It’s the real estate mantra: location, location, location.
Location is critical in determining a property’s value — the resale value and the rent/lease value. Some addresses are simply more desirable than others.
What, specifically, is it about a location that makes a property attractive?
Business tenants consider many factors when choosing where to locate their offices. These myriad factors combine in a sometimes-complex pattern that helps determine a property’s worth to potential tenants.
What do clients and tenants consider when choosing a location to rent or patronize?
1. Is it easily accessible?
If you locate your office near a rail station, bus stop, or other commuter lines, you’re likely to attract more customers than a business that requires its clients to walk several blocks. For this reason, office space near public transportation is often more valuable.
Time is money, and clients want to get what they need from a business as quickly as possible and be on their way.
Many cities and towns formed around rail stations and seaports in the United States. These modes of transportation were the only way to get goods into an area, whether they came from a few miles away or thousands. When the railroads were replaced by more modern forms of transportation, these towns were quickly abandoned. Areas closest to transport hubs are busier and more prosperous, as outlined in this article in the New York Times about the rail system in Boston.
2. Is there parking available?
If you’re not located near public transportation or your area doesn’t have public transportation, the next best thing is ample parking.
In a suburban area where space is more plentiful, free parking is a given. If you’re in a small space with only a few designated spots, or even worse, street parking, it will negatively affect your business, perhaps becoming the reason for its downfall.
In urban areas, having parking nearby may be less of a challenge, due to the prevalence of parking garages. Depending on your city and your office location, however, parking can be expensive, and you may have to factor this in when you are considering the cost to your customers.
3. Is it close to sought-after services?
The reason business districts — and in fact, downtowns and malls — exist is because being able to access what you need in one location is a convenience. While it may be unlikely that any downtown area has 100 percent of what its visitors need, the more it has, the more desirable it is.
Convenience provides comfort, and the more comfortable people are, the more likely they are to return and to stay longer the next time they come. When you’re considering your office’s location, this comfort counts for employees as well as clients.
Clients may visit your location once a week, once a month, or even once a year. You want them to have a good impression, to remember that your office was in a nice building surrounded by in-demand services such as coffee shops, quick lunch spots, swanky restaurants, and shopping.
Your employees will be at your office every day, so these nearby services are a big draw for them. Having an Ann Taylor or even a Forever 21 nearby gives employees something to do on their lunch hour. They might love to stop at the Starbucks every day on the walk over from the rail station for a grande, skim, no-whip, half-caf mocha.
Don’t discount other services that employees and clients may appreciate but use less often. Drug stores, post offices, libraries, banks, hotels, dry cleaners, gyms, liquor stores, and more can all help provide convenience as well.
4. Is it safe?
If your business isn’t in a good neighborhood, people won’t want to visit it. They might be afraid to walk in the area or they might be scared to leave their cars parked on the streets or in the garages nearby for fear they will be stolen or vandalized.
Almost all neighborhoods have some types of businesses. Even if you are in an unfamiliar neighborhood, you will likely be wary if you see businesses with bars on the doors and windows or carry-out places where you have to put your money through pass-thru drawers in the bulletproof glass.
Clients won’t want to take the risk to visit your location. When you consider a location, look at it not just during the day, but at night as well. Oftentimes an area’s atmosphere can change completely when the sun sets.
If you are being offered a bargain on temporary office space, make sure the reason isn’t that the neighborhood is unsafe. Low rents directly correlate with high crime.
5. How’s the view?
You may think the view is a small thing, but it’s not. Why do you think the corner offices with windows in two directions are the most coveted spaces? Why are the lowest rungs on the corporate ladder in cubicles? And even in cubicles, there is a hierarchy.
Cubes with a window are more preferable, no matter what you see when you look outside.
An article in Psychology Today says that exposure to natural light improves workplace performance because it boosts mood, improves sleep/wake cycles, and plays a role in weight regulation. Even small disturbances in any of these areas can lead to a domino effect that can seriously impact employees’ health and well-being.
Even though clients spend short amounts of time in your office, they will remember the visit more favorably when the meeting takes place in more attractive surroundings.
Your best bet is to secure a shared office space that has windows, and at least one meeting room with a view. If you have a view of the waterfront, an important building or landmark, or a public park, so much the better.
A window that looks out on a vacant lot, a run-down area, an underpass or the office of the worker 12 feet away in the next building will not impress customers. No one wants their meeting disturbed by the sound of the dumpster being emptied or loud arguments among vagrants in the street.
Metro Offices offers private and flexible workspace options and we have nine great locations throughout the greater Washington, D.C. area. Our downtown sites at Farragut Square, Metro Center and Dupont Circle are all conveniently located near Metro stops and amenities such as restaurants, shopping, and other services.
Our Chevy Chase, Maryland, office is right at the Friendship Heights Metro stop and is close to some of the area’s best shopping, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and Brooks Brothers. At the same time, there’s also an H&M, Cheesecake Factory, and a Giant grocery store for employees and customers on a budget.
Our Herndon location is only minutes from Dulles Airport, and our Arlington location is conveniently located near Washington Reagan National Airport. Tysons not only has a Metro stop, but it has more shopping than any other spot around!
All our locations are in upscale office buildings staffed with concierges, and this helps to make the best impression on your clients. We offer private offices, shared office space, co-working areas, meeting rooms, and more. Each rental comes with a business address and free WiFi, mail service, office furnishings, top-of-the-line printers, gym access (where applicable), and coffee and tea.
Some of our locations offer free parking, amazing views, and access to a rooftop terrace as well.
Browse our locations to find out which Metro Offices is best for your business.