When looking for office space, engaging the services of a broker can feel like adding in yet another step to an already daunting process. After all, you now have to find a good broker on top of having to find good office space. But working with a broker is undoubtedly one of those one step backwards and two steps forward propositions since they can provide valuable time and money saving assistance. Truly, a good broker can bring you far more than two steps forward in your office space search considering they do most of the search legwork, have considerable inside industry knowledge and experience, and they can even help with lease negotiations. And given the fact that brokers do not typically cost you, the tenant, anything since the landlord or third-party office space provider typically pay the broker’s commission, there truly are very few drawbacks to including a broker in your office search. Understanding the ways your broker can add value will help you maximize that value to its fullest extent.
Benefit From Broker Tools And Resources
As with any profession, there are tools and tricks of the trade that only industry insiders will know about and/or have full access to and brokers are no exception. They have access to databases and resources, like CoStar, which include not only listings but additional insights and information on the available properties as well. For example, they may be able to pull info on traffic and demographics surrounding the property of interest as well as historical / comparable sales info. They likely even get alerts on properties as they become available and before they are made public, which means you get an early shot at securing the perfect office. And while you could take a stab at selecting one or two and paying for the subscription yourself, you’d still be missing out on a broker’s expertise and understanding of these tools. Besides why pay extra to underutilize powerful tools when you can have your broker navigate them for you for free?
Find the Right Space for Your Needs
Depending on the nature of your business, you may require space with certain specifications, materials, and/or setups in order to properly accommodate your company. For instance, do you provide medical services via equipment that needs special ventilation? Or are you part of a video production company and require space for equipment? Such requirements will narrow your list of options, which can be frustrating if you’re trying to comb through suitable options yourself. For a broker, though, this narrowing can be a good thing since they know their market and also have the tools to help sift out the office spaces that would meet your requirements. Further, brokers who are used to working with a multitude of companies in various industries may be aware of features, amenities, setups, etc. that provide companies like yours a competitive advantage.
Location, Location, Location
When you move into a new office, you’re also moving into the neighborhood, which adds another layer to your office search. Do you need your office to be located close to certain vendors? Or perhaps within walking distance of public transit? And what about zoning considerations? What if you accidentally enter into a long-term lease in an area not zoned for your type of business? Again, there are resources that could help you answer these questions, but finding those answers takes time and then if they turn out to be confusing (like zoning laws can be), then you’ll end up having to loop in a paid professional just to help with that one question.
Negotiate Like A Pro
If you’re accustomed to negotiating deals, then you know the power of understanding the full picture. When you know the full picture, you are better equipped to know when to push a bit further or when to stop and accept a deal since you better understand what terms are negotiable and which are standard. Brokers have handled countless negotiations and they understand office leases and terms. With the help of an experienced broker, you are more likely to tip negotiations in your favor with added benefits like lower rents or higher tenant improvement allowances. You’re also more likely to avoid problems since your broker will understand your needs and plans for the space and will be better equipped to weed out and negotiate the terms that are in conflict with those plans.
The one thing a broker cannot do for you is choose which of the available options to go with. Selecting from a list of options can be difficult when they all meet your needs on paper, so touring remains an important step in the office search process, even when working with a broker. Considering a shared office environment? Download our free, printable tour worksheet to help track the features that matter most to you.
|Printable Tour Worksheet|