While budget is and should be a major factor when selecting an office space, there are plenty of other things to consider as well before leasing a space, including the quality of the landlord services and the building’s features. Do not overlook all of these considerations when selecting a space, or it could cost you later in your tenancy. Here are a few factors to consider as you look at spaces, as suggested in the article “How to Pick the Right Office Space”:
#1 Operating Expenses
Remember that you will end up paying more for a space than just rent. Other costs will include energy, maintenance, taxes, and other expenses that the landlord will pass along to you. Make sure you talk to your broker about how a space’s expenses compare to other spaces in an area, particularly similar facilities.
Make sure that the systems in the building you are looking at fit your business’s operating needs. For instance, if you use a lot of technology and thus need major power and cooling resources, you will want a building that has enough HVAC power for you. Or if your employees need to be in and out of your space throughout the day, you will want to make sure you have enough affordable parking spaces. If your company relies on 24/7 power, you will want to make sure you have access to a backup generator. Consider what you need to operate your business, and make sure that a building you are looking at meets all of those needs.
#3 Space Efficiency
This goes hand-in-hand with operating expenses: make sure that the true bottom line cost of a space is really as good as it sounds. While some spaces might have lower rental rates, you might find that part of the space is not usable for working because it is made up of lobbies, restrooms, elevators, etc. This would mean that you might not be able to fit as many desks into the space as you would a smaller one with a smaller load factor. As you look at spaces, be sure to compare useable square footage and take into account common areas that you cannot use as you please.
#4 Environmental Friendliness of a Building
Not only are many businesses choosing to become more sustainable in general, but often local governments are requiring businesses to meet certain green requirements. Make sure that you work with a broker that understands green requirements and terminology when it comes to buildings, so that he or she can make sure that a space meets your specific requirements. For instance, make sure your broker understands the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System—which was created by the U.S. Green Building Council—as well whether or not the properties you are looking at have achieved ratings on this system.
#5 Property Management
You will want to investigate the property management team in a building, since these are the people who will act as a liaison between you and the building owner. Consider talking to current tenants of the building to find out how responsive managers are and to get an idea of the overall quality of things like security, maintenance services, and engineering. Good things to measure would be the property manager’s involvement with the building and the amount of contact they have with tenants. Here are a few common issues tenants have—ask about how often these complaints are raised and how they are addressed:
- The promptness and thoroughness of maintenance staff
- HVAC systems—specifically the temperature of the building
- Parking accessibility
- Condition of an elevator
Be sure to get an idea of how each of these potential problems will be handled by a property’s management team.
#6 Tenant Mix
You will want to look at the type of tenants you will be sharing a building with to make sure none will be clashing or competing with your business. On the other hand, a good tenant mix could make a building more attractive if the current tenants create a positive image of the location or help boost your brand. Another good scenario would be if client of your business or a complementary service is located in the same building.
While it would be foolish to discount a financial analysis of two properties, it is still important to research and make note of other factors as well. Sometimes a particularly good benefit could tip the scales towards one property or another if all other factors even out.
If you are interested in learning more about property management, infrastructure, and other features of our commercial space for lease in Kansas City, give a DDI Commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100! We can answer your questions and set you up with a tour of any of our available spaces!