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A Sudden Increase in Rent

Posted on October 15, 2018 by Genet Group

Over time, neighborhoods grow and change. Take for example the Meatpacking District in New York City. Though it’s had a history spanning far before the industrial revolution, its name comes from the time in which it was a large industrial powerhouse of a neighborhood, filled with factories and warehouses. Now? It’s become a much more diverse and bustling spot for commerce and for residence. Any neighborhood on a similar path would likely be dubbed “up and coming,” with new restaurants moving in, new real estate developments, and an influx of people with money to spend at these new spots. Case in point: the entire landscape of a location can change in a matter of years.

 

Naturally, as neighborhoods change over time, so do the prices of renting property within them. When the Meatpacking District was still filled with factories the cost of living there was marginally low. Now? Definitely not.

 

If you currently lease property in a commercial lot that’s had an influx of business, or in a neighborhood that’s recently had a real estate boom, you might come across the dreaded notice from your property manager: an increase in the price of rent. What should you do when faced with this change?

 

First off, assess your financial situation. Can you realistically afford this increase in rent? How much more will it cost you over time and what could it mean for your business to incur this increased cost? It can be expensive to move, but the one-time cost of a move to a cheaper location might be less than the long term cost of an increase in rent.

 

Consider the increase in business that might come from a neighborhood that’s “up and coming.” If your business is a storefront, would it be beneficial to stay in an area that is rising in popularity even if it costs a little more than you initially intended it to?

 

Most importantly: speak to your landlord or property manager about the reasoning behind the increase in rent. If there’s nothing that can be negotiated, your best bet is to assess the financial pros and cons to determine if you should stay or if you should go.


Dealing with Drafts

Posted on October 15, 2018 by Genet Group

As the summer months fade ever further away and the temperatures start to drop (that is, depending on where you’re located), it’s time to start thinking about your property’s defenses against the elements. As all lessees can probably tell you, the longer you stay in a space the more you learn about its quirks, its upsides, and its faults. One of those particular faults you might find going into the chillier months is the presence of a draft: a window that’s got a crack exposed to the outside world, a door that doesn’t quite sit flush against the ground, or a small crevice in the ceiling that lets a little too much air inside.

 

If you find a chink in your property’s defenses, what should you do? Something like a window crack can be patched pretty easily. And so can a small little hole between the ceiling and the wall. It’s easy to just address these things yourself. But sometimes the problem can be bigger than you realize, causing invisible, long term increases in utility costs. Imaging paying upwards of $20/month for utilities just because of a problem that could’ve been easily fixed by a professional.

 

If you find a draft in your apartment try and test to see if the problem can be fixed with a simple solution first. Say you feel that the ground is a little too cold next to your front door because it’s a little high off the ground. Try plugging up the hole with a bit of cloth to see if you can feel a difference. If the change in temperature goes away completely, try a more permanent solution: an under-door draft stoppers can be bought for pretty cheap. But if the problem doesn’t seem to be fixed—even if you can still kind offeeling a difference in temperature—it might be a good idea to contact your landlord or property manager. One draft can be indicative of larger problems and a professional can help root out all of the loose spots in a space.


Noisy Neighbors

Posted on October 15, 2018 by Genet Group

Do you hear that? The creaking… the squeaking… what sounds like roughly seven bowling balls being pushed and prodded across the floor just overtop your head in the apartment, office space, or flex space above your own? Or are you maybe hearing the popular bar/restaurant that sits across the street from your office — you know the one, the one that blasts tunes all Monday morning and into the evening for all the people who are over there not working?

 

Noisy neighbors can be a hassle. And, especially when you lease an office space inside a larger commercial complex, they can be completely unavoidable. You cannot just ask the literal guitar store across the hall to move out, just so you can get back to working on your own business in peace and quiet. Sometimes walls are just a little too thin. So what are some ways you can deal with noisy neighbors and mitigate the annoyance of noise you can’t really stop altogether?

