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November 7, 2017

Life in The City: The Benefits of Working Downtown

The phrase “the big city” probably isn’t the first that comes to mind when you think of our city of Lakeland. Here in Central Florida, Lakeland can seem dwarfed by nearby Orlando and Tampa with their high-rise skylines and wide variety of businesses and shops. However, Lakeland has a lot to offer and the unique flavor of small town with the amenities of the city. This is evident if you visit our downtown Lakeland area. Many local residents work in downtown businesses, and this comes with several benefits that you may not have thought of.

So, why should you consider working downtown in Lakeland, or in your own city?

Walking Distance. Depending on where you live in proximity to your job, downtown employment often lends itself toward employees and clients being able to arrive by foot. If you live nearby, you could walk to work each day, or ride a bike, which saves money in the long run thanks to not needing fuel. An added benefit is the extra exercise each day, and the fresh air. Even if you can’t walk every day (like during rainy weather) even being able to occasionally go to work on foot can be a big benefit of a downtown job.

Close to Amenities. Whether it be a quick run to the store for needed medicine, or pens for your desk, or hitting a local restaurant for lunch or an afternoon cup of coffee, having amenities nearby to your job is a huge benefit. When you work downtown, you are often close to many stores and restaurants (likely within walking distance) and you don’t have to go far for great choices. This is very helpful with saving time and gas, and it lets you support other local businesses.

Parking Perks. Many downtown employees are given parking passes for nearby parking garages OR for their monitored lots at their own office. While not directly work-related, this is a big benefit for downtown events (parades, annual firework shows, weekend markets, etc.) since parking is usually expensive and/or impossible to find during these times, and you’ll be left without a worry since your pass will give you free parking with no hassle.

Downtown is definitely THE place to be, and business owners are catching on. Downtown properties are a popular choice for up-and-coming Lakeland businesses, since they know it will attract not only a variety of customers and clients, but employees too! Lorio and Associates specializes in local commercial real estate, and we have properties available downtown now, just waiting for you. Visit http://lorio.com/lakeland-commercial-properties-for-lease/ to find the perfect new home for your business, and call us to schedule a tour or to get more info.

October 5, 2017

A Blank Canvas for YOUR Business: Our New Property Could Be Right for You

Recently, we listed a new property for lease here on our site, and we believe it could be a wonderful opportunity for a local business owner looking to grow into a little more space. This space, located in the South Lakeland Industrial Park, is in a popular location on Commerce Drive and conveniently positioned to make your business stand out. The property has features that would lend themselves easily to many types of businesses, including:

  • A waiting/reception area. There is welcome “desk” area at the front entrance, along with open space that has been used as a waiting area in the past.
  • A break room. Counter space, cabinetry, and even a closet allow for plenty of storage, and a great place to make an afternoon cup of coffee or heat up lunch. Employees appreciate having a place to “get away” for a few minutes and this space comes with one already done for you!
  • Multiple offices. This property has several offices within the unit, one of which is currently set up as a conference/meeting space. The offices are sizable, and easy access, making the setup perfect for all types of needs, regardless of the type of business you might have.
  • Blank canvas. The unit is, essentially, a blank canvas. All colors have been kept clean and neutral, little has been done by way of changing structural or aesthetic composition in the space, and overall, this property is a “blank canvas” waiting for you to create your own business’s imprint on it. It’s a wonderful opportunity that doesn’t require an excessive amount of preparation before being able to move in and get down to business.

If you’re interested in this property, we’d love to answer any questions you might have. Want to tour the space? We can make that happen too! We’ll schedule a tour with one of our agents here at Lorio and Associates so you can see up close, and in person, just how wonderful this opportunity is for your business. Give us a call!

August 10, 2017

Lights, Camera, Action, SELL! The Impact of Staging in Real Estate

Staging is a hot topic in the residential real-estate world. If you are selling your home, chances are your realtor has discussed the importance of making your home attractive to potential buyers by setting up various portions of your home in their ideal state. In other words, keep all countertops clean and generic, replace family photos with art prints or less-personal elements, keep bathrooms clean and looking “luxurious”, etc. While these same exact examples don’t apply to commercial real estate, staging does play a part in selling your business or commercial property.

How do you incorporate staging into your space?

