.

“Fancy food court” and incubator space Workshop by Butcher & Bee owner Michael Shemtov and chef Jonathan Ory will be opening soon at 1503 King Street. Workshop will play host to six rotating kitchens and dining concepts, letting visitors experiment and get a taste for different chefs and food vendors. The space features both indoor and outdoor seating and can accommodate more than 300 people. Vendor occupancy will range anywhere from 1 to 5 months.

Workshop

Also coming to the upper peninsula at 1505 King Street is the Pacific Box and Crate development from the Raven Cliff Co. Sitting on ten acres, Pacific Box and Crate will provide 130,000 square feet of office space spread across three buildings. Pacific Box and Crate is designed to be a space not only where businesses can prosper, but also a place where Charlestonians can come to have a coffee, grab dinner, or even take a yoga class.

Pacific Box and Crate (Rendering/L3SP)

Tenants are already planning to move into the space, including growing ventures like The Harbor Entrepreneur Center, CrowdReach, and PhishLabs, which moves into a larger space in anticipation of adding 45 new jobs over the next year. Edmund’s Oast also plans to open a brewery and restaurant in the space.

Areas surrounding Upper King Street and the upper peninsula are seeing drastic changes due to redevelopment and revitalization efforts. Many of these projects focus on bringing businesses to the area, from tech and industry companies to restaurants and stores to create an area where work and fun go hand-in-hand.

Many of these efforts are a part of the Charleston Upper Peninsula Initiative. The goal of the Upper Peninsula Initiative is to revitalize and redevelop the Upper Eastside of the peninsula into an innovative urban community. Development projects include startup incubator Flagship 3, office and living spaces, and more. Existing office spaces and restaurants like goat.sheep.cow.north and Lewis BBQ are examples of the successes the Initiative has already seen in developing the area.

Flagship 3

601 Meeting and WestEdge are other developments that will provide space for new business and retail ventures in Downtown Charleston. The area is constantly evolving and changing, and businesses from tech to retail are looking to get into the Charleston market.

           

                      601 Meeting                                                                     WestEdge

Hot New Spots for Retail Space in Charleston

Hot New Spots for Retail Space in Charleston

Thanks to the constant flow of tourists and loyal local patrons, retail in Charleston is always growing. But as the Holy City continues to attract retailers from all over, finding the right space may prove difficult. As a result, developers are coming in to create new space and expand retail to the edges of the peninsula and beyond. Keep an eye out for some of these hot new spots for retail space in Charleston.

Central Island Square

Coming to Daniel Island later this year is Central Island Square, a development of luxury apartment buildings with prime street front retail. With wide sidewalks lining retail space and a large outdoor courtyard, Central Island Square will be the perfect place for the Daniel Island community to come together for their shopping and dining needs. Central Island Square is expected to be completed in fall of this year.

601 Meeting Street

601 Meeting Street is one of the latest ventures in downtown Charleston development and revitalization of the upper Meeting Street area. Located along Huger and Meeting streets, the apartment and retail space will offer approximately 16,000 square feet of street front retail opportunity. With 20’ ceilings and stunning steel and glass exterior, 601 Meeting will provide an exciting and striking presence for retailers.

WestEdge

Downtown Charleston development will soon provide retailers with another exciting opportunity. WestEdge is a vibrant community coming to invigorate the medical and research district with a taste of the historic district. The community will provide living and working spaces along with opportunity for retail. WestEdge is designed to bring the best and brightest together to discover, collaborate, and thrive while providing an exciting living experience, expecting upwards of 50 new shops and restaurants. Developers expect completion of the grocery, dining, and shopping facilities in October 2018.

Courier Square

Evening Post Industries and various developers have undertaken an long-term redevelopment plan to update the area surrounding its office. The Courier Square site will comprise the 12 acres surrounding EPI’s uptown Charleston office. While work has already begun, expect to see ongoing development and opportunities for space becoming available as this long-term project continues.

