Embarking on the journey to find the perfect office space can be both one of the most exciting and disruptive challenges for a business. Success lies in your ability to make informed decisions from the very start. In this guide, we'll walk you through the crucial steps of initiating the office space search, outlining key considerations, and providing insights to help you navigate the process seamlessly.
How to Start:
To set the stage for a successful office space search, begin by clearly defining your business and real estate objectives. Whether it's planned growth, specific location preferences, transportation and parking requirements, estimated space needs, optimal configuration, or technology specifications – having a comprehensive list of needs is essential.
Minimizing disruption and enhancing the efficiency of your search requires a deep understanding of your needs, budget constraints, and specifications. Achieve buy-in from all stakeholders upfront to prevent potential setbacks later in the process. Recognize that the timeline is a critical factor, and if you're pressed for time, it will inevitably impact your available options.
Who Should Be Involved:
Internally, designate a project leader as the central point of contact. Involve key departments such as IT, HR, and finance from the outset. The project leader should possess significant experience in corporate real estate and facilities.
Build a team of advisors to guide you through the process. Beware of potential conflicts of interest when choosing a commercial real estate broker. Opt for professionals who exclusively represent tenants, ensuring your interests are prioritized. Utilize tenant representatives, who are compensated by landlords, providing you with expert advice at no direct cost.
Engage an experienced real estate attorney to negotiate flexibility into your lease terms and ensure fairness and protection. Many initial lease drafts can be tenant-unfriendly, and a skilled attorney will help you navigate potential pitfalls while maintaining cost-consciousness.
When to Start the Process:
Underestimating the time and effort required to find suitable office space is a common mistake. While securing an executive suite or co-working space in 30 days is possible, it's an exception rather than the norm. Factors like space size, market conditions, negotiations, space planning, documentation, permits, and build-out time influence the timeline.
For spaces under 10,000 square feet, plan a search timeline of at least 6-9 months. Larger spaces, exceeding 10,000 square feet, necessitate a lead time of 9-12 months. By understanding the intricacies of the process and planning accordingly, you position your business for a smoother transition into its new workspace.