References & Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question below to find the answer

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a NNN Lease?

This lease structure provides for the tenant to pay its share of all operating expenses, typically including: property taxes, insurance, common area maintenance and utilities.

What is an Add-On Factor?

This is a calculation based on the tenant’s proportionate share of common areas of the building (restrooms, lobby, corridors, etc.) that is added onto the usable square footage of the lease space to calculate the rentable square footage.

How much is office space in Austin?

This number varies greatly depending on the location and building quality.  Our professionals at ECR are happy to provide specific market research and information.

How are commissions paid for commercial real estate leases?

The landlord typically pays commissions to both the landlord’s representative and the tenant’s representative based on a percentage of the lease value (commonly 2% for the landlord’s representative and 4% for the tenant’s representative).

How long is the commercial real estate leasing process?

The timing of the commercial real estate leasing process can vary greatly, between a few weeks, and it can take upwards of a year with more complex transactions.  We recommend beginning strategy discussions with your real estate representative a minimum of six months before the requirement target date.

How long is the commercial real estate sale process?

Generally, once a contract has been executed by both the buyer and seller and deposited with the title company, there is a 30 +/- day feasibility period for the buyer to further review the property with closing occurring approximately 30 days following the end of the feasibility period.  Please note that these time period can vary greatly, in particular for land transactions.

What is a Brokers Opinion of Value (BOV)?

A Brokers Opinion of Value (BOV) is a Broker or commercial real estate salespersons profession opinion of valuation of a property based on their experience and research.  The real estate professionals at ECR are available to provide Brokers Opinions of Value.

What is a Tenant Improvement Allowance (TIA)?

A Tenant Improvement Allowance (TIA) are funds the landlord provides to the tenant within a lease to make certain construction improvements to the lease space.

What is Turnkey Construction?

Providing construction that is turnkey means completely built-out based on specified plans. Specifically, all electrical, mechanical, lighting, fixtures, flooring, paint and other cosmetic items are to be included in the turnkey construction. While negotiable, it is common for turnkey construction to be provided at the landlord’s expense according to plans and specifications previously agreed upon by both parties, unlike an allowance where the tenant pays for all construction costs in excess of the allowance amount. 

What is a 1031 Exchange?

According to IRC Section 1031, a properly structured 1031 exchange allows an investor to sell a property and to reinvest the proceeds in a new property purchase and to defer all capital gain taxes.

How do I enter into a 1031 Exchange?

There are a number of guidelines and timelines to follow to properly execute a 1031 Exchange.  As such, it is recommended to consult with an attorney or 1031 Exchange advisor during this process.

Space Planning Tools

Terms & Tools

Typical Move Tasks
  • Preparation of a planning chart outlining the entire move project, illustrating essential interrelationships and defining critical tasks;
  • Liaison with project and / or facility manager and construction personnel to keep track of the schedule as it impacts the move;
  • Assistance in the selection, coordination, and direction of a moving company;
  • Provision of a complete checklist of internal move tasks;
  • Arranging for notification of all personnel and vendors affected by the move;
  • Coordination with telephone company, long distance company and telephone equipment vendor to ensure the correct and timely change of service;
  • Preparation of a furniture inventory, or working with an existing inventory, to designate the placement of all furniture, fixtures and equipment after the move;
  • Identification and planning regarding special potential move problem areas;
  • Assistance in scheduling and receiving new equipment and furnishings before the move;
  • Preparation and distribution of a ‘move information packet’ to each relocating employee;
  • Preparation of new ‘building orientation’ packets;
  • Directing the labeling and packing of all spaces for the move;
  • Supervision of the relocation and reset activities; and,
  • Preparation of a ‘move punch list’ after project completion.
During Final Contract Negotiations
  • Choose the move day
  • Give current landlord move-out notice (typically 30 days)
  • Bid and schedule movers (mover needs to be bonded and insured)
  • Finalize build-out plan, choose paint & carpet (materials may not be in stock)
  • Order chairs, desks, cubes (new furniture could take 1-2 months to arrive)
  • Evaluate phone system needs, get bids and schedule phone move
  • Order phone lines, forwarding, service move (long distance, 1-800 numbers)
  • Order Internet access / move (can take up to 30 days for some services)
  • Evaluate computer networking needs and get wiring bids
  • Get business insurance quote for new space
  • Arrange for copier move
Immediately After Finalizing Contract
  • Order or print change of address labels for notification
  • Print new address labels for existing stationery, marketing materials
  • Order new stationery, business cards, shipping labels and forms
  • Order keys / access cards from management of your new building
  • Ask management of new building to order your suite sign
  • Send address change to customers, subscriptions, government agencies
  • Order checks with new address
Preparing for the Move
  • Install phone lines, phone systems
  • Assign new phone numbers, extensions
  • Inventory existing computers, existing furniture
  • Purge old, obsolete materials
  • Create new office layout map
  • Back up computers
  • Pack up desks, personal spaces, common areas
  • Code furniture and boxes for each office
  • Notify Post Office of Change of Address
  • Update Web site with new information
  • Obtain moving crates/cartons
  • Distribute new keys, cards
  • Collect old keys, cards
  • Reserve access areas parking meters, entrance way, loading areas
  • Coordinate move time with both management companies
  • Finalize business insurance and deliver proof to new landlord
Moving Day
  • Post directions on your old office door to your new location
  • Give new directions and phone numbers to tenants on your floor
  • Take digital pictures of the move-out condition of your old office
  • Move plants
  • Post coded signs in new office for movers
  • Return old keys, cards to management company
  • Talk to management about your security deposit refund
  • Periodically visit old office to pick up mail
  • Schedule phone training
Architectural Measurements

