In this article, we continue the series based on our free resource 12 Step Guide to Lease Office Space that breaks down the primary activities and the general time it takes to accomplish them.
Step 3 of 12: Market Research, Preliminary Review, and Property Tours
Once your overall needs are assessed as covered in the previous article for step 2, it’s time to perform the market research, do the preliminary review and tour options that meet your office requirements.
The Market Research and Preliminary Review is a critical step to finding the right space. This process is a combination of art and science, knowing not only what to look for but also what to discard. This is where having an experienced broker saves you so much time, points you in the right direction and finds spaces that you couldn’t/wouldn’t find via public internet sites. Yes, you can search on these public sites, but since they often charge for their listing service, not all landlords will choose to put their spaces on all the sites. Plus these public sites often don’t provide enough key search criteria, so you end up with alternates that don’t really work for you.
How do experienced brokers find the right spaces? They use 3 main methods:
- Search the most reliable data base in their market which is usually a private subscription only data base.
- Directly contacting Landlord brokers via calls and emails with the specific requirements (requires continually maintaining this broker contact list).
- Using their firsthand knowledge of buildings, spaces, Landlord’s and brokers.
After the research and review is done and the best alternatives selected, Property Tours will be arranged over 1-to-2 days, visiting 5 or 6 options. Again, a good broker will save you time here. No need to tour spaces that will not work. Touring too many options is often a rookie mistake. Certainly, if the first 5-6 aren’t attractive, additional spaces can be added using the knowledge gained from these tours. After the tours, the list is usually narrowed to the top contenders.
Doing the appropriate research and review along with scheduling tours on your own is possible but is time consuming, frustrating and is likely that you miss good options. Working with the right Broker will accelerate the process eliminating dead ends and wasted time, with better results. With the top contenders determined, it is time to move on to the next step, Proposals!