I've helped a lot of companies find and rent industrial space in Austin Tx and one of the biggest mistakes I see is that they don't start their search early enough. No matter how much I stress the importance of starting the process at least 6-12 months before their existing lease expires or before they need that expansion space too many people wait until the last minute to start the process of finding space.
I know every ones situation is different. It can be hard for a growing company to predict how much industrial or warehouse space will be needed 12, 24, or 36 months from now. You might be renting 20,000 sf of warehouse right now however at any moment you could sign on that ONE big client that will increase your space needs to 70,000 sf.
Talk About Your Industrial Space Rental Needs Often
Whether you are an a startup company leasing industrial space for the first time or a seasoned existing company t's really important that you discuss your industrial space rental needs often. Maybe consider incorporating the discussions into your quarterly company reviews. How is the space working for you now? Are your warehouse space rental rates in Austin too high? Do you plan on hiring new employees? Are any of your customers going to increase the need to rent more warehouse space? Are you expecting to sign a big client soon that will require you to have more warehouse space?
Why is it Important to Always Be Evaluating Your Industrial Space Needs?
Depending on your market there might be a shortage of warehouse space available. Markets change quickly. A year ago I had a client that needed to lease 20,000 sf of warehouse space in Southeast Austin. At that time there were only 2 options in the entire market and they had multiple offers. We had to fight for that space and had to pay a bit of a premium to rent. Had my client thought about engaging me 6 to 12 months prior to needing space I could have given them a market overview and told them that vacancy rates were very low, and recommended that they lease space sooner than later to ensure they have the space necessary for expansion. That would have saved them from having to pay a premium. 6 months later there was about 1,000,000 sf of brand new industrial space on the market, HOWEVER it was all in shell condition. What that means is if you needed expansion space in 30 days your only options would be 2nd generation space because building out brand new space takes about 3-4 months. In Austin, Tx it takes about 30 days just to get a permit to build. Then another 3-4 months to do the construction needed.
If you think you will need more space in 12-18 months and you know it's a tight market (not much available space) then it's a good idea to lock something in now. Otherwise you might find yourself in a jam.
Engage a Commercial Real Estate Agent Before You Need to Rent Industrial Space
In addition to reviewing your current state of industrial space each quarter consider engaging a commercial real estate agent that specializes in industrial and warehouse space at least 6-12 months BEFORE you need space. Have them come in and give you a market over view and share other warehouse rental tips. Is there a shortage of warehouse space? Is it a landlords market or a tenants market? How many SF of industrial space is available right now in your desired area? How many spaces are available with your desired square footage? If the market is tightening up then you might want to rent more space sooner than later, otherwise when you actually do need it won't be available.
Having a knowledgeable Austin commercial realtor on your team will ensure that you are kept updated at all times about market conditions.