Business owners will attest to the myriad of hurdles that come with operating a business and keeping it profitable amid challenging economic times. The situation is direr for early-stage startups as they are often scrambling to get things done on a strained budget. One of the critical decisions you have to make is finding office space. While this may sound like a walk in the park, many startups entrap themselves with a pricey real estate that mercilessly drains their resources. If you are in the market for office space, here are a few tips to ease your decision making:
Looking through prospective properties online is an excellent start before you start going door to door. Social media sites like Instagram are awash with real estate companies that advertise their properties as they become available. While there are many accounts to consider, CBRE is a remarkable one that you must not overlook. More so, there are a ton of real estate associations like the International Council of Shopping Centers, and these can link you with exceptional properties.
Aside from identifying potential properties for lease, extensive desktop research helps you compare market prices for similar square footage, locations, amenities, and design. Remember to make price comparisons before narrowing down the list by scouring more sites or See here for more great properties.
The real estate market is rife with unscrupulous dealers who are in it to make a quick profit. Renters must be keen to examine a lease and identify any hidden costs that are excluded in the listing price. For instance, co-working spaces have plenty of common areas that also require maintenance. Other items like utility meters, security, parking, and such could attract hidden charges. Ask if these costs are part of the lease or separate and if the latter, add it all up to see if the contract is still within your budget.
You already know what your business needs are now and in the near future. Having seen the real estate market out there, revisit these needs with your partners to see if these properties meet those needs. Pressing needs for a growing startup may include adding personnel, conferencing facilities, recreational areas, etc., and of course, thinking ahead. This exercise will help you determine how long you need to lease the office building, and you can negotiate favorable terms based on this.
Enlist a Lawyer
When it comes to leasing commercial spaces, you want to cushion yourself from any legal entrapments that may arise later after signing. Hire a lawyer to inspect the lease and other documents like building inspection to ascertain that everything is above board before you commit yourself. Hiring counsel is an added cost, but it’s worth every penny. The last thing you want is to be duped into signing a fraudulent lease without any recourse.
Leasing commercial real estate for startups can be daunting. But with the right guidance, you will find a befitting property without breaking the bank. Research thoroughly and hire a lawyer to go over the paperwork.