Selecting the Right Office Location

by CoyDavidson on August 24, 2010

Real Estate decisions are not typically short-term

When selecting an office location for your company it is important to establish the key location criteria for both short and long-term business needs. Every company is different in terms of how factors are weighted with importance. Depending on whether you are a major corporation or a small professional firm, or by specific industry type, the relative importance of these criteria will vary. Many industries tend to cluster in certain submarkets and while cost and the quality of available buildings, as well as area quality of life issues are always important factors, there are numerous other issues typically considered.

Over the years, I have some seen some of the following factors considered:

  • Building Image, Quality and Amenities
  • Area Amenities (Dining, Banking, Entertainment, etc)
  • Occupancy Rates/ Expansion Capability
  • Rental Rates-Property Values / Occupancy Costs
  • Labor Costs / Demographics
  • Tax Environment (Corporate and Property)
  • Political Environment
  • Zoning / Deed Restrictions
  • Educational Institutions / School Districts
  • Crime Statistics
  • Energy Costs
  • I.T. Infrastructure & Costs
  • Redundant Energy Suppliers, Fiber providers
  • Economic Incentives
  • Shipping /Distribution Costs
  • Proximity to Customers
  • Proximity to Suppliers
  • Proximity to Vendors
  • Proximity to affordable / quality housing
  • Ease of Access for Employment Base
  • Traffic Patterns
  • Public Transportation / Airports
  • Impact /Probability of Natural Disasters
  • Exit Strategy; and
  • Proximity to the CEO’s residence

The brokerage community has become much more sophisticated in assisting clients make location decisions, and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has become an integral part of providing the best possible solutions.  The investment in technology equipment, software and data, that empowers brokers with the most accurate and up-to-date analytic research available is now expected from their corporate clients. In addition to the traditional real estate data provided, by combining information such as aerial photos, labor demographic analysis, drive time, competitor locations, competitor locations and planned residential subdivision data you can effectively visualize markets and better define custom trade areas.

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