The market for commercial office space is sometimes frustrating, always dynamic, and can shift with a stiff breeze. When trying to navigate the crowded, complicated waters on their own, organizations can quickly feel like their swimming against the tides – always a day late on the perfect space, an amenity short of ideal, perpetually stalled in negotiations.
In other words, such a twisting and turning marketplace can be demanding and stressful for a company trying to find office space that isn't just suitable but, more importantly, provides an organization the solid footing needed for future growth and prosperity. Thankfully, businesses don't have to go it alone and can rely on a trusted partner to help them reach their office-based aspirations.
We always recommend working with a commercial real estate broker, so that a company can rely on true expertise and knowledge of the local commercial office space market to eliminate frustration and wasted time. With technology entering the commercial real estate brokerage industry with platforms such as TenantBase, gone are the days of driving around commercial devlopments, calling numbers on random lease signs but never getting a response, and repeating the process for far too long to ultimately feeling like you were not able to truly access the available space in the market.
On our platform we work to present businesses with buildings with availability that match your specific criteria and, along the way, steer you clear of common pitfalls that would otherwise prevent you from finding the best space possible. With more market information and context you will avoid buildings with uncommonly difficult landlords and imbalanced lease contracts while also saving valuable time otherwise wasted by touring ill-fitting space.
TenantBase Understands Office Space Pain Points
Of course, TenantBase isn't just your trusted partner for your office space needs but a company with employees, clients, and office space requirements of its own. To that point, we thought it would only be fitting to detail some of our own office space pain points to provide context to our advice and the specific needs that led us to make the moves in the first place.
As you'll see, although each of the offices was functional, specific pain points in each of them began to cause issues that, in some cases, negatively impacted overall operations and efficiency. Sometimes it was just a matter of a stale atmosphere that didn't align well with our company image, while other issues were more structural and systemic in nature. When inordinately long walks from the parking structure to our office or even cumbersome parking validations began to deter on-site meetings with our clients and affect essential office functions, a change was well in order.
If there's one lesson to learn from these examples, it's that you're not alone in your office space frustrations and certainly not helpless in avoiding them in the future.
In our Nashville office, the parking situation had a noticeable effect on our business, most notably our employees who are the very people every company needs to keep happy in the first place. Our brokers were impacted especially hard by the parking situation since they are in and out of the office all day for office space tours.
These types of situations can significantly affect an organization by making it so frustrating to come into the office, both current and potential clients will opt to stay away from the office and save themselves the frustration. In our case, this severely disrupted the free-flowing, dynamic nature of the TenantBase local brokerage operation which is fueled by collaboration and transparency.
TenantBase's Orange County offices were in a high-rise tower with an overall environment that, while very nice and high end, to us it felt very stuffy, stifling, and wasn't conducive to our quick and flexible atmosphere. In fact, the office space became so ill-fitted for our needs, many employees began to arrive late and leave early – obviously a problem for any service-based company.
The physical space itself was also not conducive for collaboration, long and rectangular in shape and impossible to fully utilize due to its layout. Coupled with the old-fashioned, traditional corporate feel that worked against the image we were seeking, our Orange County team was very much in need of new space.
When it came time to finally find a new home for our Orange County office, we began our search by analyzing and accepting the pain points that caused so much frustration in the old office, making absolute certain future options did not share those same issues. While it would have been nice to have found new space with amenities like on-site food options, a gym, or a woodsy atrium, we prioritized the need to have a ground-floor, open space that provided free surface parking and ample windows for natural light and open airflow.
By making just a few small concessions with our preferred amenities, we were able to find new office space that was a much better fit for our overall needs – a notion much more important to us than an on-site salad bar or rows of treadmills.
The pain points over our Los Angeles space are an ongoing issue that provide a convenient case study in the importance of being both flexible and forward-looking with your approach to your choice in office space. Initially, we opted for a short-term, one year lease in an office originally designed for a small core of our corporate team members and engineers, primarily due to its inviting, creative atmosphere. We felt that this space would work very well with our overall company ethos, particularly in Los Angeles where creativity is often demanded and not just desired.
However, as a perfect example of a good problem to have, our LA team grew much faster than expected. Our rapidly expanding team wanted to maintain their cohesive, highly communicative approach by continuing to work together. However, this rapid influx of additional team members – as well as their desire to adhere to an open environment that had already worked so well for them – created issues since the space was designed explicitly with engineers, and not sales people, in mind. As they quickly found out, what might have been suitable at move in rapidly became inefficient, inflexible, and uncooperative to their needs.
In this case, our LA office is doing their best to make a short-term solution – one they almost immediately outgrew – work for them in a way that's quite different than they originally intended. While it's impossible to know with any degree of certainty what the future has in store for your organization and its evolving needs, our Los Angeles office is a good example of always needing to take future needs into account when choosing new space. A little bit of foresight can go a long way in preventing issues from ever appearing in the first place.
Set Your Company Up For Success
As seen in our own office space trials and tribulations, every company is susceptible to pain points that could ultimately impact business operations and efficiency. To make the most of your search for new space and set your organization up for both current and future success, a handful of best practices can significantly reduce the pain points you might experience in your company's next home.
- Make sure the space is conducive for your business, offers seating in line with your preferences, and if there is not ample parking, ensure it has convenient commuting options for employees as well as on-site meetings with clients.
- While amenities like on-site dining options, workout space, and access to a natural setting can significantly improve employee satisfaction and productivity, be sure to prioritize your most pressing needs and separate those needs from mere wants during your search.
- Don't let the numbers blind you from the bigger picture. Focusing too much on things like cost per square foot could very well allow other problems to escape your attention, potentially creating costly or even unsolvable issues down the road. Never conduct an office space search with blinders on.
- Although your next office space in no way needs to be your company's forever home, it should sufficiently meet your needs for at least two years. Moving more frequently than once every couple of years slows operations and wastes resources better invested elsewhere.
- Don't pigeonhole yourself into space that has the same pain points that you're trying to escape. Your search must have access to the entire market to see what's available to avoid choosing a new space just because it's the closest you could find to satisfying your requirements. Such an approach could ultimately be detrimental to your entire organization.
TenantBase Is Here to Help
As our own office pain point examples demonstrate, every company is susceptible to the negative effects of ill-fitting office space. However, that in no way implies that finding the best possible space for your specific needs is left to the hands of fate. In fact, simply looking at multiple options during your search can significantly improve your chances of finding a new space that your entire team will appreciate and organization will thrive within.
Rather than wasting valuable time by meandering through random office complexes on your own, possibly finding space that you instantly grow infatuated with but soon learn is a poor fit, work with an expert in the local market that will save you that valuable time and countless headaches. A TenantBase broker lets you make a fully informed decision, telling you when there's nothing similar or even better in your target area, or if a particular space is going to meet all of your needs in the long-term.
Likewise, a skilled and knowledgeable expert in the local commercial office space market can instantly tell you if a landlord is reasonable in lease negotiations or if the novel-length lease they sent you is in line with current market standards. Without such insight, your entire company is exposed to potential unexpected expenses down the road and, perhaps even worse, in need of yet another office move far sooner than you would like.
A TenantBase broker allows you to make an efficient and successful detour around these types of hazards, continually looking out for you and your company's best interests. An expert in the field with a deep and thorough understanding of your local commercial office space market could very well be the difference between the frustrating status quo and a bright, profitable future.