Office Leasing Guide:

The path to your office space made simple.

If you find yourself with more questions than answers as you search for new office space, you’re not alone. It can be a confusing and time-consuming process. But we can help. North Forest Office Space specializes in office space for small to medium sized businesses, which means we have worked with many business owners, doctors and dentists, and we know what you’re going through.

We’ll walk you through the search and leasing process to make it easier.

First, determine your budget.

This ensures that you can afford the spaces you are looking at before you begin. Don’t forget to consider additional expenses that may or may not be included in the lease rate:
Utilities
Insurance
Taxes
CAM (Common Area Maintenance)
Internet/phone
Janitorial
Utilities
Insurance
Taxes
CAM (Common Area Maintenance)
Internet/phone
Janitorial

Location is key.

You most likely have an area (or a few areas) in mind for your business location. Whether you want to make sure it’s a short commute for you and your employees, or close to your customers’ homes, narrow down the areas to consider so you have a starting point. Remember that pricing can be affected by location - offices in the city can cost more than similar spaces in the suburbs. You should think about whether you need a highly visible location on a main road, or if you have specific signage requirements.

Get the right size.

Office space is generally priced and advertised in square feet, but how do you know how much you need? It’s hard to determine what size space you need, because some layouts are more efficient than others so you may actually need less than you think. Start by considering the number of employees you have. How many offices or exam rooms do you need? Will you need a conference room, reception area, copy / file room, etc.? Then look at layouts that offer what you need, even if they have a smaller footprint. (Bonus: this saves you money!) You also need to consider your business plans, such as expansion in the near future. You don’t really want to pay for more space than you need now, though, so be sure to inquire about expansion options.

Get the right size.

Office space is generally priced and advertised in square feet, but how do you know how much you need?
It’s hard to determine what size space you need, because some layouts are more efficient than others so you may actually need less than you think.
Start by considering the number of employees you have. How many offices or exam rooms do you need? Will you need a conference room, reception area, copy / file room, etc.? Then look at layouts that offer what you need, even if they have a smaller footprint. (Bonus: this saves you money!)
You also need to consider your business plans, such as expansion in the near future. You don’t really want to pay for more space than you need now, though, so be sure to inquire about expansion options.

It’s all about your image.

Office space is categorized as Class A, B or C, with Class A space being the most luxurious and offering the most amenities (and also being the most expensive). Of course, some companies will advertise their space as a higher class than it actually is, so it’s important to see for yourself.

When deciding what type of space you need, consider the message you are sending to those who walk into your office. Do you need to impress clients? Or do you want to show that you are a no-frills type of company with low overhead? The space you choose will help you project the right image.

It’s all about your image.

Office space is categorized as Class A, B or C, with Class A space being the most luxurious and offering the most amenities (and also being the most expensive). Of course, some companies will advertise their space as a higher class than it actually is, so it’s important to see for yourself. When deciding what type of space you need, consider the message you are sending to those who walk into your office. Do you need to impress clients? Or do you want to show that you are a no-frills type of company with low overhead? The space you choose will help you project the right image.

Compare apples to apples.

It can be difficult to compare the prices of different office spaces because there are several pricing models that are typically used, and there are variations within those models.

Be sure you know exactly what is included in the lease rate, and ask for estimates of costs that are not included. <More>

Compare apples to apples.

It can be difficult to compare the prices of different office spaces because there are several pricing models that are typically used, and there are variations within those models. Be sure you know exactly what is included in the lease rate, and ask for estimates of costs that are not included. <More>

Look before you lease.

All issues that arise during the tenancy will defer back to the lease. The time to negotiate those outcomes is before you sign the lease, not after. Make sure that you understand everything in your lease, or consult with a trusted professional or legal counsel if necessary.

Important items to know in a lease.

General info - This includes property details, rental payments, square footage, information on both parties, start and end date of lease term, remodel work to be done, etc.
Maintenance - This is where most disagreements occur, so know who’s responsible for maintenance and repairs in your office and any common areas. Common Area Maintenance (CAM) is an additional cost that is charged by a landlord for additional expenses relating to maintaining the office building/park. In a gross lease rate and some modified gross rates, CAM is included. CAM can include routine costs like snow plowing parking lots, as well as unexpected costs like repairing or replacing a roof. Although they can vary from year to year if CAM is not included in the lease rate, you can ask for an estimate based on previous years’ rates to help you budget. <More>

Reduce Risk.

Leasing is inherently risky because it spans a long period of time, is legally binding, and commits capital over a period of time. You can reduce risk by preparing for the worst-case and best-case scenarios prior to signing the lease. Worst case would be needing to terminate your lease, and best case would be needing more space. Either way, you would be unable to keep things the same, and it would be helpful if your lease provided for situations like this. <More>

Reduce Risk.

Leasing is inherently risky because it spans a long period of time, is legally binding, and commits capital over a period of time. You can reduce risk by preparing for the worst-case and best-case scenarios prior to signing the lease. Worst case would be needing to terminate your lease, and best case would be needing more space. Either way, you would be unable to keep things the same, and it would be helpful if your lease provided for situations like this. <More>
We hope you found this information useful in sorting through the many questions that arise as you search for just the right space. Whether you ultimately lease from us or not, we are here to answer your questions and help you find the best home for your business.