Business is booming, which means you may be outgrowing your current space. Not to worry, you can simply lease a larger space, either in a new location or by taking over some empty space in your current locale. Before signing that lease agreement, though, you need to make sure you are ready to negotiate so that your business gets the most from the space as possible. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Do Some Detective Work
It can be tempting to simply sign the lease on the empty unit next to yours to provide for a quick expansion, but you could be harming your business and your bottom line by taking the easy way out. First, make sure that the lease charged on both your existing and the new unit is comparable for units of this size, location, and quality in your city. You may find that it is less expensive to lease at a new location entirely, even after factoring in the initial costs of moving. Still don't want to move completely? Then you at least can use this information to negotiate a lower lease with your current landlord.
Tip #2: Look for Extra Fees
Many properties have fees attached to the lease that aren't part of your monthly payment. Instead, you may be charged these fees annually or quarterly, or you may need to pay them to the required utility on your own. Don't wait to be surprised by the small print in the lease agreement, instead ask what fees to expect. Common fees may include property maintenance, upkeep of common areas, trash service, or utilities. You may be able to negotiate some of these common fees down, or at least have them rolled into your monthly lease payment.
Tip #3: Find Out the Perks
You can't fully compare properties without knowing what you are comparing. Cost and square footage are just part of the equation. Will your business be included on any street signage? Does the owner of the space offer outside advertising for those in the building? For example, some shopping centers send out advertising mailers that include their tenants businesses for a low fee or for free. If there is a perk you really want but isn't offered, ask for it. The landlord may say yes.
Signing a new lease is both exciting and stressful. It's a good idea to have the help of a commercial real estate lawyer to make sure you know exactly what you are signing for and to protect you from any pitfalls.