The Pros and Cons of Working with an Agent When Choosing London Office Space
So, you’ve decided to move your business to London.
You’re moving to a hub of activity, culture, and history, where you will be rubbing shoulders with over 2 million other businesses.
But now you need to find an office, and this can be tricky.
There are two options that you can take when trying to locate London office space, and they are to go it alone, or to work with an agent, like One One One.
So, what is the best option?
Well, we’ve created this guide on the pros and cons of working with an agent to help you decide.
Let’s take a look.
What Does an Agent Do?
While you may think that a commercial real estate agent solely finds you a place to work, the reality is very different.
There are many complexities to moving your business into a new workspace, and a good agent should help with them all.
The process will begin with a conversation, in which the agent gets to know you and your needs for your office space.
A great way to start off proceedings is by filling in your requirements, such as you can do on our build your own office tool.
This could be something as simple as the number of desks you require, or something much more extravagant such as the need for an on-site gym.
An agent is there to find you your ideal office space and help you make your way into it.
While this all sounds very positive, there are some people who prefer to go it alone when locating office space, and there are some reasons that people think using an agent isn’t the best option.
But let’s start with the benefits.
The Benefits of Working with an Agent
Knowledge & Expertise
By using an agent that specialises in London office space, you are getting a team of people that have a wealth of knowledge on the market and the area you are looking to move into.
How close is the nearest tube station?
What landmarks are nearby?
Is there somewhere for staff to park?
These questions and more will be readily answered by your agent as they discuss the perfect London location with you.
This means that when you do move into your office space, there will be no surprises.
An agent will also have a clear idea on pricing, and how much office space in certain locations may cost, so will help you find the perfect area for you, taking into account your budget, preferences, and many other factors.
There’s a common saying in business that ‘time is money’ and this can be true when moving into new office space.
If you feel your business is being held back by your current office space, then spending months trying to find the right office space could hamper your progress even more.
An agent can act quickly, and as soon as they know what kind of office space you are looking for, they will already have an idea in their mind of the perfect space for you.
Not only that, but when it comes to negotiations, an agent is well trained in making sure these run smoothly and that you don’t just get the best deal, but you get it in a quick time.
Access to Off-Market Offices
There are some offices that aren’t on the market and so unless you go through an agent, you may be missing out on some amazing opportunities.
This is normally the higher end office space, so if you are looking for something that would fall into this category, choosing to work with an agent may be the only way in.
Not only that, but an agent will have a network that they have worked with in the past, so you may find that a new office is about to come on the market that is perfect for you and your agent can get you through the door straight away.
This gives you a great opportunity to get in ahead of your competitors and secure the office of your dreams.
When it comes to renting office space, some rental prices are very rigid.
Some though, are open to negotiation, and if you are going it alone, this may be a daunting time.
An agent will have lots of experience working with various office space landlords, and will be able to help you with the negotiations, ensuring you always get the best price possible.
As mentioned earlier, the agent may have a good working relationship with the company you are renting from, which always helps.
Having an agent with you is also a great way to make sure you always get just what you need out of a negotiation and can help explain any aspect of the contract or costing that you are unfamiliar with.
More Than Just an Office Search
I’ve touched on this earlier in the blog, but just wanted to mention it again as it is an important point.
An agent doesn’t just find you an office and then walk away and leave you to it.
They also offer many other services.
For example, here at One One One we provide services such as lease restructuring, advice on dilapidations, workplace strategy creation, rent reviews, and can even help with national and international expansion for your business.
We will be with you throughout your rental period and be on hand whenever you need advice or professional help to make sure you don’t just find your perfect office space, but you thrive when in it.
The Cons (And Why One One One is Different)
Okay, so they were the benefits, and obviously we are biased, being commercial real estate agents ourselves.
But there are some common downsides that people associate with working with an agent.
Here are three popular ones (and why One One One may be able to buck the trend).
It Costs More
This is a fair statement.
If you go alone and find an office space for yourself, then you won’t have to pay the agent fees.
If you’re a business that is really struggling for cash and you are trying to cut spending wherever you can, then going alone may be the only option, and that’s fine.
You can still find great office space without an agent.
While going with an agent does cost more, the benefits are often worth the money, and the abundance of services and professional help may outweigh the initial cost. We can also help negotiate savings, with rent free periods for example, which will more than pay for the cost of using an agent.
Also, at One One One, we take into account your needs, and if your need is to save money, we will try and find you an office space that can do that in the long term.
We will look into an office space that can keep your energy prices down or try and negotiate you a great lease price.
So, while the initial outlay can be large, the overall cost throughout your full rental period may be lower.
Working with some agents may limit your options of the office space which you have access to.
This is because these agents may only have a small portfolio of workspaces to choose from, and therefore by partnering with them in your office search, you may find your access is limited.
This means that you will always be able to take a look around and get to know the prime office space in London, and also means we can offer a wide range of office space right throughout the capital.
With so much on offer, you’re sure to find the space you need with us.
Lack of Control
When you work with an agent, you are entrusting them with the responsibility of finding the right space for your business.
This may be slightly concerning if you are worried about losing control.
After all, you are handing the reigns over to an external business.
At One One One, we speak with you throughout the process, allowing you to tell us exactly what you want from your workspace.
After we have a picture of the ideal office for you, we will go away and come back with some suggestions that fit the bill.
We don’t go it alone, and it is a co-operative effort to locate your ideal office. We think working together is the best way to make the process smooth and efficient, so will be in contact throughout to ensure you’re always happy with the office space being offered.
London Office Search with One One One
Of course, we are biased when it comes to this topic, but that is because we have seen the many happy customers who we have located office space for throughout the years.
If you’re looking to move your business to London, and you want to work with an agent, then why not get in touch with One One One today.
We will work with you to find you the ideal home for your business and have you moved in and ready to enjoy your new chapter in the heart of London in no time.