Problems with choosing good space can arise due to the developers, who, to become more competitive, maneouvre the data and the cost in such a way that makes it difficult to objectively compare available offers.
Modern office space means multicomponent rent, complicated, long-term contracts, inflexible obligations and difficult, specialised topics concerning technical aspects of the buildings. Base rate of the rent says not much about real, actual costs of the lease. It may occur, that profitable disparity of rent, even 2-3 Euro for m2, will not, in the final analysis, bring any profit for the tenant – says Mariusz Wiśniewski, Head of Tricity Office at CBRE.
It is important to remember that base rate of the rent, which is the biggest part of all the costs, does not reflect the actual expenses.
Tenants often notice the numbers, such as 11 Euro for m2 in one place and 13 Euro in the other. They rarely think about the consequences. While renting the seemingly cheaper office, they pay quite a lot for its utilisation – stresses Maciej Brożek from Torus company, which is the developer of Gdańsk Alchemia.
Cheaper office spaces often effectively become more expensive ones, because the tenant has to pay higher operating costs and another, sometimes hidden, expenses. Developers sometimes mislead their clients when it comes to the topic of operating costs, financial incentives and the buildings’ standards. It it mostly at the stage of choosing the place, because it is difficult for an inexperienced person to compare options offered by buildings of the similar class – says Mariusz Wiśniewski.
Where to look for the real costs?
So, how to choose the office space? It is important to do more than just check the amount of the fixed expenses, such as rent and service charge. The same products in the building, not the amount of the expenses, has to be compared. First, the initial developer standard and the amount of needed additional budget has to be assessed, then the metric area and efficiency of the space – comments Robert Karniewski, Director of Regional Markets in Colliers International.
During the lease of the modern office building, the tenant needs to take into account the expenses connected to maintaining the building, such as insurances, taxes and technical fees. Some of the developers, to make their offer more attractive, do not include for example machine repair fees or installation inspection fees in the operating costs. Different invoices force the tenant to pay them later. It is also important to notice how the collective costs are presented, especially the ones connected to heating and cooling, says Mariusz Wiśniewski – The owners of the buildings often do not put these costs in the overall expenses, which can be an unpleasant surprise for the unaware tenant. The bill can be higher for even 3-4PLN/m2 in a month. It can be noticed that division of the costs between tenants can be different than the actual consumption. It is better to choose individual metres, which will allow paying for the actual consumption. During the analysis of the offer, it is also important to pay attention for the electricity costs proposed by the developers. The cost can be different than the one they negotiated with the supplier for as much as 30%.
Office space standard
During the purchase decision it is important to remember the building’s standard, which sometimes only seems to be similar, especially the decor of the space. Financial contribution of the developer, which means their paying for additional space improvement, cannot be looked at through the prism of the cost amount. Many developers offer spaces without technical floors or suspended ceilings – says Mariusz Wiśniewski. The contribution of 200 Euro for m2 sounds better than 50 Euro for m2, but it may turn out that the lesser one will result in a completely finished space. Tenants often decide on the offers with the biggest financial contributions, which is only a short-term success – notes Robert Karniewski.
It is also necessary to notice technical aspects, such as the category of the wiring, energy saving level of lighting or the efficiency of the ventilation systems.
Ask the expert
When the tenant has no knowledge of the real estate market, it is good to consult a qualified advisor, who will be able to objectively assess the advantages and drawbacks of given buildings and look for the place which will meet the individual requirements of the company. CBRE data says that the savings made by tenants consulting the advisors amount to even 0,25 million Euro in a year.
Some developers also provide such analyses. Analysis of the costs, prepared with the collaboration of our client, showed that lease of the space in one of our buildings, even if the rent is almost two times more expensive, will finally cost similarly to the lease of the old, low-standard building. The deciding factor was smaller, but more effective area and significantly lesser operating costs – says Maciej Brożek from Torus company.