Part 1 – Planning and Preparation
Renting office space is going to take some time. Six to nine months depending on the size of your office and the complexities of your particular needs.
For you to gain all the value from moving your office to a new location or renewing the lease on your present location, you will need first and foremost, planning.
You’ve got to take the time to figure out what you need and what you want and what you are willing to pay.
People who don’t know what they want are liable to take anything. And that is what is likely to happen if you don’t plan.
Yes. Entering into a five-year lease arrangement takes some planning. But it will pay off every month when you write that rent check.
How Much Office Space Are You Going to Need?
Know how much square footage you are going to need and in what configuration.
- Do you need cubacles?
- Or do you require enclosed offices?
- Or maybe your business functions best in an open space? How many desks?
- Do you need a conference room?
- Executive office?
- Equipment room?
- Do you think you will be growing during the next five years?
- Or do you think your space needs will shrink?
Having itemized your requirements, you can estimate how many square feet you will require.
For example, say you need eight desks in a large room. You might allow 48 sq. ft. per desk. Then you would allocate 384 sq. ft.
Your finished work might look like this:
Picture of an office rent calculation spreadsheet
Notice that you are going to need to account for hallways (referred to as circulation) and a portion of the office building’s common areas. You may not think that you are renting common areas, but your landlord probably will so best account for it now.
Rentable square feet are those that you will pay rent for. Usable square feet is space you will actually be using. More on that in Part Three of this series.
Please feel free to download this spreadsheet to use for your planning.
You may find hiring a space planner will be well worth the money.
Or engage a tenant rep experienced in office leasing and construction.
Having carefully mapped out what you will require, you are ready to go shopping.
Now you have a context in which you can compare all opportunities.
You can do a rough calculation of per square foot rent offerings. You will know what modifications to offered space that you will require.
Where Do You Want to Locate?
This will be a matter of convenience.
Do you need to be convenient to your clients? To your employees? To the boss?
Make the choice. Once you choose, your search comes much simpler and easier.
We Like It Where We Are
Wait! We don’t want to move.
Fine. But you still need to plan.
How has your business changed?
Have your space needs grown and project to continue to grow?
Or has technology reduced your space needs and you can get by with less than you are renting now.
Is there something about your office that you hate and want fixed?
You still need to know how much space you need before yout go to your present landlord.
Is There a Deal Here?
Landlords are in the business of finding and keeping good tenants. Filling an empty space can be very expensive for her. Chances are she will be enthusiastic to explore a renewal.
For you, moving is disruptive, a lot of work and a general pain.
Sounds like you and your landlord have the basis for a deal.
Nevertheless, if you want a good deal with your present landlord, you need to proceed almost the same as if you were sitting down with a brand new landlord.
This means that you should go to the negotiating table with an alternative in your pocket.
The landlord should know that if things can’t be worked out here, you the tenant have other possibilities.
Here is a general checklist for tenants contemplating a lease renewal.
You should have these items thought through whether you are shopping with your present landlord or with a brand new one.
- Space requirements (see above)
- Parking requirements
- New paint
- New carpet
- Internet needs
- Air conditioning hours
- My monthly occupancy budget
We are Tenant Representatives
We are tenant representatives and specialize in working with tenants to aquire and renew office space. We make it our business to know the rental market and what is available and what kind of deals can be made.
Our service requires no cash outlay from tenants. We invoice the landlord’s leasing broker for our services, not our tenant-client.
If you think we can help you, please call and discuss it. It won’t cost you a penny.
Coming Next – How To Find Your Space