Here are a few tips to get started in the right direction if you’re leasing office space specifically.
If the shoe fits
Commercial real estate rents by the square foot so it’s important to determine what size you require for your workplace. Tenants can find themselves paying for “dead” space that eats into their budget every month.
It’s important to have a realistic idea of what size of footprint is required compared to what’s being budgeted. Larger spaces may require a lower asking price per square foot, which will determine where you can search.
What are the goals of the company? Are you employee- or client-driven? Developing a concrete idea of what you hope to achieve in the environment is important.
Tenants looking to impress clients may need a snazzier reception area or boardroom. If the company has very little walk-up traffic but tons of staff, perhaps the public space shrinks to accommodate bigger offices or cubicle work space.
Hit employee sweet spots
Attractive work areas are becoming incredibly important to the up-and-coming workforce. Providing a comfortable workspace is an absolute must for many would-be employees.
Natural light is a big seller and providing a maximum amount of it to staff is a bonus. Other items to consider to keep office dwellers happy may be lighting, flooring and even paint colours.
If you’re not developing the space but taking a turnkey location, it’s important to consider whether your current staff will gel with the look and feel of the new environment or if you’ll have to adjust it to meet their needs.
Long-term growing (contracting) pains
Most landlords in our market are looking for rental terms of three to 10 years. Will the space you’re considering work for your long-range plan?
I recently moved a tenant from a large space into something approximately half the size. The tenant could appreciate the company’s workload was changing; staff was working much more off-site and didn’t require permanent offices. This shift was going to continue and therefore the office requirement contracted.
Transversely, leaving room to grow can be really helpful if it fits the budget. I have moved tenants into spaces that accommodated their current needs, but they outgrew it. Moving can be a costly hassle, so taking into consideration where the company is headed is vital.
The door is wide open
Tenants who keep an open mind to viewing space will have the greatest success in getting the best deals the market has to offer.
Don’t let paint colours or flooring detract you from the possibility you’re standing in an ideal office space. That “lipstick” can be changed, be it at the tenant’s expense or even as an inducement by the landlord.
Get creative and examine the deal-killers when looking at a space as opposed to items you can live with. There is a big difference between passing on a property because it doesn’t have a feature you want instead of what you need.
Keep an open mind and trust that if you’ve given your commercial real estate agent must-have parameters, they will do their best to help you identify appropriate choices. We try to keep budget in mind and help you find the best bang for your buck.
I’d love to hear any tips you have to share as a result of your leasing experiences.