Looking for office space in Manhattan can be an overwhelming process. There are many different locations, and it’s important to you that your business chooses the right one. A lot of variables come into play, so being prepared to ask the right questions is vital.
Here at Madison Square Portfolio, we put together a list of the 11 key questions that businesses should ask themselves before deciding on a commercial office space.
1. How Much Space Do I Need?
Usually the first step in looking for a commercial office space is to determine the ideal size that your business needs. You don’t want to be paying for an office space that is too big and doesn’t get used. But at the same time, you don’t want to choose an office space that doesn’t fit all of your employees.
A good tool to use to calculate the office that would work for the number of employees you have is The Square Foot. The company has a tool that you can use to find office space in NYC that fits all of your employees. You can access it here: Office Space Calculator
2. Where Do My Customers & Employees Live?
Another important consideration is to find an office space that is not too far from your customers and employees, especially if you’re relocating.
If you’re looking for office space in a new location, you don’t want to relocate too far for employees to make the commute. Having a conversation with your employees about a new location might be the best route to take to ensure that you keep your employees around.
3. What Location Provides the Easiest Transportation?
In NYC, transportation means a lot. If several employees live outside NYC, you may want to look for office space that can act as a middle ground. This may mean finding an office space that is closer to Penn Station or Grand Central.
4. Where are Your Competitors Located?
Take a second to consider your competitors.
Some businesses, such as retailers, will benefit from being close to competitors. Conversely, it may be more beneficial for a creative marketing agency to be slightly further away from any of its direct competitors.
5. Should I Find an Office Space with Room to Grow?
If you’re planning to expand your company and take on more employees, you may want to consider looking for office space that’s large enough for any new employees you hire. Either that or finding a location with available offices to expand into.
6. Will the Office Space Support My Brand?
Many companies end up hiring interior designers, but finding an office space that already meets your company’s needs is much more cost efficient. While it may not seem like a key question to some people, having an office that is tailored to your business’ needs helps portray your company’s message.
- -Open Office or Individual Rooms
- -Furniture and Flooring
Not sure where to start? Catch up on some of the basics of office branding.
7. Does the Office Space Support My Technology Needs?
Make sure that the commercial property you decide on has the networking options that your company needs. Although most companies do provide several options, not considering your company’s technology needs could be a costly mistake.
8. What is Included in My Rent/Lease?
A commercial lease can vary. When you finally sign off, make sure you’ve done your homework. Preparing ahead of time means having a thorough understanding of what is included or missing from the lease, the lease terms and legalities.
9. Are There Hidden Costs I’m Not Considering?
A commercial lease should be transparent and clearly define the responsibilities of both parties, as well as specific terms. But, sometimes not every cost is covered. If you’re worried about hidden office space costs, 42 floors wrote an article covering the hidden costs that you should prepare for. Below are the most common hidden costs.
Potential Hidden Costs:
- -Common Area Maintenance (CAM) Fees
- -Property Taxes
- -Utilities (water, electric, trash, and phone & internet service)
- -Liability Insurance
10. Is the Property Owner Trustworthy?
Following up on hidden costs, you want a property owner that has credibility within the commercial real estate industry and isn’t going to hide things from you.
11. What are the Benefits & Amenities of Each Location?
Before you weigh the different choices, make sure you understand the benefits of each location. What are the amenities of the location you’re looking at in Manhattan compared to the location in Brooklyn. Does the building have interesting local attractions?
Why Consult a Broker When Looking for Office Space?
Real estate brokers have your best interest in mind. If you’re not sure what potential locations will suit your business or you need advice on how you should handle a certain aspect of the real estate process, consulting a broker will solve those issues.
They work with you during the leasing process to make sure the agreement includes the right information and they help secure you the best possible deal.