If you're preparing to begin the search for a new office for your startup or to expand or relocate your company, the job likely feels monumental. The truth is that while commercial leasing is complex, the process is far from impossible. Following these tips will get you off on the right track and help to make finding and leasing the best office for your company a simpler task.
1. Begin as Soon as You Can
Commercial leases often go through several rounds of negotiation before signing, and actually finding the right space to lease is time consuming. That's why it's vital that you leave plenty of time to complete the process. By starting early, you'll have the ability to conduct a wide search of potential buildings or properties for lease. Plus, you won't find yourself tempted to sign a less-than-ideal lease due to a time crunch.
2. Get a Clear Picture
Every business has its own unique needs when it comes to office space. You won't be able to find that perfect spot to lease if you're not entirely clear on what those are for your company. Start with your strategic plan, and let it guide you throughout the process. Think about not only the present state of affairs but also what the future could potentially hold for your business.
3. Research, Research, Research
Research is vital to any commercial real estate search. First, you'll need to research potential locations, looking for one that it is line with your brand image and will have appeal for your employees. Next, it's important to examine the market trends in the area, so you'll know what rent rates are competitive. Finally, you'll want to research the landlord, building and property management for any office you're considering early in the negotiation process.
4. Don't Go It Alone
Every member of your leadership team brings a different perspective to discussions about office space. Involving everyone in the planning process can help to ensure that you don't overlook an important detail that could impact productivity, employee morale or your bottom line in the future. Have each person compose a wish list for your new office plus a list of their biggest concerns.
5. Prioritize Your Needs
By the time you're ready to begin negotiating a commercial lease, you'll likely have a list of items that you would like to see added to, changed in or removed from the contract. Negotiation is a give and take; you may not be able to get the landlord to agree to all of your requests. As a result, it's vital that you prioritize your needs to know which ones you should fight the hardest for.
6. Comb Carefully Through the Lease
Don't make the mistake of leaving any part of your lease up for interpretation. Read the entire lease carefully, seeking clarification for unclear language and asking for changes as needed. Make sure that you understand the entire document before you sign.
7. Have a Pro on Your Team
A tenant representative broker has a wealth of information and resources at their disposal. Enlisting the help of one can get you access to more offices, ensure that the space you choose is in line with your needs and give you an edge during the negotiation process.
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