First, do a walk through from the parking lot to the front door. Is your entryway looking scruffy with weeds on the sidewalk, dirty windows and doors, or chipping paint? Freshen up the area, consider adding a coat of paint in a complimentary and/or neutral color, and improve the look of the entrance from the street. Depending on the type of business, improve your entry inside the building with an umbrella stand/ coat rack, a sign (for larger spaces) that gives basic direction on where to find what, and a durable rug that will hold onto dirt and absorb water to keep your floors looking fresh.

Next, do a scan of your space from the door of each room. If anything is closely tied to your own specific business, try to replace it with something a little more generic if possible. While we know you can’t completely stage a business since you likely have to remain open until you make the sell and move to your new location, you can make small changes to help potential buyers see themselves in the space with their business.

Finally, have the commercial space deep cleaned, and freshen up interior paint and trim, any lighting or plumbing (like a new toilet if the old one is grungy), and flooring. Investing a little bit of money into your property can actually save money in the long run, since you’ll likely make the sell more quickly, and spend less time and resources maintaining a space that you want to move out of.

Are you ready to sell your commercial space, or would like to rent it out while you pursue other endeavors? Lorio and Associates is here to help. We serve the greater Lakeland, Florida area with commercial real estate and property management services, and our goal is to treat your space like our own. Give us a call to get started!

July 3, 2017

Celebrate Independence! 4th of July Events in Polk County

July 4th is a time of celebration and enjoying the freedoms we are thankful for here in the United States. Independence Day here in Polk County means our local cities are gearing up for fireworks displays, good food, great entertainment, and all sorts of family fun. It can be hard to track down exactly what’s going on in your area though, and it’s a bummer if you miss out on an event you really wanted to attend because you were misinformed about the date/time/location.

Lorio and Associates is here to help. The list below offers information about some of the favorite events going on in Polk County this week in celebration of Independence Day. Add them to your calendar and get out to celebrate with your friends and neighbors!

Have a happy and safe holiday!

Monday, July 3rd

Lakeland: Red, White & Kaboom Independence Celebration is happening at Lake Mirror (the Frances Langford Promenade) from 6 to 9 p.m. with fireworks at 9 p.m. The event kicks off with a reggae concert by Jah Movement. You are asked to bring at least one nonperishable food item to benefit Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE) as “payment” for entry to the event. Coolers are allowed, but glass bottles, pop-up tents and large beach umbrellas are prohibited.

Winter Haven: Rock N’ Freedom Fest is going on in Winter Haven, 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, 199 E. Lake Silver Drive. There will be children’s activities, food and drink vendors, games, live music, water ski show and fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

Tuesday, July 4th

Auburndale: Fireworks at City Beach, 2 to 9:30 p.m. at Lake Ariana Park (2215 Ariana Blvd.). There will be family activities, food, live entertainment and fireworks beginning at 9 p.m.

Bartow: Fourth of July Celebration 2:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Mosaic Park (2250 S. Floral Ave.). The event starts off with Bartow Adult Concert Band at Bartow Civic Center, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. There will be live music, food vendors, games and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Info: 863-533-7125 or see www.bartowchamber.com.

Lakeland: Flying Tigers versus Dunedin Blue Jays baseball game, gates open at 4 p.m., game at 5 p.m., Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, 2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd. Holiday-themed games, contests, music. Tickets in advance are $6 to $9; game day $10 to $13. Bob Seger tribute band concert after the game, followed by fireworks. Info: www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t570.

Lakeland: Barbecue and Movie, 6 p.m., Lighthouse Ministries’ Gospel Rescue Mission, 117 E. Magnolia St. Includes food and the movie “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” (PG). Info: 863-687-4076 ext. 232, 863-712-4503, www.lighthousemin.org.

Winter Haven: Night Lights at Legoland Florida, 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven. Extended park hours with 9 p.m. fireworks at Pirate’s Cove with regular admission price. Info: www.legoland.com.

Plant City: Stadium, 1810 E. Park Road, 6 to 9:30 p.m. $5 parking, includes activities, 50/50 raffle, food vendors, military salute and live performances by Daniel Sprouse Band and Double Barrel Band. Info: 813-659-4255, www.plantcity.org.

