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Earlier is Better When Bringing a Furniture Provider into the Commercial Real Estate Process

Michael Sharp

BY Michael Sharp /

The commercial real estate (CRE) process is complicated. Developers, landlords/building owners, legal representation, financial institutions, and multiple brokers are all involved, not to mention architects, designers, furniture providers, and the end users themselves, tenants. The project team, which can vary from project to project, typically consists of a tenant broker, landlord broker, architect, and last but not least, a furniture provider.

The entire team wants to lease out a beautiful space and they want to do it quickly. How can all three come together and make the whole process shorter and simpler? Based on my experience over the past 15 years, the answer lies in bringing on the furniture provider sooner in the CRE process than is typical in the industry. In the end, it’s a win-win across the board!

Space planning is incredibly important in the CRE process and needs to happen at least 12-18 months in advance of a tenant’s projected occupancy date. When a furniture provider is brought into the process earlier by a broker, they can have a conversation about the space. They can pinpoint how the tenant will fit into the building, as well as how to make the space more efficient and aesthetically pleasing. If you’re planning for 100 people to fill an office, do you know what the approximate square footage cost to furnish the space will be? What about the average square footage cost per person? Or how much of the furniture costs can be factored into the Tenant Improvement (TI) allowances? A furniture provider can answer these questions! They can also help develop the furniture project budget as well as scenarios for the space, including costs per square footage and how they factor into the overall lease term.

Some additional ways that furniture providers add value to CRE professionals include:

  • Assisting the brokerage team and the tenant in maximizing the real estate investment
  • Creating a productive, healthy, and forward-thinking environment
  • Helping to market a space faster by providing layouts, space plans, and visual renderings of the prospective space
  • Offering cost analysis on furniture as it factors into the usable square footage (USF) and its’ influences on the overall lease term
  • Providing a single contact for the project that can manage furniture budgets, procurement, delivery/installation, and ongoing future services for the tenant
  • Educating the brokerage team and the tenant on current trends and interior solutions

Once a furniture provider can budget out specific parts of the process, that information can be passed on to the architect and tenant to make their dreams come to life within the project budget. Collaboration, communication, and timing are all key components that make up a successful project team and ultimately, a successful space. Which means a happy tenant. And that's priceless!

What's the cost per square foot?

Michael Sharp

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Sharp

Michael Sharp is the Vice President of Sales for Continental Office in Pittsburgh. He has over 15 years of industry experience and is LEED AP certified.

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Tags: Furniture, Real Estate

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