Site selection for a new office is a daunting task for any company, but the process can be simplified and streamlined when approached the proper way. Following these tips will make the site selection process easier and help to ensure that you get the right office space for your needs.
1. Start With the Positives
If you're relocating from an existing office, it's unlikely that everything about your current space is less than ideal. Take the time to list the positives about your existing office. Knowing what is working for you will help to ensure that you don't sacrifice any current benefits in favor of new amenities.
2. Solicit Input From Your Team
Sit down with your management team to discuss what your biggest needs are when it comes to office space. Prioritize those needs, ensuring that you reach a consensus about what's most important.
3. Conduct a Survey
Have your employees complete a survey regarding your current office. Find out how they travel to work, what's important to them in terms of location and what their biggest complaints about your current office are. Use this information to refine your wish list as needed.
4. Think About More Than Money
When you're beginning to compare sites, it's tempting to think about the bottom line first; however, it's not always best to go for the best bargain. For example, rent in an LEED-certified building may be more costly, but you're likely to save big on utilities and receive brand building benefits from occupying an eco-friendly office.
5. Consider the Community
Before you start seriously considering offices in a given location, you'll need to consider the community as a whole. What is the existing labor force like? What is the cost of living in the area? How easily accessible is the town or city? Do regulations and laws allow a business like yours to operate there? Assuming so, are there specific areas that are zoned for companies in your industry?
6. Examine the Stats
If a community seems like a good fit, take the time to examine the real estate market data for the area. Knowing the trends will help you compare locations, costs and amenities against what's average in the area.
7. Do Your Due Diligence
As you compile a list of potential sites, take the time to research the landlord, the property management company and the building itself. Sometimes, a Google search will eliminate one or more sites from consideration.
8. Visit More Than Once
In addition to your official tour, plan to visit the site on more than one occasion. Come at different times of the day and on different days of the week. Walk the parking lot and shared spaces in the building as well as the surrounding area. You may discover that it takes far too long to exit the building at 5:00 in the evening or the surrounding neighborhood is less than welcoming after dark.
9. Keep Your Options Open
Even if you fall in love with one particular site, keep at least one other location on the table. This way, you won't have to start from scratch if negotiations fall through on the first space.
10. Enlist the Help of a Pro
Having a tenant rep broker by your side can help with every step of the site selection process. Brokers can match you with offices that are likely to fit your needs, share market data and even assist with the negotiations. The landlord covers the fees for the broker, so their services won't increase the cost of your move.
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