6 Questions to Ask When You’re Shopping the Market for New Office Space

Choosing a new office space is a challenging your decision for business owners. The decision will have many repercussions for the business as well as your employees. Business owners should consider these questions carefully before signing on the dotted line.

 

Can the space accommodate your future needs?

Searching and planning for a new space is really an exercise of planning for your company’s future. You will need to know your space requirements, which means you will have to examine future headcount. Will your company add personnel or reduce headcount? Your future plans should be captured not only in the physical space, but also in your lease terms. Make sure you are protected if you plan to sell your business, sublet your space at any point, or plan for any other major changes that would impact your space.

 

What is the impact of the location….

….On your Employees?

When shopping the market for new office space, take into consideration where your employees live.  Is the space accessible to public transportation, highways, parking, taxis, etc.? What type of “off-site amenities” are nearby? Are there food options for employees? These factors should all play into your decision when looking for a new office space. Additionally, think about the location’s attractiveness to future employees. If you plan to grow significantly and will need to recruit new employees, a space in a remote part of town might not help.

…On your clients?

Is your new space easily accessible to clients? Some businesses use their office as a type of showroom. The office can be a place to invite clients and prospective clients to show off the strong brand, and innovative work space of your company. However, if your office is in an inconvenient location, will your clients be able to visit?

…On your ability to compete?

You may want to think about where your competitors are located. If a majority of your competitors are located within a certain distance of each other, it may make sense for you to be in that area. Alternatively, you may want to be far away in order to distinguish yourself.

 

What are the hidden costs?

Make sure to calculate the full cost of the space- rent, utilities, construction costs, moving expenses (moving in and out), operating expenses and other costs that might not be obvious. Your broker will be able to help you identify these costs in order to fully understand the financial impact of your new office space.

 

What are the neighbors saying?

It’s never a bad idea to talk to the neighbors. Once you’ve shortlisted a few spaces, call the neighboring businesses and tenants. Ask questions about the building owner, the location, and any “eye-openers” they experienced upon moving into their new space.

Katie Craven
Katie Craven is Marketing, Communication and Brand Manager at Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers, a real-estate consulting firm that provides owner’s representation and project management services. More about Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers as well as additional blog posts can be found here.
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