Ashley Oaks Plaza

Redevelopment of existing spaces has been a common trend in Charleston over the past few years, and the trend continues with West Ashley’s Ashley Oaks Plaza, located at the intersection of Ashley River Road and Wappoo Road. Developers plan to update the shopping center to focus on local retailers and businesses and potentially hold a large chain grocery store. West Ashley makes up half of the city’s population, and Charleston residents are ready to see the area upgraded and revitalized. The redevelopment of Ashley Oaks Plaza is just the beginning for the West Ashley area.

What Does a Property Manager do?

What Does a Property Manager do?

When renting or leasing a space, most people think of interacting with a landlord when it comes to managing the property and dealing with any potential issues. But some properties have a property manager that negotiates and communicates with tenants rather than a landlord. So what exactly is a property manager, and what do they do?

A commercial property manager in a nutshell is a steward of another’s property.  The manager serves as a liaison between the landlord and tenant.  The lease serves as the governing document in the relationship, and it is the manager’s job to ensure both parties comply with the terms of the lease document both parties executed. While the specifications and responsibilities of a property manager vary based on property type and terms of their contract, the following are just a few of the typical tasks performed property managers.

There are numerous hats worn by the property manager, which can be divided into two different but related categories—the physical and fiscal aspects of the property.  On the physical side, the manager inspects the condition of the property, hires and manages all the vendors and service providers, and makes recommendations for improvements and maintenance of the asset to preserve its value.  On the fiscal side, the manager prepares the annual budget, collects tenant rent payments, pays all service providers and vendors, handles the banking and mortgage relationships, reports all financial activities monthly, and distributes cash to the owner as directed by the owner.

Many of a property manager’s tasks are similar to that of a landlord’s. Unlike a landlord, however, a property manager does not own the property they manage. Property managers are hired to conduct the affairs mentioned above when an owner is unable to personally tend to them. Although property managers are not technically landlords, they still must abide by state landlord-tenant laws, acting as a sort of middleman between the owners and tenants of a property.

The best commercial property managers are adept at time management, and building longstanding relationships with their tenants, owners, and vendors, which goes a long way to ensure the smoothest business environment for all concerned.

What Does Tenant Representation Mean?

What does Tenant Representation Mean?

In discussions about commercial real estate, you may have heard the perhaps unfamiliar term tenant representation come up. Tenant representation refers to the practice of a real estate agent or broker representing tenants when it comes to both locating and negotiating commercial leasing spaces. The real estate and business markets are becoming increasingly complex, and companies as well as individuals are looking to tenant representatives to help them navigate these markets. Whether renewing a lease or relocating, a tenant representative can help you find the best space for the best price, using their expertise to negotiate the optimal lease for your situation.

When looking for a tenant representative, you should look for someone who is a market expert, a professional negotiator, and practiced in the process of leasing transactions. For the average person, successfully navigating the fickle real estate market is no easy feat. But a tenant representative, with intimate market knowledge when it comes to location, buildings and spaces, and common trends, can help you take advantage of opportunities and find the best options.

You should also look for a tenant representative who has mastered the art of negotiation, using their market expertise to broker with landlords and owners. Representatives with strong, established relationships with landlords and building owners will also optimize your options and expedite the transaction process.

Effective tenant representation goes beyond these simple, although important, traits. A tenant representative’s knowledge should extend beyond basic market research and skillful negotiation. Knowledge of certain disciplines like financial analysis, real estate law, demographic studies, and even architecture make the difference between an adequate tenant representative and an excellent one. Tenant representatives should also take the time to understand the goals and objectives specific to your company, the industry you work in, and how location and real estate work into your business.

Finding the right location for your office or business space is an important task that can have long-term effects on the performance and success of your operation. In a time where markets are unpredictable and complex, using a tenant representative is the best way to ensure that you are making real estate decisions that will benefit your business operations.

Location Spotlight: Park Circle

Location Spotlight: Park Circle

Over the years, an increasing number of people have been leaving the peninsula and hub of Charleston to enjoy North Charleston’s gem, Park Circle. The area has seen a boom in recent years when it comes to industry and manufacturing, retail, and development. The Park Circle community is truly that, a community, and people are eager to be a part of it.

