If It's Not Love At First Sight, It's Not The Office For You

by - Thursday, August 16, 2018


In many ways, searching for commercial real estate is no different from searching for a home. Your needs may vary, but it’s likely you’ll operate on the same instincts. Namely, you’ll get an instant feeling whether you like a property or not. When viewing a house, we usually know within thirty seconds whether it’s the one for us- blame that ever elusive ‘magical feeling’ so many house hunters look out for. While your logical side may tell you that a business space is a different beast, the magical feeling definitely comes into play here, too. If that first impression doesn’t set your world on fire, it’s a sure sign a commercial space isn’t for you. Of course, you must have liked something about it, or you wouldn’t have booked a viewing. While browsing on sites like Proplist give you the benefit of understanding a space before you see it, a good first impression on-screen can’t change your gut reaction when you see a property in the flesh. Chances are, through the hunting process, everyone will try to convince you a gut feeling doesn’t mean much in business. They’ll tell you about the possibilities of decorating. They’ll assure you it doesn’t matter how warm and fuzzy an office leaves you. Ultimately, though, you should take advice like this with a pinch of salt. When it comes down to it, a bad first impression should stop you choosing a space for a few reasons. And, we’re going to look at them here.

You’re seeing it the way customers will
When you first view a property, you see it the way customers will. So, if you get a bad first impression, how do you think your customers would feel? You can sure as hell bet they won’t stick around. In fact, a bad enough first impression could drive away your customers faster than you know. You may be able to arrange a second viewing and convince yourself it isn’t so bad, but your customers won’t. Instead, they’ll turn away and never look back. As such: bad first impression = major business trouble. Admittedly, the severity to which this applies varies. For instance, it is worth asking where that wrong first impression comes from. If the area and other factors outside of your control are to blame, strike this one off your list. If it’s merely that the current decor and layout are wrong, turn your thinking cap on. Could you change things enough to undo that instant lousy feeling? If you can see any potential, then keep it in the running. If not, look elsewhere.

Trust your gut- you're getting bad vibes for a reason
Anyone who’s attended a fair few viewings will know what we mean when we talk about a generalised bad vibe. You can’t put your finger on it, but something isn’t right. It can be frustrating, and you’re especially liable to overlook doubts like these. After all, they have no solid foundation. Instead, then, you might convince yourself you’re being stupid. It’s a good building, and it’ll work wonders for your business. The trouble is, bad vibes are rarely without basis. A few months into your tenancy, you may find that those unspecified issues rear their ugly heads. It may turn out that a neighbourhood you thought was respectable has high rates of crime. Or, perhaps that bad vibe came about as a result of structural issues. Either way, you can be sure it isn’t good news. Even if you can’t put your finger on the issue, don’t put doubts to the side. Accept them and look elsewhere.

You need to work next to those neighbours
We all have a nosy at the neighbours when viewing a property, don’t we? No one wants to live next to a loud house of party animals, after all. Yet, when it comes to business space, you may overlook potential neighbourly issues. There’s no way those noisy neighbours can keep you awake at night. In truth, though, neighbours who look like trouble are as much bad news here as anywhere else. Remember that your office space itself dictates how well your team work. As such, rowdy neighbours could soon start to disrupt. All that noise won’t be best for sealing deals, either. Yet, if you’re investing in a town-based office space, there’s every chance a noisy shop could be right next door. So, if you don’t like the look of your commercial neighbours, don’t let anyone trick you into signing on that dotted line!

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