So you're looking for your next office, but it's not clear what the steps are or how you approach finding the right space. Well, don't worry, we've got you covered. We've created this handy little guide that will give you a nice overview of what's involved and some key things to think about.
Let's get started...
1. Define your requirements
It's important to go into your search with an idea of what you're looking for. Defining these clearly ahead of time and making sure that your team/company are aligned will help enormously further down the road. You may need to carry out some surveys or hold a few conversations with a few different people, but here are the key things you will want to do:
- Understand how your company uses your office now and how they might use it going forward.
- Familiarise yourself with the different types of offices available and get a sense for which options might be viable for you.
- Understand where your employees and clients are based.
- Get a clear view on how many people the space you want is for and therefore how big it needs to be.
- Get a good understanding on when your current office contract ends and what, if anything, you need to do to terminate that contract.
- Use Upmo’s search to get a sense of what market price might be.
- Once you have this, define what you need from your next office and write the following things down:
1. Location preference(s)
2. Type of office you want
3. Capacity or size of the office
4. Facilities you might need (bike storage, lockers, phone booths, meeting rooms etc). Try to categorise these into must haves and nice to haves.
5. Your budget
6. Your desired move in date
7. How long you need an office for
2. Find and shortlist offices
Browsing for spaces couldn't be easier with our handy search that compares 1000s of spaces across London. Don't worry too much about pricing at this stage. Regardless of whether you look on our site or use someone else's, prices are entirely negotiable. You should be aiming to just get a feel for what different places offer and at what price points.
- Use our search to input some of your requirements, filtering this further if you get too many results.
- Shortlist the buildings you like. We'd recommend aiming for 6 or so, although if you are looking in multiple locations we'd suggest seeing a few more.
- Use our comparison tool to compare these options side by side.
3. Arrange and go on viewings to see these buildings
Once you've got your shortlist, it's time to go check out some of these places. You'll likely want to block out half a day so that you can arrange back to back tours. Make sure you go and see a variety of buildings (around 6). Plan this tour a little in advance so that the providers can accommodate your timings. You will want to:
- Arrange your viewings by booking through our site. Make sure you leave 20 minutes for each viewing and have plenty of time to travel in between.
- Prepare a bunch of questions for the providers.
- Keep a record of their answers along with your thoughts on what you like and don't like about each one. (It's very easy for all the viewings to merge into one, so we'd recommend keeping notes).
- Make sure you ask about what is and what is not included in the price.
- Even if there is one obvious winner, keep a few of these buildings in play for the next stages of the process.
4. Receive offers and start negotiating
After your viewing it's common place for the providers to send you an offer. These offers are very much negotiable so play them off each other and try to get yourself a deal. You will likely want to:
- Create a spreadsheet to easily compare the different offers from each of the providers.
- Start negotiating. It's not uncommon to knock off 10-20% off the list price, although this depends on occupancy rates and demand.
- If they won't budge on price see if you can get some extras like meeting room credits, additional co-working passes, or any other perks thrown in.
5. Decide, review the contract and sign
Now, it's decision time. Each office is different and varies enormously in terms of price, quality, facilities, location and services. Consider your options carefully and decide to take one forward. Once you've decided on your selection, ask to be sent a contract and then:
- Review this contract carefully. They are quite simple licenses (not complex leases), so there shouldn't be a need for lawyers but pay close attention to a few different things:
1. Take note of whether or not the contract automatically rolls over and whether there are potential increases in fees.
2. Look over the additional costs not included in your license. This may be things such as telco packages, dedicated/enhanced wifi, parking, refreshments etc.
3. Make sure meeting room charges are well understood.
4. Check if there are any dilapidation charges. (This is not common but if modifications to the space are being made, then they might apply).
6. Pay and move in
You should be all good to go after this. What's left is to pay your deposit and start preparing for your move. You will want to:
- Set your move in date.
- Plan a seating plan (if needed).
- Arrange for movers.
- Make sure everything is in order with your old office.
- Communicate with your staff.
- Prepare things like welcome packages or a little move in party
- Make your move
- And... enjoy!