5 Problems With the Traditional Office Search and How to Solve Them

The right office is integral to the success of your company, but finding the right office isn't easy. Identifying these five typical problems in the office search will give you a better chance of finding the perfect space.

1. Not considering enough options

The best way to find a suitable office is to consider all your options. Looking at only one type of space and not considering additional spaces is a common mistake. It can not only prevent you from finding the right place, but can also force you to pay more for a space than is necessary. The more options you look into, the more leverage you have when negotiating a deal. If you have a shortlist of five properties, you will have a better opportunity to negotiate price and terms than if your shortlist only has one or two options.

2. Miscalculating company growth

There are a few ways to miscalculate company growth, and all of them result in undesirable scenarios. If you anticipate growth that's faster than what's realistically possible, you'll lease an office that's too big for you, and thus waste money on space you aren't using. In this case, there are, however, plenty of opportunities to sublease your extra space to another company. There are also communal space services that will let you rent out parts of your space for short and long terms, offering you a high degree of flexibility.

If you lowball your company's growth, then you'll be stuck in a space (and lease) that can't accommodate your company. Your team may not work effectively if they don't have enough space. Subleasing the entire space is your best option here too, as it will allow you to relocate to a bigger option. Plan to have at least 100 sq/ft (and up to 225 sq/ft) for each person at your company.

3. Underestimating the total cost

People do this all the time--they look at rent and think that's all they'll pay to use a space. It's not. After factoring in things like utilities and maintenance, the total monthly cost may be markedly different from the dollar amount you see on your lease. In older buildings, these extra costs can build up fast. See exactly what you'll need to spend money on to make your space "work-ready" and leave some wiggle room for unexpected costs.

4. Overestimating what you can do on your own

So much more goes into finding a commercial space than just picking an office you like. Engineers, brokers, designers, insurance agents, and office planners can all serve their purpose in the search for an office space. Designers, for example, get discounts on--and have a lot of knowledge of--office pieces. They'll know exactly what you'll need, and what you won't. Office design is about way more than just picking things that look cool. Realistically decide what you can and can't do on your own, so you'll be well-prepared to find and move into your new office.

5. Being stubborn on area

Instead of sticking with an area by intuition, define the traits you want in your office's location. Do you want a place that's close to transit, good for parking, or in a popular area? By deciding what you want in an area before actually choosing an area, your broker can help you find the right place for you (even if it's somewhere you never expected).

If you can identify and fix these office search problems, you'll save money, time, and effort while getting you and your company an office that drives success and employee satisfaction.