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A Renter’s Guide to Executive Suites [2020 Edition]

March 22, 2018 | by
Reviewed by real estate expert Jonathan Tootell

Updated December 2019

If you’re in the market for office space, you should learn about all of your options. Are you looking for Class A space? An executive suite setup? Subleased space? What are the advantages and amenities of each?

Because of the growing importance of cost-effectiveness, collaboration, and flexibility, executive suites have seen an explosion in demand. The executive office suite industry is a nearly $11 billion per year industry, and more than 13,000 executive suite centers and coworking spaces exist worldwide. Industry growth shows no signs of slowdown.

So, is an executive suite right for you? Or should you consider coworking, a sublease, or a traditional office space lease? In this post, we’ll walk you through the pros, cons, and hidden costs of executive suites.

What is an Executive Suite?

An executive suite—also called a serviced office or a business center—provides a tenant with private office space outfitted with basic furniture as well as shared amenities such as lobbies, break rooms, and conference rooms. A single office building might house 40 different businesses which use both individual and shared spaces. Landlords leasing executive suites will allow businesses to rent less space than landlords leasing conventional office space. Also, executive suite leases can be shorter than conventional office leases.

For example, consider a marketing consultant who runs their LLC out of a home office. However, the continual need to meet with clients makes having a more professional office space essential. Renting executive office space would make frequent client meetings much easier. Clients can enter the building and be received by the suite’s executive assistant. The two could venture to one of the conference rooms, and the consultant can use the executive suite’s presentation technology as needed.

Executive suites for rent can be a great option, especially for small businesses who want to make a professional impression or exude a corporate feel to visitors. However, this setup isn’t the best option for everyone. Check out the details below to see if you should start looking for an executive suite.

Advantages and Amenities of Renting Executive Suites

Not all executive suite options offer the same amenities, so if you have a particular suite in mind, be sure to inquire before you sign anything. However, these are some of the most common amenities and advantages to this type of space.

  1. Collaboration and networking: Unlike single-tenant office spaces, executive suites offer opportunities to run into people from other companies and industries that may be able to add value to your business. If you need some legal advice, you can ask the woman you run into in the kitchen every morning who works with the firm across the hall.
  2. Conference and meeting rooms as needed: Businesses that only need to use larger conference rooms and presentation technology occasionally don’t have to rent and buy their own. They can simply reserve the rooms and technology offered in the suite when they need them.
  3. Professional look, without the cost: Instead of answering your own calls or hiring an office manager, you can direct administrative responsibilities toward the suite’s shared office staff. Depending on the agreement, they might take calls, arrange meetings, collect mail, and more.
  4. Flexible lease terms: Typically, landlords renting conventional office space want tenants to sign leases for at least three years. Companies looking for something more short-term and flexible may benefit from renting executive offices.
  5. Physical address and mailing services: Small business owners may not want to write their home addresses on official business documents, and they don’t have to. While you’re away, the suite office managers can collect your mail and put it in your office for when you return.
  6. Shared utility costs: High-speed Wifi can be expensive, but it’s less expensive when multiple companies share the cost. Instead of footing the cost for water, electricity and trash pickup on your own, share it with the other tenants.
  7. Kitchen and office supplies: Shared kitchen spaces typically provide coffee makers, refrigerators, cabinets, and microwaves—all expensive appliances that you don’t have to buy! What could possibly be more important than coffee? Suites may also offer office supplies like paper, pens, folders, envelopes and paper clips.

Potential Disadvantages of Renting an Executive Suite

While saving money and enjoying shared access to what most conventional office spaces offer might sound like a deal you can’t refuse, executive suites aren’t for everyone. Before you begin your office search, keep in mind these potential drawbacks.

  1. Fixed layout and design: The layout and design of the space is probably set in stone, and you probably won’t be allowed to bring in your own furniture. If the space already has a desk you’re not allowed to get rid of, there may not be space for the expensive standing desk you used at home. You can’t paint or renovate the space, so you have to be happy with its original state.
  2. Disagreements about shared spaces: Even if the suite has a great policy in place for reserving shared amenities like conference rooms and technology, there is likely to be the occasional discrepancy about a meeting that went longer than expected or about a piece of technology that wasn’t returned in its original condition. Also, people don’t always clean up after themselves, so you might find yourself dealing with a sink full of dirty dishes every day.
  3. Decreased productivity: Executive suites offer opportunities for collaboration, and that can be very beneficial. However, even with private office spaces, working among other businesses can be distracting. Check any given suite for environmental factors like noise level before moving in.
  4. Security issues: You should be careful when discussing sensitive business issues in one of the shared spaces. If you’re working near the competition or just another tenant who you feel is a suspicious character, you may have to worry about protecting your information. Additionally, you may have to take measures to safeguard the data on your computers so that no one hacks into the shared network and steals it.

Should you Rent an Executive Suite?

Every space is different. Be sure to consider, cost, commuting time, neighboring tenants, amenities, and environment before making your decision. If you’re not sure if an executive suite setup is right for you, consider signing up for a few months—one of the benefits of these types of office spaces—to try it out.

If you’re interested in the social component of shared office space but looking for a more casual setting, coworking space might be your best option. Keep in mind as your team grows, you will likely be able to get more affordable rates leasing office space through a licensed tenant broker than in a flexible shared space.

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