By Tim Schaffer – President, Director of Brokerage Services
The arcane world of real estate leasing can be frustrating for tech firms focused on efficiency of process. Here are 6 tips on making the process more efficient with a better outcome.
1. Surety of the lease
A rapidly growing tech firm’s financials look very different than that of a more traditional business your landlord is used to working with. From the outset and before a lease is negotiated, communicate the company’s business plan and understand upfront what kind of surety is required by the landlord.
2. Term of lease
Companies that are growing quickly don’t know where they’ll be in five years (much less 10), so choosing a landlord with multiple buildings or a building large enough to grow incrementally over time is a good strategy. Negotiate rights of first refusal that correspond to your projected head counts and rights to sublease, should you grow out of the building or sell the company.
3. Look for plug and play opportunities
Plug and Play is move-in ready space with furniture already in place. These options are desirable because they reduce the need for capital for furniture and infrastructure. Many times, these options are a sublease with a short-term commitments, a bonus for fast-growing companies
4. Test your Assumptions
Bring key employees into the process with different perspectives and survey your employees to understand what is important to your team. Small things to you can be big things to your team.
5. Be aware of how your culture will change in a new space
It’s not unusual for tech companies to have a thriving culture in cramped quarters then lose energy unexpectedly in a larger environment. Having the right designer that understands workspace science, best practices and has experience with like-kind tech firms is essential to maintaining and enhancing culture.
6. Not every building is right for growth
Not every space is right for every company, even if you love the building and the location. Understanding your headcount and how many people you will be hiring over the initial term of your lease is critical to vetting out the right building for the company’s future. You may be able to put more seats in less space in one building over another, so look at rent cost per person, not just rent per square foot.