June 17, 2015

5 Ways to Maximize an Office Tour

Finding new office space in Western Pennsylvania can be an exciting prospect – but it can also be complicated and extremely stressful. When you’re looking for new space, especially if you run a new business, it can be difficult to know how to choose just the right commercial real estate. If you’re ready to start touring properties, here is a guide to make sure you get the most from your site visits.

1.) Don’t Lose Your Focus

Before you set aside time to tour office space, narrow your focus to five key sites. It can be easy to waste weeks and months touring offices that don’t work for your business, so be clear on what you need in terms of cost, location, size and functionality. Don’t get roped into touring offices that do not meet your criteria.

2.) Ask To See the Certificate Of Occupancy

Before you seriously consider leasing space, ask to see the most recent and up to date Certificate of Occupancy for both the building and the floors you may ultimately rent. These documents will tell you how many people can legally work in the space, which is critical for companies planning on growing or expanding in the near future.

3.) Who Are The People in Your Neighborhood?

Before you sign a contract, you will want to get to know the businesses that are operating in the building and in the near vicinity. Get out and meet the owners and ask them questions about the building. How is the water pressure? Do the elevators break down often? How is the climate control situation? Is the front desk staff on top of their game? Are the public areas kept clean?It will also be important to know just what is above and below you. You’ll probably have to run wires and cables through your neighbors’ spaces, and if they have a safe or data center located beneath you, it could impact the potential layout of your space. Their hours of operation could also impact the speed with which you are able to get set up.

4.) How Old Are the Windows?

This is a question homeowners ask when searching for a new place to live, but it is also critical for a business. Old, drafty windows can seriously impact your ability to heat and cool your office. Newer buildings may be LEED-certified, which indicates strong energy efficiency. Older buildings with plate-glass windows may have charm, but they may also cost you an arm and a leg in energy consumption.

5.) Get Answers to Your Questions

Come to each office tour armed with a list of important questions – and don’t make a decision until you get those questions answered. Some good questions to prepare include:

  • What are the building hours? What are the off-hours security policies?
  • Do individual suites have their own conference areas, or are there shared facilities?
  • Is on-site parking available? Are reserved spaces available? What is the cost? How many visitor spaces are open each day?
  • How is the air conditioning and heat controlled?
  • Is there an option to expand into more space in the middle of the lease if we need it?
  • When and where is rent paid each month? What is the structure of the lease?

Bonus Tip: Don’t Do It AloneThe best way to get the most from your office space search is to work with an expert partner who will advocate for you and ensure that you sign a contract for an office that meets your needs. If you are looking to buy or lease commercial real estate in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, contact the professionals at ACRES for a consultation today. We will work with you to develop a plan that will connect you with the perfect space for your company.

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