Written by Greg Taubin, as appearing on silicon.nyc.
Whether you’re a startup or an established company with hundreds of employees, finding the perfect office space can be a daunting task. To make matters worse, competition for space in many of the country’s tech hubs (Bay Area, New York City, Austin, Chicago, etc.) is incredibly high as companies of all sizes continue to see rapid growth.
Sadly, the process is never as simple as you’d like it to be, and today’s tough real estate market means you may run into a few more roadblocks than anticipated, whether it’s picking a location that allows you to scale quickly; figuring out how to meet a landlord’s tough credit requirements; determining exactly how much space you need to accommodate future growth; or making sure your new office has the right infrastructure in place to support your business.
Having worked with a number of tech firms over the past several years, including MongoDB, Enigma Technologies and littleBits, here are nine tips all tech firm leaders should consider before beginning your next search for space.
1. Lease flexibility is key.
Aligning your office needs around your business is vital. Think about what your headcount is today and what it will be in one to three years (if you can project out that far). This information is critical as you negotiate the complexity of your lease. Armed with these figures, your real estate advisor can fight for crucial lease options such as expansion rights, rights of first offer, rights of first refusal or early termination rights to protect you and/or allow your company to scale up quickly without moving.
2. Consider sublease space.
Anticipating rapid growth? Not sure? Saddling a growing business with a five- or ten-year lease can be tough if growth is unpredictable and resources are limited. Therefore, looking at sublet opportunities before direct leases isn’t frowned upon, it’s recommended. Predicting your space needs two years from now—let alone ten years from now—can be extremely difficult, especially at the startup level. Subletting a space with a two- or three-year term will allow you to maintain options, minimize upfront fixed costs and direct your savings elsewhere, such as providing additional perks to your staff.
3. Consider leasing a little more space than you immediately require and sublet the excess for growth...9 Things Tech CEOs Need To Consider When Evaluating Office Space
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