Commercial Office Space: Ultimate Leasing Cheat Sheet – Rent a Room, Property for Sale

Finding the right office space is no simple task. Leasing a commercial office requires an extensive amount of research. However, by performing this research you will be more equipped to develop a plan of action for finding and eventually leasing an office space. During this process, it is important to remain organized and follow your own set of guidelines when looking for the perfect space for your business.

When leasing a commercial property, it is important to ensure the office fits your requirements and stays within budget. The property should fit your companies’ current needs and potentially allow for adaptation in the future. Here is an ultimate cheat sheet to get you organized in the search for your next office space!

Plan it out:

From the moment you sign a lease to the day you move in to your new office, it is vital that you sit down and outline a strict plan to follow throughout the entire process. Outline your budget and make a checklist for your employees and company needs. The more in-depth and specific your checklist the easier the process will be, especially if you have a firm move-in date set.

Stick to your plan:

Before you even begin looking at spaces, it is important to establish your wants, needs and priority list. Refer to that checklist through each step of the leasing process so when you do find the right space you are prepared for what comes next.

Location, location, location:

One of the first things you should do when inquiring about a lease is to research the area. Take some time to stop by the area during business hours to observe traffic volume, people, and overall surroundings to get a feel of what the working environment will be like. Moreover, be sure to research the rates of nearby spaces like yours so you don’t end up overpaying. Consult with a qualified real estate agent if you have concerns or questions about the property. You want a space that is the right fit for your clients and your employees.

Ask yourself these questions:

· Does it have the right curb appeal?

You want to select a location that is optimal for your clients. If you have a brick-and-mortar for example, your focus may be attracting new customer walk-ins so a location with high visibility and easy access is vital.

· Does it have ample amount of parking?

You will need parking for your employees as well as visiting clients or customers, so ease of parking and whether it is paid or not is important to keep in mind when location scouting.

· Does the space come furnished or unfurnished?

Most rentals come without furniture but there are some available that are fully furnished. Depending on your business’s needs, it may be more cost-effective to search for a furnished office as opposed to purchasing furniture for a new office layout.

Build a relationship with your landlord:

In many cases you may not be fond of your landlord, but it’s a smart idea to find a building leased by someone you get along with. The tenant/lessor relationship is incredibly important to your long-term satisfaction and experience with the property. Don’t be afraid to ask numerous questions when it comes to establishing a lease agreement so you know exactly what your contract entails.

The Lease Contract:

Of the many things you should know about your lease contract before you sign, there are a few that stand out in importance.

You need to determine rent and any other specified expenses for the building. Be sure to discuss with your landlord what the extra expenses will cover, i.e. whether it is routine maintenance or repairs. It is better to be overly proactive when it comes to price rather than be surprised by extra costs.

You should know the amount of time you are bound to the lease. To protect your investment you may even want to add a special situation clause to your lease if something serious happens to your business.

You should also read up on city and state leasing laws if you are new to the area and are unfamiliar with those guidelines.

Most importantly, make sure that any lease agreement is legally binding and drawn up by a lawyer to ensure authenticity. Be well-aware of all legal implications if you default on the lease.

Move-In Tips:

After the search and negotiation is done, you finally get to take action and move to your new office space! This can be a stressful time if done incorrectly, but you can lessen the pressure on yourself and your company if you are prepared and follow the above guidelines. To make your move as seamless as possible, it is important to develop a strategy months in advance. Many variables come into play with a move such as IT and telecoms relocation, change of address for deliveries, office furniture, and more.

In the end, the less downtime you spend setting up the new office, the quicker you will be able to open doors or continue with your daily business routine. Whether you deem it necessary to outsource move management to professionals or delegate tasks to employees, you want to save yourself time, money and hassle during office relocation so you can focus on your business’s success!

Scott Kaufmann is an accomplished entrepreneur, investor and leader in interactive technology and marketing who earned his Master of Real Estate Development degree from Arizona State University in 2009. Scott has been providing businesses and individuals alike with his wealth of knowledge in the real estate industry for several years. Join him here for additional real estate news, updates or questions.

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