4 Things to Look for When Viewing Potential Office Space

When you start viewing office spaces for your business, make sure to keep these four important points in mind.

Phone conversations with the property owner, pictures, or even video can’t give you a true appreciation of the unit. You need to stand in the potential space to understand its size, smell, and feeling.

During your office search, there’s a good chance you’ll make the same mistake many small businesses make: You’ll overestimate your needs. (You might make some other mistakes too.)

Many people think an employee needs far more work space than they actually do. Once you stand inside a unit, however, you’ll probably say “Wow, this is more space than we need.” That’s not something you can learn from a photograph.

(Tenant Advisors has a handy calculator to help you discover how much space you need.)

But one viewing isn’t enough. You have to view multiple properties before you can confidently rent one. This is especially important for businesses who have never rented space in the past. There’s no way to know what’s available or what you want without touring around a bit.

A viewing can be an exciting moment for you. You’ll feel like your business is growing right before your eyes. Don’t become overwhelmed with excitement and forget to thoroughly investigate the potential space. Enjoy the hype in the car ride, but when you step into the unit, it’s time to focus.

As you view office environments, make sure to carefully consider these factors.

Make sure to bring our office viewing checklist with you to each walkthrough so you don’t forget anything!

1. Common Areas

office-space-common-areas

It’s important to consider hallways, walkways, patios, courtyards, rooftops, lobbies, and other common areas of a potential office. You can use them as a meter to determine how well the property owner cares for the individual units.

Are the common areas clean and free of clutter or debris? Are there any ongoing projects that look like they’ve been in-progress for a while? Are there any easy-to-fix blemishes (like scuffs or dents in the walls, worn carpeting, or broken fixtures) that haven’t been repaired?

The office environment may have shared spaces that are included in your rent as well. For instance, you might have rights to use the conference room on your floor, but so does everyone else. There’s likely a shared bathroom. In some cases, you might share a receptionist with several units. (He/she will answer your phones in your name and transfer calls accordingly.)

Make sure these spaces are appropriate for your business. For example, an accessible conference room may sound useful, but if your three-person team can easily meet within your unit, is it worth paying extra for the space?

What about the other units on the floor? If the conference room is shared between twenty businesses, how often will you get to use it? If there’s a reserve schedule for shared spaces, examine it briefly to see how often it’s used.

2. Infrastructure

office-space-infrastucture

The beauty of a turnkey space is that you can start working on the first day of your lease. The leases are simple, written in plain language, and the units often come with their own amenities.

Most businesses need a reliable Internet connection (and you’re probably one of them). Don’t be satisfied with the property owner’s opinion here. If a connection is important to you, ask the other tenants about it. If you really rely on your connection, ask a tenant if you can plug in for a few minutes and test your most taxing task.

Second, test your cellular service in the building. Even if you can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, you’ll still want the ability to make phone calls.

If having mail delivered is important to you, you’ll want to make sure the postal service delivers to the building. Or will you have to rent a PO Box across town?

3. Space

turnkey-office-space

Source: BAKOKO/Flickr

I don’t recommend stressing over the square footage of a potential unit. The exact footage is important if you have a lot of employees or bulky equipment, but if your business is just a few people and their computers you can get all the information you need by standing in the space.

Keep in mind that your business may grow. You don’t want to move in a year or have to break your lease because your team expanded suddenly. Think ahead: Will you be hiring more people soon? If so, does the unit make room for them?

Consider the acoustics. Is there a lot of ambient noise that would disrupt your work? Does sound echo within the unit? Can you hear traffic, other businesses, or machinery?

Finally, make sure you’re happy with the layout. Smaller turnkey spaces can have interesting layouts because a property owner is attempting to use every nook and cranny in his building (but most are laid out reasonably). Do you need an open plan or office separation? HubSpot has a great guide on determining the right layout for your team.

Don’t be afraid to consider the style of the unit. With a turnkey space, you don’t have a lot of leeway to customize the unit (plus wall art and new carpeting are unnecessary expenses for growing businesses). Do you enjoy sitting in it? Does it make you feel productive? Will you be comfortable bringing clients or customers in? Would you be proud to show pictures of your office on social media?

4. Location

office-location

It’s important to investigate the area before or after your viewing. Take a walk or drive around the neighborhood to get a feel for where you might be working.

What’s nearby? Are there places to eat lunch, or maybe a nice restaurant to take clients/customers? Everyone has basic needs, so check for a supermarket or convenience store if you need a stack of napkins or tin of coffee. Your employees would love it if their new office came with a nearby bank, pharmacy, post office, or dry cleaners.

Is the neighborhood trendy, casual, family, or business-orientated? Will the scene hurt or help your business in anyway? For instance, a disruptive startup would benefit from a trendy entrepreneur scene, but not from an old town center.

Is there any construction in the area? Look for crews breaking ground on big projects. You might prefer a quiet setting, but it won’t be if a mall or shopping center is built nearby. (If you’re especially concerned about this, big projects are pretty easy to look up online.)

Finally, check the commute situation. Is there enough space for your entire team (and future team)? If you rely on public transportation, is it adjacent to any hubs? If you plan to have clients or customers stop by, make sure directions to the location are easy to explain.

(Ideally you should have considered the length of the commute for you and your employees before you arranged the viewing. If you didn’t, track the time it takes to arrive at the property from your home. Don’t forget to take into account traffic conditions.)

