I’m excited to share the news that we’ve officially expanded SquareFoot to the Houston commercial real estate market. We’ll be joined by veteran broker Sam Pouns, our first hire in... Read More
Thinking about setting up an office in Houston? The Texan metropolis offers a thriving, burgeoning landscape for businesses across a variety of industries, especially with the continuous growth of Houston’s millennial population and startup presence. If you’re looking to find a professional Houston office space for your business, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you get started on your search. Read on to get our expert tips on finding a commercial office in Houston.
Decide on your preferred lease term and space requirements
Before getting started on your search for professional office space, it’s important to determine what lease term and square footage will be most conducive to the success of your business. This will help you determine what types of Houston office solutions you should be looking for. A number of considerations will factor in here, such as:
- The size of your company: If your organization is relatively small and you don’t plan on growing meaningfully any time soon, you might want to consider Houston coworking options, office subleases, or shared office space. An upside of this is that you’ll be able to stay flexible since these types of office solutions generally have shorter-term agreements.
- Your projected business growth: If you’re not sure what your headcount will look like 6 months to a year from now, it won’t be prudent to sign an office space with a 5-year lease term — instead, consider opting for an office sublease, which will afford you more flexibility. If you have reliable growth projections, you may want to rent office space larger than your current requirements so that you have room to comfortably scale.
- How many employees are on-site vs. remote: In today’s world, many companies have a hybrid workforce that consists of both remote and on-site employees. If you have 100 employees but you operate within a hybrid workforce model, you may not necessarily need space for 100 employees.
- How you’ll use the space: Do you plan on having an open office layout or cubicles? How many of your employees need private offices? Do you have many client meetings that would require multiple conference rooms? Get a good sense of how you’ll be using the space and what layout would work best for your team’s needs.
List out your top priorities
While you may not be able to find the perfect office space that satisfies each employee’s desires, it’s still important to list out your organization’s top priorities in order to filter out offices that simply won’t cut it. Evaluate the needs of your company to determine what your non-negotiables are, as well as your nice-to-haves, in order of importance. Some things to consider include:
- Do you host many clients? If so, find space close to where most of your customer base is located. Additionally, make sure that the building is conducive to hosting visitors — to start, find out what the visitor policy is and whether there’s guest parking.
- Do most of your employees drive to the office? If so, make sure that the building has ample available parking to accommodate your workers.
- Are you extremely budget-conscious? If budget is your top concern, opt for Class B or C buildings that will offer a lower price per square foot.
- Is convenience highly important for your employees? It can be a huge help to your employees to have an office with local amenities that facilitate life admin tasks. Look into central locations that will offer sufficient access to restaurants, business services, supermarkets, transit lines, and more.
Evaluate the ease of the commute
How do most of your employees commute to the office? Do they primarily use public transportation options such as METRORail or METRO buses? Do they get around with BCycle? Or do they drive? It’s important to understand how your employees get to work before committing to an office location. Set up shop in an area that reduces commute times for the bulk of your workforce. If the office is difficult to get to and your employees dread their commutes, your business could suffer a negative impact on morale and productivity.
Consult a Houston-based tenant broker
The ins and outs of commercial real estate aren’t easy to master, so we advise that you don’t approach your office search alone. Instead, enlist the help of a Houston-based tenant broker. Their services come at no cost to you and they represent you — not the landlord! — in any commercial real estate transactions.
Additionally, they’ll have an advanced understanding of all facets of the Houston office market, so they’ll know where to start the search based on your list of priorities, space requirements, and lease term preferences. This will save you time and money in the process. Once you find a space, they’ll also run through your lease with a fine-toothed comb and negotiate on your behalf to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate
Don’t forget that many aspects of your lease — such as term, cost per square foot, total rent, and landlord concessions — are negotiable. But don’t negotiate without a tenant broker! Having a tenant broker shows your landlord you’re serious about getting the best deal possible on your professional office lease. Your tenant broker will also be able to advise you on the market and make sure that you’re getting the most ideal outcome relative to the conditions of the current Houston commercial real estate market.
With the help of a Houston tenant broker and an outline of your organizational priorities, you’ll be able to find professional office space for rent that meets your business needs.