The process of finding and leasing office space can take longer than you think if you don't have the right knowledge, tools, resources, and help. It can be complex however if you start early (at least 6-8 months before your existing office lease expires) you will have plenty of time to find and lease office space that meets your company's ideal location, monthly budget, and layout. Below are a few tips that will help guide you through the office leasing process.
Evaluate your company's office space needs
Proper office space planning will ensure that landlords compete for your tenancy. Think about the image you want your company to have. Do you want space that will help recruit and retain top talent? Do you want an open office layout or a lot of hardwall offices? How many employees do you have? What is your ideal location in Austin? Are you planning on growing? How many square feet do you need now and in the future?
Research the market for available office space options
You can look online for available listings online using loopnet or other services however those listing are not always accurate. You can also search via Craigslist if you are looking for small executive type spaces. The best way to ensure that you find all the office spaces that meet your needs is to get help from a local tenant representative. They typically do this day in and day out and are very resourceful in finding you the best space and save you a lot of time.
Go see the office spaces that meet your needs
Physically go take a look at each office property to see which ones are capable of meeting your current and future space needs. Make sure you ask the landlord these questions as you tour each property.
Have the landlords email you lease proposals
Have the landlords make the first offer. Get proposals from your top 2-3 office properties that address all your office space needs.
Review and compare each lease proposal side by side
In addition to the financial aspects of the space meeting your needs make sure you consider these other things before making a final decision.
Finalize your office lease
Thoroughly review each proposal, do a lease analysis and negotiate with each landlord for the best deal. Then select the best property based on your objective and subjective criteria. Hire a real estate attorney who can help you negotiate the final deal points of the lease agreement and ensure that you don't overlook any important lease clauses.