We recently had an engaging conversation with David Bergeron of T3 Advisors. They are doing some really innovative work in the real estate sector, with a special focus on helping startups find and procure the right office space. With ten years’ experience under their belt, they’ve got a lot to bring to the table behalf of their clients. And, well-negotiated lease terms can sometimes determine whether your business sinks or swims.
The idea behind T3’s approach to working with startups is that your average startup has unique needs that distinguish it from other businesses. Flexibility is one major factor, and how you’ve negotiated the terms in your lease can affect how well you respond to market (or funding) changes.
Another factor that’s unique to our moment in history is assessing the financial health of your prospective landlord, and protecting yourself from any future financial problems they might face. Have you considered what happens if your landlord claims bankruptcy? One must-have is an SNDA, or a subordination, non-disturbance and attorney agreement in place to protect you in the event of a foreclosure.
Whether or not you’re looking for a broker, it is definitely worth your while to read T3’s blog that gives real estate advice for both Bay Area and Boston area startups. They offer some great information on above topics, as well as how to estimate the set-up costs of your new space (down to the level of how much paint will cost on a square-foot basis), important lease terms to negotiate, and what to expect from your broker. They also provide pretty detailed advice on setting up your IT needs, including internet connectivity and cabling.
T3 is also somewhat unique in the corporate real estate industry as they advocate solely on behalf of their clients, and so lack the conflict-of-interest inherent to many other brokers. They’re also active in the SF, Palo Alto, and Boston markets, so they’re pretty tapped into the latest high tech trends.
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