Well, the right answer is call me! But since you’re probably going to want to try to do it yourself because you think you will save money, (and you won’t), here’s what I would do if I were you.
- How much space do you need? – Figure out how much space you need now, in 3 yrs, 5yrs etc. Don’t forget to add in space for circulation, loss factor and unpredicted growth.
- Where do you want to be? – Pick a target area to search. Consider why you want to be in that location, employees, vendors, clients and of course where do you live?
- Assemble the team – We need a good real estate lawyer! You probably need an architect, an engineer, construction consultants, information management consultants, communications experts, furniture people, a project manager, a move consultant, moving company and others. Remember this is a team effort with a lot of moving parts.
- What’s available? – Call me! oh sorry I forgot you want to do it yourself. Well, LoopNet, craigslist, google are all good online sources to find property. We have Costar, the commercial listing system we pay a lot for. Drive around the neighborhood, ask people, copy signs and interesting addresses. Of course if you don’t ask me you won’t know what’s coming available or the hidden space.
- What will it cost? – Evaluate the different deals. Remember the rent is the least important number in the cost of the deal. Look at Loss Factors (allocations for common space), Electric, Escalations, Common Area Maintenance and all Additional Rent charges. Those are only the most apparent costs. There are lots of hidden fees in leases as well.
- Negotiate the best deal – The art of negotiation, at least Mr. Trump had the title right. Create a negotiation that insures that you get the best deal. Make sure you do your homework, use middle men and play one against the other and close it before you lose it.
- Move in – The End Game, give yourself plenty of time, expect minor issues and hire experienced experts to help. Overlap your lease by at least a couple of weeks and expect to have a “punch list” (things that need to be fixed, changed or added after you move in.
Sounds simple right? Well it’s not! Call me if you need some more advice!