(Editor’s Note: Today, we’re joined by TheSquareFoot with tips on how to conduct a successful office space search.)
Looking for office space can often be as tricky as looking for a place to live. If you go into the process without the proper tools and expectations, it can quickly become a frustrating and time intensive experience. Here are four tips to make it more enjoyable and efficient:
Make a list of must-haves – Know beforehand what your necessities are versus what amenities are more of a luxury and not essential. Some spaces will have kitchens; others will have a conference room and reception area. Some will have both and others will have neither. It is unlikely you will find everything you need and want in one space. Keep the must-haves short and do not bother touring spaces that do not meet those requirements.
Understand your budget – It’s common for a property agent or a search adviser (like The Square Foot!) to ask for your budget. Many prospective tenants are reluctant to give a concrete number, but it is important. Why bother going to see a space that has everything you need and want, but is three times more than you can afford? We recommend vetting everything a little under and a little over your budget and everything in between that makes sense.
Understand the market is efficient – Commercial real estate is hot right now, and there are hundreds of thousands of new tenants every day. This means the landlords generally know how to price the space. Do not expect to get a 25% discount, no matter what. Is a 10% discount on a quoted rental rate for a 5-year lease worth asking for? Sure, but generally be prepared to pay what is asked and thus skip spaces way out of your budget (see above).
The space is what you make of it – At the end of the day, you are paying for a certain amount of square feet. However, moving walls and adding doors is fairly easy and the landlord may even pay for it, depending on how long of a lease you sign. Pay more attention to the parking, the lobby, the elevators, and the other tenants, as these things are unlikely to change. Make sure you are OK with the building and amenities. Knock on the doors of the other tenants and ask them if they like the property and are happy with the management.
If you keep these four things in mind, your search for office space will be much more painless!
TheSquareFoot is a commercial real estate technology company that provides online real estate search and brokerage services.