Time is Power
You know the saying knowledge is power? Well in office leasing I would add time to that statement. With time comes the opportunity to know the market, know what space offers value and what you want and don’t want in your new offices from a specific aesthetic to the layout that will work best for you.
After all, of the 120 hours that exist from Monday to Friday, we spend more than 1/3 of that time in our place of work. You and your employees deserve a place to love to go into each day. A pride of workplace improves morale, increases productivity, helps with retention, all things that contribute to driving your business revenues higher. How about that feeling when you share with a client or potential hire your office address, and they say, “great building” or “great address” or they come in for a meeting and they say “Wow, great space!” Companies deserve a space that works for their business and not just a space.
So how much time do you need to find office space so that you are in the driver seat in this process? If you are looking to relocate give yourself at least One Year.
Will be spent defining the objectives for your new space from a commutation analysis to identify the location that works best to an analysis of your future business growth and what your projected employee count will be in the foreseeable future (1–4 years out). Then a preliminary space program to understand the layout that will work best from how many offices to how large a conference room and how many in the open seating plan.
Touring office space. Each building has its own charm from lobby entrance to amenity offerings. You’ll start to pick up a lot of things that are important that you didn’t think about before. You’ll notice some have elevators that stop on every floor, while others take you right to your floor and don’t stop at any point along the way. You may say, “actually I don’t need as large a conference room because I only use it once a month and I can have a building where I can rent one when needed.” You’ll start asking if specific buildings include cleaning? Or you’ll say I really like operable windows so my staff and I can get fresh air.
Layouts & Proposals. Once spaces have been identified you need to make sure it works for you. We will provide to the landlord and their architect your “space plan” or how many people you need to fit and what the ideal configuration would be for your business operations. Then, initial proposals will be submitted to landlords and the negotiations begin. It is best to identify multiple spaces so as to prevent that feeling that you must have this space and nothing else will work. The more options you have the more power you feel that this is your choice and that you don’t have to give in to the landlords requests. It’s also good to leave room in case another tenant is negotiating so you don’t prevent overbidding due to the feeling of being out of options.
Lease Negotiations. Once the financial terms have been agreed to now it’s in the lawyers’ hands to negotiate the words that make up the 60–90 page document that is the lease. This can take 4–8 weeks depending on the complexity of the document, the space and the work needed to be done. While you think you’re in the home stretch now, don’t forget there’s the chance that some terms cannot be agreed to and suddenly your back at the find space stage again. This is another reason it’s important to have at least one backup.
Post Planning & Construction. Construction Bids need to go out. Demolition needs to occur. Then there’s the buildout. It’s fair to say that this is a 3–6 month project for a landlord to build out a space.
This week I received a call from a 20 person accounting firm down in the Financial District. They have three months until their lease expires and need to find new offices. They said they’ll take whatever they can find at this point. Don’t let this be you and your firm! Take the time to start the process early so that it can be on your terms and in space that you love.
Have a question or want to start the process? Reach out HERE.