Choosing an office space for a business is a difficult but important decision to make. The space you ultimately choose will come to represent your brand and influence how your team performs. Before you make your decision, you should do your research to find the space that best fits your business’s needs.
There are a lot of considerations to make in finding commercial office spaces for rent. While we can’t make your final decision for you, we can help steer you in the right direction in determining the space or spaces that work best for you.
Types of commercial real estate
Retail space – One of the most common, public-facing spaces. Retail covers anything from a convenience store to a grocery store, as well as service companies like nail salons or car rentals.
Office space – Used by technology or communications companies, office spaces can usually be found in metropolitan areas. They are also often used by small businesses or startups.
Industrial – Manufacturing or supplying companies may have large warehouses for storing their goods.
Tips before you sign a lease
1. Plan for Your Office Needs
Forget about “best of” lists and fancy awards- the best office is one that supports businesses to do their best work. That includes:
- Space – how much square footage of space does your business require to operate efficiently?
- Number of offices – are you a large business that needs private offices for each member?
- Location – where your business is situated can impact how your clients interact with you. Check out Business Insider’s list of 50 best places to work in the USA.
- Amenities – Coffee machines, printing services, mail delivery etc. Typically more amenities mean a higher monthly or yearly rent.
- On-site staff – From the receptionist to the community manager to the cleaning crew, a helpful team can make all the difference in an office.
- Transportation – The ideal office should be close to public transportation or main roads and highways. The easier the morning commute, the more productive the team can be.
2. Calculate Your Monthly or Yearly Budget
Moving offices may seem straightforward, but it can quickly become a costly investment if not properly accounted for.
If your business involves moving from a previous location, start by evaluating the cost of moving. These costs typically include the cost of hiring a moving company or renting a moving truck. Keep in mind your previous office location may require an early termination fee under a rental contract.
Consider additional costs, such as electricity, heat, Internet and parking spaces. While some places may quote a reasonable rate, make sure it’s inclusive of all the other utilities your team may need.
Once you add up your costs, evaluate whether a move is right for your business. For many startups, a coworking solution may be more cost-effective. For medium-sized businesses, a shared office suite may be more effective. Explore your options and consult your team for the best route.
3. Focus on a List of Potential Locations
Location is everything! Once you begin to find spaces based on your personal criteria, consider where the building is located. Is it in a safe neighborhood? Are the rates reasonable for the area? Is it close to public transportation, nightlife, restaurants, other relevant or important services for your business?
Start listing down locations that best match your expectations. Some may be in completely different cities or states. It’s important to get the opinions of other key stakeholders in your team. Would they be willing to relocate?
4. Tour, Interview, Research
Start researching your list- the locations and the building. This is the only way to determine the viability of potential locations.
Determine what kind of space your business needs. Do you need an extension to your business’s existing offices? Or perhaps you simply need a temporary coworking solution.
Many office space providers offer tours of their location. Don’t just settle by going off images or 3D renders- you need to visit them in person to make a decision. Can you see your business’s culture developing within the space?
You may also spot something during your tour that wouldn’t have shown up on the webpage- a dilapidated corridor, or leaky pipes. In-person visits will also help you measure the specifications of each room, allowing you to determine whether you can move in existing furniture and infrastructure.
Most importantly, touring a location with your team can really help you accurately envision how your business may operate within the environment. There’s no point in having a large and spacious office that none of your team members feel connected to.
5. Negotiate Your Lease
You’ve narrowed your choices to one or two spaces. Now it’s time to negotiate the terms of your lease contract.
Keep in mind not all places will allow negotiation of a contract. However, they may be open to a flexible rate depending on a few factors, including the expected length of stay – the longer your business expects to rent out the space, the better position you may be to negotiate a lower average rate.
Plans may vary also depending on your need. Monthly plans may be more suitable for shorter stays, while Yearly plans will help you save in the long run.
Have your team’s general counsel or attorney review the terms of the lease as well. You never want to be caught in a position where you inadvertently break one of the landlord’s rules and find yourself moving spaces again.
How to find commercial lease listings
1. Google search and web directories
There’s a good chance you have already tried this out of instinct, but searching online is always a great place to start. Remember to use important keywords relevant to your search, such as “commercial real estate for lease” followed by the location or city name you are looking for. Doing so will also bring up a series of local directories, which can aid in your search for commercial real estate.
2. Facebook groups and community boards
In addition to searching Google, try searching through Facebook groups, subreddits, and LinkedIn groups. Although some may have strict requirements for joining, this is an effective way to canvass and network within the industry. You may also find unique opportunities that just aren’t available through other, more traditional channels.
That’s right, Expansive offers commercial real estate for teams of 10 – 500 across our nationwide network. To learn more about our offerings, visit our Office Suites page, with plans starting as low as $2,999 per month.
Your new commercial office space
There’s no specific guide to finding commercial office space- each scenario differs depending on the business involved. However, you can still use these tips and best practices to help find a space that maximizes your team’s productivity and efficacy.
Interested in finding a flexible, customizable solution for your business? Whether you need multi-room extensions or just a new private office, Expansive works with your team to develop a plan fit for your needs. Check out our plans and pricing page.