How to Search for and Find Office Space

28
Jul

How to Search for and Find Office Space

Man searching for office space with binoculars

In part one, you did your homework and determined what kind of office you want, where it needs to be, how large it needs to be  and what you can pay for it.

Now we will go in search of this office.

From the outset I want to emphasize: don't expect to see clear price tags on advertisements for office space for lease.

Every landlord has a different way of calculating rentable space and expenses and what is included or not in the quoted rent. Your calculations are going to specify what you want. Expect to do some interpreting when looking at offers and combining what you want to what the landlord is offering.

Executive Suites

If you are looking for a single office in a suite of offices, you will be searching for executive suites. There are lots of them. Your task is much simpler than a large office tenant. Just go to Loopnet, filter for executive suites and the area you want to be in and shop the results.

If you have questions about specific executive office spaces, please feel free to call us.

How to Search for Office Space

By far the most comprehensive listings for the public are on Loopnet.com.

A good tenant rep will have access to other listing sources.

You can filter by neighborhood, price per square foot, size, and more. It's quite comprehensive.

Woman thinking about office size needs with paper cup in her mouthHere are a couple of caveats.

The listing may be on Loopnet.com, but not actually exist. Leasing brokers may continue to publish the listing in order to drive traffic. So in response to your inquiry you might get a reply like, "That was just leased. But I've got other space that you might like."

Maybe. Maybe not. 

The other caveat is that the pricing on the Loopnet listing can be and often is confusing. Every landlord has a different way of calculating rentable space. For example, you may need 2000 sq. ft. of usable space. The landlord may advertise 2000 sq. ft, but 200 of his sq. ft. are in a utility closet and a bathroom foyer, space you need, but cannot use.

And every lease can have different expenses that you will pay in addition to the rent. One example is common area maintenance (CAM) which can include a number of costs from  landscaping to public restroom maintenance.

How do you find out what your rent bill is going to be? Ask the leasing broker for an itemized occupancy cost breakdown. Compare those numbers to what you budgeted.

Craig's List

If you are looking for a moderately priced office that is not in a prime location, you might check Craig's list.

Currently, you will find Office Space under Housing.

You can filter by location, size and rent. When you filter for rent, it's the total rent per month, not rent based on square footage.

What Is a Leasing Broker?

Most landlords employ a leasing broker to market space for lease. Leasing brokers function almost exactly like listing agents in residential real estate transactions. The leasing broker's commission is a percentage of total rent bill for the entire lease term. It's usually four percent. For example if the  monthly rent is $1000 and the lease term is 60 months, then the commission would be $2400. ($1000 x 60 months x .04 = $2400)

The landlord pays this commission out of the rents he receives. To say this in another way, the commission is built into the rent and is ultimately paid by you, the tenant. 

It's not too much different than what happens in a residential transaction. The commission is paid by the seller, but the money comes from the buyer.

Your relationship with the leasing broker is probably adversarial.

She wants to lease space from her listing, get the highest rent possible and collect a commission.

You want to lease office space that suits your particular needs at an affordable price.

The two aims may be compatible. But in any case the leasing broker represent the landlord's interest and her interest. Not yours.

Tenant Representation

If you are looking to sign a lease for office space, you should definitely consider engaging a tenant rep (sometimes referred to as a tenant broker).

The tenant rep will do most of the work described in this guide. He works in the office leasing market all the time and is likely to know about opportunities that do not appear on Loopnet or Craig's list. And he should have access to office availability data that may not appear on Loopnet.

His aims will correspond to yours. You want to find and lease perfect office space at a good rent rate. He wants that too.

And when it comes to negotiating with the landlord, he will know what comparable space is renting for and about concessions being offered. His aim will be to negotiate the lowest possible rent for you. He could save you thousands.

Full disclosure: at Fischbach Commercial we function almost exclusively as tenant reps.

And how do we get paid? We share in the leasing broker's commission. As I showed above, that ultimately comes out of the rent that you pay.

So you are paying for the service. Why not take advantage of it!

Client Testimonials

My company is new and growing fast. We need more space. I thought it would be easy. Look at LoopNet, check out a few locations and sign up.

I wish.

LoopNet is full of jargon and misdirection. You find listings that are no longer available. ("Oh, we just leased that. But I have another space just like it that I can show you.") Bait and switch BS.

After following leads around in circles, I was super frustrated with the process and getting closer to a space crises at the same time. I clicked Peter's site in Google. I really wish I'd done that in the beginning.

Honestly, I have been in business for my entire adult, but I'd never heard of a tenant rep, someone who specializes in helping commercial tenants like me find and lease space. It is an incredibly valuable service. Just knowing about it is worth a semester in business school.

Peter showed some great properties. He listened, came to understand my company and showed space that was relevant and possible. Each new space inspired me to look more. I got new ideas.

Finally when we decided on a great location in downtown St. Pete. I liked everything about it. But finding the right space was just the beginning.

My company is in the medical field and has many special requirements: unique electrical hookups, plumbing for oxigen tanks, and a one-of-a-kind floor plan.

I admit I was daunted by the lease and all the requirements of my company. But Peter stepped up and negotiated a great deal with my new landlord which included a generous build-out allowance.

There are not enough adjectives to describe how much Peter has done for my company. If you are looking to lease commercial space, do yourself a favor and call Peter. You will be real happy that you did.

Unbelievably, I paid nothing for his service. My new landlord took care of that.

Fred Palmer, CEO
Stemedix

From first meeting Peter, and throughout the office suite search process to the negotiations and execution of my office lease, Peter provided excellent communication and professional service. He took the time to really understand my office space needs and was very resourceful in providing timely, valuable information and sage advice. He helped make the whole process a pleasant and friendly one.

I appreciate everything Peter did for me and I highly recommend him to anyone searching for commercial real estate consultations and services.

Jerry Albrecht
Attorney at Law

We have known and done business with Peter for some 15 years and he has acted for our group of companies in several office, commercial and industrial leases.

He is a seasoned professional, great to work with, always on on top of whats going on in the market and acting not only as a broker but ongoing advisor.

He is a great negotiator and I always feel like we got the best deal possible when we close.

Finally he is a nice guy and like ourselves I'm sure has developed hundreds of other great relationships and friendships in the business.

Carl Dilley
President
Island Capital Management, LLC.

I have known Peter Fischbach for approximately 20 years both as a friend and professionally.

I have found his knowledge of Real Estate, marketing and business sense extraordinary.

He has a great knowledge of Architecture and recycling of old buildings for new uses.

I would recommend him for any professional Real Estate consultations and related services.

Peter Goldhammer, Architect
Florida #0006567

I have known and worked with Peter for many years, and would not hesitate to recommend him for any real estate service.

Peter is very knowledgeable in all aspects of commercial real estate, but is particularly adept at negotiating leases and contracts.

Linwood Gilbert, MAI
President at Urban Realty Solutions

If you are looking to lease a commercial or business space Peter Fischbach is your man. We've worked with him for years and could not be more pleased. 

He is friendly, extremely well-versed in all of the services he offers, and has an unparalleled understanding of real estate in general and the idiosyncrasies of the local Tampa Bay market. 

The landlord might not be happy with the rent, amenities, and contract terms he will negotiate for you, but you and your company will.

Jake Braun
Marco Polo
Lead Developer
CIO