Commercial Leasing: How to Avoid Costly Mistakes

Two businessmen are negotiating in office

When it comes to your business, signing a commercial lease will be one of the biggest decisions you make. And if you make a mistake, it could end up being one of your costliest decisions. When it's time to renew the lease, many business owners and managers do so without giving it a second thought. Things seem to be going okay, so why not stick to business as usual? But what worked for your company five or 10 years ago when you signed the initial lease may not be working for it today. Avoid making a bad decision by following these tips:

Plan Ahead

Ask any commercial real estate expert, and they'll say the most common mistake business owners make is waiting until the last minute to renew the lease for their office space. It's true. If you wait until those last few weeks or years of your agreement, you give up the option to negotiate everything from price to maintenance with your landlord. They know your options are becoming increasingly limited at this point, so they will stand firm on what they want, leaving you without many choices.

Planning gives you time to understand current market trends — or hire someone who does — and use them to your advantage, whether you want to negotiate or you find that you're better off moving to a new location.

With the right tools, planning ahead can give you time to evaluate your needs and think about what your future holds and how your current commercial lease fits in with them.

4SITE, a sensor-based workplace occupancy and utilization platform, delivers real-time data that supports present and future decisions around commercial real estate likelease negotiations,whether to sublease, restructure leases, or expand their portfolio.

These insights can be accessed through a web dashboard to print reports and gain valuable insights that can help you optimize your current office space, protect your workforce, and provide a bit of certainty with your decisions around questions like “should you stay, or should you go from your current office space?”

Don't Focus on Price Alone

As a business owner or manager, your bottom line is almost always your top priority. And for this reason, you may be tempted to make decisions based on the price of rent alone, but that's not always the best strategy. While the price should factor into your decision, the location of the property, the square footage, amenities available to you and how the space fits your needs should all be part of the equation. For example, if your customers and employees all live in the city, but your office is in the suburbs, it may be worth paying a little extra each month to relocate to the city.

Consider the Future of Your Business, Not Just the Present

Another common mistake business owners make is thinking about how their current commercial space works for them right now or even how it's worked for them in the past. Instead, you should focus on how it may work for you over the next five to 10 years. You may have a plan for extensive growth and hiring more employees. You may find that many of your employees are now working from home due to COVID-19, and thanks to technology, it's a win-win situation for all of you that may become permanent. Or, a competitor may be moving into the neighborhood, and you want to put some distance between you. While you can't plan for everything that will happen, it's a good idea to consider all options.

Work With a Commercial Real Estate Broker

Commercial real estate leases are complicated documents. Negotiating them can be an even more complicated process. Far too many business owners end up paying too much or not negotiating a lease to its full potential because they simply don't understand it. On the flipside, your landlord fully understands the lease, which gives him or her the upper hand if you aren't using a commercial real estate broker.

Avoid Costly Mistakes During Your Lease Renewal with 4SITE

There's enough doubt surrounding the workplace and how it's used in the years to come. Let us ease some of your concerns around your real estate footprint while supporting long-term decisions with well-informed data.

While using 4SITE sensor technology and space utilization data, our clients have shared that they use our solution to find patterns and predict potential occupancy trends in the workplace. This information also provided these additional benefits:

Some of these benefits are:

  • Creating optimal office environments that work for your employees
  • Reducing a company’s exposure to unproductive real estate
  • Increasing employee productivity
  • Visual reporting that aligns business leaders’ opportunities clearly
  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • Reducing CAPEX and OPEX

Ready to get started with sensor technology that will capture data for your workplace? Contact us today toset up a demoor to get started transforming your workspace with actionable data.