There’s little doubt that there are some great office rental opportunities out there, though for the inexperienced business owner, entrepreneur or manager, how can they tell a great deal from one precisely the opposite?
Rental rates naturally play a major role in their estimations, but as anyone who’s ever hired office space before should know well, there’s a lot more to a great office rental than rental rates alone, no matter how favourably low they are, or as is often the case, appear at first.
Image credit: Simon Collison, license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/collylogic/4793874877
There are many areas in which office rental mistakes are made, not all of which involve contracts, landlords or office space, but rather the way one goes about making arrangements, for example, procrastinating and not allowing themselves adequate time which often leads to them making panic decisions – that’s number one.
Procrastinating and making panic decisions
Six months prior to relocating is widely considered the right time to start searching for a new office rental because there’s a lot more involved in hiring an office rental than signing on the dotted line and moving in – much more.
Commercial tenants who fail to give themselves ample time generally find themselves making panic decisions and these are the decisions that often take their toll on the health of a business in a myriad of ways.
Not clarifying business objectives
What are your objectives for relocating to a new office space, or if you’re taking your business from the spare bedroom or garage to a ‘proper’ office, what are your reasons for relocating?
Failing to clarify your business objectives regarding office space often has disastrous results; consequently, you need to understand your office space needs to make sure the office you hire meets the specific needs of your business.
Not shopping around
With so many offices for rent it really does pay to shop around. Not only do you need to compare office rental rates in the area you’ve decided upon, but you also need to compare factors like contract flexibility, location, access to public transportation, car parking facilities and meeting space, networking opportunities, local amenities and so much more – this is why you need to allow yourself ample time to hire an office.
Not seeking representation
This isn’t necessary everywhere, though in some countries, most notably the US, commercial tenants aren’t afforded the same rights as residential tenants. “Unlike residential tenants, there are no laws that protect commercial tenants. You are on your own to negotiate a lease that protects your own interest,” says Otto J. Kostbar, Esq., a real estate expert based in Jamesburg, NJ.
Not inspecting the office and/or the contract
Before signing on the dotted line it’s imperative that you inspect the office for breakages and signs of wear and tear and document them with the landlord for future reference.
Inspecting the contract before signing is also crucial, and whilst you probably don’t need legal representation, it’s not a bad idea and could prevent problems in the future. If you don’t want to pay for a solicitor, have an experienced business peer or friend look over the contract for you.
Not negotiating with landlords
Never underestimate your negotiating leverage – most landlords would rather have a tenant in now at a lower rate than deal with the uncertainty of leaving an office vacant.
Most commercial property experts advocate making plans to hire office space at least six months in advance because this provides tenants with ample time to explore the options available to them, inspect offices, scrutinise lease documents and negotiate with landlords – how much time have you given yourself?