June 27, 2017

Open for Business: Tips for Creating An Eye-Catching Storefront

Small-business shopping is a big part of life in the city nowadays, and Downtown Lakeland is no exception. We have a wide variety of bakeries, retail shops, coffee bars, and more that welcome people in and give them a taste of life here in our town. Recently, Lorio and Associates took on a wonderful storefront opportunity right in the heart of the downtown area, and we know it will make the perfect home for a startup business, or someone looking to grow their brand. Having a storefront, though, provides its own set of challenges since your business is open to passerby and you have to start marketing to them before they ever step foot through your door. Your display and environment must beckon in customers, and that can be difficult if you aren’t sure where to begin.

So, how can you make sure people walk through your door, and not past it?

Know Your Brand, Set The Tone

Every business, no matter the size, has a “brand”. If you create clothing and tend to sway toward a Bohemian, free-flowing style, then your brand could be best represented by a coastal, beach vibe, and your store will need to reflect that. Do you craft furniture and art pieces from wood and want to attract high-end clients? A polished, gallery-style store might be best. When it’s time to create your storefront and set up your shop, you need to know your brand well, and brainstorm how to best reflect that in the tone of your store.

Place “Customers” in Your Display Window

No, we don’t suggest you put your actual clients in the window of your shop. However, any displays you create should help the passerby see themselves enjoying the products you are trying to sell. Make your display reflect the type of clients you are marketing to. Additionally, keep the display eye catching, and change it up routinely. Your display window is where you reflect the season, celebrate various holidays, and give sneak peaks of new products. Keep things things in mind when it’s time to decorate.

Start Marketing OUTSIDE

Want customers to stop and come inside? The first part of that, is giving them a reason to STOP! Balloons, banners, and signs are a great way to get attention at first, but they might not keep people coming in long-term. Consider offering routine special or inexpensive freebies/samples that will convince people to come through the door. Advertise these with a sign outside your shop. Here in Lakeland, pets are a big deal, so consider having multiple dog-watering stations outside your shop, and maybe even a bench or two where folks could wait with their pup while their friend or spouse shops. During the summer, having a water cooler and cups set up are a great way to make people feel welcome, and they appreciate the (free) relief from the intense Florida heat.

Ready to start up your store? Contact us about our Downtown Lakeland property to schedule a tour of the space. For a reasonable monthly lease, you will have a large, open retail space, TWO display windows, a break room, restroom, and office space at your disposal. We can’t wait to see your business become a success here in our city!

May 26, 2017

Showing Appreciation to Our Servicemen: How to Honor Those in Your Community Who Have Served

Memorial Day is coming up, and with that comes all things red, white, and blue.  While the parties, parades, and picnics are fun, it’s important to remember why we celebrate this holiday in the first place.  As a business owner, one of the best ways to remind yourself, and those around you (including your employees), about the importance of Memorial Day is by recognizing those who have served.  This is particularly important if you have someone on your staff who has served, or has been directly impacted by the military service.

So, how can you show appreciation for those who protect our country?  Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Letters of Appreciation.

A subtle way to recognize those who have served in any capacity is to write out your thanks!  A simple note to tell them that you honor and appreciate the sacrifice they made is a great way to make sure they don’t go unnoticed on Memorial Day.  Don’t forget a note to anyone on your staff or in your immediate community (as in, personal contacts) who has lost a close loved one, such as a spouse or a child, to military service. They have sacrificed for our nation as well.

Appreciation Breakfast/Lunch.

If you have more than one military veteran on your staff or if you know multiple servicemen and women in your community, consider having a special breakfast or lunch to honor them.  It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, but the fact that you are wiling to publicly recognize their service goes a long way!  Only have one veteran on staff or only know a couple of contacts who have served?  Consider having a breakfast or lunch for him/her and their close family.  After all, like we said above, their families sacrificed during their time spent in service too!

Pay It Forward.

Another great way to recognize those who have served is to give back!  Making a donation in the name of your business, school, church, or even just your family to Wounded Warriors, or other veteran support resources is a wonderful thank-you to our military.  Make it better by having the donation made in honor of a veteran you know, and let them know what you did with a note or a printout of the donation.  We are sure this will make them feel appreciated AND you’ll be assisting other veterans just like them as they return home from service.

