When it comes time for a businesses to lease office space in Austin some will try to locate and secure space by themselves.
Many decision makers may wonder why they need help especially if hiring someone would cost extra money.
However those that have experience in renting and purchasing office space in Austin know that locating and securing that dream space is harder than it looks. Some decision-makers who did lease their Austin office space on their own the first time learned some costly mistakes and opted to engage a buyer or tenant representative for their next relocation.
Savvy business owners know that commercial real estate commissions are baked into the overall purchase price or lease amount (which are paid by the landlord or seller) so their is no additional expense to have representation. More times than not a good agent can save a business countless hours of time, thousands of dollars, and help them avoid unnecessary risk.
Below are 4 possible challenges that can come up if you choose to find & secure Austin office space without help:
1.Time commitment is longer than you thought
Finding the best available office spaces in Austin in your desired area will take a lot of time, especially calling all of the landlords and listing agents and arranging tours.
More than likely you will need to visit the spaces during business hours.
You also need to know exactly how many sf you need and the difference between usable (USF) and rentable square footage (RSF). Least too much space you end up with a lot of wasted space and high monthly rent. Lease too little space and you end up having to relocate sooner than later.
Not having prior knowledge about Austin office buildings you are certain to waste a lot of time looking at spaces that are too small or too large.
Be ready to spend much more of your time than expected to find available office space in Austin that meets your needs.
2. Potentially missing out on available spaces
Sometimes the best spaces are only founds months before they are put on the market. For example say an existing tenant has an office lease expiring in 12-18 months. It might be the perfect space for you however you may not know that will be available, however a commercial broker with a pulse on the market will know about these kind of upcoming vacancies way before they hit the market.
Also, many commercial agents have access to digital databases of available space such as Xceligent, Costar, and LoopNet, which list Austin office spaces available for rent or sale. It similar to the MLS, however it is not free. Broker have to pay 100's of dollars per month to have access.
3. More complicated than you think
Leasing Austin office space is nothing like leasing an apartment or a car or buying a house. Many other factors have to be negotiated such as parking spaces and costs, early lease cancelation clauses, tenant improvement (TI) allowances, determining base year, caps on expenses, etc. And if your are buying an Austin office you have to ensure you are zoned correctly and consider other things such as negotiating due diligence timeframe, etc.
Even if you do not have a buyers rep or tenant representative watching out for your best interests you can bet 100% of the time you will be negotiating with an office building owner that does have an agent on their side. And their broker will be providing them with critical market information used to negotiate against you.
What will you do if the tenant improvement allowance (TI) offered does not cover all the improvements you need?
What if the landlord requires that you use their contractor however the costs are higher than your TI allowance will cover?
What if it's critical that you be moved in by a certain date however your space is not ready?
If/When you determine that you want to find Austin office space by your self, keep in mind that you will be dealing with very educated landlords and listing agents. If things don't go as expected or as promised, you will have to deal with these things on your own.
Without the right experience, tools, and market knowledge to negotiate against them you might be at a huge disadvantage.
Regardless of all the potential challenges and time needed to secure office space in Austin, many decision makers still try to do it on their own. Some will be successful. Others will have a bad experience and end up paying much more than expected, are not happy, and can't wait until their lease expires. Still other business owners take on the challenge themselves for a while then realize they are in over their head and then engage a tenant representative.
You need to determine what is right for your company. If you end up getting confused or feeling like your in over your head don't hesitate to contact an Austin commercial real estate agent for help. I'm sure they will get you back on track!