As many have read Austin, Tx is hot! Job growth is strong, businesses in many industries appear to be thriving, and according to Census data we have over 100 people moving to the Austin metro area every day. What that means is that finding office space to lease in Austin is getting harder and harder. Office space is getting leased up so quickly that most of the information that you see on the internet is outdated and inaccurate.
How do you find office space in Austin, Tx?
- Third party websites – There are many websites that have data bases of available office space listings such as loopnet, costar, and xceligent. LoopNet seems to be the most user/consumer friendly. While these sites are a good starting point their data is not always 100% accurate so it’s important that you call the person listing the available office space and ask all the right questions! Craigslist is also a good place to find subleases and short term office space.
- Hire a Tenant Representative – You could also engage the services of a Tenant Representative who specializes in office space. An experienced commercial agent knows the market and the office leasing process and can help you find and lease a space that meets your ideal location, budget, and layout. A commission is being paid by the landlord regardless if you hire a tenant rep or not so you might as well put some of those dollars to work for you.
- Tips for Startups – If you are a startup and need a short term office lease I would suggest checking out some of the co-working spaces in Austin. An executive suite is also an option however if you are on a budget that might not be the right move as those get a little pricey, however they do offer the flexibility of leasing month to month. You could also check out Craigslist, which is where many existing companies have excess office space available for sublease…….typically at a lower rate than Austin office market lease rates.
- Ask Around – I’m sure you network a lot so ask your business associates, clients, partners, etc questions about their office space. If you are in the startup community there are plenty of people who have gone through the process.
- Start the process early – Available inventory is low right now so if you are a smaller company that needs up to 5,000 sf start the process at least 6-8 months before you need space or before your existing lease expires. If you are a larger company that needs over 5,000 sf start the process 6-12 months before you need it. These timeframes are different for each company and it really depends on your ideal size, tenant improvements needed, existing condition of the spaces you are interested in, and the current office space market conditions. If you currently lease space READ your existing lease and make sure you know when your existing lease expires and what the process is for renewing if that is an option for you.
- Drive Around – It’s important that you get to know the Austin market (traffic flows, neighborhoods, amenities, etc..) so you can pick a location that you and your employees will enjoy. It’s a good idea to drive your favorite locations at different times during the day so you can get a feel for what the traffic will be like.
- Be Prepared – Again, office space inventory is moving quickly in Austin so you want to make sure you are prepared to move quickly if you find your ideal space. Have your financials in order and be prepared to share them with landlords when asked. Don’t delay. If you want that space be ready to make decisions quickly. Too much analysis paralysis and you will potentially lose our favorite location.
- Ask Landlord Lots of Questions – They don’t always offer up ALL the information you need to make a good decision so ask landlords lots of questions. More questions here. Additionally online listings don’t communicate all that you need to know. Sometimes they miss a few KEY bits of information like……….What are all the costs you will be responsible for!