Finding The Perfect Office In NYC
You’ll know when it’s time to move on. Maybe your bedroom has gotten too small to hold your dreams. Maybe you’ve had an explosive year and your headcount suddenly doubled. Or maybe you and your staff have simply gotten tired of the same four walls in the same old neighborhood and it’s time for something new. Wherever you are on your journey, all paths lead to the same conclusion: It’s time to find a new office.
But that’s easier said than done. Finding real estate in New York City is like, well, finding real estate in New York City. A simple online search will turn up hundreds of thousands of results — dozens of co-working spaces with nearly identical decor and amenities, hundreds of descriptions of big, beautiful offices, but no pictures to let you know if they’re worth touring, and places so ridiculously out of your price range or far from where you need to be that it makes you question how smart the search algorithms actually are.
It seems complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are the first steps you need to take to find yourself the perfect office in NYC.
Count your employees
Sounds like a no-brainer, but we’ve all worked in offices where the desks are jammed next to each other and someone has to share legroom with the coffee maker. Cramped spaces are notorious for stifling productivity. However, you also don’t want to pay for more space than you’ll use.
The general rule of thumb is 150 square feet of floor space per employee, but that’s only part of it. You’ll also need to factor your staff’s working styles.
For example, if some of your staff works remotely, you won’t need to dedicate permanent desk space for each of them. If you’ve got a killer, but rambunctious, sales team, you’ll need to think about a more private space for the team so the rest of the office can work in peace.
Once you know how many people will be working in your office — and how they’re going to be working in the office together — the layout and configuration of the space you need will become clear.
Location, location, location
While determining the size and style of office you need should be based on what’s most important for your employees, selecting a location for your office should be based on what’s most important for your business.
Have an energetic team that needs to be surrounded by the creative vibe of Midtown South or SoHo to put in their best work? You know where to start looking. Or is your staff mostly composed of homebodies? Limiting commute time might be more important than being in the middle of it all.
If you will be regularly welcoming clients, it makes sense to locate yourself near a major transit hub to make their visits as convenient and hassle-free as possible. On that same note, if you plan to be pursuing blue-chip, international, Fortune 100 style clients, a high-prestige address can do as much work to woo them as your perfect presentation.
It all depends on what is most important for your business, and unfortunately, sometimes two important aspects will be in direct conflict, leaving you to choose between two very different locations. Unless having two offices was your plan from the start, you will eventually have to pick one or the other, so make the choice that is best for your business.
Cash rules everything around me
Did you know that coworking spaces can cost nearly $700-$1000 per employee? If you’re growing, that can add up and that means bye, bye sensible budget. Most people are surprised that once you have more than 6-10 employees, it can be significantly less expensive to lease private office space.
And, believe it or not, private office spaces have perks. Having your own space means you can transform it into an extension of your brand. Hang signs or banners, customize the layout to your exact specifications, add that ping pong table, or get rid of it if it becomes a distraction. In the end, the space is yours, and that benefit can’t be ignored.
Aside from expensive coworking, the two factors that should determine your budget are growth projection and employee retention/satisfaction.
When it comes to growth, be honest with yourself. Do you really expect to garner VC attention and expand wildly in the next few years? Or will you continue to put in the work that’s required for being discovered? Do you work in a field where no matter what you do, your employees keep getting poached by larger, more established firms? Or do you have a little black book of talent that you’re ready to onboard once you move into your new digs?
The question of budget isn’t where you hope to be, it’s where you can reasonably expect to be. By focusing on growth and employee retention, and being honest about those projections, a budget should easily follow.
Don’t go it alone
Remember: broker services are free for tenants. We’ll say that again, louder: Broker services are free for tenants! Brokers fees are paid for by the landlord so you literally have nothing to lose.
But, how do you choose? The best broker is the one who feels like an extension of your brand and fully understands your business. When a broker truly understands your needs, the insight and service they can give are indispensable. Brokers are professionals who navigate the seemingly impossible world of New York City real estate for you with your specific needs and wants in mind and only get paid when they find you the office you’ve been looking for.
Searching for commercial real estate in New York City can be overwhelming, so why not let someone else help you do the heavy lifting?
Whether you’re just starting to think about a new office space or your current lease is coming to an end, Nomad Group can help you find the perfect spot.