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Leasing 101: How to Lease Commercial Space

Your growing business is at the point where it’s time to find a brick-and-mortar location to call your own. Congratulations – you are ready for leasing commercial space!

The excitement and adrenaline rush of leasing a new space can sometimes make all other details seem insignificant. When it comes time to lease commercial space, we sometimes run into tenants who have regrets over their prior leasing decisions. I’m Claire Matten with Sterling Commercial Real Estate Advisors and I want to help you avoid those woes – so, here are some common oversights and ways to avoid them:

First, be realistic about size requirements. Clearly define how many staff will need a workspace, or how much space you need for clients or customers.

Second, communicate your intended use upfront. It’s wise to start lease negotiations off on the right foot by being transparent about your intended use for the space.

Coming in third, don’t pick a space based on cost. Sometimes cost does take the primary objective in your leasing decisions, also consider convenience for customers, the needs of your current or prospective employees, nearby public transportation, level of visibility, expansion capability, and other key factors and weigh them against price.

Fourth, read the fine print in your lease. It’s important to thoroughly review a lease agreement and get clarification on any unclear items before proceeding. We always recommend hiring a qualified real estate attorney for lease review.

Finally, don’t rush your decision. Sometimes finding the right space can take upwards of 12 to 24 months. Many businesses who have specific space requirements start their search 9 – 12 months out of their target occupancy date. If you have more generic requirements, you may want to start looking around 6 months out.

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