What can we do to rent an office with affordable price, suitable location and adaptive services in this economic time?
An office is not only where our employees work but also the face of the company. So far Vietnamese real estate market has been always excessive with demand and depended on rentees; therefore renters haven’t had many choices.
Rentees can choose their customers so improving the services is not their priority (except of A class offices). For renters, nothing but prices and locations are their top concerns as they think services are the same everywhere.
However, the market has already been rotated and balanced between renters and rentees, as in a lot of developed countries in South East Asia and in the world. Thus, renters will have much more choices.
This is an opportunity for B and C class renters take other factors beside prices and locations into account when choosing an office. This will make office owners pay more attentions to increase the quality of the services and offices in this segment.
Below are some tips that renters should consider when choosing a medium price office:
– Lobby design: Is it convenient? Does it usually suffer from traffic jam? Does it have a hall for parking cars and taxi? If their cars or taxi are chased away or fined for incorrect parking before they get off, your customers will not be satisfied and this will affect the transactions.
– Parking: A lot of medium price buildings lack parking lots. Therefore, you should choose those with enough parking for the employees and the customers. It’s not necessary to explain how irritating and time consuming it is for them when not having a parking lot.
– Central air conditioning system: Is the building cool enough? Is the air fresh? Is the operation fee included in the rental and service fees?
Some forums such as webtretho are spreading a growth experience about a large building in Lo Duc, Ha Noi which has an air conditioning system spreading out stink. The reason is that the air the system gets in is populated by garbage from upstairs apartments. This building has been renamed into “Disaster” since then. Can you imagine how employees and customers can work in such an environment?
– Elevator: Are the elevators for the office area separated with those of the residence? In many cases the elevators are not distinguished so office employees are threatened when sharing them with people who live there. You absolutely don’t want your people to involve in such situation.
– Windows: Are they tight? Can rain flow in? Are they drafty in the winter? Are there 2-layer-glass windows? For example, people who used to rent an office in the “Disaster” say that when there was a heavy rain, the room was saturated and all the computers, carpets, tables and chairs were broken. It was also draughty in the winter and very cold. You definitely don’t want your office to be like this. You will be wasting money and your employees are inhibited when working in such conditions.
– Toilets: Is it clean or leaked? Is the ceiling moldy? In a building where the water system is leaked, the air will get mildew and affect the heath of people who work in it. Besides, repairing many times will have a bad influence on people’s concentrations.
– For complex buildings (which are very popular in Vietnam): Before renting you should carefully google to see if the investors are having conflicts with the residences. Stay away if there are any arguments between them as there are 2 risks when working here:
+ People’s protest in the hall and even lock the way in so customers cannot get to you for transactions. This will impact on your work.
+ The conflict will be in the news. The bigger and longer the argument is, the more the news state. You won’t want your headquarter to be in the headlines as when customers read it, they will automatically take you as a negative. This is confirmed by psychologists.
– Investors’ reputation: As the reason above, you should consider the reputation of the investors. If they are involving in lawsuits, tax evasion, etc., you need to stay away because they are not trustworthy partners.
– Investors’ financial state: You should google the financial status of the investor. For example, if the investor of the building you are planning to rent an office is currently investing in other projects, they may get capital immobilization or lost in the short future. Their mortgage will be foreclosed or the properties will be sold off to pay the debt.
In this situation, you’ll have to move your office. Of course you cannot be 100 percent sure about the financial state off the investor but avoid as much risk as you can.
– Deposit: Today a lot of owners ask for 3 month’s rental deposited in cash. However, this is risky for renters as they cannot get the deposit returned in case the investor goes bankrupt or is frozen the assets, if they intentionally break the contract (ask you to move before the due date). Therefore, you should negotiate to reduce the deposit in cash. (In developed countries, deposit is often 1 month’s rental).
If you can’t decrease the cash deposit, you should require to deposit by bank guarantee or frozen account. This is a modern method which should be popularized. Your money will be put at a bank, which is safer than investors.
If the renters do not pay or break the contract, the building owner can go to the bank to ask for payment in accordance with the contract.
These are some tips for renters who are looking for medium class offices. Hope you can find one that is suitable and adaptive to your budget.