Factors to Consider Before Leasing Office Space

Factors to Consider Before Leasing Office Space
Factors to Consider Before Leasing Office Space

As your company expands, so does your need for a larger office space that will be able to suit your growing needs.  It’s not quite as easy as just picking up and moving, however.  These factors will ensure that you will be happy where you land for a good chunk of time.

Prepare For Your Search

Before you begin the search for a new office space, make sure that you are fully prepared by reviewing the following information:

  • Do you have enough time? Starting the search for a new office space is not always a quick and easy process.  Realize that your needs are changing before you get close to the end of your current lease.  From starting your search to moving in, expect the total transition process to take about six months.
  • Know how much space you need. This may seem obvious, but a lot of potential renters see a space and instantly get the perfect vision of what it will look like, without considering some key factors to determine if it is large enough.  How much storage space will you need?  How many employees does your company currently have?  Do you expect this number to grow and, if so, at what projected rate?  On average, office space should include approximately 125 square feet per employee.
  • Know your budget. Given what you’ve learned about how much space you need, determine a workable budget.  Consider, not only the cost of the rental, but additional costs associated with CAM (common area maintenance), utilities, capital expenditures, et cetera.
  • Find a broker. In terms of creation, every property is different. Working with someone, well versed in the process of relocating, is integral to your search.  A seasoned broker will know what to look for, what to ask, and where there is room for negotiations.


Review Your Lease

You’ve followed all of the initial steps and you and your broker have found the perfect office space that meets all of your needs.  Congratulations, but before you make the big commitment, there are a few more steps you need to take.

  • Get clear on the space. If you think you can bypass reading the fine print, think again.  Once your initial lease is sent to you for review, make sure that you really understand what you are getting.  Are there certain common areas, hallways, entrances or exits that are excluded from your contract?
  • Know what costs are included. Glazing over this would cause you  a great disservice.  An office space lease does not always include the costs of maintenance, property taxes, or property insurance, among others.  Getting clear on where your financial obligation lies is imperative. This way, you don’t face large unexpected expenses down the line.
  • Look for damages.   Check air conditioners, heating units, and water heaters to assess the likelihood that they will need repairs.  Look for leaks or water damage throughout.  Just having a keen eye could save you big down the line.



Thankfully, you have taken the time to go through your office space lease with a broker and a fine tooth comb.  Now it’s time to come back to the property owner with any negotiations that you may want to suggest.  If there are certain terms that felt unclear or uncomfortable, this is the time to present them and see how you can come to a better agreement.  Consider the following factors when wiggling about how much room you require:

  • How long has the property been listed? A property that has been sitting vacant for some time is likely to have a more motivated landlord.
  • Consider the length of your lease. With office space rental, the longer the term of the lease, the more stability for the property owner.  If there are negotiations that need to be made, consider offering to increase the length of the lease in an effort to sway the owner to meet your needs.
  • Improvements and modifications. If it is obvious that you will need to invest some money making improvements to the space, get clear about where these belong once the lease is over.  If you have spent money on expensive lighting fixtures, for example, make sure that you can get these back.

Searching for Office Space In or Around Metropolitan Milwaukee?

At SVN/Hintz Commercial Real Estate, our team of dedicated real estate Advisors is here to help you to locate the perfect office space!  We are a leading commercial real estate brokerage firm in the Milwaukee area with an extensive array of properties we’d love to show you.  Check out our database today and contact us to get your search started!

No Comments