If your business is gearing up to lease office space, congratulations! That’s a great sign that you are growing and thriving.
We know that entering the world of commercial real estate can be rather daunting, but with the proper help, your choice of office space can be a strategic business advantage that has positive long-term effects on the health and growth of your business.
This business guide will help you choose office space that can support your long-term strategic plans:
In real estate, location is always important. When considering location, ask yourself:
- What zip codes will minimize commute times for most of my current employees?
- Do I need to be close to a Metro station to attract Millenial employees?
- Will the overall location be attractive to the top talent I need to grow?
- Is parking available and affordable for both employees and visitors?
- Are there restaurants nearby where employees can take a lunch break or gyms where they can work out before or after work?
- Does the building’s infrastructure support enough IT bandwidth. Can it support employees who are working from home or traveling?
Commercial office buildings are classified as Class A, Class B, or Class C. Generally speaking, Class A buildings are considered the best in terms of construction and location. Your office may include a concierge in the lobby, include work-out facilities, deli and be surrounded by many amenities.
Class B properties might be high quality buildings, but in a less desirable location (or vice versa). You won’t find concierges in the lobby, and you might not be surrounded by as many amenities.
Buildings that are categorized as Class C are likely older and in less desirable locations with few amenities. Naturally, lease prices and terms will reflect the class of office space, but just because a building is Class C doesn’t mean it should be disregarded. It could be perfect for your needs.
Pull out your one- and five-year growth plans. How many employees do you expect to add during that time? Originally you might think signing a short-term lease is the best way to go, but you may not get needed concessions such as build-out and you probably don’t want to move every couple years, either.
Allow enough space to grow by your current projections, and then polish your negotiating skills during lease discussions. Insist on the right to sublease excess space or assign your space to another tenant, and ask that renewal options be included in your lease.
Over the past few years, we have seen the open collaboration layout become more and more popular. With fewer permanent walls and cubicles, you can really maximize your space.
An open layout also gives you the flexibility to rearrange workspace configurations as you take on employees and grow departments, without having to invest in renovation expenses.
Keep in mind that you can also use shelving and bookcases for storage – the vertical space on the walls is there, so use it!
Before you go shopping, though, you need to make a detailed list of basic office needs: Computers, printers, telephones, file storage, conference room, locking cabinets, etc.
Think about the features you need in desks: wire management, storage, quality work top, enough room to spread out, and adjustable height for standing. When it comes to chairs, don’t skimp. Choose the highest quality, ergonomic desk chairs you can afford.
Before you start negotiating leases, check out this blog post on Understanding Your Lease: Preventing Problems Before They Happen. If you have any additional questions as you jump into commercial real estate, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re happy to be your guide towards ensuring your commercial real estate decision helps accomplish your business goals.