One of the reasons so many Charlestonians have been making the move to Park Circle is affordability. The peninsula and closely surrounding areas have been seeing a huge increase in rent and the cost of living, as so many young people and families are making the move to call the Holy City home. Park Circle offers an affordable, exciting alternative to downtown Charleston, with a median home sales price of $168,000.

Park Circle is the pinnacle of the master plan for North Charleston developed in 1912 and completed following World War II. Since the end of the war, development has continued to boom, as the area has seen an increase in both manufacturing and commercial development. The area is home to the Boeing South Carolina, a 787 Dreamliner assembly facility, which has provided approximately 7,500 locals with employment and gives an impactful boost to the local economy.

With industry and opportunity bringing so many families and individuals to the area, Park Circle has created a community perfect for just about anyone. Park Circle’s different neighborhoods offer residents with a variety of contemporary and traditional housing options. Traditional Park Circle was designed as a great place to live, work, and play. Well-established old homes come in a variety of sizes and styles, giving the area a traditional neighborhood feel. Mixson boasts the same activity and fun as Traditional Park Circle, but with beautifully-designed, green modern homes. Mixson is also home to open-air event venue The Barn. Hunley Waters is North Charleston’s only gated waterfront community, providing residents with breathtaking views and exciting wildlife. Park Circle’s most recent development, Garco Park is perfect for young professionals looking for one, two, or three bedroom apartments in a modern environment.

Park Circle succeeds in its goal to provide residents with a community atmosphere where they can enjoy the best in entertainment, dining, and shopping. Parks and recreation is a large part of the Park Circle experience, and the area provides residents with plenty of beautiful parks and countless recreational activities. Park Circle also boasts some of the best established and up-and-coming restaurants, and is also only minutes from prime shopping areas like the Tanger Outlets, as well as the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center. Park Circle’s downtown district is also the perfect place to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat, or enjoy a night on the town.

Park Circle’s variety of activities, commercial and residential real estate, and businesses are drawing families, young people, and empty-nesters alike to this amazing community. It is no wonder that Park Circle has experienced so much growth in recent years, and it will surely continue to boom in the years to come.

Charleston’s Best Coworking Spaces

Charleston's Best Coworking Spaces

In today’s business world, the nature of office life is changing. From open offices to an increased focus on company culture, new trends involving the office are continually arising. One of these trends is the use of coworking spaces. A coworking space is a shared working environment, typically an office, in which individuals work independently, and often are not employed by the same organization. This new kind of office environment is popular with freelancers, independent contractors, and people who travel frequently. Studies have shown that many people are thriving in coworking spaces, making them an increasingly popular trend in the business world.

Check out the best that Charleston has to offer when it comes to coworking spaces, and see if this office trend is right for you.

Launch Pad

Launchpad of Charleston

lp.co/charleston

Launch Pad’s goal is to make the workplace professional, collaborative, and fun. Originally started in New Orleans, Launch Pad now has a location in the heart of downtown Charleston on Meeting Street. LP offers beautiful office spaces, a collaborative culture, and flexible rentals. Members can take advantage of month-to-month desk rentals or 6-month office leases. Work with the best and brightest entrepreneurs, freelancers, and creative professionals in Launch Pad’s beautiful space.

Holy City Collective

Holy City Collective of Charleston, SC

holycitycollective.org

Entrepreneurs, executives, and creative types alike can utilize Holy City Collective’s 4,000 square foot space on Daniel Island. This coworking and meeting space offers a variety of options and amenities to its members, and even has “a la carte” options for those who are not ready to commit to a monthly membership.

Local Works

Local Works of Charleston, SC

localworkscharleston.org

Local Works is a coworking space developed by Lowcountry Local First to help entrepreneurs harness creative energy and collaborate. The idea for this coworking space stemmed from a desire to support local businesses and help them thrive. Interested in seeing more? Check out a virtual tour of the Local Works space on their website!

InnoLabs

InnoLabs of Mt. Pleasant, SC

innolabscharleston.com

Last but certainly not least, Mount Pleasant’s InnoLabs was created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs as the perfect place to inspire, create, and collaborate. InnoLabs hope that through in providing a space for entrepreneurs to work on their businesses, share with each other, and mentor each other, they can help these visionaries come up with big, bright new ideas.

