Office Space
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Office Space (by Deanna [TX]) Oct 9, 2021 6:48 PM
       Office Space (by Richard [MI]) Oct 10, 2021 10:08 AM
       Office Space (by Larry [MN]) Oct 10, 2021 11:05 AM
       Office Space (by Nicole [PA]) Oct 10, 2021 3:08 PM
       Office Space (by Robin [WI]) Oct 10, 2021 4:24 PM
       Office Space (by Deanna [TX]) Oct 10, 2021 7:37 PM
       Office Space (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Oct 10, 2021 7:39 PM
       Office Space (by small potatoes [NY]) Oct 11, 2021 2:06 AM
       Office Space (by Robin [WI]) Oct 11, 2021 3:30 PM
       Office Space (by Pmh [TX]) Oct 11, 2021 6:02 PM

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Office Space (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Oct 9, 2021 6:48 PM

DH is looking a few years into the future where he'd like to open up offices in our town and a neighboring town. We've got the neighboring town office space pinned down pretty well... but it's a lot harder to pin down the local space, although I think we have a good chance at clinching a deal on a good possibility.

Since his needs will be 6-8-10 years in the future, he's suggested that I use it in the meantime for the rental biz. That got me thinking into shared office space--- where you have a lobby, and one or two conference rooms, and then a number of private offices. The offices are rented individually, and it gives you access to the conference rooms/amenities, so people who have a small business don't need to invite clients into their spare bedroom or Dairy Queen on the occasions they need to meet in person.

Looking at the local Code of Ordinances, it doesn't really address the sorts of questions I have. And obviously, it would be a bit premature to go talking to Code before I actually have my space pinned down.

For those of you who rent out office space, or who have converted Vintage Storefront into office space, is there some sort of a useful checklist of issues to take into account re: safety?

When does a built-in monitored fire extinguisher system become something mandatory rather than something that's merely "a good idea"? How do you deal with heating and cooling x number of 200-sf offices, when you have x number of opinions as to what's too hot or too cold? How do you balance between giving office tenants and the public access during business hours, without having to hire an actual staff of people to lock/unlock/monitor/communicate? If you offer wifi, how do you protect your system-- and everyone connected to it-- from being compromised, or from being held liable if it's misused?

Those sorts of things. Information and perspective appreciated, ty.

Office Space (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Oct 10, 2021 10:08 AM

Don't worry about interior walls, etc.

Just take some duct tape and mark out 10x10 areas on the floor and rent them by the day/weekend for an indoor flea market. Get $35-50 a day each. Keep the concessions for yourself as no matter what browsers buy, they ALL get sodas and food.

There are ALWAYS people wanting to get bargains and a flea market attracts them in droves.

It's coming into the Christmas season so there might be no shortage of vendors.

Your advantages: no inventory to buy, minimal management, no shoplifting, maybe one person to handle concessions and keep an eye on things.

I've seen people rent out pretty large buildings and do this and make some good money. --24.180.xx.xx

Office Space (by Larry [MN]) Posted on: Oct 10, 2021 11:05 AM

I think there's a real need for this type of office space. BUT it needs to be in the class B, C market. There's plenty of high-end offices to rent. Regus, WeWork, Life Time, etc. Here a private office can be $500 to $600 per month. Fine if your employer is paying for it but not okay if you are paying it out of your own pocket. Most people don't need receptionists, a fancy lobby, etc.

My wife is a freelancer and she rents a private office in a nearby 1960's era building. She pays $175 a month. Zero amenities other than a couple vending machines and two conference rooms with aged furniture that can be reserved. Oh, and internet is included.

Lots of people have been sent home permanently. Works fine for many but many have kids at home, small apartments, roommates, spouses also working from home, etc, etc. If you can capture these people I think you will do well.

Office Space (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Oct 10, 2021 3:08 PM

Here there are two types.

One has a staffed receptionist type person who will do limited assisting - making copies, greeting customers, etc. You have a private office with a locking door and make a reservation to use the conference room. Printer, copier, etc., are included. You pay a hefty fee for printing, copying, etc. Someone is there in case someone drops something off, arrives 1/2 hour for your scheduled appt., etc.

