Steps To Finding The Right Office Space
Your business needs to cause an impression in both your clients and your employees, while also considering future growth and finances. If it’s your first time renting an office, navigating the real estate market is not something you should do with your eyes shut.
Leasing an office space should be a planned and well thought-out decision. There is a lot at stake and therefore you want to make sure that you cover all of your bases. We have provided the essentials of all things that you want to consider when looking for an office space.
What to look for in an office building
In the first step, there are three major variables to take into account:
These variables potentially conflict with each other therefore care is needed to find the right balance between all three.
To give you an idea, your employees ideal office might be an ample open floor with vivid decor and couches to relax on. Yet, the bigger the office, the more expensive it gets - which can conflict with the business' best interest.
Your task is to find the middle ground between location, finances, business growth and company culture necessities. To do so, you should make a list with 4 columns (a column per variable identified) and write the priorities in each of them.
Your business growth and company culture change with the type of product or service you offer. For example, most of tech startups focus on a laid back attractive environment, they tend to grow faster than marketing companies. Some companies need a certain level of privacy and therefore cubicles for.
First you need to make a list of priorities for your employees, clients and the business, then you can jump into start building a budget.
The cost of square foot of an office depends on several factors:
Amenities included in the building: lobby, view, parking spots.
Location or proximity of points of interest in the city.
Real estate market and behavior in the area.
Type of contract: short term rentals can offer greater flexibility but at a higher cost.
Nonetheless, before looking for a place, you should consider the amount of money your business is able to spend on a yearly or monthly based on office.
Places such as co-working and incubators offer spaces with decoration and furniture. These are perfect for small companies and entrepreneurs with initiatives growing fast.
However, if you want an office space exclusively for your company, don’t forget to add the costs of furniture and utilities to the final budget.
Also, take into account what would happen if the flow of sales or deals decrease considerably - how you are planning to pay the rent in those cases. Breaking a lease in some cases may incur in very high expenses, and possibly affect the credit history of the company.
Find a space, contact a broker and put together the paperwork
Keep your mind open, but your feet on the ground while finding the ideal office spot for your business. Although you may have very specific demands for your future work location, bear in mind the cost to meet those requirements.
Play with possible locations and amenities. Ask yourself what is more important, business districts or ample working space? Maybe a multilevel office, number of meeting rooms, public transportation, proximity of gyms and restaurants for taking clients out to eat.
Finding an office space may take you months or simply a couple of weeks. It depends on how much you can stretch your budget and how flexible you are with your demands.
Broker for small companies
Renting office spaces to small businesses and entrepreneurs is a whole different game than renting for constituted companies. You should look for a real estate agent or a broker with knowledge on the specific areas you plan to rent in, and previous experience working hand in hand with small businesses.
Besides telling you which districts are increasing value in the long and short run, experienced brokers help you put together the paperwork faster. They also can help you get additional paperwork you need to rent in some areas.
Small businesses can take advantage of services that are available like virtual office spaces and month to month office rental which mean greater flexibility over a longer term lease which may suit larger businesses better.
Negotiate A Good Price That Both Parties Are Happy With
Although sometimes it can be a hassle playing back and forth with the terms and price of the lease, negotiating is important to save several hundred bucks a year. The best way to negotiate is by knowing the fluctuation in the price of office space.
There are tons of ads, spaces on rent and resources featured in Craiglist, LoopNet and overall all around the internet. While searching on the net, be aware of prices that go way lower than the average cost per square foot mentioned in Craiglist, LoopNet or any relatively reliable site.
If you are not working with a broker to help you negotiate the price, you could get the cost of the lease lowered once you visit the place and get information on the amenities available, safety of the neighborhood, years of the building and accessibility.
Always try to reduce the price a bit less than an already low price. Don’t try to push too low, since your proposal may not be taken seriously.
Double check the contract
There are now fewer cases when the agent or broker doesn’t mention some issues with the building or clauses in the contract. Frequently, it’s not openly discussed the conditions to meet if the tenant wishes to terminate the agreement or the responsibility with the infrastructure of the building.
For that matter, you should either consult a second agent, broker or lawyer. If your budget is tight, then as a minimum, read the contract and make note of anything that you are unsure of and seek additional advice.
Highlight and pay special attention to the following points:
Length of the lease.
Terms for the lease.
Monthly or yearly payments.
Conditions of the space: improvements, issues with the structure of the building.
Percentage increase of the rent on what basis.
Clauses: transfers, limitations, taxes.
Finding a new office space can be daunting but once it is done then you focus more energy and growing your business. Having an office space to work from has many advantages including the professional impression it gives to clients, the increase in productivity by having your team in close proximity to each other.
If you are in the process of finding an office space and need an executive office for short term lease, or if you would like some more information on whether this is a good option for your business then feel free to contact us for more information