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.
9. Support Services and Accessibility Matters
Aside from checking the inside of the office building, do check the neighborhood or the area as well. Accessibility is very important to your employees, most especially in the Philippines where there is a lack of public transportation. Being near a terminal hub is very ideal so that you won't have problems in the future with employees finding it hard to go to work.
Also, support services such as hospitals, supermarkets, convenience stores, and a healthy mix of food options should ideally be present within a 2 km radius of your chosen office.
An example of a good office building with good accessibility is SM Mega Tower. See our Property Highlight article to know how this office building captures both accessibility and support service for its occupiers.
10. Get to Know the Landlord and Property Manager
Your leasing experience can quickly turn into a nightmare by an unprofessional landlord or property manager. Therefore, it is equally important to evaluate the professionals behind the building, not just the building itself. Talking to the other building tenants and reviewing the company’s online presence and reputation are two of the best ways to run an informal “background check” on your landlord and property manager. You can also simply ask your tenant rep--who with his/her year of practice should already know the reputation of each landlord and property manager in the market.
Office Pro Philippines is a Corporate Real Estate Consultancy and Service Solutions firm that is focused on the OFFICE SPACE.
We are the only OFFICE SPACE-FOCUSED real estate in the Philippines with more than 10 years of practice from our consultants.
Our core services include office consultancy, office lease acquisition, office construction management, and office facilities management.
To know more of our services, you can send us an inquiry through the button below.
If you like this content please share or hit the ♡ button to help our company’s brand awareness.
Please consider subscribing too if you want more corporate real estate content.
And to make this content even better, perhaps you can comment if you have ideas to add with regards to the topic.