Whether you’re a small business looking to scale up or an established company looking to relocate, finding the perfect office suite for lease becomes a major priority on your to-do list. What do you do and where do you start? Here are a few things for you to keep in mind when you embark on your search for office space.
1. Determine your Budget
This is the most factor affecting your search. How much exactly are you willing to pay for rent? The answer to this question will greatly affect your decisions in choosing a location, the type of space and its associated amenities. If you’re a small business struggling to balance out expenses and earnings, renting an entire office suite on your own may prove to be an impractical choice. Depending on the number of employees you have, you might have several options. For example you could look into a co-working space or you could consider sharing an office space with another start up or you could also sublet unused space from a larger corporation.
2. Determine the Perfect Location
The location of your office could make or break your business. Depending on the nature of your business, different locations will affect you and your clients differently. Your new location could either help grow your business or it could stifle it. Do you need an office suite with amazing aesthetics to impress your potential clients? If so then you should choose a location in or near the central business district of your town or city. It should be very visible and easily accessible by various modes transport.
However, if the services you offer don’t really require an impressive office than you could consider something simple. A modest setup that could comfortably accommodate you, your team, your documents and your equipment would be more than sufficient. If you’re looking at multiple locations then it’s always a good idea to have a checklist of priorities on hand so that you can come to a decision easily.
3. Go Around the City and Look for Space
If you have lots of time on your hands then you could drive or walk around the neighborhood or city looking for offices to rent. Sometimes you might come across a space which appeals to you but you might not be sure if it’s for rent. In this case you might try to get in touch with the owners or management and personally ask them about renting the property. This is a time-consuming process which is why many people choose to hire a broker or agent to help them with their search.
4. Work with a Commercial Real Estate Broker
When you decide to work with a real estate professional than you should choose a tenant broker. A tenant broker’s job is to show you available office suites for rent as opposed to a leasing agent who represents the property owner and might favor them. If you go to a tenant broker and sign a representation agreement, they will be motivated to show you spaces that might match your requirements. However, you should look at each option objectively and try not to be influenced too much by the extra features which the agent points out. Ask the agent about any issues which the space might have which could affect your operations negatively.
Your broker might also show you some properties which are outside of your budget so don’t get alarmed. They do this because their commissions are usually based on the rent of the property. Some brokers might not be willing to represent you if your budget is too small. Don’t worry about this, keep moving forward and don’t get discouraged.
5. Weigh your Options
Operating an office suite on your own is a costly endeavour. There is a lot of work involved in the process. You have to manage the utilities, talk to a lot of service providers and pay a lot bills every month. Are you ready to take on these responsibilities? If this seems like a daunting task and you would rather have your employees do exactly what they were hired to do than you might want to look into a serviced office. In a serviced facility you won’t have to concern yourself with the day to day tasks involved in running the space. These facilities also offer more flexible lease terms which are usually more easier to meet.
Serviced offices are also a good option if you’re foreign businessman. This is because it is usually difficult for foreigners to get a good office on agreeable terms. In some countries like the Philippines, lease contracts are oftentimes very unfair to foreign lessors. This is why serviced offices have become a popular option for people looking to do business in other countries.
6. Dissect the Contract Details
Before signing the lease, make sure you go over every detail and understand everything before you get into an agreement that will hold you down for several years. Ensure that you know how you’ll be charged for renting the suite.
- Will you be paying a base rent along with a percentage of your earnings or sales?
- Is your rent based on the per square foot price of space that you are occupying? Are other expenses such as taxes, insurance and maintenance fees included?
- What are the notice terms if you want to vacate the property?
Find out exactly who pays for what especially when it comes to repairs and maintenance. It is also important to clarify conditions for altering features of the rented space, increase in rent, terms for extending the contract before the lease is over and other such details.
These tips in finding office suites for lease are mostly applicable no matter where you are in the world. Regardless of whether you’re in the US, Australia or Dubai, you’ll find that the same things apply. So keep these tips in mind and search for an office now!