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As exciting as looking for new office space can be, it’s also a daunting undertaking. Whether you’re looking for your first permanent office space or hoping to expand, the process is very similar. Aside from the logistics of actually relocating, ensuring continuity of business, and finalizing the lease negotiations, you’ll need to take one crucial factor into consideration: timing. 

The best time to start looking for office space is hugely dependent on your own situation. Real estate brokers and landlords alike will be pushing to close a deal as soon as possible, but remember one thing: you know your business better than anyone else. There’s a certain level of gut feeling that goes into making such a substantial investment. With this guide, you’ll be better equipped to determine when you should begin looking into additional office space and establish a foundation for your company’s future.

When’s the Right Time to Begin Looking for Office Space?

The common consensus in seeking new office space is this: you can’t start early enough. Most commercial real estate transactions take several months and involve a bevy of professionals. From building inspectors, local permitting, real estate brokers, and contractors, you’ll likely be waiting to move into a new space at least 3-6 months after you’ve signed a lease. 

Even if your company isn’t quite ready to move into a new space, your sales and growth projections should show exactly when you’ll be outgrowing your current space. Utilizing those figures, you’ll have a clearer picture as to when is the right time to move locations – but that should include the search process. Once you’ve hit your goals and have reasonable growth projections nailed down, you’ll want to start looking for new office space right away. 

Of course, your company’s finances will determine just how much you can afford, so before you begin your commercial real estate search, it’s important to reduce any financial liabilities on your books. That could include business or personal debts, loans, or lines of credit tied to your company and its stakeholders. 

In order to get a clearer picture as to your company’s ability to lease a new property, you’ll want to employ a business analyst, a tenant rep broker, and a real estate attorney to help you negotiate a lease agreement in the future. As for your company’s participation, the best plan of attack is to designate a small committee to begin searching for a new property about a year from a desired move-in date (ideally, this would closely coincide with the termination of your existing lease agreement). Set a criteria: desired square footage, budget, lease term, amenities, nice-to-have features, and essential components for your next space. 

How to Reduce the Length of the Search Process

While it’s easier than ever to find suitable commercial real estate spaces, the biggest deterrent to a speedy transition is the lease negotiation process. That’s why it’s so important to make your company as attractive as possible to prospective landlords. That means getting pre-approved for business loans, establishing your needs and priorities when it comes to a particular space, and showing a willingness to move quickly in order to get a deal done.

Moving quickly requires expertise, and a tenant representative broker has exactly that. With their experience in the market, relationships with other landlords, and savvy with the transaction process, they should be able to take your lead and get a deal done fast – to your ultimate benefit. 

However, an eager potential tenant could demonstrate desperation in the eyes of a landlord and could hurt you in the negotiation process. It’s a tricky tightrope, but having several options available to you throughout the negotiations will help with leverage and provide a fallback in case things go south with one option. 

What to Keep in Mind While You Look for New Space

There’s no way to tell exactly what your company needs without knowing the nature of your business and your culture. That’s why it’s so important to bring in your internal team for the search process. Creating a search committee within your existing organization won’t just be a great asset for you when looking for a new property, but it will create a sense of inclusion in finding your next home. 

Aside from the personnel considerations, you’ll want to consider each property based on your needs. If you simply need an office space, determine what priorities you’d like to set to improve conditions for your team and make the best use of the available – and hopefully – larger space. 

If you’re operating in a specialized industry, look for opportunities in the vacant space to improve and upgrade to best suit your needs. Obviously, if you’re working in manufacturing, you’ll want space to install equipment and store your products. But the best option is to go with your gut: does the space feel right? Can you envision working here for several years? Is there room for expansion and growth? These factors don’t always make it on the commercial lease agreement terms, but you’ll know the right spot when you find it. After all, you know your business better than anyone else. 

Lastly, looking back at the old space, hiring a professional cleaning service will help once you’ve cleared out your equipment and furniture. Any unneeded or unwanted furniture should be donated, recycled, or sold at warehouse auction – and you’ll need someone to help organize that, too. 

Once you’ve settled in, completed your months-long journey and started a new one, don’t forget the small stuff: your employees will want to celebrate – and so should you.

Blog Source – Written by John Heimbigner, VP Sales Officespace

Looking for commercial real estate broker in Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati that has all of the qualiteis listed above?  When you need experienced commercial real estate agents on your side, you can count on KW Commercial to provide you with the assistance you’re looking for. With our team of real estate agents, we’re sure to find you the right property for the right price. 

Commercial Real Estate Agent Northern Kentucky