If you and your employees are cooped up in a small space, isolated in a rural area without access to the necessary infrastructure, or simply unhappy with the aesthetics/atmosphere of your current surroundings, moving to a new commercial space can be a great way to inspire creativity, increase productivity, and boost employee well-being; especially as you prepare to meet the demands of a post-pandemic world.
Whether it’s your first time browsing the commercial rental market or if you’re already a seasoned expert, the good news is that there are plenty of tools available to assist you in successfully making the transition to a new location.
On that note, here are some of the most important considerations you should make while looking for a new office space for your company, as well as some helpful advice and pointers.
Tip 1- Physically Scout Out Locations
Truth be told, there’s only so much you can learn from images and videos. To get the whole picture, you need to see it with your own eyes. In other words, you need to walk through the halls and down the streets so you can get a proper feel for the place before you commit any of your time or resources to the property. Here are some essential things to keep in mind when walking around the building and the surrounding area.
Assessing the local area
You can determine if the property’s location is in high demand by seeing what the area has to offer.
Is there a college campus nearby? Public transportation hubs? Joggers, walkers, packed restaurants, and shops?
All of these things may indicate that the area is in high demand. Since people want to be there, you can be confident that your employees will too – which usually means it will be an excellent place to set up your business.
However, one thing to keep in mind when looking at commercial spaces in high-demand areas is, of course, cost. If you’re on a budget, then you may want to look for areas a little further away from the action, as these types of places will typically cost less.
Some other things you should look out for include:
- Transport and parking facilities
- Local infrastructure (restaurants, entertainment, gyms, etc.)
- Visibility (is the office easy to find?)
- The reputation of the neighbourhood (from a safety standpoint)
Get an inspection
If you want to be safe and save your business the hassle of taking downtime in the future due to water damage or mould, then getting an inspection before going all-in is a wise choice. To the naked eye, the place might look great.
However, you won’t necessarily be able to see the issues that lurk beneath the surface. This is another great reason to walk around the building before entering into any negotiations with the estate agents.
For example, if the other units in the building are empty or look run down, and your place seems unnaturally clean and tidy, that could suggest there are some nasty secrets in those walls.
Tip 2 – Network with other business owners in the area
Most real estate agents will be quick to tell you about all of the wonderful features of the property while delicately glossing over the stuff that could potentially turn you off. Just as in any transaction where you are dealing with a salesperson, make sure you take your time to ask plenty of questions, and if possible, bring a second or third pair of eyes to help you make the assessment.
That said, one of the best ways to get a gauge for the area is by meeting and shaking hands with some of the other business owners in the area since they will be able to give it to you straight.
Walk into a business in the same building and talk to the people there.
Ask them what they like about the area and what they don’t like. Is the landlord easy to work with, or is working with them like pulling teeth?
Whatever the case, it pays to get an insider’s lay of the land before you go making any real moves.
Tip 3 – Use a rental platform to ease the entire process
When looking for the best commercial space for your business, one of the smartest things you can do is to seek expert advice right out of the gate, especially since finding new office space can be a complicated and time-consuming endeavour (as you have likely already figured out by this point). With this in mind, utilizing a commercial real estate platform such as Floorly (launching in 2022) is an excellent way to streamline the process.
From the convenience of your computer, you can browse and compare thousands of available commercial spaces in over 2,000 cities around the world. So no matter where you’re located, there’s a high chance you will be able to find a suitable rental space within your catchment area.
And the features don’t stop there. One of the most exciting aspects of Floorly’s commercial real estate platform is its transparent bidding functionality. There’s no doubt that bidding is an integral part of the entire rental process, yet most of the time, it’s impossible to know where you stand in comparison to competitors’ bids. Thankfully, this all becomes a thing of the past with Floorly.
Instead of being left in the dark, all interested parties can view each other’s bids. This means you will know whether you need to adjust your bid or if a property is way out of your league. Furthermore, viewing other bids means that you can make your offer as efficient as possible, instead of sticking to a general budget.
Simply enter a slightly higher bid than the current highest offer and save yourself a ton of cash if it gets accepted.
Finding a new commercial space is an exciting yet daunting undertaking for most business owners.
While you can look forward to moving your company to fresh pastures and enjoying many of the benefits that come with the new territory, you still have to go out there and find the perfect place first.
To make your life easier, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a commercial real estate platform so you can browse thousands of potential spaces without needing to leave your desk.
With that said, once you have a couple of potential lots in mind, make sure you take a trip to get a feel for the place while networking with some of the local business owners. This way, you can better understand the area and whether or not it will be a good fit for your company and employees.