When it is time to choose the right commercial space for your business, you’ll want to make sure to have the right tips in mind so that you can make the process as efficient, cost-effective and painless as possible.
With that in mind, here is some advice to keep in mind when beginning the commercial real estate lease process:
Be prepared. When you meet with the landlord or the landlord’s broker, be sure to come prepared with all of the “tools” you need to evaluate and make good decisions. Perhaps this means you will need to bring a notebook, pen/pencil, a street map (or a good map app or site on your Smartphone), calculator, tape measure and a camera (or, again, your Smartphone with a camera).
Recognize issues for what they are. Be on the lookout for obvious issues such as torn carpet, lights that don’t work, cosmetic scratches or scuffs or other relatively easily repairable defects. Also be on the lookout for bigger needs, such as roof repair or ceiling stains – these could be indicative of bigger problems that need to be addressed in more depth.
Evaluate the location’s convenience and accessibility. Take a walk in and around the property and the building(s). Pay attention to other office areas, elevators and/or stairways, public areas, restrooms, parking lots and other ways in, out and around. Are they accessible? Open? Crowded? Usable?
Bring in the experts. Unless you are a commercial real estate leasing expert, chances are that there are highly experienced people who could give you better insight into areas such as renovations, structure, repairs and pricing/negotiation. Also be aware there are different types of commercial leases and commercial lease terms. Have your expert contacts in place, and be sure to have their contact information on hand and reach out when needed.
Getting started…Once you determine what you need as far as the commercial space itself, you will be better able to prepare for your site visits and, eventually, a lease agreement. For more tips and information, the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) provides some great insight into commercial real estate leasing and options, as does The Center for Commercial Real Estate.
Good luck with your commercial real estate search and lease!