Lorio and Associates wants to extend our deepest gratitude to all who have served our country in any capacity, as well as those who have lost a loved one.  We honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives for our freedom.  We are proud of our veterans in and beyond the Polk County community!

Happy Memorial Day from Lorio and Associates!

April 27, 2017

Making A Rental Space Your Own

Lorio and Associates is proud to serve the greater Lakeland area of Polk County with both property sales and property management services.  Our property management (usually) entails keeping an eye on our rental properties, and making sure they are properly maintained according to the desires of the landowner.  For commercial properties like those we oversee, the typical tenants are small business owners who are seeking a home for their company to start out in.  They have all kinds of dreams and ideas for making their business shine, but when they show up and realize that there are some stipulations that come along with a rental property and personalization of the space, it can be frustrating.

We decided to put together some of the most common decorating roadblocks, and some simple ways that you can make any rental property your own, and guarantee that your personality of your brand shines through, no matter the space.

  • You can’t alter the structure.  This means adding walls, taking away walls, etc.  If you were hoping to add a welcome area to your office space, or need some separation for your receptionist and other employees, this can be exasperating.  Our solution?  Try some tall shelves/bookcases to serve as faux “walls”.  Not only do these add some visual interest, but they will create a barrier between spaces, and offer extra storage as a bonus!
  • You can’t paint.  Most of the time, landowners won’t want you to paint, or if they do allow you to paint, there will be limitations like color choice, or being required to repaint to a neutral before you relinquish the space at the end of your lease.  Instead of going to the trouble, try wall art!  Framed stock portraits, gallery walls, or even unique pieces from local artists can add a ton of interest to the walls, create great conversation pieces with your clients, and help cover up any unsightly paint jobs you might not be fond of.  Another great way to add color and visual interest to your office walls are using drapes.  Frame the windows in complimentary fabrics wth the other office furniture for a cohesive, professional feel.
  • You can’t change the flooring.  Perhaps you don’t love the multicolored tile flooring, or maybe carpet isn’t what you were dreaming of for your business.  While you usually can’t change the flooring in a rental space, you can cover it up.  There is a huge variety in flooring today, from large scale rugs that will cover most of the floor in a single room, to click-and-lock flooring tiles (carpet, vinyl, and more) that lay directly on top of the flooring underneath and give it a whole new look.  Each of these options can be easily removed and taken right along with you when it’s time to change spaces!

We hope these tips help you feel more confident in finding the perfect location for your business home.  We have plenty of choices available for rent right now in the Polk County area, so give us a call to schedule a tour and get started on your leasing journey!

March 14, 2017

Why Lakeland Is THE Place to Start Your Business

When it comes to launching a business, many entrepreneurs are looking for maximum profit and an extensive consumer market, so they automatically gravitate toward large, well-known cities.  While that’s not always a bad thing, it does mean that business owners are missing out on potentially great opportunities in smaller cities and suburban areas that might end up reaping a better profit than the large city would, and in far less time. Lakeland is a beautiful mix of big-city opportunity and amenities with a small-town feel.  While we are by no means tiny or rural, we also don’t compete with our neighboring giants, Tampa or Orlando.  Why?  Well, we continually encourage hopeful business owners to take a good look at our city here in Lakeland when deciding to spread their wings and launch their dream because:

  • The market here in Lakeland is less saturated.  Large cities are where small-business startups tend to gather, so the market gets overwhelmed with options and these businesses either stay stagnant and fail to thrive, or they die altogether.  Lakeland, on the other hand, has plenty of diversity in types of businesses, but fewer options of each, so you are more likely to have a successful launch and steady growth rate.
  • Better connections mean higher chance of success.  In large, overwhelming cities you are likely to start out with few, if any, major business connections.  Small businesses rarely have the option of joining the well-known chambers of commerce or community organizations since they typically cost money, and can also be limited to businesses of a certain size.  Unfortunately you are less likely to grow quickly.  With smaller cities, you can make helpful networking connections quickly, and those connections can help spring your business growth upward.
  • Lower operation costs mean you gain profit.  Large cities cost more, and that means you are more likely to be waiting for a while until you see your first paycheck result from your company’s operation.  Rent prices and real estate, cost of materials, average wage for employees, etc. are all driven up in large cities, and it could mean your overhead outweighs the profit.  In a city like Lakeland, you will have the same options as large cities, especially with our neighbors like Tampa and Orlando having such extensive resources to pull from, but your cost will likely be less.

