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Office Leasing in the Philippines - 10 Tips For Your Search

Leasing commercial space is not a simple process as it takes multiple tasks to complete and there will be a lot of parties involved. Aside from years of practice, it also takes local market knowledge and good relationships with the office landlords for commercial brokers to find the best locations at the best rates for their clients.

If you are tasked to lead your office lease acquisition, here are a few of our tips for your search:

1. Start it Right Away

To find the perfect business for your business, you will be presented with different options that are available in the market. To get information or even verify information, it will already take a lot of back and forth between your party and the landlords. There will also be a lot of viewings that will demand a lot of your time. Naturally, there will also be deliberation and board meetings that you need to think of. Therefore, companies are recommended to start exploring the market up to a year in advance of their desired lease commencement date.

Also, aside from the actual lease acquisition, you also need to plan the fit-out and construction of your office space.

2. Hire a Tenant Representative

To guide you with expertise, hiring a tenant representative to help you with your lease acquisition will not only give you ease when it comes to successfully doing your project but as well as give you recommendations on how to go about your tasks that will not only help your company find the best space but as also the best deal.

In the Philippines, getting a tenant representative is actually free as their fees will be paid by the landlords. This may sound like a conflict of interest but it's standard practice in the country. So don't hesitate if the company did not allocate any budget for this.

Tenant Representation is equivalent to our Office Acquisition Services. See here how we define this and what is our methodology.

3. Determine the Size You Need

A common mistake that we come across in our field is that companies end up leasing too much or not enough space. In determining the size that you need, you can consult with your tenant rep and they can easily help you out upon a quick discussion with your management and employees' representative or HR. Knowing the size that you really need will not only help you save money but will also save you the headache.
Companies who see future growth within the minimum lease term should consider asking the landlord for a right of first refusal clause or at least get a contract within an office building that still has ample space to support your growth.

4. Carefully Decide on Your Lease Term

The desired term of your lease should be evaluated carefully. This is a discussion that must be done amongst the different departments of your company. Your tenant rep should also guide you on what factors to consider when you decide on this.

In the Philippines, landlords will give you a preferential rate if you can commit to a longer lease term. Naturally, you want to bring down your costs but this also means a commitment. Not fulfilling your contract may result in heavy penalties and to add, a bad reputation for your company.

5. Work on your Wishlist & Non-Negotiables

While you are shortlisting prospective offices, consider doing categories such as "wishlist" and "non-negotiables" for your company. This can help you in scoring your options and eventually help you and your management with deliberation.

6. Consult With Management and Employees

To come up with your company's real estate requirement, it is important that you do this together with management and your employees' representative or HR. To have them specify each one's needs will give you a better insight into what your company as a whole needs.

7. Carefully Inspect Data and Telco Infrastructure

While different building amenities may have different importance to each tenant the importance of an office building having a good and stable internet connection comes first to all tenants. Connectivity to this day is a vital requirement for all kinds of occupiers. In the Philippines, a fiber connection infrastructure is highly recommended as well as having at least two providers in case of downtime. Aside from direct connectivity, it would be practical to check also the wifi signal within the office premises.

8. Building Features and Amenities

When touring buildings, look beyond the actual space you will be occupying. Explore other parts of the building such as the lobby, the number of elevators, parking slots, retail area, and other amenities that it provides its tenants. A very important thing as well to check is the security feature of the building. Remember, aside from rent, office buildings also charge common area dues. Thus, it only makes sense that you see where this will go.