7 Missteps to Avoid When Touring Office Space
Most commercial office space leases generally have a term of 3 to 10 years. As a result, executives are not accustomed to evaluating potential space. So if you haven’t been in the real estate market since your previous commercial lease expired in 2010, it is easy to overlook attributes of a property that may negatively impact your business.
Below find an office tour checklist that will help you evaluate property:
- If you are looking at potential office space, keep your eyes open for development sites that could become active and cause a great deal of noise. Look for parking lots and construction sites within one block of the building. Note that the noisest phase is laying the foundation for a new building. If there is a potential development site near a property you are considering, try to find out if construction is planned during the term of your lease.
- Don’t forget to measure space to determine the useable square footage. In New York City, landlords market space as “rentable square footage.” The actual square footage (useable square footage) is substantially less. The discrepancy between useable square footage and rentable square footage is called the “loss factor.”
- If you are looking for space that requires elevator access, check the wait time for the elevator at 9 AM when people arrive at work, then around lunchtime, and finally at 5 PM when tenants leave the building. Without checking at those times, you will not know if elevator capacity is insufficient.
- Take into account nearby public transportation to ensure that your team’s commute times are kept to a minimum. Failure to do so can be an inconvenience for your staff and lead to employee turnover. More importantly, you need to ensure that your location is convenient for your clients.
- Ask the realtor representing you to provide a list of Internet providers that are active in a potential building. Most commercial buildings have several companies that offer broadband service. Not all buildings have vendors that offer cable television. Costs can vary significantly. Verizon Fios is unusually affordable; however, it is not yet available throughout Manhattan.
- Don’t depend on photos to preselect a space or a building. A photograph will not indicate a bad odor in a lobby, nor issues with the building’s infrastructure. It will not tell you if the lease is challenging or if the landlord is not tenant-friendly.
- Research potential locations as much as possible. Assuming a commercial realtor represents you, ask the broker about the landlord, about other tenants, and about any factor that could affect your use of your space.