If you are ready to make your dream come true, Lorio and Associates is here to help you plant your roots here in Lakeland.  We can hunt down the perfect piece of property here in the heart of Central Florida since we manage and oversee the leasing and sales of all types of property in Lakeland, from single business offices to full shopping centers.  We even have open properties ready to be built on, so you can start with a blank canvas.  The choice is yours!  Give us a call to make an appointment.

February 27, 2017

Make The Most of Your Office Space: 3 Tips for Maximum Usage with Minimum Impact

Lorio and Associates has a lot of experience with all types of office spaces.  We sell, lease out, and manage countless office properties, from full-scale business complexes, to individual, single-room offices.  When choosing to lease, making the most of your space with the least amount of impact, both financial and physical, is important to many businessmen/women.

So, how can you maximize your rented office space?

First, consider how you’ll use the leased area.  If you will need several work zones for employees but don’t have enough individual offices within your rented space, it might be wise to invest in cubicles or room dividers.  These give you the ability to have “faux walls”, that are both mobile and functional.  If you need a large, open area for an office meeting or gathering, the cubicle dividers can be moved out of the way; whereas, for a standard work day, they can divide space and give each employee a sense of privacy and control over their portion of the environment.

Secondly, think about areas that can perform more than one duty.  When you don’t have a separate waiting room for example, using large houseplants, pieces of art, etc. can serve as a visual barrier between in an area where you might have a meeting with a client and an area with chairs for those next to be seen.  By having some visual barrier, you give a sense of separation. Having music playing softly in the waiting area helps as well, since it helps prevent the compromising of your customers’ or clients’ privacy.  Another double-duty area in an office can be your break room/kitchen space.  If your office has one of these zones, set it up to accommodate not only lunches/social time, but also for meetings when you need seating for everyone at once.

Finally, choose functional decor.  These are pieces that can serve as not only visually appealing material for those in the space, but are also used as storage, work space, etc.  Ideas include using desks that have cubicle systems built in underneath for storage, ottomans with storage included, decorative tables that can be used as desk/meeting space, etc.

If you are looking for the perfect office space, no matter the size, give us a call or check out some of our current listings HERE on our site.  We can help you find a property that meets your needs and your budget, because we are here for you.

January 23, 2017

We Fill Vacancies, And SO Much More.

When most people think of property management companies, such as Lorio and Associates, they think of a business that fills vacancies, specifically those of the commercial type.  Whether selling a commercial piece of property, or finding tenants for rental office/restaurant/business spaces, that is what property management companies usually do, but we also do so much more for you as our client.

At Lorio and Associates, we actually manage your property, instead of just filling the empty space.  What does that mean?

First, we do indeed handle finding a buyer or tenant for your piece of property.  In other words, if you own an office building and are renting out offices within the space, but you aren’t here to review and assist potential renters, we do all the legwork for you.  We will advertise your space, review prospective tenants or buyers, and then help finalize the deal.  All you have to do is enjoy the benefits.

Additionally, we manage your piece of property while it’s on the “market” and waiting to be sold or rented out.  That includes overseeing maintenance (cleaning, painting, repairs, etc.) and grooming of the grounds as dictated by you, the owner.  Our goal is for your property to remain in optimum condition while it is in our hands.

Finally, we will continue to oversee maintenance for pieces of property that are rented out.  We are the go-to call number for tenants that need assistance with a plumbing or electrical issue, have a repair request, and so forth.  This means you won’t be bothered with 3 a.m. calls about a leaking sink or broken window, and you can rest assured knowing that your property is being taken care of by someone trusted.  Not only that, but we check in to ensure that tenants are property caring for your property, and sticking to any signed contracts and regulations set up by you for your piece of property.

If you are ready to hand over your property’s maintenance to trusted hands, Lorio and Associates is here for you.  Our goal is for you to enjoy the benefits of property ownership without the headaches of the day-in and day-out details.  If you’re ready to have some assistance with your Polk County property, give us a call!

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