 

One of the best ways to deal with noise you can’t stop is to cancel it out with other, more calming noise. You can use headphones, of course, but something more direct like a noise machine can work for an entire office or room. Some folks even suggest a fixture like an in-office fountain, strategically placed to block an onslaught of noise from a particular direction. A solution like this can provide a pleasant sound and an interesting office decoration.

 

If you’re dealing with a noise like footsteps or strange, indescribable sounds from a neighbor above, try talking to them about padding a little softer or being more courteous. Though it can be a little awkward to broach the subject, sometimes a simple conversation can turn the tide for a noise that you think is unstoppable.


The First Day in a New Space

Posted on October 15, 2018 by Genet Group

It’s the day that all lessees wait for with bated breath. Move-in day. The first of the month (usually). That very first day in your brand new office space. Are you the first-timer? You’re at the start of your entrepreneurial career—big ideas flowing, new partnerships growing—and about to walk through the door of your first office space. Or are you the experienced business person with a mind that’s set on expansion? You’re moving on up to a bigger and better space that can fit your expanded team and your dreams of making it big. Either way, the first day inside a new space is thrilling. You get to begin familiarizing yourself with the location, the fixtures, and you get to start making it your very own.

 

Besides the hassle of moving in to a space, what are some things to consider on that very first day? What should you plan for in advance to make sure you have a smooth start to your new life in a brand new office?

 

Perhaps most important is making sure the lights are on and that you’ve got running water. Contact the companies who control your utilities to make sure everything is in order and that you can be billed for those necessary conveniences.

 

Second most important thing? Take pictures of everything. Any flaw you find, any bump or bruise in a wall or damage to a fixture should be documented so that your landlord and the property manager will know you were not the cause of any trouble. This can save you a chunk of your security deposit in the future.

 

And lastly? Soak it all in. Spend some time in the space before you’ve really unpacked or finished moving just reveling in the excitement of a new property. The promise of a new space, the positivity it brings, can benefit your mood, your health, and help you plan for that bright future. So enjoy it, and congrats!


Gazebos, Awnings, and Canopies

Posted on July 05, 2018 by Genet Group

It’s summertime, I’ve got my hat on backwards, and it’s time to have a get-together under a gazebo. If you live in a warm and sunny place like South Florida, you know to search for all of the shade you can get. When it’s hot, it gets really hot—having a gazebo, an awning, or a canopy attached to your property can give you a space to enjoy the outdoors in the summer and springtime. If you’ve ever been interested, here’s the rundown on the different options you have for shaded settings on your property.

 

What’s the difference between a gazebo, awning, and a canopy? A gazebo is most like a house—”a roofed structure that offers an open view of the surrounding area, typically used for relaxation or entertainment.” An awning is most like a shade—”a sheet of canvas or other material stretched on a frame and used to keep the sun or rain off a storefront, window, doorway, or deck.” A canopy is perhaps the most vague, and could technically describe either a gazebo or awning, but is usually just a simpler version of the two—”a rooflike projection or shelter.”

 

What are the benefits of having a gazebo, awning, or canopy? They’re not just for summer—with outdoor structures like these, you can get year-long protection from the elements, whether it be rain or snow or sun. They make great sites for get togethers and hosting guests.  Set up a few outdoor seats (wicker furniture, lawn chairs, etc.) and chill in the shade with a glass of lemonade in hand.

 

How can you get one? The question is usually build or buy. While some fixtures like awnings are best bought—think of electronic retractable ones—you can easily DIY your own canopy or gazebo, with varying levels of fanciness and decor depending on your affinity for construction.  If you’re renting property, remember to speak with your landlord about any additions to the property before you make any decisions or purchases.


On-Site Gyms

Posted on July 05, 2018 by Genet Group

More and more these days, people are valuing physical health and exercise above leisure. And because of that, they are willing to pay a pretty penny to keep a gym membership or attend fitness classes like yoga, Zumba, and pilates. That’s also why one of the biggest concerns when looking for a rental property is location—how close is it to the LA Fitness you’ve got a membership at? To the YMCA? And the million dollar question (or rather, the roughly $40/month plus towel fee question): does the rental property have an on-site gym?

