If you aren't actively involved in sourcing and leasing commercial real estate space, the process of finding the right office can be challenging. Little details can make a big difference in your occupancy, after all. Once you've figured out your budget, here are nine things to watch for.
1. LEED, Energy Star or Other Green Certification
Green building isn't a trend. Well-designed environmentally friendly offices cost less to operate and occupy and tend to have happier occupants with fewer sick days. Furthermore, the environmental sensibilities of the Millennial generation make occupying eco-friendly commercial real estate a necessity for recruiting.
2. Good Parking Ratio
An increasingly mobile workforce means that your employees probably need to have cars with them. As such, finding space with a generous parking ratio is key to maximizing productivity. Bear in mind, though, that the types of tenants in a building can impact just how much parking it has available at a given ratio.
3. Adjacent Vacancies
When you move into a new piece of commercial real estate, the hope is that your occupancy will be a success. As such, sourcing spaces that have adjacent vacancies or that have them scheduled for the future will make it easier for you to grow your office.
4. Reasonable Commute Options
Every minute that your employees spend commuting is a minute that they aren't spending working or refreshing themselves to be more productive at work. Finding a space that is easy to get to -- however your geography defines that -- will give you happier workers.
5. Proximity to Amenities
The closer your office is to amenities like restaurants, espresso shops, health clubs and dry cleaners, the easier it will be for your workers to do what they need to on their own time instead of during work time. Those amenities can also make it easier for your team to meet and socialize outside of the office.
6. Nearby Vendors / Supportive Services
Along with amenities, the ideal office is also located close to the services that you need to do business. Before signing a lease, find the nearest office supply store, post office, airport and the location of your vendors and clients.
7. Pre-Existing Buildouts
Tenant improvement allowances frequently don't cover the entire cost of building out a space, so the more that you can find already in place, the more you'll save. Even seemingly unimportant items like a ceiling grid can save you thousands of dollars.
8. Ample Glassline
One of the biggest determinants of whether a commercial real estate property is Class A or Class C is the number of windows it offers. An ample glassline makes your office feel bigger and more open while also allowing you to use more natural light and less artificial light, reducing energy costs. Sunlight also leads to more productive and healthier employees.
9. Fiber to the Building
In 2014, there is no excuse for not having a fiber optic connection to your building. Even if you don't need that much bandwidth, realize that as every other business in the property installs servers, video conferencing systems and other bandwidth hogs, you will want there to be ample connectivity for everyone.
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