10 Ways to Maximize Your Retail Space

10 Ways to Maximize Your Retail Space

In a growing city like Charleston, even smaller retail spaces can get quite expensive. As a result, many retail business owners have to find ways to maximize a minimal amount of space, which is often easier said than done. Luckily, we have a few tips to help you do just that. Check out these ten ways to make your retail space feel anything but small.

  1. Find the perfect layout

Your store’s floor plan and layout sets the flow of traffic for the store. There are a few different layouts designed to help the flow of traffic and make the most of even small spaces, including diagonal, angular, the default straight, or a mix of them all. No matter what layout you choose, remember that you are always free to adjust and put your own variations on your store’s layout, finding what works best for you and your customers.

  1. Go vertical

One of the best ways to make use of your space is to go vertical when displaying your items. Maximizing your use of vertical space not only saves space, but is also visually appealing to customers. Vertical displays and decor draw the customer’s eye up and create the illusion of a larger space.

  1. Avoid clutter

A cluttered store is detrimental to customer traffic flow. You may think that getting as much inventory out on the floor is more important than avoiding clutter, but displaying more merchandise will not help your sales if the space is too crowded. If a customer feels crowded or awkward, they will likely take their business elsewhere. A good rule of thumb to help customers feel comfortable is making sure that aisles are wide enough for two way traffic.

  1. Keep it light and bright

Lighting can either help or hinder maximization of your space. Use a combination of lighting methods, including floor lamps, ceiling lights, and table lamps to add variety and make sure every corner of the store is lit, making the most of your limited square footage. But remember that lighting should be bright, yet soft; harsh lighting is rarely aesthetically pleasing and often overpowering.

  1. Pay attention to paint color

Paint color should reflect the atmosphere you want to create for your space, but should not overwhelm the space nor the customer. When it comes to both paint color and decor, most retail spaces have primary and secondary colors. Primary colors are neutrals that should account for the majority of decor, creating a relaxed setting. Secondary colors are bold and complementary, adding flare and personality to the relaxed primary color. Darker colors may create a dungeon-like impression of the space, so you may want to stick with lighter paint colors and accents.

  1. Paint an accent wall

Another way to create the illusion of space in a small retail setting is to paint an accent wall. One wall painted a bright, bold color will make it look like the space is receding. While the accent wall should be a bolder color than the rest of the walls, the room will feel more spacious the lighter the color.

  1. Get creative with displays

While shelves are a great way to make use of vertical space, you may want to consider moving beyond shelves and getting creative when it comes to your displays. Some alternatives include ladders, hanging displays, or DIY displays. That doesn’t mean you should not use shelves whatsoever, just make sure to add some variety and depth to your shelf choices.

  1. Create the illusion of space with decor

In addition to vertical displays and decor and an accent wall, there are various ways to create the illusion of space in a small retail store. Mirrors are a quick and easy way to help spaces feel larger and brighter. If your space has windows, consider ditching window treatments, as they take up an unnecessary amount of room and may keep light from filling the space.

  1. Utilize visual merchandising

Following most of these tips will help you take advantage of visual merchandising, which refers to using elements of design and display to increase sales. This includes highlighting merchandise and products, maximizing space, and creating an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere for the customer. A customer forms his or her impression of a store not just by what merchandise sold, but also how that merchandise is visually displayed. Make sure that when picking a store layout, putting up displays, and arranging merchandise, you are thinking about visual merchandising.

  1. Decorate for the customer

Last but not least, decorating your retail space in a way that will be pleasing to your target audience can help maximize sales, despite the size of the retail space. Customers walk into a store hoping for and expecting a certain kind of experience; anticipate the kind of experience your customers want to have, and create your space accordingly. Teenagers likely want a fun, modern atmosphere with bright colors and decor, while older audiences might want a relaxing environment where they can feel calm and escape the chaos of work and home life. The more comfortable and at-home a customer feels, the more likely they are to make a purchase.