I was negotiating a lease for one of my clients and we were focused on many different details. It is easy to forget items that are small compared to tenant improvements or rental rates but these details will haunt you later.
One of these areas is office building signage. Usually, a landlord will agree to give a tenant standard building signage. Generally, this is defined as a small plastic sign at the front door of your space and a listing in the office building's lobby directory.
However, there are other types of signage that must be considered during the office lease negotiation process. The time to get the rights to these options is before you sign your lease. Once I negotiated top of the building signage on all four sides of a twenty-one story high rise for a client. It was a really great advantage for my client. People could see his corporate name miles from the building.
There are different types of signage to consider:
Eye Brow Signage - This is a type of signage that is generally located at the third or fourth floor of an office building. It isn't the prominent signage but is visible from the street.
Top of Building Signage - This signage is usually reserved for the largest tenant in an office building. It is the most coveted type of signage
Exclusive Monument Signage - There are occasions when a landlord may agree to construct a monument sign for the exclusive use of a tenant. Depending upon the location of the sign on the property it may require a building permit from the city.
Shared Monument Signage - This is the lowest level of signage but it is still coveted. This monument sign could have anywhere from two to twenty tenant names on it. The number of names depends upon the construction of the sign.
The time to get one of these signage options is when you are negotiating your lease. The probability of getting a landlord to grant you this concession once you are a tenant is limited.
You must be realistic in your office building signage request. If you are leasing 2,500 square feet you will have a difficult time getting top of building signage in a 400,000 square foot office building. It is possible that you could have access to a shared monument sign.
There are some good reasons to fight for above building standard signage:
Branding - My client with his company name on all for sides of his build was known by almost everybody in Dallas. You couldn't pass the intersection of LBJ Freeway and I-75 and not see his corporate name.
Impression - Recruiting employees and setting visitor expectation is important for the success of a business. If your company has above standard signage people make positive assumptions about your company.
Signage is just one of many things that could be forgotten while you are negotiating your office lease. It is critical that you make a list of the items that are important to you prior to when you look for office space. A qualified tenant representation broker will help you make the right decisions and guide you through the negotiations.