March 23, 2021 4 minute read

Everything you need to know about leasing an office

Are you ready to level-up your business? If so, that might mean you need a new office space that your business can call home. Leasing an office for a business is a very different process from leasing an apartment. Luckily, our commercial real estate experts have created a first timer’s guide to leasing office space. With this guide and an experienced Senné Associate by your side, your business will be set up for success.

Preparation Is Everything 

The first step of finding an office for your business is taking a long hard look at your business plan. And that means everything. From your finances to your plan for growth, you need to take a close look at every facet of your business and think about leasing an office as a holistic decision.

Before you approach a commercial broker, you should have in mind what your business is able and willing to spend on an office space. You should also be prepared with a growth plan for the number of years you plan to spend in that office. If your business is going through a hiring surge in the next year or two, you don’t want to lease an office that your business will outgrow. 

Another consideration to make is your ideal workplace culture. Do you want an open office space? Do your employees need closed offices? Maybe you need a little bit of both. You should also consider your employee’s lifestyle needs. Will your employees prefer to be downtown near city amenities or would they prefer to be on the outskirts of the city? If your employees are driving into work, you’ll want to consider how much parking your team will need. 

No detail is too minute. Your office is your company’s home and just as with residential real estate, you’ll want it to fit all your lifestyle and budgetary needs. 

Budget Time Accordingly 

Leasing an office isn’t like renting an apartment. Unfortunately, the process is more involved and takes up more time than first-timer’s typically expect. Finding an office space generally takes upwards of four to six months. 

Typically, businesses sign leases for an office space for either three, five, seven, or ten year contracts. When you’re going to be in a space for that many years, you’ll want to make sure it’s the perfect space for your business. You’ll want to tour as many viable options as possible and you may even want to revisit locations multiple times to give yourself the ability to plan out how you would set up the office. Give yourself time to determine your ideal office floor plan and what changes or improvements you’ll want to make.

Time For Negotiation 

The main reason why leasing an office is a longer process is because of the negotiations. A lease for an office can be quite lengthy. We regularly see leases that are as long as 80 pages—much longer than your average apartment lease. 

There are so many factors up for negotiation in an office leasing deal. A broker and their legal team will take the time to go through every clause in the lease drafted by the landlord and their legal team. During this process, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your plans for the office. For instance, some leases include tenant improvement dollars, meaning a landlord gives tenants money to put towards making physical improvements to the space. It’s also not atypical for negotiations to include an offer for a few months of free rent, provided the company has a good credit history and is signing a longer lease agreement. Other things up for discussion in the negotiation process include whether the existing furniture stays or not. 

There’s no standardized template for an office lease. In the world of commercial real estate, every deal is truly unique and up for customization by the landlord and tenant. 

Over-Communicate With Your Broker  

Think of your commercial broker as the real estate arm of your company. A good commercial broker is looking out for your business’s bottom line just as much as an actual employee. At Senné, we don’t see ourselves as an outside party, we’re invested in your success. 

That being said, you should also treat your broker as a company insider. The more insight you can give into your company’s finances, growth plans, and lifestyle needs, the better a broker can help you through the process and ultimately find the best space for your business.

At Senné, our Commercial Associates are experts in the Boston commercial market. We know what opportunities are out there and how to get your company a good deal. With over 6 million square feet of office space currently available in downtown Boston and 23 million square feet in the entire Greater Boston area, the options can seem overwhelming. But when you over-communicate with your Senné Associate about your needs, they can help you narrow down that field to viable options. Our Associates are dedicated to ensuring a safe experience for our clients when touring spaces. 

Is your business thinking of expanding into new office space? Give us a call at 617.314.9400 or contact David Anderson at [email protected]

Published: March 23, 2021


Sophia Pushkin

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