Finding the right location for your company can be a challenge.
Whether this is your first time moving or you’ve relocated several times and are experienced and well prepared with organized documents, there are critical decisions that you will likely face in your site search.
We’ve worked with all types of companies of all shapes and sizes – including restaurants, start-ups and small businesses, as well as large manufacturing companies and many national and international corporations looking to take over an entire floor(s) of a class A office building.
No matter how big, small, simple or complex the site search may be, we find that many people have these three basic questions when they start to look for a new location:
- How Long Will It Take?
- How Much Will It Cost?
- What Should I Expect From My Broker?
The solution is found in working exclusively with a knowledgeable broker who will be able to help you develop realistic expectations in these three areas so there are no surprises during the search process.
How Long Will It Take?
The biggest misconception when it comes to timeline expectations is the idea that the perfect space will be found right away. Finding the right space that best meets all of your business needs isn’t easy as it sounds.
There is an entire process that the broker and the client must go through and discuss upfront, to ensure that the new location will meet all of your business needs, both financially and functionally. Depending on what is available in the current market and your exact criteria, this could take anywhere from a few weeks to at least a few months or longer.
A good broker will communicate this to you, both in your initial meeting and throughout the entire site selection process. They will inform you on what is available in the market and which properties will fit both your business needs and budget.
Although the broker should be communicating the timeline to you, you should also be aware there is a possibility that this will take longer than you anticipate.
This is why at Aspect Real Estate Partners we always recommend that our clients start this process earlier than they think they need to, so they will have ample time to review your options and complete the process without rushing. And we encourage clients to schedule an initial consultation and review of your current least at least 6-12 months prior to lease expiration.
How Much Will It Cost?
Economic expectations are another challenge we often see clients struggle with when planning for a new location. Whether dealing with their own finances or assessing the ups and downs of market availability, both situations can be frustrating for the client if they don’t have an open and transparent relationship with their broker.
A skilled broker should be communicating constantly regarding the status of the current market. The broker will know the client’s criteria for a space, and if the broker is experienced and has established a good working, long-standing relationship with the local real estate community, they should be able to provide a clear picture of what is currently available.
On the other hand, the client must be open and transparent as well regarding their own finances. This will help the broker provide the most accurate list of locations that fit their requirements.
Like many businesses considering working with a broker, you may be concerned about the cost of paying the brokerage commission for your new space. However, firms like Aspect Real Estate Partners offer the added value of not charging tenants a commission fee. The brokerage fee is covered entirely by the landlord, essentially saving you, the client, hundreds in brokerage fees.
You may not want to provide your highest rent number right away for fear that a broker will use it against you or try to receive a larger commission. This is why we cannot stress enough the importance of working with a reputable and trustworthy broker. You should use your initial meeting to get a clear picture of their business practices, communication style, and trustworthiness. It’s also recommended that you ask for references from the broker.
If you are working with a trustworthy broker, you will feel comfortable providing them with correct financial information, which will allow them to show you an accurate list of available properties that meet your needs without slowing down your timeline. With a trusted broker, this financial information remains confidential between the client, the broker and prospective new landlords.
What Should I Expect From My Broker?
Knowing the scope of work required from your broker is another important consideration. Your broker is one member of a team of people who will help you during the entire site selection process that includes:
- Finding a new location
- Reviewing and determining your budget
- Negotiating and confirming a lease agreement
- Reviewing and signing the lease agreement
- Tenant improvements along with any related permits
Your broker should make their duties clear from the beginning - they will assist you with outlining your criteria, locating spaces, and negotiating a lease agreement with the landlord. They can also provide expert market knowledge and offer advice regarding fair market value for rents and other lease terms.
Your broker should also be clear about what they can’t do. They should not be offering to help you review your finances, file for permits with the city, or provide construction or legal advice. If a broker is offering to do these things for you, they are most likely misrepresenting themselves and not creating clear expectations for their duties within the process.
An experienced broker will be clear and provide you with recommendations for who you can work with, to obtain legal financial or construction advice. With these recommendations, you can create the best team possible for your relocation and all that comes with it.
The best way to retain an exclusive representative broker and know exactly what to expect when finding your new commercial real estate location is to keep a clear line of constant communication with your broker throughout the entire process.
An effective broker will be in touch each step of the way and let you know if anything changes as to the timeline or the projected costs of your new location.
By keeping this line of communication open, you will not only develop a trusting relationship with your broker, but you will also be informed and prepared for the changes that will occur when trying to find a new location. The site selection process is organic and never the same from client to client.
However, with the right broker, open communication from start to finish and clear expectations, you can expect to have a smooth process for finding the best new business location, in the most efficient, timely and cost-effective manner.
At Aspect Real Estate Partners, we consider it an honor to partner with you in finding the right space for your business needs. Contact us today to learn more and begin the process establishing and securing the ideal space for your business.
Are you interested in learning more about the process of finding a new commercial real estate location? Take a look at our Buy vs. Lease calculator to see which is the right move for you: