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How to Find Commercial Real Estate in Los Angeles

March 1, 2021 | by Viveka Krishnaswamy
Reviewed by real estate expert Michael Colacino

As the home to growing industries such as biopharmaceuticals, aerospace, entertainment, and technology, Los Angeles is one of the hottest real estate markets in the United States. But with nearly 4 million people sharing its roughly 500 square miles, the City of Angels also has a lot of competition for commercial and industrial space.

If you’re a professional wanting office space to help your company grow and thrive, there are many ways to identify Los Angeles commercial real estate that will suit your unique needs.

Let’s look at a few different ways to find commercial real estate deals.

Search Online

When you’re looking for commercial space for lease in Los Angeles, one of the most efficient, effective ways to seek out available office listings is by using online commercial real estate platforms. On SquareFoot, for example, you can choose to see listings only for specific LA neighborhoods, and then filter by a number of parameters, including size, price, lease type, and more.

Once you find online options, contact the listing agent representing the space. The agent will be able to share more information with you, such as the space’s rentable square footage vs. usable square footage, as well as other specifics about the space. For example, you might find a few properties that seem ideal based on location, but you may learn that you’ll be sharing certain amenities with another tenant. Or perhaps the space where you’re imagining your team isn’t as large after all once you account for the hallways, restrooms, and other areas that you have to rent but can’t convert into a viable workspace. By looking online for space, you’ll be able to streamline your search, making it less time-intensive.

That said, not all listing agents might be completely on your side in terms of negotiating the best real estate deals, as many of them may be landlord representatives. This means that they work with the landlord of the space to ensure that they get the best deal possible at your expense. By finding a tenant representative broker you can better ensure that the commercial real estate agent has your best interests in mind.

Explore a Location You Like

Granted, Los Angeles is known for having its share of traffic. But scoping out neighborhoods or general areas where you’d like to have office space is one way to start your search. While time-intensive, you might find something off-market — meaning that it’s not listed in the MLS or Multiple Listing Service — and score a great opportunity.

Look for office properties with “For Lease” signs in the window. (A good rule of thumb is to seek properties with empty parking lots during hours when business should normally be brisk — this will likely indicate some vacancy in the building). Take note of the phone numbers on the For Lease signs, as well as the addresses of the buildings.

If you’re a people person, it also can be worthwhile to get out of the car and chat up neighboring businesses about the vacant space across the way or next door. It’s a safe bet that they may have the same landlord and that person’s contact information. You can also get a sense of their general experience and overall satisfaction with the building and its management.

Exploring locales you’re interested in — like Santa Monica, Playa Vista, or Downtown, to name a few key business districts — will also help you get a feel of what it’s like to work in that neighborhood. You’ll be able to get a sense of important considerations, such as:

  • How much street parking is available?
  • What amenities are in the area? (For example, grocery stores, lunch options, and gyms.)
  • How many other businesses are in the area?
  • What types of businesses are in the area?
  • Is the area easily accessible for my employees? For my clients?

However, it’s important to note that this may not be the most efficient or comprehensive way of identifying Los Angeles commercial real estate opportunities.

Expand Your Network

Getting to know members of the business community in the Los Angeles neighborhoods you’re interested in renting space in can be extremely valuable in helping you to identify office opportunities. They can share information about any vacancies that come up in their office buildings, their experience as tenants in a certain building and neighborhood, and more. If you’re looking to share office space instead of renting an entire space on your own, this can be a particularly useful tactic as you can meet potential “office mates”. Or, if you’re looking for coworking spaces, you can connect with smaller companies using coworking services to get an honest sense of how they like their coworking provider. Many coworking providers offer referral programs with a reward for the referrer, so this could potentially be a situation for you and the person who refers you!

In short, expanding your business network in Los Angeles is a great way to hear about local opportunities and get honest reviews of buildings, office space providers, and other potential sources of commercial real estate.

Work with a Tenant Representative Broker

Working with a tenant representative broker is the best way for businesses to find commercial real estate in Los Angeles. Tenant brokers dedicate themselves exclusively to helping businesses find office space to suit their individual needs. If you’re a smaller company, make sure that you find a brokerage that serves businesses at all sizes and growth stages.

A tenant broker lives and breathes commercial real estate; as such, they’re the best source of truth for what deals are on the market, and what the best spaces and neighborhoods are. Tenant brokers know how to search for properties based on a client’s criteria and negotiate a deal to get you the best rates per square foot, rent abatement periods, and landlord concessions possible. In short, tenant brokers work with you throughout the entire transaction process, from identifying to securing space, so that you can find commercial space that suits your budget and your business goals, both short- and long-term.

Many industry leaders turn to tenant brokers for their commercial real estate needs in Los Angeles. Browse listings on our site, or start your search with the help of one of our tenant brokers today.

How Can We Help?

SquareFoot is a new kind of commercial real estate company. Our easy-to-use technology and responsive team of real estate professionals delivers the most transparent, flexible experience in the market. Get in touch to start your search today.

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