BOMA  is the organization that provides standards for measurement of commercial properties.  Click Here for More Info about Architectural Measurements

Challenging Property Taxes

Property taxes are often times the most significant expense associated with operating a commercial property.  As such, it is important to protest annual taxes annually to best manage this expense.  We recommend contracting with a professionally property management protesting firm with experience in the Austin area. Go to ECR Management 

Energy Efficient Upgrades

Information about energy efficiency and LEED can be found on the following website – Click Here for More Info about LEED

Property Upgrades

In the competitive marketplace of commercial real estate, it is important to upgrade your property to be positioned for maximum performance.  The professionals at ECR can help with recommending property upgrades to improve leasing as well as the operational performance of your property.  Further, the property/construction management arm of ECR is your resource for implementing and managing these upgrades.

Improved Vacancies, etc.

Most tenants are viewing multiple spaces prior to making a selection as to which option(s) to pursue.  It is critical to showcase vacancies in the best light possible.  At ECR, we provide recommendations and help implement improvements to ensure vacancies in the properties we represent are in the best condition possible for marketing.

Building Class

Class – Class is usually used in conjunction with an office property and refers to the quality of property. Class definitions fall with the following guidelines:
Class A+ – Landmark quality, highrise building with prime central business district location (the best of the Class A buildings).
Class A – Generally 100,000 s.f. or larger (five or more floors), concrete or steel construction, built since 1980, business/support amenities, strong identifiable location/access.
Class B – Renovated and in good locations. Newer building, smaller in size, wood frame construction, and/or in non-prime location.
Class C – Older, unrenovated of any size in average to fair condition.


In actual contact with another object (i.e., attached). Same as “Contiguous”.

An individual/entity who transacts, represents, or manages business for another individual/entity. Permission is provided by the individual/entity being represented.

Individual to whom a contract is assigned.

The manner by which a contract is transferred from one individual to another individual.

An individual who transfers a contract to another individual.


Build Out
The construction or improvements of the interior of a space, including flooring,walls, finished plumbing, electrical work, etc.

Building Permit
Written government permission to develop, renovate, or repair a building.


Cancellation Clause
A provision in a contract (e.g., lease) that confers the ability of one in the lease to terminate the party’s obligations. The grounds and ability to cancel are usually specified in the lease.

Capital Improvement
Any major physical development or redevelopment to a property that extends the life of the property. Examples include upgrading the elevators, replacement of the roof, and renovations of the lobby.

Certificate of Occupancy (CO)
The government issues this official form, which states that the building is legally ready to be occupied.

Household goods, including personal property such as lamps, desks, and chairs.

The preeminent real estate Internet site that provides prospective tenants with commercial space availabilities.

