After an exhaustive search, you’ve finally found a space that’s perfect for your business. And while you’re eager to move in and get settled, it’s important not to rush through the process of signing a commercial real estate lease. This agreement will influence the short- and long-term future of your business.
As Bespoke analyzes Chicago commercial real estate transactions and markets, we comprehensively study “supply and demand” to obtain numerous opportunities and favorable terms for our clients through our lease negotiation service. Below, we provide insight on the four steps to consider as you prepare to sign a commercial real estate lease.
1. Enlist help from the experts.
Commercial leases are complex and very different from residential leases. Even if you’re used to handling most business decisions in-house, it’s wise to work with a team of experienced commercial real estate professionals to get the most favorable terms. Bespoke works to get the best deal possible for our clients, under any circumstance—our expertise, discernment and discipline are the keys to unlocking advantageous leasing terms for Chicago private businesses.
2. Evaluate the physical space.
Before you get too far into the paperwork, double-check that the space matches your company’s expectations and needs. Confirm which areas are private vs. common areas, such as hallways, restrooms and elevators. What improvements or modifications will be necessary before you move in, or in a few years’ time? Who will pay for them? When companies partner with Bespoke from the beginning, we ensure that the space under consideration is in line with clients' current needs, future growth, realistic budgets and desired efficiencies.
3. Read (and reread) the lease.
When you receive the initial draft of the lease, examine it carefully with your tenant advisor, noting unfamiliar phrases and questionable clauses. Then review it again with a trusted transactional commercial real estate lawyer. Don’t assume anything; ask questions until you understand the lease backward and forward. Some items to review: What are the provisions of the security deposit? Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance? What are the requirements of termination or renewal? By exclusively representing tenants, Bespoke creates custom-tailored solutions that ensure our clients’ interests are the priority—this is crucial when negotiating lease terms, as we work to get clients what they require of a space.
4. Negotiate the very best terms possible.
Strategic negotiation is critical to business success. You must land an agreement that provides fair and flexible terms, and doesn’t expose your business to unnecessary risk. Bespoke’s strategy in creating a competitive bidding process provides opportunity for tenant-specific leverage, which ultimately places our clients in an advantageous position.
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