When should I begin my search for commercial space to lease? A question often asked in our market and one that certainly depends on many different factors!
From site selection to LOI/Lease negotiations, commercial lease transactions can take a lot of time, energy, and effort. However, a few key factors/questions will dictate when you should start searching for new space. See below!
– When does my lease expire? Do I have to give Landlord a written notice on whether I plan to renew (if you have renewal option(s)) or even vacate? Every lease is different, so it is imperative that you review your lease and know your obligations! Understanding key dates will help with the timing of your new location. If you can help it, you want to avoid carrying two different leases and paying double rent!
– What type of commercial space do I need (Flex, Industrial, Office, or Retail)? How much square footage? Where do I need to be located? All three of these questions go together. Depending on the specific market, some sectors within our CRE market can be more challenging to find space than others. For example, our current flex/industrial market is seeing all-time highs in demand with supply trying to catch up, while our current office sector has plenty of options available. Location and size requirements are also crucial as you want to give yourself more time searching for 10,000sf versus a 2,000sf space. A Tenant Representative will be able to share specific market knowledge to help guide you through the process. In a “tight” market, the tenant will usually have to become flexible on one of these three items- sometimes more!
– Do I have specific space requirements or buildout needs? How is the space being delivered? These are two essential questions to understand when searching for new commercial space. Then, when you find a suitable option(s), what is the condition of the space? Is it second-generation space and move-in ready? Is it in shell condition, needing a buildout? The condition of the space will impact your timeline and negotiations tremendously, especially considering our construction industry right now! Pulling permits, lead time on material, labor, etc. Some jobs take longer than ever before!
Every tenant has different needs, and every tenant will have different answers to the questions above, but these are a few key items you need to keep in mind when looking into a new commercial space to lease. As a rule of thumb, I would suggest at least a three-month cushion for your search, and that is if you have very basic/general requirements and need a smaller footprint (3,000sf or less). The larger the footprint and the more specific space requirements you have, you want to start even earlier! Some searches begin a year or more in advance! Ultimately, the market will dictate when you should start your search. If the market is exceptionally competitive, allow for more time than usual because you might “swing and miss” on a few properties during site selection and/or LOI negotiations! That is also why it is crucial to have a Tenant Representative by your side, so you have the up-to-date market knowledge and insight to lay out the most efficient timeline possible!