Common Area Maintenance (CAM)
This is the amount of additional rent charged to the tenant, in addition to the base rent, to maintain the common areas of the property shared by the tenants and from which all tenants benefit. Examples include: snow removal, outdoor lighting, parking lot sweeping, insurance, property taxes, etc. Most often, this does not include any capital improvements that are made to the property.

Touching at some point or along a boundary.

A requirement in a contract that must occur before that contract can be finalized.

A legal agreement between entities that requires each to conduct (or refrain from conducting) certain activities. This document provides each party with a right that is enforceable under our judicial system.

Wording found in deeds that limits/restricts the use to which a property may be put (e.g., no bars).


A signed, written instrument that conveys title to real property.

Deed Restriction
An imposed restriction in a deed that limits the use of the property. For example, a restriction could prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Failure to fulfill a promise, discharge an obligation, or perform certain acts.

Transfer something from one entity to another.


Action to regain possession or real property. This is a last-ditch effort that is used when there is no relationship between landlord and tenant.

Eminent Domain
The government’s right to condemn and acquire property for public use. The government must provide the owner fair compensation.

Signing one’s name on the back of a check.

A written agreement among parties, requiring that certain property/funds be placed with a third party. The object in escrow is released to a designated entity upon completion of some specific occurrence.

Estoppel Certificate
A legal instrument executed by the one taking out the mortgage (i.e., mortgagor). The owner of a property may require an individual leasing a property to sign an estoppel certificate, which verifies the major points (e.g., base rent, lease commencement and expiration) existing lease between the landlord and tenant.

Eviction (Actual)
Physical removal of a tenant either by law or force.

Eviction (Constructive)
The landlord or his agents disturb the tenant, rendering the leased space unfit for the tenant’s previous use.

Eviction (Proceeding)
A legal proceeding by the landlord to remove a tenant.

Exclusive Agency
An agreement in which one broker has exclusive rights to represent the owner or tenant. If another broker is used, both the original and actual broker are entitled to leasing commissions.


A person who represents another on financial/property matters.

Personal property so attached the land or building (e.g., improvements) it is considered part of the real property.


Grace Period
Additional time allowed to complete an action (e.g., make a payment) before a default or violation occurs.

Gross Lease
A lease of property whereby the landlord (i.e., lessor) pays for all property charges usually included in ownership. These charges can include utilities, taxes, and maintenance, among others.


Holdover Tenant
A tenant who remains in possession of leased property after the lease term expiration.


An individual who is unable to handle his own affairs by reason of some medical condition (e.g., insanity, Alzheimer’s).

A written legal document created to secure the rights of the parties participating in the agreement.

Incapable of being altered, changed, or recalled.


Joint Tenancy
Ownership of real property by two or more individuals, each of whom has an undivided interest with the right of survivorship.

A formal decision issued by a court relating to the specific claims and rights of the parties to an act or suit.


One who rents property to a tenant.

A contract whereby the landlord grants the tenant the right to occupy defined space for a set period at a specific price (i.e., rent).

The estate or interest a tenant has as stated in the tenant’s lease.

An individual (i.e., tenant) to whom property is rented under a lease.

An individual (i.e. landlord) who rents property to a tenant via a lease.

Letter of Intent
An informal, usually non-binding, agreement among parties indicating their serious desire to move forward with negotiations.

An employment contract between principal and agent that authorizes the agent (such as a broker) to perform services for the principal and his property.

Loss Factor
What percentage of the gross area of a space is lost due to walls, elevator, etc. Rule of thumb in Manhattan is approximately 15%.


A requirement that must be conformed to as specified in any written document.

Market Price
The actual selling or leasing price of a property.

Market Value
The expected price that a property should bring if exposed for lease in the open market for a reasonable period of time and with market savvy landlords and tenants.

Meeting of the Minds
When all individuals to a contract agree to the substance and terms of that contract.

A person under a legal age, usually under 18 years old.

Multiple Listing
An arrangement among Real Estate Board of Exchange Members, whereby each broker presents the broker’s listings to the attention of the other members so that if a lease results, the commission is divided between the broker bringing the listing and the broker making the lease.


Net Lease
Also called triple net lease. The lessee pays not only a fixed rental charge but also expenses on the rented property, including maintenance.

Non-Disturbance Agreement
The tenant signs this to prevent himself from being evicted if the property owner does not pay its mortgage to the bank.