Don’t miss anything by keeping our handy checklist nearby when you view potential office units.

Making a Decision

Try to make a calculating, objective decision, but don’t rent any space that doesn’t feel right. Tenants rarely learn to love their office space. If you aren’t happy with what you see at the viewing, you won’t be happy in a few months or a year.

That said, if you do like the unit you’ve viewed, don’t sit on the decision too long. Turnkey spaces are rarely held for tenants. The property owner will still show it to other people, even if you verbally express interest. Sign the paperwork and get back to growing your business.
If you’re ready to find your next office, start your search here.

Turnkey Office Space Brings a Personal Touch to the Workspace Industry

An NYC-based online search service that helps companies find great office space solutions for their business is now open.

Co-founder Jonathan Bachrach explains how Turnkey’s service will offer customized searches and dedicated consulting.

Looking for office space online leads to an assortment of search and consulting websites. Typically, these websites let people browse through properties by region, and then (depending on which properties the clients choose) put them in touch with the building managers.

“It’s all about user experience,” says Turnkey Office Space co-founder, Jonathan Bachrach. Jon knows the insides of this system because he worked for one of the largest office search and consulting companies in the world. “We wanted to start a company that offers something more personal and provides individuals and companies with workspace solutions that they would not have found otherwise. Starting a business is difficult enough, and every aspect matters. Our personalized approach allows people to focus on their businesses while we focus on their office search.

Bachrach also mentions that his company will provide you with everything the major search and consulting companies offer plus:

-A tailored, pre-qualified list of recommendations

-Price negotiation to help companies find the best values on the market

-Alerts for special deals

-In-depth knowledge of the industry

-Non-traditional office solutions

Turnkey Office Space works with all of the major workspace management companies in major cities throughout the US, but they are also focused on giving attention to the smaller markets and providers as well. “By having a solid understanding of the many different styles and types of office suite providers in each market, our personalized approach allows us to provide options that are tailored to a company’s specific needs. Our goal is to provide our clients with the right space, not the most popular one,” says Bachrach.

Turnkey Office Space is a countrywide search and consulting company for workspace. They specialize in office suites, virtual offices, and coworking spaces. Turnkey can be reached via their website https://www.turnkeyofficespace.com and by phone at 1-888-282-8555.

What to Look for in an Office

If you’re in the market for a new office, then you know how confusing the search can be.

Everybody wants to sell you on their property, and so everyone is going to claim that their office space is the best for you. The truth is that there are so many factors that go into a successful pairing of business and office space. At Turnkey, we know this all too well. It’s not our job to sell you on OUR office space – it’s our job to find you the best office space for your business.

We’re always here to chat with you about what offices might work for your company, but as a general rule, we consider the following three factors when trying to pair a business with the perfect workspace:

1. Location – Location must be taken into consideration when looking for office space even if the bulk of your business is online. If you happen to be in the e-commerce market then you can ease up on high-end locations, but you still need to consider entertaining partners, investors, and enticing potential employees.
There’s also civic pride to consider. Wherever you move to, understand that you are, by default, entering a community. Think of Google in San Francisco and Starbucks in Seattle. Cities and businesses can pair like wine and cheese – or not. So ask yourself where your business NEEDS to have its headquarters. What community do you want to be a part of?

2. Flexibility – Can you build out your office? Can you move easily? What happens when you need to employ more people than the maximum capacity? These are all questions of flexibility. Some traditional office spaces are very inflexible, and so when we’re trying to pair you with the right space we take the future of your company into account. Understand your lease options, as well as your ability to make modifications to the office space. Plan to grow.

3. Proper Amenities – It’s so important to make sure your office has the infrastructure in place for you to conduct your business effectively. Typically we recommend selecting office suites for businesses that need ready Wi-Fi, conference rooms, televisions, and high-speed Internet upon move-in. These services are not always available in traditional offices.

We’re always here to discuss what to look for in an office more specifically. Give us a call or select the Live Chat option. Happy searching!

The Number One Reason You Absolutely Positively Need an Office

The issue of whether an office is necessary in the 21st century has sparked a lot of debate and while many factors influence the decision, ultimately the best course of action is to get yourself an office. Now, here’s why…

In 2012, Bank of America changed its policy regarding working from home and required its employees to spend more time at the office. In 2013, a Yahoo! executive, Marissa Mayer, wrote an internal memo to the company. Within the memo was this sentence:

“Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

But these are industry giants. Does a startup company in the 21st century really need an office?

Prestige and trustworthiness definitely plays a role in the startup world. Nowadays, customers and clients get an impression of who you are as a company mostly through the Internet, but with the Internet comes boundless competition. Provided your web presence is the same as your competitor’s, why would someone choose your company if your competitor is in an executive suite on Madison Avenue?

Still, for the best reason, we go back to Yahoo! and Bank of America. It’s all about communication and interactions – and that doesn’t change whether you’re a small business or a giant. The New York Times reported that employees who work remotely have a more difficult time getting promoted. This may have to do with the fact that the interactions and happenstances you share with co-workers in an office are invaluable. Great ideas happen over lunch. If an office space is off the table, the next best thing to consider is a virtual office, which will allow you to build office-like relationships with your co-workers remotely.

Bottom line, don’t take the risk. Building a great business means building it right. Follow suit with the industry giants and get the team together in a space you’re proud of. You’ll be boosting collaboration, integration, and prestige.