Chris Carmen  /   May 15, 2017

Indianapolis is continually rising as one of the best cities to live in terms of cost of living. Businesses are continuously considering relocating to Indianapolis due to the growing popularity of the Midwestern city as well as the relative value of their real estate costs. Finding the right office space can be exceedingly stressful especially because of all the tasks involved. Whether you’re at start-up stage or an already developed company, there are various factors you should keep in mind to get the most suitable office space for rent.

Here are crucial factors to look at before signing that lease when looking for available office space for rent in Indianapolis.

Necessities of the New Office Space

Before you begin your search for a new location for your office, it is important to consider what your needs will be. Keep in mind what has driven you to consider looking for the new space. To find a space that is ideally suited for your business, you should plan well in advance in order to understand exactly what you are looking for.

Knowing what you’re looking will allow you to find it as soon as you see it. Keep a detailed checklist on your specific demands for the new space. Some things to consider:

  • Can your employees and customers find and access the office easily?
  • Is there ample parking and will either one have to pay?
  • Are there cafes and restaurants for lunches or meetings nearby?
  • Is the surrounding environment safe?
  • What amenities do you wish to have within the business space?

Need a quick guide to walk you through the four main categories to keep top-of-mind when viewing a property in person?


Consider if the new office space is located at the right place for your employees, clients, and competitors. For example, if you are looking for office space right in downtown Indianapolis, you need to weigh the cost of parking availability and heavy traffic. If you’re looking for a less-trafficked area, take note of the proximity to key employees’ homes, find out about crime ratings, and decide if the location will keep you competitive enough to attract top talent.

Examine the opportunity costs between the factors mentioned above and arrive at a decision that is best for your business.

What to look for in a Broker

If you are considering using a broker to help you locate an ideal office space, there are several factors to consider. Agents who know Indianapolis well can relate your business needs and find you the right location. Reach out to previous clients that the broker has worked with or find reviews of their service.

There is an abundant pool of commercial advisors out there each promising to broker the best deal. You’ll need to ask the right questions to decide if they’re the right fit for you.

  • How many years of experience do you have in commercial transactions?
  • Do you specialize in office space rentals?
  • Are you representing me or the property owner? If both, how can you guarantee you’re serving my best interests?
  • Can I contact your past clients for references?
  • Will you be available to help me once the lease is finalized, during the length of my lease?

Brokers who take the time to understand what you’re looking for (as opposed to only looking for a fat commission fee), are more customer-focused and will find the right solution to fit your needs. A good broker should also take the time to clearly explain leasing and commercial aspects in a manner that you can understand.

Negotiation Skills and Avoiding Poor Deals

It can be easy to fall prey to a weak leasing deal from unscrupulous brokers and landlords. Here are some tools you can arm yourself with when you arrive at the negotiating table:

  • Show the landlord that you have other options
  • Start your negotiations early to avoid last minute rushes
  • Ask for more than you can get by being aggressive which can help to remove any possible hard-line stance by the landlord.
  • Consider working with a tenant representative when negotiating or renegotiating a lease to protect your interests.

PRO TIP: When negotiating or renegotiating a lease, do not talk directly to the landlord without your tenant representative as this would undermine your negotiation strategy. The landlord is a businessman who has engaged a broker to represent their best interests. You, being a business person yourself, need to ensure someone is advocating for your interests as well.

Finding Available Space

As you continue your search for an office space for rent in Indianapolis, an important resource to consider utilizing is a tenant representative. Getting the complete list of available office space for rent on your own is an almost impossible thing. This is why you need the help of a tenant representative who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the area. It is their job to work on your behalf to find all available business space and therefore they offer more options.

A tenant representative, as opposed to traditional brokers, actually represents you as the tenant and your interests. They help you during your office search with details such as lease negotiation and space efficiency to design a solution for you that is cost-effective and efficient for your needs. All of the fees to a tenant rep are paid by the property owner which means you can enlist their services at no additional cost to you.

Unlike traditional commercial real estate firms in Indianapolis that are motivated to prioritize properties listed with their firm, a tenant representative can pull together a free comprehensive list based on your needs of *all* the available properties in the area that you specify (including Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Noblesville and Greenwood). The list is custom set to meet your needs without being restricted to a specific broker and what that broker has access to.

Figure How Much Space You Actually Need

The size of office space should be sufficient for the number employees that you are trying to accommodate. What about possible future employee expansion? Will all your employees work in the office or off-site? Use an office space needs calculator to get an idea of how much square footage your company requires. Tools like the one linked above will help you analyze the immediate and future space requirements of your company.

Next Steps: What to Look for While Touring Office Spaces

Once you’ve selected your broker and shortlisted your potential properties, the next step is to tour them — which can be an overwhelming process on its own. It’s crucial to stay focused on your needs to make sure you aren’t distracted by all of the excitement around the possibilities of a new space.

Over to You

Moving into a new office space can be a scary thing — whether you have concerns about conflicts of interest with your broker, nervous that you aren’t getting enough space to achieve growth goals, or unsure if your new space will accurately reflect your brand and attract talent. It can be a little unnerving, but it can be a fun and enjoyable process with the right preparation.

What’s missing from our list? Is there anything you wouldn’t have thought of on your own? We’d love to hear your feedback if you recently moved into a new space or are considering a move. Let us know in the comments.

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