When searching for new commercial space, there can be many moving pieces.
While a qualified tenant representation broker can help take many of these items off of your plate, it is still important to understand how the process works and what is expected of you at each step along the way.
In the table below, we explain the site selection process from day one to occupancy, including what you will need to be doing, as well as what your tenant representative and project manager will be doing to move the process forward, and what the landlord’s broker will be doing behind the scenes.
How long this process will take can vary, depending on the size of your requirement and when you start the process, but typically ranges between 6 – 24 months. To learn more about when you should start looking for new office space, check out our article When Should I Renew My Office Lease (Or Look to Relocate) Prior to My Lease Expiration?
The Site Selection Process
|Phase in the Site Selection Process||What You, the Client, Are Doing||What Your Tenant Rep is Doing||What Your Project Manager is Doing||What the Landlord is Doing|
|Needs Assessment||Working with your tenant rep broker and project management team, determining how much space you need and deciding what needs and wants are most important, such as location, amenities, TI, etc.||Doing discovery and performing a needs assessment to determine your space needs and priorities.
Preparing a site selection timeline.
Reviewing your current lease to understand your options at your existing space.
|Working with you and your tenant rep broker to determine a preliminary timeline, budget, etc.
Helping you engage an architect to evaluate space needs.
|Market Survey||Reviewing options presented by your broker and deciding which spaces to tour.||Surveying the market to find available options (or off-market options coming available) that meet your criteria.
Organizing options to present to you.
|Reviewing spaces from the survey and advising you which spaces would offer the best potential for a build-out.||Responding to tenant rep’s requests for information about available spaces at their property.
Following up with the tenant rep broker to better understand the tenant’s needs and size to point them to the suite or building that would work best.
Sharing all building marketing collateral (floor plans, flyers, property videos, etc. for available spaces)
|Tours||Touring properties decided on during the market survey to see each space in person.
Creating a shortlist of top two or three options.
|Setting up tours with landlords and taking you to tour properties and spaces in person.||Performing test fits to determine how each design would work for you.
Helping you understand the scope and cost of renovations that would be needed in each space.
|Meeting you at the property, touring you through the property, available spaces and amenities.|
|Proposals||Comparing proposals submitted by landlords. Working with your broker to analyze each option and compose counter-proposals.||Sending requests for proposals to properties decided upon in your shortlist, collecting responses and organizing into an apples-to-apples report to share with you.||Beginning preliminary construction pricing estimates on shortlist properties.||Crafting an initial proposal for you and walking your tenant rep broker through the deal terms being presented.|
|Financial Analysis & Negotiation||Working both internally and with your tenant rep to structure an ideal lease.||Negotiating with the landlord to work toward finalizing the best lease terms for you.
Walking you through a financial analysis of different deal structures to see which one will work best given the scenario.
|Providing input to the financial analysis and negotiation in terms of construction costs and a recommended Tenant Improvement (TI) allowance, as well as how long construction will take so you can negotiate the correct commencement date.||Negotiating with your broker to finalize proposal terms that landlord and tenant are in agreement with.|
|Final Lease Proposal||Making a final decision on which property or space to move forward with.||Formally submitting the fully negotiated offer to the landlord with which the tenant wants to move forward with.||Formally submitting a final proposal to the tenant broker that the landlord is willing to accept.|
|Lease Document Review||Working with your lawyers and tenant rep broker to finalize lease documents.||Working with you, your legal team and the landlord broker to finalize the lease documents.||Reviewing the work letter and providing comments in regard to language in the lease.||Working with the landlord’s attorney to finalize lease documents.|
|Lease Execution||Legally committing to a space.
Beginning to plan for build-out and move-in.
|Accepting the lease terms and assisting you with the lease signing process.||Beginning the architectural design process and submitting proposals for permits and bids.||Accepting the lease terms and coordinating signing of the agreement by the landlord.|
|Build Out||Finalizing design decisions, communicating regularly with project manager about progress of the project.||Making the proper hand-off to the project manager or building’s property management that will be assisting you.||Overseeing construction, handling communications and scheduling with contractors / vendors.
Updating schedule and budget throughout the project.
Communicating project progress with you and ensuring quality control.
|Helping connect building architect, property manager and construction manager with tenant and tenant’s broker.|
|Move In||Moving in to the new space||Communicating with project management and/or property management to ensure a smooth and timely move-in.||Overseeing final completion of the project and obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy.
Assisting with enlisting office moving team, IT installation, furniture Install, etc.
Working with you and the architect to put together the appropriate punch list and obtain all close out documents required by the work letter in the lease.
|Occupancy||Enjoying the new space and focusing on your business.||Continuing to advise you on the market.
Consulting with you on any changing real estate needs, upcoming expansion or renewal options, etc.
|Acting as a resource if your space requires any additional alterations, repairs, warranty items, etc.||Reaching out to tenant rep broker anywhere from 4 to 12 months out from your lease expiration to discuss renewal or expansion|
Now that you understand the process for finding and leasing office space as well as how your tenant rep will help you along the way, here are some other articles that you may find helpful:
- 5 Crucial Steps for Finding the Perfect Office Space to Lease
- 7 Benefits of Hiring a Tenant Representation Broker
- How Much Does It Cost to Use a Tenant Representation Broker?
If you’re ready to start your search for office space, read our Ultimate Guide to Finding Office Space.