Are you relocating your company or expanding your footprint in Austin? Determining specifics about the market, as well as what location and size office you need, can be difficult tasks to do.
Read Next: How Much Does It Cost to Lease Office Space in Austin, Texas? (Rental Rates, Pricing)
In this article, we will highlight five of the most common mistakes we see people make when relocating their company to Austin including:
- Not starting your search early enough
- Not considering traffic patterns
- Not catering to the demographics of your workforce
- Not signing a flexible lease
- Not hiring a tenant representation broker
1. Not starting your search early enough
Timing is a crucial aspect to consider when looking for an office space. A standard transaction involves surveying the market, creating and leveraging a competitive environment among the shortlisted options from tours, legal and business negotiations in the lease, and construction, if needed. All of these steps take varying amounts of time with the average lease transaction from survey to move-in spanning more than nine months. We have seen transactions take anywhere from one week to two years, depending on the size, complexity, and construction needed.
Read more about construction timelines in this article: How Long Does an Office Space Renovation or Build-Out Take?
Typical renewal/search timelines for office users based on tenant square footage are:
|Company Size (Square Feet)||Timeframe to Begin Process|
|> 25,000||18 to 24 months prior to lease expiration|
|10,000 to 25,000||12 months prior to expiration|
|< 10,000||9 to 12 months prior to expiration|
If you are interested in a new development that is under construction, it can be advantageous to move quickly, often well in advance of your lease expiration. Generally, the first tenants into the space get the most favorable economics.
Additionally, the condition of your new space will dictate the time needed to build it out to meet your company’s needs. Second-generation space typically allows for a faster build-out timeline, because most of the infrastructure should already be in place. Shell space on the other hand typically requires a longer build-out period.
Read Next: The Ultimate Guide to Your Office Build-Out or Renovation
2. Not Considering Traffic Patterns
Choosing the right location for your office is one of the most important parts of your office space search.
For Austin in particular, you want to consider commutes and traffic. Most of Austin’s main roads run North and South (360, MoPac, I-35, and 183), which is where you will find our more extensive traffic jams. It is generally better for commuting if your employees can avoid long stints on those major thoroughfares. While it is unlikely that every employee will have a painless commute, tools like a heatmap, coupled with traffic patterns in mind, can help avoid losing a senior employee because the new office doubles their commute time.
3. Not Catering to the Demographics of Your Workforce
Knowing the demographics of your workforce can help not only with commutes but with other important aspects as well, like employee attraction and retention, and overall company culture.
If you have a mature workforce with children, you may want to consider locating your office in an Austin suburb like Cedar Park. This may allow for an easier commute for those who are settled, catering to their children’s school needs, and more.
If you have a younger or more social workforce, walkable amenities are generally higher on the priority list than proximity to public schools, which would make CBD or the Eastside a great location.
For the best of both worlds, the Domain is a great option.
Read Next: Explore Austin’s Neighborhoods and Suburbs
You should also consider the demographics of your clients. Do you need to be close to your clients’ offices? Do you need walkable access to restaurants and coffee shops to entertain clients? Weigh your investment carefully.
4. Signing a Long Lease for a Space That Is Too Big
If you are unfamiliar with Austin’s neighborhoods, suburbs, and office market, you likely don’t want to jump into a long-term, large lease. Spending time and money on a space that you and/or your workforce are unhappy with can be an expensive mistake.
Spend time determining how much office space you need for your company and account for hybrid working, desired density, common areas, and future growth.
Once you begin hiring more people, you may also find that your workforce lives far away from your new office location, or the commute is plagued with traffic. The labor market in Austin is competitive and you want to make sure your space attracts the talent you want and need.
Because estimating growth and workforce habits can be tough, it may make sense to initially sublease a space or try to find a two-to-three-year lease so you can be sure you like the location, size, and amenities associated with an area. Don’t get stuck in a space that negatively affects your business.
5. Not Hiring a Tenant Rep Broker
We are advisors and we are here to help you and your company. We want you to succeed just as much as you do and we take pride in the companies we represent.
Hiring a broker to represent your fiduciary interests is the best way to make sure you have access to the tools and data to ensure you are not only making the right decision for your company but also getting the best deal terms possible.
Unless you are running facilities for your company on a national scale, dealing with a lease is likely something you only do once in a blue moon. We live and breathe commercial real estate transactions, completing hundreds of transactions every year in the greater Austin area. Leave it to the experts so that you can spend your time focusing on other aspects of your company.
There are numerous benefits to hiring a tenant rep, and it may not cost as much as you think. We can save you time and money while also making sure you know everything you need to know about Austin, allowing you to make the best decision for your company.
To learn more about hiring a tenant rep broker, read The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Tenant Representation Broker or schedule a consultation with someone on our team.