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6 Ways to Master the Search for a New Office Space

David Spence
November 3rd, 2014

Tricks to Help You Find a New Office

Don’t plan space alone

Space is one of the most important factors to consider when you’re searching for a new office building. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with an architect or space planner. They can help you decide on your space requirements, like design and expansion needs. Without their input, you may end up in a space that’s too big or too small, and you may have to think about relocating once more.

Hire a broker

A crucial resource for any business looking for new space to lease, a broker can help you locate different options that you may not find yourself. Plus, they can also guide you through the negotiation process. When you’re choosing a broker, don’t assume that those from bigger companies are better. According to New York real estate advisers the OfficeSpace Guys (no relation to our company), brokerage firms that represent both landlords and tenants tend to favor the former over the latter.

Compare each space carefully

Although two spaces may offer the same rental rates and the same amount of space, there’s still a chance that one is a better deal than the other. How so? Take into account the common areas that all tenants use, like restrooms and elevators. Each tenant in a building pays for these common areas, as well as their own individual space, which is known as the “useable square feet.” So when you’re looking at properties with the same amount of useable square feet and equal rental rates, keep in mind that the one with less common space costs less overall. For a numeric breakdown of this, see the Property Metrics blog.

Ask about additional options

Even when you take precautions by using a space planner, it can be difficult to predict what will happen in the future. Your business might take off unexpectedly. Or, it could suffer from a downturn. Ideally, you won’t experience any drastic changes for the duration of the lease. But it’s a good idea to talk to the landlord about working in conditions for a lease cancellation or a space expansion or reduction—just in case.

Give yourself plenty of time

Choosing the right office space takes time. The bigger your company is, the more time you’ll need. According to The Tenant Adviser, “12-18 months” are necessary for mid-sized companies. Larger companies, however, should expect their search to take double that time.

Inspect the building carefully

When you’re surveying a building, 42Floors says you should think about its electrical and mechanical systems. While the price for a building may seem attractive, this may be offset by maintenance costs if the HVAC isn’t in good condition, or the space needs rewiring. Design is another thing to look at carefully. If the space isn’t ADA compliant, for example, you may end up footing the bill to make it so.

Finding a new office space can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Giving yourself plenty of time to search, seeking help from the right people and knowing what to look for in an office space will help you make the right choice.

 

photo credit: Jan Krömer via photopin cc