Even if your company has a well-constructed strategic plan, the future is never entirely certain. What works for your company in terms of office space today may dramatically change within just a few years. Having a flexible office lease will give your company freedom to adapt to future circumstances. These tips will help you improve the flexibility of your office lease to better future proof your company:
1. Identify Your Current and Future Needs
You simply can't find the best office space for today and tomorrow if you don't have a clear picture of what your needs are. Examine your strategic plan and seek input from your management team to determine just what your needs are and what you predict they might be in the future. Identify potential changes that could impact your office usage.
2. Secure a Tenant Representative Broker
Tenant representative brokers are commercial leasing experts. By communicating your needs clearly to a broker, you have the best possible chance of finding a space that will suit them. With their knowledge of the industry, tenant rep brokers can also help you negotiate more flexible terms in your lease. Landlords pay for brokers' fees, so enlisting the help of one won't add costs to the process.
3. Keep Things Short Term
If you're having difficulty pinning down your future business needs because your company is in a period of transition, a short-term lease is likely the best solution for your needs. Although your landlord may be less willing to make concessions during negotiations with a shorter term, you won't be locked into an agreement for a long period of time.
4. Consider a Termination Clause
If you're opting for a long-term lease, the landlord may be willing to provide an early termination clause that would allow you to exit the lease under specific circumstances or at certain periods of time. Usually, your company will be required to pay a fee to exercise this right. In the case of landlord-funded build-outs, you can offer to pay for unamortized real estate transaction costs as a part of the termination clause to make the deal more appealing.
5. Add a Sublease Clause
Sublease clauses make commercial leases very flexible. These clauses allow you to rent part or all of your space to another tenant. You may need to sublease or assign your space if your team shrinks, you suddenly need to relocate or you begin to allow employees to telecommute.
6. Include an Assignment Clause
Assignment clauses also add flexibility to office leases. Like sublease clauses, assignment clauses allow a new tenant to occupy your space; however, your company would turn over the lease entirely to the new tenant and would have no additional obligations to the landlord.
7. Choose a Landlord Wisely
As you search for office space, be on the lookout for landlords that own more than one building in your desired location. Should you need to expand into more offices in the future, it will be much easier for you to acquire new space with your existing landlord rather than trying to start from scratch.
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