Relocating to a new office space marks an exciting yet potentially stressful time for any growing business. It’s a chance to energize your workforce, attract new customers, and propel your business to the next level. But the success of your move depends on many factors, including the location and functionality of the commercial property for lease. A relocation can help a business scale, offering it the opportunity to expand its workforce and reach more customers, or it can bring that growth to a screeching halt, pushing employees out and driving customers away.
Finding the right commercial property to lease for your growing business is no easy task, but with patience and research, you can find the right property to take your business to the next level.
6 Tips for Finding the Right Commercial Property for Lease
1. Make a list of your options.
Make a list of all the features you want in a commercial property and rank them in order of importance.
If you run a retail business, your top priority may include location. If you plan to open a creative marketing agency, you may want a property with high ceilings, plenty of open space, and a bit of character to inspire creativity in your employees.
Consider your business’s goals, employees, and customers when determining the type of property you need. Avoid the temptation to lease a property simply because it is new, big, modern or simply the least expensive. Make sure the property will keep your customers buying and your employees working hard.
2. Narrow your search.
Once you have a list of your priorities, identify available properties that fit your needs in your desired location. Of those properties, narrow your choices down to just five or fewer to start. Don’t worry — if you visit the properties and they don’t fit your needs, you can always revisit your list and identify a new round of prospective properties.
3. Involve your employees.
So much of choosing the right commercial rental space comes down to creating the right environment for your employees. Is the location convenient for them? Will moving to the other side of town mean you could lose some of your best employees? Will your employees feel safe walking to and from the building?
Oftentimes your employees will know more about what makes a positive working environment for them than you will. Distribute an employee survey at the beginning of your search process, asking your employees for feedback as to what they value most in a workspace or office location. Or, if appropriate, take a few employees with you when you visit each property so that you can get their first-hand impressions of the property.
Make sure your employees feel involved in the process on some level, as their future productivity may depend on the new space.
4. Research the Area
How does the property compare to rental rates for other comparable commercial properties in the area? By what percentage have leases in the area increased over the last three to five years? Can you negotiate a set rate for the next few years? Talk to other tenants in the same building or shopping center and ask about any problems with the property manager. You also need to think about the insurance you will need for this area, the price of the insurance, and what factors affect this cost. If you were relocating your business to Toronto in Canada, then you would need to specifically look into the business insurance toronto areas need, in order for everything to be legal and above board. This is because the insurance, you were using previously, may not be appropriate for the new area or the new building where you’re relocating.
5. Review the terms of the lease.
Once you’ve found a property that’s right for your company, request a copy of the lease and take some time to thoroughly review it. You will want to make sure you understand its terms and limitations. What does the lease cover, and what does it not? What building maintenance will your company need to perform, if any? What are the true costs to occupy the space and what are your total liabilities? Will you have the ability to sublease to another tenant should your company need to relocate while still under the lease?
As with the rest of the property exploration process, don’t attempt this part of the process alone. Ideally, you want the help of your attorney and real estate broker to go over the lease and make sure your best interests are considered.
6. Ask the right questions.
It’s unlikely you want your company to relocate again anytime soon. Take the time now to analyze each potential space and consider your strategy for growth.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself:
- Can your company grow into this space, or will you need to relocate again as you begin to scale?
- How will your target consumers perceive this location?
- Does demand for your product or service exist in that area of town?
- Will consumers travel to a new neighborhood to continue receiving your product or service, or will they find a substitute?
Before you relocate, take some time to analyze your business strategy, survey your workforce, and talk to your customers to ensure this move will prove successful for your team and profitable for your business.