I understand it can be overwhelming for small to medium sized businesses when first looking for a new warehouse or industrial property, but there are a few things you can do to make your search, and the final decision, easier.
Firstly, when thinking about securing business space, it is key to identify and focus on an area or areas that really work for your business. This will be influenced by many factors, such the location and ease of access for employees, suppliers and customers. Once a suitable location has been identified, I would recommend driving around the area to get a clear idea of the types of properties available, the general infrastructure and to take note of any commercial agent’s signs. It is also sensible to look online to identify agents that are active in the neighbourhood, as they will be able to advise you on likely rental levels and general availability.
The size of property required will depend on the type of business you operate. For example, do you need height in the warehouse for racking or a mezzanine? Do you require a high level of office space for your employees? Understanding what type of space you need is crucial in order for you to identify a property that allows your business to operate at maximum efficiency. Some smaller occupiers may also be able to save money if they can operate in an industrial or production property where rents are generally lower, rather than a high specification office building.
After you have identified a shortlist of suitable buildings, arrange viewings so you can inspect the unit’s condition, the estate on which it is located and the local amenities. It is important to consider the condition and running of the estate, as this will give an indication of the management and the landlord’s level of care. Factors such as whether the units benefit from sufficient car parking, suitable loading areas or onsite security are also important to note. Utilities and services available to the estate are also important considerations.
Once you decide on a unit, you need to consider all the costs associated with leasing a commercial property, these typically include rent, service charge, building insurance and business rates. It may be possible to secure more favourable terms if you decide to make a longer commitment to a property.
During the process, you can choose to negotiate key terms directly with a landlord or their agent or you can decide to appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf. Once the terms have been agreed you will require the services of a lawyer who is experienced in commercial property transactions to advise on the finer points of the lease and complete the legal documents.
Remember, forging a good relationship with your landlord can be beneficial in order to avoid disputes throughout the term of the lease and make negotiations for issues such as alterations, rent reviews or lease renewal/expiry much easier.
Bear in mind that the right space can help businesses to grow and reach their full potential - so start your search now, as the ideal home for your business is out there.
SEGRO’s London assets are located across more than 60 estates and clustered around the key Heathrow, Park Royal and Greenford markets and in and around the M25, M40 and A40 corridor. To find out further information about SEGRO, please visit www.SEGRO.com , or contact SEGRO’s customer services on: 01753 537171.