Working in the Bay Area
Access to the largest venture capital investment community in the country, a well-educated and diverse workforce and a local hot bed of technology weave together to form the Bay Area's vibrant business economy.
San Francisco is an international hub for cutting-edge businesses in the thriving industries of financial services, biotechnology, cleantech and information technology.
The city's highly desirable urban location coupled with access to the Bay Area's financial and technology resources offer an unparalleled business environment.
In this section you'll find information about top companies, employment resources and tips for relocating your office.
The Bay Area is home to Silicon Valley, a premier high-tech and venture capital region of the world. Technology industry leaders, Apple, Google, Cisco and Hewlett-Packard are headquartered in Silicon Valley creating a concentrated area of interest to those looking for careers in technology.
The city of Oakland, on the bay's eastside, has the fifth largest container shipping port in the country and is also a major rail terminus. The Bay Area's northern counties are home to California's Wine Country, and hundreds of vineyards and wineries.The region is known for leading the sustainable agriculture, organic farming and as a leading producer of high-quality food and wine.
The Bay Area's world-class research universities include world-class medical facilities, and draw top notch medical professionals and faculty.
The area's economy is driven through work in technology, finance, life sciences, education, retail and other industries. Financial services are the center of venture capital and advanced financial services. Biotech research in the life sciences includes R&D at the Mission Bay Biotechnology Campus. Cleantech is booming on the hub in Hunter's Point Shipyard. Information technology is a mainstay industry sector.
The many IT, financial services, cleantech and biotech companies of the Bay Area requires a professional industry support in areas such as accounting, consulting, legal, architecture, engineering, tech support and human resources.San Francisco's concentration of these service companies is twice the national average. The city's business districts include Mission Bay, Hunter's Point and the Financial District.
Public transportation options ease the burden of commuting through the city's notorious traffic for workers.
Top Bay Area Companies
The Bay Area is a bustling, dynamic urban center of world-class research universities, technology and finances that enjoys renowned recreation year round which offers career opportunities envied across the globe.
Bay Area employers are well represented among popular workplace surveys and rankings.
World's Most Admired Companies in the Bay Area
Source: Fortune Magazine
Apple -No. 1
Google -No. 2
Headquarters: Mountain View ...........www.google.com
Cisco Systems -No. 20
Headquarters: San Jose..........................www.cisco.com
Intel -No. 31
Headquarters: Santa Clara ...................www.intel.com
Hewlett-Packard -No. 32
Headquarters: Palo Alto ...........................www.hp.com
Wells Fargo -No. 39
Headquarters: San Francisco.........www.wellsfargo.com
As the "six degrees of separation" myth goes, everyone knows someone, who knows someone else, who knows someone who's somehow related to Kevin Bacon. The Bay Area bicycle messengers are a perfect example. In 1986, the TV and film star ("Footloose," "Tremors") portrayed one in the film, "Quicksilver." Using a racing bike, a fixed-gear bike, and a trick bike with zero-rake forks and a 1:1 gear ratio to perform stunts, Bacon helped mythologize bike couriers as daredevil stunt riders.
Though free-spirited by nature, messengers— "independent contractors" in modern parlance— mostly lack health insurance and are poorly paid relative to the risk and effort involved. Indeed, a 2002 Harvard Med School study revealed that time-off-work injuries were more than 13 times higher than the U.S. average and at least three times above the next highest occupation, meat packers. Not much has changed since this highly romanticized service commenced in 1894, when a railway strike halted mail delivery to the Bay Area and a clever Fresno bicycle shop owner set up a relay between Fresno and San Francisco, with six riders pedaling about 30 miles each, with the last courier doubling that distance.
Between the mail routes and the late 19th century bicycle craze, companies started clamoring for bike messengers. One of the first, Western Union, employed cyclists to deliver telegraphs to anxious clients. And other merchants quickly adopted this efficient means to deliver their products to customers.
The demand increased to the point that—in 1945—Carl Sparks launched the first all-bicycle delivery service, Sparkie's. By the 1960s, more than 10 companies were hiring mostly starving artists with pedals,and jeans and T-shirts replaced the traditional caps and bow-ties uniform. That artsy trend continued through the mid-'70s, when glam and punk-rockers sporting Mohawks wheeled around busy downtown streets and alleys.
The late '80s settled into the Gravy Days. Couriers were loud, rude and reeked of alcohol, but they made decent wages. Then an earthquake and the advent of the FAX machine rattled that tenuous equilibrium. Clients cut back on deliveries, as well as pay. More agile mountain bikes replaced one-speeds with baskets. Messenger companies started to fold, and public opinion plummeted to an all-time low. A police officer even demanded that messengers wear a sign visible from no less than 10 feet away.
Out of this uneasy climate in late 1990 emerged the San Francisco Bike Messenger Association. The group pledged to organize the whole messenger industry for the benefit of all workers involved—bike/scooter/car/walking/ motorcycle messengers, ordertakers, dispatchers, etc. A few union contracts followed with pay raises, better vacation benefits and compensation for mileage and equipment.
