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Real Estate Tips for Not-For-Profits – Part 3

If you have not read Part 2 of our Real Estate Tips for Not-For-Profits, please click here.

Your People Are Your Biggest Asset

Are you tired of watching your best people leave for another job?  Have you ever wondered if your tired office space was part of the problem?

At Real Strategy we’ve been hearing for years from our Not-For-Profit (NFP) clients that when it comes to spending on office space, it’s just not a priority.  We hear phrases like, “It’s not about us, it’s about the work and the people we serve.”  Or, “We’re a not-for-profit organization, and we shouldn’t be seen to be spending our funding on fancy space.”   While there is some truth to those statements, ask yourself this:  Isn’t that simply a justification for why your space isn’t as nice as you’d like it to be? 

Many of our NFP clients suffer from Tired Space Syndrome and its easy to see why.  Funding is always hard to come by and spending on renovations or furniture is hard to justify.  Yet suddenly every industry from government, to private industry, to not-for-profits, are in a battle to attract and retain your best people.  You spend thousands of dollars to recruit and train staff and all too often watch that investment walk right out the door if a better job comes their way.  Can you really afford to have the work environment you provide acting against you?

You Deserve Great Space

Now what if your space helped you recruit and keep top people?  What if they left the office feeling energized and fulfilled rather than tired and listless?  What would it mean to your organization to have space your people were proud of?  Would you be more likely to host community and industry events at your office if it were just a little nicer?  What would that do to your organization’s image and reputation?

Fortunately at Real Strategy we’ve learned that great space doesn’t need to break the bank or your balance sheet.  Here are three great tips to make great space more affordable.

  1. Don’t Rent More Than You Need:  An easy way to make space more affordable is to optimize your footprint.  This can free up cash to help you rent better space in a better location.  Focus on the amount of space rather the rental rate per square foot and you’ll always come out ahead.
  1. Natural Light is King:  They say location, location, location, but at Real Strategy we say natural light is everything.  A great space lets the light in and shares it widely with visitors and staff alike.  A side benefit of embracing this strategy is that it cuts down on so many expensive walls and offices.
  1. Multifunctional Spaces:  In every way possible each part of your office should serve more than one function.  Your kitchen can serve as a a place of work if you equip it with a variety of seating and surfaces.  Offices can double as spare meeting rooms if planned and furnished in advance.  Gathering spaces can be built into open floor plans to save space.  Every time you find a second use for a space you save money and reduce your overall need for space.

Contact Real Strategy today to discuss how you can make office space more affordable for your organization.