6 Mistakes Business Owners Make When Leasing an Office

Growing businesses often reach the point where they need to lease a new office. Business owners need to make this decision carefully, because choosing the wrong office space or rental plan can be an expensive mistake. Here are some factors you will need to take into consideration as you prepare to rent a new office:

office space rental
Image by Elliott Brown

1. You don’t know what you need

The most common mistake many business owners make is failing to understand the needs of their business. You will be probably be leasing this office for a year or longer. Make sure that you have chosen a facility that fits your needs. This is going to be one of the most important decisions you will ever make, so make sure you take the time to think it through first.

2. Failing to compare rents with other facilities

You need to make sure that you aren’t going to be overpaying for the property you are purchasing. The best way to determine a fair rental price for a property is to benchmark it against other properties in the area and know what tenants are willing to pay.

3. Have someone who can negotiate on your behalf

Many entrepreneurs try to negotiate everything on their own. Attempting to navigate through all available listings to find the right office space can be overwhelming. Property owners can also be very difficult to negotiate with. Try working with a broker who can help you find a property that fits your needs and is willing to negotiate on your behalf. However, you want to be sure you are the one paying the broker’s commission. Some brokers will work for both the tenant and the landlord. These brokers will almost always side with the landlord, because the landlords will continue to send them additional business after the lease is signed.

4. Not checking zoning requirements

The last thing you want to do is commit to leasing an office space that hasn’t been zoned for the type of business you need. You can’t expect your landlord to tell you this beforehand. Ask your broker or a commercial real estate attorney whether or not the space you plan on renting meets the zoning requirements for the type of work you plan on doing.

5. Not checking the terms of the lease

Landlords write the leases and make sure that the terms are biased in their favor. Make sure that you have read the terms of the lease and know whether or not they are reasonable. You may need to renegotiate the terms with your broker or find a new facility. If you decide the latter, you might want to seek for legal help – be sure to check for conveyancing quote before you decide on anything.

6. Failing to make the right preparations

Many business owners underestimate the amount of time it will take for them to relocate. You will probably need at least six months to find the right facilities, sign the contract and relocate. Give yourself enough time to make the transition so you don’t end up in a position where you need to pay for a facility that doesn’t fit your needs or costs more than you would like.

Selecting the right office space is one of the most important decisions you will make. Plan your decision in advance and make your decision carefully. Choosing the wrong office can be an expensive mistake.

About the Author: Kalen Smith writes for austintenantadvisors.com, where he shares tips on finding a downtown Austin office space for rent.