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Avoid Stress While You Find Office Space in the City

The office market is very tight in metropolitan areas, thanks in part to the dominance of the millennial generation in the workforce. These workers are partial to working in urban centers, close to city amenities like dining, culture, and entertainment. The demand for space is driving up rents and driving down vacancies, and while construction is very active in many cities, inventory is generally not meeting demand.

Stepping into this market in search of appropriate office space can be daunting. The process can be extremely time-consuming; in New York it routinely takes 6-9 months to find and secure new space. The search can literally be a full-time job.

An important step in beginning the search is to be aware of the different sources for information on office space in your city. Don’t forget that most ancient of networks: Word of Mouth.  Spread the word among your contacts, clients, friends, and family that you’re looking for suitable office space. Insert the info in your email signature. Let everyone know.

As in nearly any undertaking these days, the Internet is your friend here.  If you’re really into DIY, you can start with sites like Craigslist and area newspapers. This may give you access to some great bargains, but you should also be prepared for dead ends, out of date information, and false advertising. Spending the day following up on an ad only to find that the “bright and airy” rooms at a listing have windows that won’t close can crush your soul.

Knowing that a listing is legit saves a lot of time, so access to a more curated selection of listings can be helpful. Online listing platforms abound, they’ve made it easier than ever to view and browse office space online. Be aware that you may not see all of the properties available to you on these sites, so the help of a broker is always recommended.

The services of a commercial broker are a huge advantage in sifting through hundreds of listings, and a broker can also lend her/his expertise to advise on trends in the marketplace and identify ideal neighborhoods that you may not have considered. Further, the broker will know details on zoning as well as development plans for an area that may affect the property’s suitability. They have access to proprietary reports and may have access the deals that the general public does not.

In many cases, finding the right property, difficult though it may be, is the simplest part of the whole process. Once the property’s identified, the tricky bits –negotiations, inspections, and all associated paperwork come into play. This is not for the faint of heart, or the uninitiated. Commercial leases are much more complex than anything in the residential realm, and knowledge of related regulations and practices is essential.

You see where this discussion is going. Finding office space in the city could be synonymous with stress, were it not for professional help. It’s a big step, and unless you’re an expert, making it on your own is a recipe for aggravation at best, and serious setbacks at worst. The least stressful approach to this task is the same as any other: consult professionals who do this every day.