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Posted December 10 2019

Office Space Search Q&A

Who are you?

Glad you asked! We’re a serviced office broker with 30 years experience between us. We all know each other from previous work in the industry and have come from the serviced office operator side, so fully understand the way in which the flexible space market works. A.K.A Cornerstone Office Search (you’ve probably figured that out by now). 

How can an office broker help my business?

Utilising a broker for your office search can save you a lot of time and energy. At Cornerstone, it is our sole purpose to find clients the best deals in office space. As well as ensuring you have visibility of the whole office market, we can also find deals that are ‘off market’ due to strong relationships built over the years with contacts in the industry

How much will a new office cost me?

The ultimate question! To be honest, it varies a lot and we can’t give a definitive answer. Location, size, spec, facilities, contract length etc all play a huge part. It’s best to discuss with us  so we can narrow down the criteria and go from there. We can give you a ballpark figure prior to starting the search with a few key details. And remember, there is no obligation to use our services after the initial conversation.

Do you charge a service fee?

No! Our services are totally free of charge to you and we are provider-neutral so we will always aim to get you the best deal, rather than have an affinity with one brand. We claim a fee from the office space provider only when and if we get you the right space.

How long does it all take?

That can depend on when you start looking. Ideally, anywhere within your current notice period; 1-3 months before you’re due to move out is a good amount of time. The serviced office industry does move quickly though, so if you we can’t find what you’re looking for immediately, it’s likely we can in another few weeks. You want to have enough time to view properties and smooth out any contractual concerns, but not so much time that the new landlord has a long period of empty space while they wait for your current contract to end. However, once you have decided on a space, signed the contract and paid a deposit that’s it until the move in day! We’ve known deals to happen on the same day and some take months, so again, there is quite a variation!

What’s better? Serviced vs Lease?

We’ve written an entire post on this topic as there’s so much to cover! Check out the link HERE to get the lowdown.

How much space do I get per person?

This really varies per provider. It used to be 50 square foot per person as an average rule, but with rent increasing and clients preferring better equipped communal spaces, the offices are generally smaller. You can probably expect anything from 30 square foot up to the aforementioned 50 square foot per person in a serviced office. If your office does feel on the tight side, ensure you have good quality breakout space for staff so that there are spaces for people to roam and relax away from the office.

Can I do this myself?

Yes! We’re not pretending to be rocket scientists nor members of an exclusive club, but we can definitely make your life easier. You’ll get peace of mind knowing that every relevant office space provider has been considered for you.

The thing about searching for a new office is that it can be time consuming and take you away from your actual business. You may come away from the process wondering if you really got the best deal, having to accept a price in the first instance to allow you to get back to work. Whilst you could argue this is part and parcel of being a business owner, you may as well enlist some help from experts, particularly as we are completely free of charge to you. 

What’s the process and timeframe?

It all starts with you telling us what you want. We have an enquiry form on our website, or you can email/call us directly. We’ll go through the requirements and then compile a list of suitable options.

Once you have reviewed the options and decided which office buildings you would like to see in person, we arrange viewings and a schedule based on location and the most logical way to visit. We will most likely accompany you to assist with navigation, questions and additional notes – it always helps to have an extra pair of ears and eyes on hand!

After that, we hopefully have a favourite contender and negotiate the best deal. If you’re happy, we can arrange the license agreement and other finer points. Or, we can search again if you want to expand the criteria.

Finally, you move into your lovely new space! We hope you love it there. (But, if not, we can always help again!)

When should I start looking for a new office?

For a serviced office, anything within 3 months of your move out date is ideal (don’t forget to serve notice, some providers will automatically renew your contract otherwise without much warning). There isn’t much point looking earlier as the availability of space changes. As 3 months is the standard notice period for most serviced offices then this makes sense. You can leave it later – we have been known to find office space for people within a day! – but we don’t recommend cutting it too fine as you’ll simply limit your options. 

If I want a leased office can you help?

Absolutely. We all have a good grasp of the leased market so can decipher which type of office solution you’re after. We have a dedicated and well respected real estate agent who we partner with for lease or freehold enquiries so you get our customer service with top notch expertise. We feel that partnering with experts in the field benefits you, which is our ultimate goal.