Ten mistakes to avoid when renegotiating your office lease:
1. Start negotiating too late
As everyone knows, the best decisions are not made with haste. To put the odds in your favour, start negotiating 18 to 24 months before your lease expires. It's never too early to get started!
2. Lack of clarity
Start by determining your objectives. What is most important to you? Flexibility? Lowest price? Growth? The optimisation of your workspace? It is important to define your needs and prioritise them.
3. Lacking knowledge of the real estate market
Transparency is not necessarily self-evident in the office rental sector. Most agents have conflicting interests. So, choose an independent, impartial advisor who has no conflict of interest with the landlord. Also choose someone who knows the market opportunities in depth.
4. Ignoring the Belgian market and its rules
Your landlord is a real estate professional. Don't underestimate his skills! He knows the market and its rules. Be sure to negotiate on equal terms as a tenant.
5. Failure to know the contract
A good rental agreement means much more than a competitive rent or a few months of free rent. Pay attention to each specific clause, especially those concerning flexibility and the costs related to common expenses. You can avoid unpleasant surprises if you remain wary, vigilant, and have a good knowledge of your position.
6. Disregarding the counterpart
Some landlords are in trouble with too much empty space, others are not. Knowing their situation will enable you to anticipate your leverage and seize the best opportunities. An experienced Tenant Representative and his knowledge of inside information will guide you.
7. Failing to appoint a single manager to your project
To maximise results, it is best to appoint a single point of contact within your organisation. An uncoordinated project wastes time. Good preparation and strict discipline are the keys to success and saving money.
8. Poor assessment of workspace
Remember: unnecessary square metres are the most expensive ones. Today, new IT solutions, innovative furniture and new furnishing concepts make it possible to create a ‘smart office’. If you make the space work for your needs you will need less of it, therefore reducing your rental costs.
9. Not anticipating your needs
Many things can change during your lease. Keep in mind that your space requirements are likely to change over time. Make sure you analyse in detail these space needs before signing the deal.
10. Relying too much on "good" relationships
Many office tenants believe that a good relationship with the landlord or Property Manager guarantees a successful negotiation. However, in reality, landlords prioritise their own interests over personal relationships. The ideal solution is to keep good company - a 100% independent and experienced negotiator will help you to avoid the 10 most common mistakes and offer you the maximum rent reductions; helping to optimise your financial balance sheet.