The other type has almost nothing. You get a small nonprivate cubicle (meaning you can't leave anything there) and ability to reserve the conference room. I am not sure but I don't believe you need to pay a monthly fee - just use as you go.

Office Space (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Oct 10, 2021 4:24 PM

First of all, if your need for office space is 6/8/10 years out, I don't think I'd be buying it now unless your crystal ball sees office prices skyrocketing in the future. The holding costs will wipe out any benefit, plus you'll have a building that's 6/8/10 years older.

On the other hand, if you're looking to diversify your RE holdings, this could be a good way to do it. In answer to your specific questions, here's what I'd do:

--Lock the thermostat controls and set them to YOUR preferred temperature. People can adapt.

--You can absolutely talk to Code now. Just tell them your general idea (2000 sq foot building divided into 10 offices, etc).

--I'd provide each office space with a locking door, and have a front door with an electronic lock. Each "tenant" has their own code that can be deleted when they move out or it gets too widely circulated. The front door would be locked at all times, and guests would need to be let in by the person they're visiting.

--I would not want the hassle of hiring a receptionist. I'd provide a code-activated copy machine. Tenants get billed for the copies made on their code. Provide a fax machine too.

You'll need to hire someone to clean the common areas, especially bathrooms. You don't need to provide a break room. Think about whether you want to bill for cleaning individual offices or letting them handle that on their own.

I like how you're thinking outside the box! We're blessed to have a house large enough for his-and-her offices, but I STILL sometimes think it would be nice if DH had his own office off the premises. I think demand for this will only grow as more workers stay remote. If you take the plunge, keep us posted on how it goes!

Office Space (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Oct 10, 2021 7:37 PM

Thanks for the input! :) I really appreciate it. Lots to think about.

Think 1920's-vintage-Main-Street-Small-Town Texas. :) We got it pinned down today, so it will be A Thing. :)

We're about 100 miles away from all the big-name big-city shared office space, although I was looking at some of the options in DFW to get an idea as to how they structure their options. But I do have about 130x25 space to play with.

Will get the ball rolling on Tuesday to close with the title company. Item #1 is going to be getting with the roofers to fix the leaky roof, because all these cute old buildings on Main Street/the Square seem to have hideously neglected roofs. Item #2 is going to be getting with a mason to fill in the part of a brick wall that the former owner had been systematically knocking out, to try and merge space with his adjacent storefront, before he relocated his biz to a place with better parking. Item #3 is to let DH heal from the trauma of so many commercial-property expenditures compressed into a very short amount of time... he takes a lot of pride in being about to come up with a $500-$4k house and then passing it over to me to renovate out of my rental income money bucket... so taking on these projects has been very stressful! :P

We spent the day tarpapering a renovation in preparation for siding. He took a lot of comfort in the savings there by DIY'ing. :) But will definitely update with pics to show the adventure.

I continue to appreciate input!

Office Space (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Oct 10, 2021 7:39 PM

In 2019 I was getting about $8-12 sq/ft per year in my small town. Now I am getting only $8.50 to 10.50.

If done correctly, you can pay your bills and have a spot to work at. If you make mistakes or have a sudden unexpected shock to the real estate market (IE- Covid -19), then you have a store front sized billboard.

Mine has been known to say, I buy houses - Cash

Office Space (by small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Oct 11, 2021 2:06 AM

Deanna, maybe your town or local state politician would support your project with economic development funds. They are looking to do that in my area.

Office Space (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Oct 11, 2021 3:30 PM

Go, Deanna! I also tend to be the driver of acquisitions in my marriage/business partnership, so I understand that balancing act. Congrats on the acquisition! Good luck!

Office Space (by Pmh [TX]) Posted on: Oct 11, 2021 6:02 PM

wfh is the new normal. I would think about better ways to make $ rentals is where I have never had to worry 6 years out.......what town you looking at ?

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