You can’t put it off any longer – it’s time to look for new office space. Whether you’ve outgrown your old space or you have a new business to launch in new space, it’s basically the same process. Arm yourself for the hunt with these five practical tips.
1 – Location
Can you imagine if you ended up in an office in a location that does not work for you? How does that happen? It happens when you misunderstand the purpose of your new space. The purpose of the move is NOT just to save money on your lease. Analyze your location in terms of:
2 – Budget
Be well aware of your budget. Know that maintenance fees, real estate taxes, common area maintenance fees and other miscellaneous expenses are going to be part of your outlay. What’s a good way to determine how much per square foot (or per month) you can afford for your space? Keep it simple. How much (including the fees) can you afford per month? How much square feet do you need? Do the calculation and come up with your monthly rent per square foot. Search for office space options that fit that calculation.
3 – Idea of Layout
What are your “must haves?” How should the space flow? Do you need a space in a multi-tenant building that has an impressive lobby? Or, should customers be able to drive up to your door and walk in, greeted by a receptionist? Other must haves are often conference room, break room, bathrooms in the space instead of in the hall, and kitchenette. Know what layout works best for your company and what you can’t compromise on.
4 – Financial Readiness
Make sure you have stellar company credit. Your lease contract will require your first deposit and last payment of the lease term, and security deposit. The Landlord will look at your company financials to qualify you. Most require a personal guarantee. As uncomfortable as that may seem, it is common, so be sure your personal credit score is good. If it is, you may be able to persuade the landlord to put money into improvements. If this is your first office or a startup, you may be surprised by unexpected expenses. Be ready for necessities like cleaning supplies, coffee, water, and perhaps electric per square foot.
5 – Hire a professional commercial realtor
Don’t waste time fending for yourself. A professional commercial realtor knows how to get the best rate, uncover availabilities you can never find, pinpoint the location you need, negotiate the lease terms, and explain everything in the lease. And, don’t think about the commission involved, because it is well worth it. Think about the cost savings you are experiencing because you are not using YOUR time for market investigation…you are working your business while your commercial broker searches for office space. They can also show you comps of other office spaces nearby, and possibly connect you to business resources you never thought of. A professional realtor will have software and networking capacity that you don’t. They can find terms hidden in the lease that may affect your rent in future years that you don’t even realize yet.
What other tips can you add for companies looking for office space?
-The Brenner Blog Team