Before you jump in the car and buy office space, sit down with your broker and make a list of requirements you need at your new location.
1. Square Footage: How much do you need? How much of it needs to be office? Do you need any storage space?
2. Dock/Drive-in Access: Do you have frequent bulk deliveries? What size truck makes those deliveries?
3. Location: Do you have to be downtown? Do you have a lot of walk-in traffic from customers? Where is your customer base?
4. Class: How nice of space do you need? Do you want marble entryways, or will a simple interior suffice?
5. Highway Accessibility: Do you need a warehouse facility with easy access to major highways?
6. Specific Zoning: Is your use constrained to a limited number of zoning types? Get a good feel for your locale’s zoning regulations.
7. Layout: Do you have a call center that necessitates an open floor plan? Do want to maximize the number of private executive offices?
8. Nearby Amenities: How many employees do you have? Do they need access to restaurants and retail? Do you need hotels nearby for your out-of-town clients?
9. Parking: How many spaces do you need?
Once you’ve narrowed down exactly what you need, it’s time to look for space. Your broker will do a search of the areas you like and come up with a detailed report. Take a look at what he’s come up with, and drill down which ones you’d like to tour. Keep an open mind while you buy or even lease commercial office space, as a property that may not look good on paper may be a perfect fit in person.
Depending on scheduling and availability, your broker will probably set up a half or full-day of property tours. Bring some water, something to write on, and your enthusiasm for the search. Ask yourself the following questions as you tour:
1. How easy was it to get here?
2. Will my clients and customers be able to find me?
3. Now that I’ve seen the space, is it truly sufficient for my needs?
4. Will the safety of my employees be ensured at this location?
5. Is there sufficient outdoor lighting?
6. What kind of improvements will have to be made before I move in?
7. Can the current ceiling height support my needs?
8. How many parking spots are there?
9. Are the space’s utilities sufficient for my needs (e.g., water and electricity)?
Don’t be afraid to ask the listing agent if you can have a few minutes with your broker. Also, try to have alone time while touring the space. Once the tours are complete, tell your broker which properties you are interested in, and inform him if you want him to expand the search. You may need to re-evaluate some of your requirements to find a suitable space.
These simple and concise pointers will help you in finding and buying that perfect commercial property for your business. So, happy exploring!!