However, it’s important to take a bigger picture approach when choosing a commercial property. Leasing is no small investment and you need to be sure that the property you select is right for your business, your customers, your staff members, and any sub-leasees.
Ultimately, your decision needs to come down to whether the price represents the best value for what the property offers. If you’re currently searching for a commercial property, here are some of the non-monetary considerations that are important to focus on when choosing either an office, retail or industrial space for your commercial activities.
Considerations for Office Leasing
Looking to lease an office space? You’ll need to consider the suitability of the premises for your business type, your employees, and your clients.
- External appearance
Think about what impression the external part of the office provides to first-time visitors, including the entranceway and surroundings. Is it well-maintained or run-down? Does it present a positive first impression of your business?
You’ll ideally want a versatile floorplan that gives you scope to fit out the office in a way that best suits your company. For example, you may need areas that function as meeting rooms, staff break areas, quiet working zones etc. - does the layout fit these requirements?
What is the local area like? Consider proximity to cafes and restaurants, banks, post offices, and other important facilities for both your staff members and clients, as well as the suitability of the neighbourhood to your style of business.
Good transport links are often a key consideration when selecting an office space, so be sure to check whether the property is well-serviced and easy to get to. You may also need to think about the accessibility of the office itself for people with limited mobility.
- Environmental factors
The wellbeing of your employees is an important factor in choosing an office space, so consider the environment of the premises - do aspects such as the noise levels, air quality, temperature, and natural light create a positive working environment?
If staff members and/or clients need to access your office by car, you’ll want to assess the parking situation, particularly if the office space does not include on-site parking.
- Other tenants
What other businesses occupy the property? It’s important to consider whether your co-tenants are a good fit for your business type, particularly if you’ll be sharing all or parts of the space.
Establish what amenities the office comes with (kitchens, bathrooms etc.) and assess the quality of these facilities. Are they of a suitable standard for your business or will you need to invest in improvements or upgrades?
Moving into an office only to find out the internet is non-existent or the phone line is terrible can be a major blow. Be sure to find out beforehand whether the telecommunications are of a suitable quality, speed and reliability for your business.
Considerations for Retail Leasing
When it comes to retail premises, you need to find a space that offers maximum exposure to potential customers, while ticking the boxes for your retail brand.
For retail properties, location is one of the most important factors to consider. Think about what type of area is best for your particular business, e.g. on a high street or inside a shopping centre, and decide whether it’s sufficiently close to shopping areas, busy parts of the neighbourhood, or nearby tourist attractions.
It’s no good having a great space if no one knows it’s there. Is your premises visible to passers-by or those in the vicinity? Consider how prominent your shopfront is and whether the property is best placed to attract attention.
It’s important for your retail premises to be easy to access by potential customers, so consider parking options and the ease of getting to your property.
Is the property in a place frequented by people walking or driving by? If foot traffic is an important source of custom for your business, you’ll want to make sure that the premises is in a position where this offers sufficient scope for this type of customer.
What is the local area like in terms of crime and safety? While this may result in cheaper rent, it’s an important consideration when taking out a lease. You might also want to consider whether the local police station is within easy reach.
Be sure to find out about any potential zoning restrictions that may affect the type of business you can conduct at your premises. It’s also advisable to find out about any planned construction or road works so you can be prepared for disruption.
- Anchor stores
Having a major retail store or supermarket in close proximity (e.g. within the same centre or nearby on the shopping strip) can help to drive traffic to your space, so this could form part of your leasing decision.
Considerations for Industrial Leasing
An industrial property needs to be suitable for a variety of business types, as well as offering the right fit for specific industrial requirements such as machinery and freight.
When seeking an industrial premises, you’ll want to think about whether the space is versatile enough to suit the needs of various tenant types - is it the type of premises that can be easily converted to fit various purposes?
Look into the building’s proximity to transport routes such as major highways or freight infrastructure, which will form an important part of the suitability of the property as an industrial space.
Following on from the location, you’ll also want to ensure the premises are easily accessible for deliveries, as well as having enough parking available for both tenants and their customers.
In terms of construction, consider practical elements such as whether the roof is high enough for forklifts and trucks to move around, as well as any other heavy machinery requirements.
Aside from the industrial factors, are there enough facilities for tenants, such as office spaces, bathrooms, and kitchen areas? What state are these amenities in?
Is the property sufficiently secure to be used as an industrial premises? This may include secure fencing, intercom facilities, or other security measures implemented around the building.
For people accessing the premises, is the building easily identifiable and able to be seen on approach?
Be sure to check out the zoning rules to establish whether you are permitted to have a variety of business types operating within the industrial premises.
If you’re currently searching for a commercial property, you can check out our verified tenant reviews, find out about their property experiences, and be better informed to make a decision.