How To Find Office Space

Finding office space can be a difficult undertaking, but it doesn't have to be. It is easy to find office space, as long as those looking follow a few tips, and decide exactly what they need to meet the needs of their company.


1. Office Space

Office space is designed as any space, or area that a business needs to function. For some companies, this may be a large office complex, or series of buildings where their employees work on a daily basis. Other companies can maintain their needs with a much smaller building, or a series of rooms inside an existing building. Today, the most common types of office space are those areas found inside another building. The building itself may have a variety of functions, but also have space for other businesses inside. Strip malls are often a popular place to find available space for rent. A strip mall is defined as a large outdoor mall. This area is often a brick building with different storefronts along the outside. The strip mall may have a series of shops, along with various offices as well. There is also an increasing trend in utilizing older buildings for office space. An individual or corporation will purchase an existing building and rehabilitate the interior spaces to provide space for different businesses. Another trend in office space is creating new buildings, or a complex of buildings. Different businesses can lease office space inside this building or complex for their own use, and advertise their company on the exterior of the building.

2. Reasons for Office Space

There are a variety of reasons why a company or individual may need to find office space. In the majority of cases, the company is a start up business that suddenly finds themselves in the position of needing space to fulfill their growing needs. This may be a brand-new business, but in many cases it is a business that is already in existence. Take for example the now large corporation of Microsoft. Microsoft started as a small two-man operation, working out of one man's garage. There are dozens of other examples of companies that began in an individual's home. Once the company begins to grow beyond their simple roots, they will need to locate new office space. A large number of companies that look for office space do so because they have outgrown their current location. The location may have been their own home, their garage, or a smaller office in another area. The company may need office space because they have hired new employees, and their old office can no longer hold those employees. A business may also need to find office space because they are relocating to a new city, or moving within their city.

3. Process of Finding Office Space

The simple process of finding available office space is one of the most confusing things for many businesses. There are two main ways to go about locating office space. The first way involves hiring a real estate agent or broker, while the other option is for the individual or company to complete the process on their own. Both scenarios involve the individual or company identifying their needs, including the amount of office space they require. They will then need to determine what is a better choice for their needs, renting office space or buying space. Depending on which option they choose, they may find a place relatively quickly, or it may require more time and effort. Renting office space is usually simpler because there are more options. Those looking to buy office space may only find a few places available, and may need to wait much longer to find something that meets their needs. The process of finding office space may be a long and drawn out affair. Once the business decides on their needs, they will need to look at dozens of options before finding one in their price range. To find office space that is available in their area, they will need to look at their local newspaper, classified ads, and even places that advertise as having space available.

4. Identifying Your Needs

The first step that an individual or company must take before even locating available office space is to identify the needs of their company. As discussed above, there are a variety of reasons why a company may need to find office space. The best place to start is to identify the base need for office space. For some, this may be as basic as needing more space, while others may be moving to a new area or moving into their first office. It is important that a company identify this base need because it can save them time and money in the long run. Take for example the company that is just starting out and needs a place for their dozen employees. Rather than look for a smaller space that can comfortably hold their employees, they decide that bigger is better, and choose an office that can accommodate more than one hundred employees. Their belief is that while the space may be too large now, they will grow into it. After several months of struggling to pay the bills on such a large office, they find themselves in debt and struggling to pay all their bills. In the end, the small company faces the distinct possibility of bankruptcy. Had they chosen an office more in line with their needs, the problem could have been avoided. The company should identify their needs prior to signing a lease, or making a down payment on an office. This should include not only the needs of their employees, but also their financial needs as well.

5. Before You Sign a Lease

Prior to signing a lease, the company or individual should consider a few things. The first thing they need to consider is their own budget. While they may be able to afford the rent on the office space, they may not be able to afford the other bills associated with the space. There are electricity, heat, water, trash, Internet, and telephone bills to consider, not to mention office supplies and employee paychecks. There are also incidentals that the renter may not consider such as insurance. These are all things to consider before signing a lease. The renter who cannot afford their bills may face serious repercussions including bankruptcy. The company also needs to determine who will pay for problems that may happen inside the building, from the roof leaking to someone who hurts themselves in the parking lot.

6. Going it Alone

There is a growing trend with smaller companies looking at office space. These companies are quickly beginning to shun traditional real estate agents in favor of locating potential offices on their own. These companies typically do so because they either cannot afford to pay the fees associated with using an agent, or are unwilling to do so. Finding potential office space without a real estate agent is possible, and can be easy depending on the area. A large number of individuals and corporations that own buildings with office space advertise their available units. They may advertise in local newspapers, online, or with classified ads. In some cases, they simply hang a banner outside the building advertising that they have space available. Anyone who is trying to find office space should look in these areas for available spaces, as well as driving around the area they are interested in and looking for signs or other forms of advertising.

7. Finding a Real Estate Agent

While there are companies that attempt to find office space on their own, there are far more companies that seek out a real estate agent or real estate broker. This real estate agent can make the process much easier because they complete the hard work, also known in some circles as the legwork. The goal of the agent is to identify the needs of the company, and then find office space that will make the company feel satisfied. The real estate agent works on commission, and typically will not be paid until a lease is signed. It is in their best interest to find space that the company will like, and to find it as fast as possible. The problem is that some companies believe erroneously that all real estate agents are the same. In actuality, they should focus on finding an agent and a company with experience in commercial real estate. There are some agencies that may work in both residential and commercial sectors, but most specialize in only one area. Prior to working with an agent, it is important to ask about their history in commercial real estate, as well as speak with any prior clients or references they provide.

8. Renting Office Space

Renting office space is often the first choice for companies looking at office space. In fact, a larger number of individuals believe it is the only option. They typically feel that purchasing office space is limited solely to larger companies, and this is often true. Purchasing office space can be an expensive endeavor, as it requires a larger space, and usually an entire building. It may be difficult to purchase smaller office space inside a complex or other type of building. However, renting office space can be a much easier and less expensive undertaking. Every time you drive past a strip mall or complex that has a phone outside advertising space available, that is the chance to rent office space. Renting office space may require the use of a real estate agent or real estate broker, but far more companies and individuals are beginning to complete the process on their own. The reason for this is because it can be quite easy. The first step is to identify the area where you would like to find office space. This may be one particular city or town, or a specific area of town. The next step is to drive around the area and look for available office space, or scour the local newspaper for advertisements. The majority of those spaces will be rental properties. Renting office space will often require the individual or company to fill out an application and pay a small processing fee. The building's owner will then perform a background check and credit check, along with anything else they may require. Once the owner is satisfied with the company's application, the business will need to pay a security deposit, the first month's rent, and often the last month's rent as well.

9. Buying Office Space

While renting office space is the top choice for many start up companies, other companies and individuals may prefer to buy their own building. There are times when buying an office, or buying office space, makes more sense financially than leasing does. This usually comes about once a company has established itself as a legitimate business, or when the number of employees within the company necessitates buying office space. Buying office space is a slightly different process than simply leasing space. There are many more options for renters than there are for buyers, simply because of the current market. Those planning on leasing office space simply need to find an available space, fill out an application, and pay a deposit along with the first and sometimes last month's rent. When buying office space, the company will need to secure a loan and turn over a down payment, or pay the entire cost of the property from their own pocket. They may also need to hire a commercial real estate agent to seek out available properties. A good real estate agent will identify the needs of the company and then find spaces that meet those needs. He or she can accurately judge the current market and keep abreast of any changes. It is also their responsibility to identify any areas where the company or individual will need to make changes to secure office space. There are times when this agent is invaluable, as the general public is unaware of certain commercial real estate markets.
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