Entrepreneurs are all too familiar with the challenge of starting a business out of their home or small office, only to quickly find themselves in need of a larger space. Rather than go through the frustrating process of driving around town looking for lease signs, enlisting the help of an expert saves time. It also helps eliminate the risk of moving into a space that is either too large or one that doesn’t allow for future growth and scalability.
James Manske with Big Omaha Realty and Findyournextlease.com has experienced all of these first-hand. An Omaha native, his entrepreneurial spirit began at a young age when he sold golf balls and soda to golfers on the course behind his parents’ house. In high school he started his own lawn business with 70 homes, which he eventually grew into Elkhorn Lawn Care with seven divisions that he still owns today. After earning degrees in finance and international business from the University of Nebraska Omaha, Manske experienced the growing pains of trying to find space for his lawn and landscape business, going from a home office, to small commercial offices, and finally needing large flex warehouse space for his growing staff and equipment. He soon realized there wasn’t anyone in the business of helping small companies transition through their growth stages.
Manske got his real estate broker license in the spring of 2018 and launched his leasing company a year later. He said his own experiences with finding space, coupled with his knowledge of Omaha, especially the West Omaha market and its demographics, and his network of professionals such as architects, attorneys, and other realtors, make him uniquely positioned to help businesses with up to 50 employees find space to meet their growing needs. “I know what it’s like to be on the business owner side and on the representation side,” he said. Further, his services are free to the business; his compensation comes from the building landlord.
Industrial flex warehouse space is sparse around town, and construction costs are high, so space is difficult to find, especially stand-alone buildings in West Omaha. And with a prosperous economy, businesses are extending their existing leases longer, making it more difficult to find quick availability. But that’s where Manske’s expertise is invaluable. He can do the leg work to find options and only bring in the business owner when necessary. “I’ve been in the trenches myself and have gone through all the growing pains of looking for space multiple times,” he said. “I also have a good track record and pride myself on how I operate as a business owner and member of the community.”
Not only does Manske help businesses find new space, he also helps them renegotiate their existing leases with renewals—another service he offers at no charge to the company. “Very often business owners and medical professionals don’t renegotiate their renewals or have someone to help represent them during the renegotiation process,” Manske explained. It’s often difficult for small businesses to plan for future growth, an area in which Manske excels. He knows how many work spaces can realistically fit into an office, how much equipment a warehouse can hold, or whether or not a space can be renovated for future growth. Ideally, the best time to start looking for new space is 6 to 12 months before the current lease expires.
After two years in the business, Manske’s goal for 2020 is to be a disruptor in the leasing industry by helping as many businesses as he can and help the market growth in Omaha. With a solid team on the lawn and landscape side, Manske has the flexibility to work with business owners according to their timeframe, showing space when it’s convenient for them and being available 24/7. His favorite part of what he does is handing the tenant their keys and seeing their excitement over the promise of growing their business. “It’s a big step for most small businesses, and I want to continue to work with them as their business grows and reaches new levels.” For more information, contact James Manske at James@BigOmahaRealty.com, or call 402-660-3453.