There are obviously other questions like does the serviced office have wifi? Do the offices provide meeting room access? etc.etc….but these issues really only account for a small percentage of the decision making process of the person looking for office space. This is particularly apparent in the current buyers market when the question of How Much? has even taken over from the location, location, location debate; strangely enough all of a sudden it’s not so important to be within a nano second’s walk of the tube station and not mind paying the premium for it – now it’s all about the price!
Unfortunately how much is a Serviced Office? is not always an easy or straightforward question to answer. Serviced offices are one of the few products where there is simply no fixed price. There’s no recommended price like with clothes, there’s no governing body to offer a standard rating like Hotels, there are no comparison sites like if you wanted to buy a house. When searching for a serviced office you are hit with lots of different portals, some offering prices and some not, some offering star ratings that follow no standards, some offer prices per workstation and some offer a range of prices while one offers prices per square foot per month!
So what is the problem with offering a set price for a serviced office for a set period of time? The real problem perversely is the major benefit of the serviced office and that is its flexibility. There are too many permutations that can influence the price of the office space. The following are the key factors:
1. There is no set time to take an office i.e. by the day, week, month or year.
2. There is no set size of office i.e. an office of 200sqft could be for 2, 3 or 4 people.
3. Market forces will send the price higher or lower i.e. the higher the occupancy of a building, the higher the price and vice a versa.
However, once we know the following key factors we have something to work on:
1. Where exactly do you need the serviced office? Not London or Leeds but exactly whereabouts in those towns.
2. How many people need to be accommodated in the office? This should not be by square foot but by the number of staff.
3. How long will you need the space for? Like any economies of scale the longer you need the office for the cheaper it will be.
4. We need to know about IT and Telecoms. How many phones and how many internet lines.
With the above information at hand it’s much easier to quote a price. The serviced office industry tends to quote on a monthly basis per person or per workstation. This simplifies everything but doesn’t really offer the most accurate way of pricing an office as there are so many costs included in the price total i.e. rent, rates, service charges, utilities, cleaning, reception etc so its very hard to cost these out as separate items, unlike a conventional lease whereby all costs are broken down. This really opens up a new debate; Price per sq ft or per workstation? and to avoid this blog becoming a full blown dissertation, we will come back to that question another day…..
I suppose the most accurate answer to the question How Much is a Serviced Office? is that it depends entirely on the client’s needs and market conditions. And, this being said, you simply won’t find an accurate answer trawling the web with many office space operators choosing to quote on a “price on application” basis. My best advice is talk to a good quality serviced office agent like Easy Offices or SOS and they’ll help guide you through the mine field – happy hunting!
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