There are certainly plenty of benefits to renting a property that includes an on-site gym. The biggest plus? You likely won’t need an expensive membership elsewhere. If you’re in search of office space in a larger building with amenities, choosing a space with a gym can greatly improve the happiness and productivity of your employees. If you’re looking for an apartment, choosing a space with a gym can shave off the time it takes to travel to your regular off-site gym. It’s a little funny to think of how valuable convenience can be, especially when we’re talking about exercise—an activity that’s intended to push you past your comfort and into achieving goals. But the comfort of a close-by place for working out can benefit your workout as well.

 

There is, of course, a risk to adding an on-site gym to your list of preferences as you search for a rental property: finding the right one. On-site facilities don’t often employ a dedicated gym staff, and the “gym” could simply be a couple of cardio machines stuffed into an old room. But that’s where research and visits come into play. Find the right space for you and always know your options.


Online Reviews

Posted on June 06, 2018 by Genet Group

Any good online shopper knows the value of the product review section. It’s one of the benefits of being able to buy and sell things online versus in person—when you’re online, you potentially have access to hundreds of other people who have already bought the thing you want. In person? You’ve have to put it all on faith. That new sprinkler system you purchased at The Home Depot to spruce up your property’s curb appeal? On the box it says “Guarunteed to work!” and “Strongest pipes in the business!” That same item on Amazon? Peggy A. in Manitowoc, Wisconsin wrote a review that says the hose erodes after a week’s use. Gerald B. in Austin, Texas says he opened the box and it was missing a few parts. Two stars out of five. It’s easy to see the value in taking stock of other peoples’ stories and opinions before you write a check for the thing. So why should it be any different when you’re looking to lease a property?

 

That’s right—though you might not have realized it, property management companies and the properties they lease out are often extensively reviewed by past and current lessees. Websites like Yelp and Google Reviews aren’t just for restaurants. They allow anyone to share their experiences good or bad with buildings and facilities and offices. So, always make sure to do a little digging online before you even consider signing a lease. It can mean the difference between a One Star and a Five Star experience.

 

It’s also helpful to solicit in-person reviews. If you are in contact with the current tenants of a space that will soon be free, schedule a meeting with them to hear their thoughts. At the very least you can discover how management works and issues you might want to look out for if you decide to move in.


Teaming Up

Posted on May 05, 2018 by Genet Group

Not everyone can afford the luxury of leasing a place all on their own. Especially with the high cost of real estate in many urban areas, young adults are living together as roommates more and more often. They’re also continuing to do so later into life. Even in business situations—say when you’re starting a venture with a partner—it’s common to co-sign on an office property lease with your entrepreneurial other half.

 

Some of us like the company of a roommate or cosigner. But some of us dream of an apartment all to ourselves. You know, a spot where you can (just for example) walk around in your underwear without fear of anyone bursting in on you. But for the time you have to do so, maintaining a proper relationship with a roommate or cosigner is key to keeping your shared space stress free.

 

What’s the number one tip for building a successful roommate relationship? Same as a real-deal lovey-dovey relationship: Communication. One of the biggest barriers to that? It’s incredibly easy to use passive aggression to deal with disagreements or confrontations with a roommate/cosigner. You’re comfortable enough in your space not to mince words, but you want to avoid any big disturbance in the peace. Cue the sly comments and side-eyed glances.

 

Let’s look at an example. If a roommate isn’t doing the dishes as often as they should, talk to them about it. Don’t leave a suggestive Post-It that reads,  “Wash the dishes please :) .”

If a cosigner is a little late on the rent, have a frank discussion and ask if there’s anything wrong—don’t just let the situation fester and become a problem for the both of you.

 

The best thing you can do is treat your co-lessee with respect and approach every situation with a helpful attitude. The smoother the path to your own lease, the easier it is to get there.


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