How to navigate an office rental search in Houston
Navigating the process of finding the right Houston commercial office rental has never been easy. In a lot of ways, that’s due to the extensive offerings of this metro area — dozens of unique neighborhoods with hundreds of buildings that are suited for businesses of all sizes and types.
Getting started can feel overwhelming, even for experienced teams (and even more so for small and mid-size businesses or startups). That decision-making process has only become a bigger challenge since the pandemic started.
Working from home has changed the way employees view their workday, and as a result, hybrid work models are more popular than ever. Given changing employee tastes and workplace trends, how do you navigate the process of finding an office that exceeds your expectations, especially in a big city like Houston?
Steps to find your next office space in Houston
We know there are a lot of factors to consider when making this decision. So, here’s a list that will help you collect the information you need to find your next office space and get your team set up.
STEP 1: Determine what matters the most
The big questions — The wrong lease can turn a dream office space into something that keeps you up at night. Before you start your search, think long and hard about what kind of lease you want and how big your space needs to be. Do you want an office with a long-term lease with a lot of space or is your team better suited with a smaller, short-term rental with flexibility? Or do you fall somewhere in the middle?
If you like a workspace but aren’t sure how certain features will work for your team, a short-term lease could allow you to try out a location and decide after a month or two.
Zero in on your budget — Pick a budget you’d like to stay around to ensure the space not only fits your needs but also works with your budget.
A significant part of this equation will be square footage. Before you start reaching out to brokers and landlords, it’s important to determine how much space you’d like to have for your team. This consideration should be independent of your current rental situation and instead based on projections for growth and how your team will adjust to use the new space. No one wants to pay for space that is underutilized.
If you’re leasing a long-term office that’s not furnished, be sure to factor in upfront costs to cover built-ins, furnishing your space, decor, appliances, and tech setup fees. If you join a flexible office space and get a private office, those will be taken care of for you.
Choose a location — Make sure it’s accessible to the majority of your employees. A centrally located spot in town could be best if your team is all over Houston. If they’re more concentrated in a specific neighborhood, there is no need to fight additional traffic or create friction for going into the office.
Always ensure the building has enough parking for your employees and clients, not to mention access to public transportation that could reduce commute time for your team members.
STEP 2: Pick a pathway to success
To broker or not to broker — Do you want help gathering options or do you want to do it on your own? You can get an office either way, but working with a broker can ensure you find the best deal and avoid any hidden pitfalls. A good broker will streamline the search process while keeping your best interest in mind.
Explore and tour — Do research in your selected neighborhood and pick some offices you’d like to tour. Many, like the Square, will offer virtual tours as well as in-person tours to accommodate busy schedules.
Consider the perks — Amenities inside and outside of the office can make or break an office rental. Small questions can have a big impact: “Is there a kitchen available?” for example.
What do the working spaces look like and can you change the decor in your office? Are you close to good restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, or gyms? These can all become intangible ingredients in your company culture, so don’t overlook them.
STEP 3: Be ready to seal the deal
Organize your paperwork — Office rentals in Houston can be very competitive, and you’ll want to be ready to sign when the right space comes up. Get any documents you need for renting a space ready to go ahead to time to streamline the approval process.
Double-check the space — Always make sure the space will be ready for you before you start packing the moving truck. During this check, see that any special amenities, any branding you’d like to go into the space, and any seating requests or health and safety requirements are met. Miscommunication in this stage can lead to costly, annoying delays.
STEP 4: Move in!
Customize for your team — Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, it’s time to make the space your own. If your building allows it, make the office your own and add personal touches like sofas, plants, artwork, and other decorative touches.
Dot your T’s and cross your I’s — Now that you’re moved in, it’s time to update any lists with your new business address. Remember to change your address online, especially on your website and Google, and update business cards, email signatures, letterheads. Of course, be sure to let your clients know you’ve relocated.
Finding the perfect office space for your business doesn’t have to be a challenge — and you should never have to sacrifice your needs or values just to make a space work.
With a little preparation, you can find an office that’ll allow you to be agile and ready for whatever the future holds. If you’re looking for a building that’s convenient for your employees and offers amenities that help to support a company culture — well, we know just the right place.
Make finding the perfect office space for your growing company easy. Get in touch with The Square today.