Notary Public
A public officer who is authorized to witness and verify certain documents (e.g., contracts, deeds, mortgages). Also, an affidavit may be sworn before this public officer.


The person who will receive the outcome of an obligation.

An individual who has engaged to perform an obligation to another person (i.e., obligee).

Open Listing
A listing given to any broker without liability to compensate any broker except the one who first secures a buyer who is ready, willing, and able to meet the terms of the listing, or secures the acceptance by the landlord of a satisfactory offer; the lease of the property automatically terminates the listing.

A right given to purchase or lease a property upon specified terms within a specified time. If the right is not exercised, the option holder is not subject to liability for damages. If the holder of the option exercises it, the grantor of option must perform the option’s requirements.


Percentage Lease
A lease of property in which the rent is based upon the percentage of the sales volume made on the specific premises. There is usually a clause for a minimum rent as well.

Personal Property
Any property which is not real property. Examples include furniture, clothing, and artwork.

Power of Attorney
A written instrument duly signed and executed by an individual which authorizes an agent to act on his behalf to the extent indicated in the document.

The employer (e.g., landlord) of an agent or broker. This is the agent’s or broker’s client.


Quiet Enjoyment
The right of an landlord or tenant to use the property without disturbances.


Real Estate Board
An organization whose members consist primarily of real estate professionals such as brokers.

Real Estate Syndicate
When partners (either with or without unlimited liability) form a partnership to participate in a real estate venture.

Real Property
Land and any capital improvements (e.g., buildings) erected on the property.

A coined word which may only be used by an active member of a local real estate board, affiliated with the National Association of Real Estate Boards.

Compensation from tenant to landlord for the use of real estate.

A restriction, often specified in the deed, on the use of property.

An act of rescinding power previously authorized.

Rule of Thumb
A common or ubiquitous benchmark. For example, it is often assumed that each worker in an office will need approximately 250 square feet of space.


The location of a property.

Specific Performance
When a court requires a defendant to carry out the terms of an agreement or contract.

Square Feet
The usual method by which rental space is defined. It is the area of that space, calculated by taking length times width. For example, a room 30 feet by 60 feet has an area of 1,800 square feet.

A law established by an act of a legislature.

Statute of Frauds
State law (founded on ancient English law) which requires that contracts must be reduced to written form if it is to be enforced by law.

Statute of Limitations
A law barring all right of redress after a certain period of time from the moment when a cause of action first arises.

An agent of an individual already acting as an agent of a principal.

The leasing of space from one tenant to another tenant.

Subscribing Witness
The witness to the execution of an instrument who has written his name as proof of seeing such execution.

The cancellation of a lease by mutual consent of the tenant and the landlord.


Tenancy at Will
A license to occupy or use lands and buildings at the will of the landlord.

Tenancy by the Entirety
An estate which exists only between husband and wife. Each has equal right of enjoyment and possession during their joint lives, and each has the right of survivorship.

Tenant Improvements
Work done on the interior of a space, can be paid for by landlord, tenant, or some combination of both, depending on the terms of the lease.

Tenancy in Common
Ownership of property by two or more individuals, each of whom has an undivided interest, without the right of survivorship.

Tenants at Sufferance
An individual who comes to possess land via lawful title and keeps it in perpetuity without any title.

Tie-in Arrangement
A contract where one transaction depends upon another transaction.

A wrongful act or violation of a legal right for which a civil action will lie.

Triple Net Lease
A lease requiring tenants to pay all utilities, insurance, taxes, and maintenance costs.


Urban Property
Property in a city or a high-density area.


A binding situation that is authorized and enforceable by law.

Estimated price, value, or worth. Also, the act of identifying a property’s worth via an appraisal.

Government authorization to use or develop a property in a manner which is not permitted by the applicable zoning regulations.

Act, condition, or deed that violates the permissible use of property.

Something that is unenforceable.

A situation which is capable of being unenforceable but is not so unless direct action is taken.


The intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a specific claim, privilege, or right.

Work Letter
An amount of money that a landlord agrees to spend on the construction of the interior of a space per the lease, usually negotiated.


An area, delineated by a governmental authority, which is authorized for and limited to specific uses.

Zoning Ordinance
A law by a local governmental authority (e.g., city or county) that sets the parameters for which the property may be put to use.