Booking a tour brings you and your company one step closer to finding a new office space. Office space tours are much more than "window shopping". It's important to come prepared with the right tools and questions to get the most out of the time spent touring and discussing options with your advisor. In most office tours not only will your commercial real estate advisor meet you at the tour, but you'll also be meeting a representative of the space whether it be the landlord's broker, property manager, or landlord himself. Here are a few suggestions on how to plan and what to bring along to make sure you get the most out of your time spent touring.
A space plan involves a lot of information that can be beneficial for you and your advisor when touring through office space. An initial space plan may just be the current the layout of the space for a first tour, but a space plan can help you fit the space for the number of employees you are looking to accommodate, furniture, desk layout, and room requirements. "It's best to be sure your space plan fits your growth over the term of your future lease, plan for your growth structure" says Tad Wood, Nashville Principal. Sometimes a building may have amenities such a shared conference room, kitchen or common space that can allow for more efficient use of your leased space. This can save you money and provide flexibility if you need to re-purpose areas of your leased space.
It is important that whomever is involved in making the decision to lease office space be on the office space tour. Hopefully your commercial real estate advisor has helped you save time by narrowing down options ahead of time to eliminate wasted tours so that your decision makers can spend focused time touring the best spaces. At TenantBase, we use our technology to allow for our users to virtually tour space prior to a physical tour and to
easily share interior pictures and floor plans of the space to narrow down options more efficiently. However, once it is time to go look at space, collaboration among decision makers is important in movingforward with a lease. Often times many factors are clarified when walking through a space whether it's lease terms or building requirements and it's best for everyone to be on the same page. Even if tours need to be a big group the decision maker(s) on the tour is the best way to clarify all questions up front and move things along quickly and efficiently.
Price, Term, and Financials
Come knowing what your negotiation factors are and the numbers you are willing to work within. What is the longest term you are willing to commit to? What monthly budget is your company looking to work within? It's best to have a conversation with your advisor ahead of time on what is expected in the current market based on the location and condition of the property you are touring.
With that in mind, you can approach the space knowing what you can bring to the deal. Your company's financials also play a role in negotiations so it's best to talk about this up front. "Although two years of financials are not needed on the tour, it's good to start preparing your financials ahead of time should you see something you like and want to move quickly" says Lucius Carroll, Nashville Advisor.
Tours are a great opportunity to really try a space on for size - make the most of it by planning ahead to coordinate an ideal space plan, to bring along all the decision makers involved, and to prepare your numbers ahead of time! Our advisors are a great resource and are available to get in touch and answer questions you have throughout the touring process - feel free to schedule a time to talk here.