Now you know where you want your new office to be located, it is time to start your search for the ideal premises.
You likely have a checklist of must-haves, won’t-haves and nice-to-haves for your next business location. However finding a good looking, workable space that is the right size and price can be challenging. You also need to be aware of potential building issues which could result in surprise costs at your end.
Smooth out the experience and avoid the traps with these tips:
Talk to more than one real estate agent
Commercial real estate agents are always on the lookout for new building tenants and buyers. They know what is available and what is coming down the pipeline. Once they know what you are looking for, they will be able to give you advice on what will work best for your business.
Reach out to a few agents to see what their recommendations are. If you don’t know any agents, seek a referral from a friend or business contact.
Choose your building grade
Office structures are generally ranked from A grade to C grade. Usually the type of building you end up in will depend on your budget and the nature of your business.
An A grade building has the best of everything, including frontage, lifts, bathrooms and common areas. It will be recently built and will include stylish finishes inside and out. This kind of environment is ideal if your business supplies a premium service.
A B grade building will be older but refurbished with modern décor and features. When inspecting a B grade building, check what’s under the surface of the upgrade. New doors and fresh paint are all well and good but look for evidence of inadequate or faulty air conditioning, stained ceiling tiles from water leaks and substandard power and phone installations to name but a few.
Choose C grade and you’ll be working within a building at the lower end of the scale. This will work for you if you are providing a low-cost service or if your office is not customer facing.
Be aware of hidden traps
Don’t get caught out! When you move into a new building, you are required to apply for a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) or Construction Certificate (CC), there may be unforeseen consequences for those not in the game that will cost your business time and money.
Make sure you check the following: (Correct at November 2017, to check the latest rules and regulations, and they do change frequently contact us as they are subject to change without notice):
- If you are leasing a space of 500 square metres or more, you may be responsible for upgrades to access and egress, sanitary facilities, lights and ventilation.
- If you are a sole tenant or building owner you could be up for an access to premises upgrade that includes areas from the principal entry to the affected area of work.
- In certain circumstances as the as the sole tenant or building owner you may be required to install a lift to service upper floors.
Make your own checklist of what’s important to you
Size and price should be the first, but not the only things on your list.
A couple of other things to keep in mind include the following:
- Check to see if the switchboard has compliant RCDs (residual current devices). If it doesn’t, you may end up responsible for repairs / upgrades, even if you are only the tenant.
- Think about the security of the building and whether it is enough to protect your staff and equipment.
- Consider if the parking and accessibility via public transport is adequate for your team.
- Review common areas as well as offices and meeting rooms. You will be able to change the décor in your new office but if the foyer is ugly, you’re stuck with it.
- What is the condition of the building exterior?
- What is the shape of the building? Square or rectangular offices are easier to fit out, odd shapes can cause problems in the fit out stage.
- Does the building have the facilities you need (this could be shower, access to high speed internet, etc.).
To make things easy, contact us and request a copy of our Building Selection Checklist. This will help you make sure you have all bases covered.