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16 Things to Consider When Leasing Office Space

One of the most exciting things about running a business is moving into a new office, and it’s an important milestone that can help your business grow and prosper. However, choosing the wrong office lease can stop your growing business in its tracks, regardless if you’re in Los Angeles or New York City.

To avoid just that, below are 16 of the most important things to consider when looking for office space to lease, including five bonus tips to keep in mind as well.

How to Create an Office Leasing Game Plan

It’s easy to look at space, but it’s much trickier to find office space that fits your budget and business goals while giving you the location and amenities that will help your business thrive.

So, before you hit the pavement and start looking for office space, follow these steps to help you get to the finish line faster:

  • Familiarize yourself with common leasing terminology.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to look for office space; give yourself plenty of time to research the market.
  • Understand the different types of office leases and what the true cost of the office space really is.
  • If your budget is tight, consider looking for office space outside of the central business district.
  • Brainstorm with your staff and business partners to identify the ideal building and neighborhood amenities.
  • Use your office leasing game plan to pick out ideal potential locations for your new office space.

Office space leases can have terms of five or 10 years, and sometimes more. That’s why it’s important to avoid making mistakes when signing a lease—so you don’t end up regretting it. Keep these in mind as you get ready to make a move:

  1. Determine whether your business really needs permanent office space or if coworking or working remotely would create a better environment.
  2. Select a location that’s convenient for your clients and your staff.
  3. Research the amenities in the area and if they’re easy to get to—no matter what the weather is like outside.
  4. Develop your budget and stick with it, making sure to set aside money for extra expenses, such as utilities, decor, and furniture.
  5. Ask questions about the terms and conditions of the office lease if something doesn’t make sense.
  6. Understand which repairs the landlord is responsible for and what happens if they’re not done in a timely manner.
  7. Visit the office building at night and on the weekends to make sure the area is safe and secure.
  8. Consider hiring an office leasing broker who specializes in tenant representation—they’ll work for you, not the landlord.
  9. Lease office space that fits the working style of your team and gives your business a little extra room to grow.
  10. Think about the best office floorplan for your business so you don’t waste time looking at space that doesn’t offer the ideal layout.
  11. Discuss a tenant improvement allowance with the landlord if the office space isn’t move-in ready.
  12. Make sure there’s sufficient parking for your staff, clients, and other tenants.
  13. Find out if the first impression of your office sends the right message about your business or brand.
  14. Ensure there’s enough space for small meetings and larger conference room space.
  15. Check if you’re allowed to change or remove interior items, like walls, ductwork, and window treatments.
  16. Consider the length of the lease, including expansion and subleasing clauses to meet your changing business needs.

Lastly, in case things don’t work out the way you planned, make sure there’s a way to break the lease with limited liability or penalties.

Bonus Benefits of a Traditional Office Lease

There are definite advantages to shared coworking spaces, specifically that leases are flexible, and the office space is move-in ready.

However, sometimes, a traditional office space lease is what a growing business really needs. Here are some of the biggest benefits of a traditional office space lease:

  • Creating a brand for your business is easier when you lease your own office space.
  • Productivity from your staff can increase without the endless distractions of networking.
  • Your business is much easier to find with Google Local, and your website ranking is better.
  • Office leasing expenses will be lower over time when you don’t have to pay for extras and a la carte services.
  • Having total control over your own office space allows you to make the right first impression with your clients and staff.

Know What You Need Before You Lease

Finding office space to lease can be complex and confusing, even if you’ve done it before. Choosing the wrong space could be an expensive mistake you’ll be stuck with for years.

That’s why it’s important to put together an office leasing game plan and understand exactly what your growing business needs.

Having a plan helps you select the right amount of space and the perfect floor plan in an ideal location that doesn’t break your budget. Plus, you’ll have office space that you and your staff love, that creates the right brand image that your clients expect.

Patrick McGregor

Patrick McGregor

Patrick McGregor is a senior writer covering the real estate industry and overall economic trends in the United States for several Yardi product publications. He also holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Patrick was previously a commercial real estate analyst at Yardi Matrix for five years. His work has appeared in Bisnow, GlobeSt, The Real Deal, Business Insider, The Denver Post, The Motley Fool.