5 Tips for Searching for Space and Signing a Lease
1. Meet with a Workplace Strategist
Before you meet with a broker, tour potential locations, and put in an offer, you’ve got to connect with a workplace strategist. These experts can help you assess your existing real estate portfolio, determine your needed square footage, and decide what amenities are a must for your organization.
Skipping this step can come at an incredible cost. Not only do you run the risk of wasting time touring spaces that will never work for you, but you also could end up selecting a workplace that’s too big, too small, or for another reason, doesn’t meet your needs.
2. Ask about a TI Allowance.
A TI allowance is a sum of money that landlords offer to new tenants as an incentive for signing a lease. You can use this money to improve the existing space, make it better meet your organization’s needs, and brand your workplace. The money cannot typically be used for furniture and other items that might leave with you if you leave the space, but what you can and can’t do with a TI allowance will always be written in the lease and can certainly be negotiated.
Depending on the changes required for the space, the TI allowance may or may not cover these costs. It’s important to have a design-build partner review your plans and provide a separate estimate. Remember, the building itself is the landlord’s key interest, not the specific needs or design of your space. In construction, it's important to have someone looking out for YOUR interests.
The office location!
Yes, remote working has become much more prevalent, but having an awesome, well-located HQ is still incredibly important. When considering a location, you should consider where your employees and target talent live. If you want to draw people into your office, proximity to your employees is of the utmost importance. Long commute times will certainly be a deterrent.
Who else is in the building!
If you’re hoping to find a location where you can expand, study your future surroundings. Talk to the broker and landlord to see if in the future, you can expand within their building. If it’s possible to expand without having to move, that’s a win for you.
4. Check out a building’s amenities.
If you want to provide employees with choice of where they’d like to work, but still hope to draw them to the office, you’ve got to have an incredible workplace. Bonus amenities like a gym or café can certainly serve as a lure and will even help you to attract and retain new talent.
Access to daylight is crucial for employee wellness. If possible, look for buildings with an outdoor space for employees to take breaks or work in the sunshine. An outdoor area also allows for safe social distancing with clients and coworkers.
5. Don’t wait until the last minute.
Searching for a new space takes time. Signing a lease takes time. Preparing your space for your team takes time. So, start early! The size of your space and the amount of work it needs will influence your schedule.
If you’re unsure of how long each of these steps will take your organization, don’t hesitate to reach out to the coDesign team for guidance. We’re industry experts and happy to help!