Eventually multi-national corporations invaded the market, driving out some local companies. To compete, the surviving courier services merged and adapted new technologies. In the last decade, however, the Internet further undermined the industry, especially as U.S. courts gradually accepted electronic filing.
Despite these roadblocks, messengers still deliver a huge variety of items such as corporate gifts, original artwork, clothes for photo-shoots, original signed documents and not easily emailed mundane items. And many businesses still avoid much faster broadband connections with their hackers and viruses, preferring couriers for legal documents, various financial instruments and sensitive digital content on optical media or hard disks.
Relocating Your Office to the San Francisco Bay Area?
By Mark C. Rosen
Welcome, and congratulations on your upcoming move to the Bay Area—the best place to live and work. Our region is a magnet for entrepreneurs, many of whom need office space for their new or growing businesses.
There are many considerations when searching for the right location for your business: demographics, labor pool, transportation, rental rates, the amount of space you need today and in the future, the configuration of the build-out and much, much more. For the typical business owner, these concerns can be overwhelming.
Before proceeding on your own, ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I have the time and expertise to research the office leasing market, including opportunities that are currently available as well as those that will become available in the future?
2. Do I know the current office leasing effective rates and inducements being offered by the landlord?
3. Do I have the expertise to deal with all the different brokers and landlords, while also handling all of my other job responsibilities?
4. Do I know how to use real estate to improve the financial and competitive position of my company?
5. Do I know that the quoted rental rates include real estate brokerage fees, and if no broker represents my interests exclusively, then this fee will go entirely to the listing agent (the landlord's advocate)?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then you need an exclusive office tenant representative who will be an invaluable asset to your company throughout the entire office leasing process.
What is an exclusive tenant representative?
"Tenant reps," as they are known in the industry, are specialized commercial real estate brokers that represent the interests of the business owner exclusively, rather than the landlord. While there are some commercial real estate companies that represent both landlords and tenants, an exclusive tenant rep does not list properties, represent landlords or manage buildings.
This specialization permits us to avoid the serious conflict of interest that a dual agent will always have. When a dual agent shows a potential tenant a space for which he has the listing, a very serious question arises—whose interests are being fairly represented:the landlord or the tenant? Not so with an exclusive tenant rep: they have a fiduciary responsibility to the tenant only, and they never have conflicting constituencies.
Why do I need an exclusive tenant rep?
To save you time—a tenant rep will do the searching and negotiating for you, and better than you can. They have local and nationwide networks of tenant rep brokers to find all available options for you. They can identify properties that may not be obvious choices to meet your needs.
To save you money—you focus on what you do best: your core business, and on making it profitable. A tenant representative's market knowledge will get you a better deal than you can get yourself. They will also create a bidding war among several landlords, prevent you from being a captive audience to one landlord, and optimize your negotiating position. This will result in concessions and incentives that exceed the norm in the marketplace, such as free rent and a high tenant improvement allowance.
To protect your interests—a tenant rep negotiates your lease thoroughly, and makes sure that the various clauses give you flexibility and that you get the terms that meet your present and future needs, such as subleasing, exit strategies, growth provisions, extension options, etc.
To give you confidence in the important leasing decision that you are making—when looking for new office space, you might be impressed by a building's appearance or location, or the attractive rent rate—but you may not be aware of the landlord's financial situation, the performance of the building systems, the likely trend of operating expenses over the next 5 to 10 years, possible problems in the neighborhood, and other factors that may turn what seems to be a great deal into a very bad one.
A landlord's broker is not going to be forthcoming with complete answers to probing questions that would undermine his/her relationship with the landlord. Even a good attorney can't answer questions that don't involve legal expertise. To get complete and confident answers, you need an experienced tenant rep, with expertise in landlord accounting practices, building operations, and a policy of representing tenants exclusively.
What will it cost?
Typically, nothing.While tenant rep services are highly valued by the business owner, the business owner/tenant usually pays no fee. The tenant rep is compensated through a share of the brokerage fee that the landlord pays to its listing agent and which the landlord budgets for each year, and is already factored into the rental rate. If you don't use your own tenant representative, you are essentially giving that fee back to the landlord.
Do tenant reps work with other real estate companies?
Absolutely. They gladly work with real estate companies and property owners on a daily basis to satisfy the needs of their clients.
How do I know if I am seeing all available properties?
Tenant reps do their best to assure that you see 100 percent of the spaces that meet your specified criteria. They use specialized networks, online search services and years of market knowledge to locate currently available spaces as well as those that may become available in the future. They contact all applicable landlords and their brokers; broadcast your space requirement to the appropriate professionals; and network with brokers and landlords at industry meetings. This coverage assures clients the maximum number of location choices. Often, the best space is not currently available, so there will be no sign in the window. It is a tenant rep's business to know of that vacancy before it exists and tell you about it.
When you retain an exclusive tenant rep, you are in essence adding an in-house real estate expert devoted to the success of your company and to an efficient, economical and error-free real estate process. As part of your professional team, they work with your architect or space planner, attorney, and key executives to target the best location, amenities, size and configuration to ensure that your company's needs are met, both now and in the future.
Visit www.rosenrg.com or call (415) 296-7570 for more information.Read more...