Whether you're searching for the first office space for your start-up, expanding your company with a second location or preparing to move to new office space, a new commercial real estate project can seem daunting. While finding the right office space or building to lease is a lengthy process, you can make the process simpler by doing some legwork in advance. Follow these tips to get your project off to a successful start:
1. Get a Clear Picture of Your Financials
Before you can begin considering office spaces and buildings, you need to know what you can afford. Have your accounting team crunch the numbers and come up with a budget. You'll need to consider more than just rent. Commercial leases for office space also include common area maintenance fees, and you'll be responsible for utilities. Having a clear picture of your financials will make it easier to focus your search on spaces that are within your means.
2. Start Scouting Locations
Your search for the perfect office space will be much simpler if you have a good idea of the general area that you prefer for your location. Consider the city where your office space will be. Are you looking for a building in the city or something in the suburbs? Do some research to find out where competitors are located and where the major centers of business are. Look for locations that have access to public transportation and that are situate near restaurants, stores and service businesses to benefit your employees.
3. Solicit Input from Your Team
Gather your leadership team together for a brainstorming session before you begin your search. Find out what each member feels are the most important things for you to consider when looking for office space. Getting input from various sectors of your company can give you new insights into what your company's needs are. You may find out that something you never thought of is an absolute must for your company.
4. Conduct Market Research
Once you have a general idea of where you want your company to be located, spend some time conducting market research of the area. Find out what average rental rates are. Learn more about the property management companies and landlords that are the major players in the area. You may discover that there are certain ones that you want to avoid or ones that have much better reputations than all the others.
5. Shore Up Professional Assistance
Commercial real estate transactions will go more smoothly when you have experts on call to assist you throughout the process. If you don't have a lawyer on staff, make sure that you retain one to help you examine contracts. It's also a great idea to seek out the services of a tenant rep broker. Brokers can help you find office spaces that have the features you require and are within your budget. They also serve as allies during the negotiation process. Your new landlord pays for the cost of a tenant rep broker, not your company, so it won't cost you more to have one on your team.
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