Finding the right “office for rent” sign is only the beginning of your journey if you’re looking to lease commercial real estate. Whether your business needs a small office or a giant warehouse, there are plenty of opportunities for you to make some serious mistakes along the way with your commercial lease.
These are just a few of the most common mistakes businesses owners make when they’re trying to bang out lease terms:
- Being in a big hurry. If you want to move your office next week, looking for a new office today is probably not the best idea. Making these important decisions in such a hurry means that you’re not going to have time to really dedicate to the process and you may miss out on the perfect facility because of a lack of time to investigate your options.
- Getting set on a single location. There’s no doubt that there are always certain locations that are more favorable than others, but your business can and will thrive in a variety of places. Getting emotionally attached to an office space leaves you vulnerable in the negotiation. The landlord or leasing agent sitting across the table from you is under absolutely no obligation to do you any favors. If you’re too attached, walking away won’t be an option, though it should always be.
- Not checking the zoning yourself. Just because a Realtor or building owner says that the facility you’re considering is zoned properly for your business doesn’t make it true. Take a few minutes to call your city’s Planning and Zoning department to verify the zoning yourself — and get that information in writing from the city if you can. If you move in and the zoning is incorrect, your municipality can force your business to close.
- Neglecting to hire help. Commercial real estate negotiations aren’t simple matters. There’s a lot to contracts, even for an office space. Hiring a real estate lawyer that specializes in small business can ensure that you get the contract you need, though an experienced commercial real estate agent can be equally useful. You usually won’t have to pay for the services of a commercial real estate agent, since the owner of the property often agrees to pay their fees when listing their property for rent.
- Taking it personally. Real estate negotiations can get heated and emotional, so you must be prepared. When you’re hot-headed, it’s easy to throw good deals out the door because of one little thing that’s gone wrong. Go into your negotiation cool as a cucumber, and bring your Realtor to act as a mediator between you and the landlord.
Negotiating a commercial lease can be a huge undertaking, but you don’t have to go into your new lease at a disadvantage. By doing your research on the property and the zoning, bringing in a professional to work by your side and taking your time during the negotiation, you’ll secure the lease you need and that will benefit your business most.