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Leasing Office Space: A Step-by-Step Guide

February 28, 2012

The leasing process

Leasing office space can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that you find the perfect space for your business at a price you can afford.


Step 1: Complete the Office Space Questionnaire

The first step is to complete our Office Space Questionnaire. This will help us understand your needs and requirements so we can start searching for the perfect space for you.

Step 2: Analyze Your Space Requirements

Once we have received your questionnaire, we will analyze your space requirements. This includes factors such as:

  • The square footage needed
  • The location desired
  • Your office space budget
  • Your ideal lease length
  • Your move-in date
  • Any other unique criteria 

Step 3: Prepare a Market Survey

We will then prepare a market survey based on your requirements. This involves researching the current availability of office space in your desired area. We will gather information from our internal database, online sources, and by contacting real estate brokers and landlords. This will give us a sense of the current office space availability and the current market conditions.

Step 4: Organize All Office Space Data

Once we have completed your market survey, we will organize all the collected data. This will include detailed information on the available offices: the prices, lease terms, floor plans, photos, etc.

Step 5: Review Potential Office Space Candidates with You

Now it's time to review our research with you. We will discuss the different properties that we have found and help you to narrow down your choices.

Step 6: Schedule a Tour of Prospective Office Spaces

You select the office spaces that interest you and will schedule a time to tour them. This will allow you to walk the properties in person and get a feel for the office and building.

Step 7: Discuss and Draft an Offer

Once you have found a property you want to pursue, we will discuss and draft an offer for your review. The offer will include business points such as the base rent, utilities, construction work, escalations, security deposit, and other details.

Step 8: Submit the Offer to the Landlord

When you have approved the draft offer, we will submit it to the landlord. We will then follow up with the landlord to discuss their response.

Step 9: Negotiate the Lease Terms

Once we reach an agreement with the landlord, we will create a term sheet outlining the lease's final terms. The landlord's attorney will then draft a lease based on the term sheet and send it to your attorney for review. Your attorney may have comments on the lease, which they will discuss with the landlord's attorney.

Step 10: Sign the Lease

When the attorneys have finalized the lease, it's time to sign it and deliver the security deposit.  

Step 11: Move In

This is the exciting part! But it's important to be prepared. Make sure you have submitted all the necessary insurance requirements and are familiar with the building's policies.

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Additional tips for leasing office space

  • Start the process early. The leasing process can take several months, so starting early is essential. This will give you more time to find the right space and negotiate the best terms.

  • Work with an experienced commercial real estate broker. A broker can make the entire process run smoothly. And in most cases, the landlord pays the broker, not you. 

  • Be prepared to compromise. You may not be able to get everything you want in a lease. Try to see things from both sides and focus on the "fair" lease rather than one side winning or losing on a particular issue. 

  • Hire a real estate attorney with a lot of experience reviewing commercial leases in New York City. We can not overstate the importance of this. Please resist the urge to have your brother-in-law, who used to practice law in Wyoming, do it. :) 

By following these tips, you can make the leasing process go more smoothly and ensure you get the best possible deal for your company.