Whether your current lease is ending soon, you’re expanding or you’re a first-time tenant, it’s important to know how far out you should start looking for office space for rent.
So, what’s the answer? The industry standard is that it typically takes 4 to 6 months; from the time you first start searching to the day you actually move in. If that feels long to you, know this isn’t a number randomly plucked from the sky.
There are a number of reasons that contribute to this time frame; finding a broker (if you plan to use one), finding the office space for rent that meets all your requirements, finalizing and signing a lease, and finishing any improvements or renovations.
Start Searching for Office Space For Rent 4 to 6 Months Out
Below we walk you through the steps of finding and leasing office space. After you read through it all we think it will become very clear why the process takes anywhere from 4 to 6 months.
Step 1: Find a Commercial Real Estate Broker
If you are searching for, or getting ready to search for, office space for rent, you shouldn’t be doing it alone. Why? While there are many reasons, the most important are that a broker is going to have access to all available listings in your area and they are skilled at lease negotiations. For more information on what a commercial Broker does, click here.
If you already know you want to hire a CRE Broker, finding the right one could take some time. Our best advice is to ask around, as referrals are the best indicator of quality work. If not you can hop on Google and look for someone there, but always reach out to your circle of influence first.
Step 2: Find the Ideal Office Space
We would normally say this is the longest part of the process, but search time depends two things: (1) how much preparation the tenant has done in defining their search parameters and (2) current local market conditions.
From determining budget to defining space needs to finding a location central to your employees, many parameters must first be defined before a tenant can technically “search” for office space for rent. Click here to further delve into this part of the process.
Current market condition in your city will also affect this phase of the process. Dependent upon national financial markets and lending conditions you could be facing a tight market with few listings or an open one with plenty to spare.The point is that you can’t always prepare for these factors, so starting as early as possible will always be the safest bet.Step 3: Make and Offer and Sign a Lease
Step 3: Lease Agreement
You’re halfway through the process. You have found the right broker, found the office space for rent and are ready to call it yours. The leasing process begins! Depending on the space and the owner, or owner representative, finalizing a lease agreement can take some time.
Before you get to sign on the dotted line a tenant must first make an offer, submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) and go through several rounds of lease negotiation. Even in standard, cut-and-dry deals you could be looking at several weeks before a lease is finalized. This is due to all parties involved (tenant, landlord/owner, brokers and lawyers) all pushing for their version of the lease.
Much like buying a home or a car, at any point in negotiations either party can choose to simply pull out, leaving you back at square one.
Step 4: Complete Any Build-Out
You’ve found the Broker, found the space, signed the lease and are ready to move in…right? Maybe. Dependent upon the condition of the office space for rent, you may need to perform certain renovations to make it work for your business needs. Called “build-outs”, these construction projects could take up to two-months for standard sized projects or more for large-scale renovations.
As with any construction project, delays are often inevitable. This is why six months out is a safe window for searching for office space for rent.
Ensuring Your Interests are Covered
No matter how long the process takes, the most important part of securing office space is ensuring that your current, and future, interests are covered. The only way to truly do this is by working with a licensed and experienced commercial real estate professional
We may sound biased by saying that, but the truth is, unless you are in the CRE business, a CRE broker is the only person who can ensure you have dotted all your I’s and crossed all your T’s. Since they have vast market experience in office space lease negotiations, industry standards and regulatory information they will know what to look out for.
If you are looking for office space in Hattiesburg or surrounding areas contact us today. We would love to get you into that perfect office space for your business needs.