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Author: Aaron Weiner This post originally appeared on Insights and is republished with permission. Find out how to blog with us on theBrokerList.

Lease Intelligence

Keep A Scorecard When Searching For Properties

One of the messages I always convey to new clients when embarking on a search for a new location for their business is that it is a process; that is, the search itself serves to bring into focus what is important to them and that it is OK to shift their priorities along the way. Nothing brings must-haves and deal killers to the surface better than actually touring several
properties and their respective neighborhoods.

Sometimes several of the tenant’s stated priorities are in flux and I find it helpful to keep track of the properties we have viewed with a scorecard that rates key criteria on a scale (I like 1-5; 1-100 or even 1-10 risks everyone getting lost in the weeds.) Here is a list of criteria I often rate for my office space clients:

Budget – budget often evolves from the tenant’s original rent target. When it comes to the economics of a given space, employee satisfaction and productivity trump rent.
Parking – abundance and security are key parking considerations for some tenants
Proximity to neighborhood amenities – many businesses want to be in a walkable neighborhood where their employees feel safe and where there is an array food and personal services available.
Proximity to other company facilities – this factor often goes head to head with the desire for neighborhood commercial amenities. Time (and a little touring) will help clarify which is more important to the tenant
Proximity to other business in the same industry and industry-supporting services – this matters when you are in the fashion or media industry but not so much if you are an accounting firm.
Building and premises image and functionality – consider how desirable the expensive Century City submarket is for law firms.

When I introduce a client to the scorecard I make it clear that it is not intended as a tool to choose a property based on the overall highest score; rather, it is a way to consciously take stock of their shifting priorities and steer clear of over thinking what is always a multi-faceted decision.

In the end, the tenant gets the location they want and just as importantly, they know how they got there.

Do you have your own lease challenges that you would like to discuss? Feel free to call me directly or send me an email.

Aaron Weiner, CCIM, CPM, LEED AP
[email protected]
(213) 258-6921