Much like in several other industries, experience shows us that summer is a slow time for commercial real estate leasing. Many executives who would normally view and approve properties for relocation are often on summer vacations, or are working hard to keep up with their busy summer lives. Those with kids know that summers revolve around summer camps, trips, 100-degree weather, and of course, having fun.
However, if you can stand the heat and delaying your vacation for just one week, summer is a good time to find and lease your commercial space. Most landlords are ready to make deals in summer to keep up the momentum. To save you time, we’ve compiled five tips for planning your summer search for the perfect commercial space.
Create a “hotlist.”
Leading up to the summer, check out the office buildings with available space in your desired locations whenever time allows. Even if you can’t do a site tour, ask the landlord or broker about all the details you need to know before making a decision: Price, square footage, utilities, build-out options, the legalities of the lease agreement, etc.
This will help you narrow your options to a handful of your favorite spaces before having limited time to make a decision and sign a lease. Inquire about a few different units in each building (or from each landlord if looking at smaller spaces) in the event any of them are leased before summer.
Know your budget.
This may seem like common sense, but it can come in handy when negotiating a deal with a landlord. You should know all potential recurring costs of leasing space, such as maintenance and utilities, before going into negotiations. Know the amount you would usually be willing to pay for a specific space, than offer XX% lower. The lessor is likely to counter-offer, but you’ll probably still pay less than your original budgeted amount.
Look for motivated sellers/lessors.
Do your homework and find out which buildings seem to have a particularly high vacancy rate. First, try to learn the cause: A slow market, the season, the location, something wrong with the building. If not the latter, target those properties as they will be the hungriest for new tenants and the most willing to cut a deal. Ask current tenants about the cause, or someone else you know who is hunting. You’ll be surprised how willing people can be to help others.
Get in early.
You’ll also find motivated lessors in new office buildings, particularly in the summer. New developments want to fill up fast. Be one of the first to sign a lease and do your best to lock in a lower price for as long as possible. Consider negotiating a longer term contract to do so.
Think outside the cube.
You may find the perfect space to represent your company in the most surprising listing. Don’t be afraid to check out something different from the typical office park or high-rise. Look at retail space, art studios, galleries, or warehouses. Use your imagination and keep an open mind. You may be surprised at where you find the perfect workplace for you and your team.
Bonus: Build a network, or better yet, piggyback on someone else’s.
Among Pridgen Realty’s core strengths is its expansive network of commercial real estate developers and brokers. Over the years, Pridgen’s professionals have developed and nurtured valuable relationships that allow them to stay on the pulse of property availability and deals.
We would be happy to help in your summer search or just answer any questions you may have about how to make the most of summertime lease arrangements. Contact us anytime. Best of luck in your search!