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How Many Tours Does It Take to Find the Right Office?

August 9, 2019 | by
Reviewed by real estate expert Michael Colacino

The breadth of office options in New York City is staggering, with 525 million square feet of space in Manhattan alone. With the seemingly endless possibilities, you may be asking yourself: in a sea of choices, how many spaces should you tour before deciding? Is it common for people to walk into the perfect office on their first tour — or do they sift through 10, even 20, spaces before being happy enough with one to call it home?

Data gathered from SquareFoot clients has shown that it’s entirely possible — even probable — to find the right office after seeing just a relatively low number of spaces. In fact, 52% of our clients choose their new office after touring 5 or fewer spaces.



We spoke with broker Emily Strachan on what the common thread is between tenants who commit to a space sooner rather than later. She explained that these tenants generally come into the process with a clear idea of what they want, and are ready to start making decisions.

“Clients who are able to find a space they love after a few tours come to us with a good idea of what their non-negotiables are. We can then share with them our knowledge of what’s on the market that meets their criteria, and work with them to prioritize their needs. This makes it so much easier for us to show them the right spaces, and create a quick and seamless process for them.”

Additionally, Emily notes that among tenants who make decisions quickly, the person with the final say on which office gets picked is involved from the start, and on the first tour.

Clients who are able to find a space they love after a few tours come to us with a good idea of what their non-negotiables are.

And even for clients who are less interested in making a quick decision and more focused on seeing a variety of options within a given price range, 5 or so tours (with a tenant broker with extensive market knowledge) is generally sufficient. This is enough for prospective tenants to make an educated comparison and get a good sense of what they can expect to find should they continue to search — without enduring decision fatigue.

This isn’t to say that all companies can expect to find the right space in a heartbeat. Especially for larger companies with a more robust laundry list of needs, deliberation in the process can be necessary. Often, there are also multiple stakeholders involved, so achieving a group consensus becomes another step in the process. Of the larger companies we’ve worked with, 68% toured 6 or more listings; of the smaller companies, only 38% did the same.

Still, the overall moral of the story is clear: by sharing as much information as possible with your tenant broker, and understanding your options early in the process, you can significantly maximize the value of your time spent touring office spaces — and find the right home for your business.

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