Written by Allie Hubbard

When it comes to real estate, you’re probably familiar with the adage “it’s all about location, location, location.” The placement of your business has a profound impact on your operation for a variety of reasons and may be just as important as your product and services.

Today, we’ll explore a number of important factors to consider when determining the location for your office, storefront, restaurant, or any other type of business.

Where are my customers and clients located?

Convenience is important for just about any business. Would you prefer to do business with a company located 30 minutes away or connect with an equally-fit company right down the road?

The more difficult it is for a customer to visit your office, the more likely you are to have a frustrated client once he/she arrives.

It’s important to identify where the majority of your target market is located when determining  your new address to prevent losing a customer to a more conveniently located competitor. 

From where are my employees commuting?

There is growing evidence that organizations thrive when their employees are happy. A long, arduous commute can be counter-productive when promoting happiness within your company, whether it involves existing employees or recruiting new ones. Certain individuals might not even apply for a certain job if it involves a tough commute, causing you to miss the opportunity for a qualified candidate.

A few potential negative business impacts of a long commute are decreased productivity, higher turnover and increased employee stress and tardiness. All of these make it important for employers to consider their audience and employees when establishing a new location.

 

Is freeway frontage important to business development?

If your business relies on exposure and brand recognition, finding an office with freeway frontage can be very beneficial. With front-facing signage, you can get your brand, and messaging, out to hundreds of thousands of people each and every day. This is a great way to stay visible and relevant in the community, but can come with a cost. 

 

What’s my budget and how does that limit my search?

Finding an office in an area that aligns with your budgetary needs is arguably the primary sticking point in your search.

As a business owner, you will want to carefully evaluate your monthly budget for real estate costs. By reducing your real estate costs, you can directly impact profitability. Rental rates vary by submarket and so do parking ratios. For example, Downtown Houston has an average parking ratio of two parking space per 1,000 rentable square feet versus The Galleria, which offers roughly three to four spaces per 1,000 rentable square feet.

If offering parking spaces to all of your commuting employees is important, downtown may not be a the best option. Average rents and operating expenses are also the highest in this submarket. However, if the benefits of a downtown location outweigh the costs, it may be one to consider.

Besides the base rent and parking, make sure you evaluate all monthly costs involved which could include utilities, maintenance and other building operations.

Are there any types of safety features? If so, then what?

Safety for your clients and employees should be one of your top priorities. The first step to ensuring the safety of your team is by finding an office in a low-crime area. Real estate in high-crime areas is less expensive for a reason and you don’t want to jeopardize the safety of your clients and employees just to save money.

In fact, offices in high-crime areas are more susceptible to break-ins or vandalism, which can ultimately cost you more in the long run.

Office hours differ based on the nature of the business. If you have several female employees, or if your employees often work past daylight, it is wise to inquire about the safety features at buildings as well as crime in the surrounding area.

How does the building appear? What image does it project?

Your office can be a marketing tool. Consider your target market, customer base and message you want to send as they enter your office doors. For example, a unique industrial warehouse may not be the best fit for a family law practice but makes sense for a cutting-edge marketing or advertising firm.

Even if the space doesn’t match your vision of what your office should look like, it may be possible to administer your own renovations and customize the space to your liking. 

Are walkable or on-site amenities important?

Some employers are strategically pursuing locations offering walkable amenities, giving workplaces a campus-like setting to attract new employees and younger generations. You will want to consider the demographics of your employees to determine what type of atmosphere is best-suited for the majority.

For these reasons above, it’s important not to make snap decisions about where you decide to locate your office. Be methodical and consider all the impactful factors before making this crucial decision for your business.

Read more of our blogs to learn more about where you should locate your office building. Contact Limestone Commercial now!

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