Touring prospective offices is one of the most important steps during the commercial leasing process, as it gives you a chance to really see the spaces that you are considering. With so much to think about during your tour, it's far too easy to overlook key details. Using this checklist will help to ensure that you consider all of the important elements as you tour.
1. Parking Facilities
Your tour starts before you even get inside the building. Examine the condition of the parking lot or garage, how well it is lit and how much space is available. Will there be spaces set aside for your employees and if so how many? Is their visitor parking reserved for your customers, vendors and other guests?
As you step into the lobby, imagine that you are a customer walking into the space for the first time. What kind of message does the lobby send? Is it in line with your brand image? Are there security measures in place to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering?
Try timing how long it takes from the time that you press the button until you arrive on your desired floor. If possible, visit the building just before 9AM and slightly after 5PM to see how congested the elevators are.
4. Shared Areas
Make sure to take the time to tour any shared spaces that your employees or your guests will have access to. This includes on-site dining, public restrooms, gym facilities and shared reception, conference room and break areas.
Start your tour of the office by considering the overall layout. How easy will it be to convert the floor plan to one that will work for your company?
6. Existing Fixtures
Reusing existing fixtures can decrease build-out costs and maximize your tenant improvement allowance. As you walk the space, keep an eye out for elements that you can reuse.
7. Natural Lighting
Ask your tour guide to turn off the lights and then walk through the office to assess how much natural light the space receives. Lighting is an important factor when looking for office space.
Take the time to count the number of electrical outlets that are already in place and make note of their locations. You'll need to ensure that you have enough not just for office equipment and computers but also for employees to plug in mobile devices.
Place a phone call while you're in the office and walk through the space while you talk to look for any dead zones in cellular coverage.
10. ADA Compliance
Make sure to ask if the building is in compliance with current ADA guidelines to ensure that your team and any visitors can reach your office without hindrance.
11. The Directory
Spend a few minutes perusing the directory to look for any competitors. Also keep an eye out for companies that may clash with your brand image.
12. The Neighborhood
After your tour, stroll through the neighborhood, taking note of the surrounding businesses. How many restaurants and bars are located nearby? What type of shopping is in close proximity? Are there service providers like dry cleaners and salons within walking distance?
Assess how accessible the location is for employees who do not drive to work. Is there a place to securely store bicycles onsite? How close is the nearest subway station and bus stop?
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