Whether you decide to purchase a property or rent a commercial property for use as an office, finding the perfect office space can sometimes be a pretty elusive affair. A million questions assail you as you seek to make the best decision. Should you get a property which is already set up as an office, or should you get hold of a residential property and work your way through the required documentation and permits to turn it into a commercial space? Should you start small and then relocate to a bigger space or should you start big from day one? The decision may take some serious consideration.
There are fortunately specifically targeted real estate agents who work uniquely in the commercial sector. This means that such an agent will have a thorough awareness of going rates, trends and best locations to suit different types of businesses. And this is where the real assistance comes in especially handy because you will need such experienced know-how to guide you through the maze. At RE/MAX Lettings, the commercial team is especially trained to assist clients precisely at this stage of setting up an office.
Where office space is concerned, the onus remains linked to the nature of your business. Here are some pointers to consider since these will crop up in your first interview with your commercial estate agent:
- Is yours a small company which will probably remain small and require only a one or two room set-up in the long-term?
- Are you planning on expanding in the near future so that extra space may come in handy?
- How many staff members do you presently employ, is it just a one-man show or would you be planning to grow your team considerably over a period of say five years or perhaps you are running vacancy ads at this precise moment?
- Would you be welcoming members of the public to your office? Would this entail the need for ample waiting areas, ladies’ and a mens’ rest rooms, facilities for elderly or disabled persons, facilities for parents with small children?
- If you will be welcoming clients, will these be just popping in for a short period of time or will they be staying for over one hour at a time? This detail may effect the number of parking spaces and any parking facilities in the area.
- Are your employees going to be a mix of foreigners and locals. Foreigners tend to prefer an environment closer to the central areas such as Sliema & St. Julian’s due to transport issues and the fact that most live in these Towns or in the surrounding neighborhoods. Locals aren’t really that fussed that much with any area.
- Are you in the Gaming Industry? If so, than you’ll have to think about being in a central area or if not catering for amenities such as a mess area, chill out as well as restaurants and coffee shops nearby. The employer competition is strife and being a employee market Individuals decide on their jobs based on best conveniences and of course salary. A great balance may persuade someone to join you.
Once you trash out these basic issues, you will need to also keep in mind that a good architect will come in handy as he/she will be knowledgeable about MEPA regulations that do considerably restrain or impinge upon the choice of property you make. Other regulatory bodies may become involved in the acquisition of the required permits.
Another professional worth contacting at this time is an interior designer who is well versed in styling different types of commercial ambience and offices. Such a designer will help you organise your space better in order to maximise small spaces, to work around a neat storage option, help you benefit from natural lighting, create room for a better running of the business at hand, recommend materials and furnishings. A key aspect to appreciate is that a good designer will give character to your office in order to better reflect your company’s mission statement.
As you see, it will take a concerted effort and some collaboration to create an office space that works for you and your staff, welcoming your clients and giving your business the kind of individual identity it needs to thrive successfully. Research, discussions, meetings, property viewings – all these will come together to help you create the best office space for you, your employees and your clients.