Choosing the perfect commercial property for your business may seem daunting, as there are many factors to consider depending on the type of business you’re running. Here are several key factors you should keep in mind when deciding on a potential commercial space to lease.
First and foremost is the location. Accessibility is key, so be sure to take into account local traffic patterns, the parking situation, and the levels of foot traffic in the area. This is especially relevant for a retail business.
Consider the neighborhood as a whole and determine if it’s ideal for your business. Would customers feel safe in the area?
Researching crime rates, speaking to locals, and even walking around town during the day and night can help you get a better sense of the neighborhood. It also never hurts to check if the area is at risk of natural hazards (such as flooding, for example).
Size matters, but in different ways for various businesses. Consider your business’s particular needs. Will you need a warehouse and a lot of storage space? If operating a manufacturing or distribution business, is there enough space for loading docks?
While having too little space can obviously cause problems, having too much space can be just as bad. With too much room comes increased rental rates, unused space that may convey a sense of emptiness, and a possible lack of harmony with your business’s image.
Use the number of employees involved with your business to determine an appropriate space size. For traditional office spaces, most sources recommend at least 100 square feet per employee (but adjustments can be made as you see fit). In addition to size of square footage, the shape of the space is also important.
For those seeking retail space, a simple square box is usually recommended, as is a storefront of at least 20 feet.
Great amenities can make all the difference in the world. Take into account those that are both internal and external to the area.
A kitchen area is an example of an ideal internal amenity. People are more productive on a full stomach, so finding a good spot for a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker is always a plus. Another example is windows. Exposure to sunlight is vital for happiness and general wellbeing, and can increase productivity as well.
Other examples include outdoor facilities and bike racks.
External amenities can also do wonders for your business. Take into account surrounding amenities and their affect on your business. For example, close proximity to restaurants can benefit your employees on their lunch breaks and can also provide comfortable spots to meet with clients. Nearby places where you can buy supplies for your office is also always a plus.
In order to not overpay for rent, conduct research or enlist the expertise of a real estate broker to make sure that the rate is within the market.
Importantly, you want to ensure that your rental rate is within your operating budget. But beyond the base rent itself, there are other factors to consider. This includes additional costs that can be passed on to you, the tenant, such as: property taxes, building insurance costs, utility expenses, and expenses related to general maintenance.
These are known as common area maintenance or C.A.M.
Be sure to ask your broker or landlord about such additional expenses in order to gain the a full understanding of the lease. Also, as a helpful tip, understanding your rentable square footage vs. usable square footage will help you gain a full understanding of your lease payments.
Be sure to utilize the best tools out there and get started today on finding the perfect commercial property for your business!