Don’t put off searching for a new office space until the last minute

Tenants seeking Commercial space in Fort McMurray under 5,000 square feet should start a search at least 6 months ahead of time. Allow ample time for your Real Estate professional to search for a space that fits your requirements. You will need time to perform due diligence, negotiate and draft the lease. In cases where the space requires build out or remodelling plan for additional time to work with planners, architects and construction crews, this can take up to a year.

For large spaces businesses, should begin the planning process at least a year prior to expiry of their current lease. The larger the tenant the more complex their business needs may be. Big corporations need to start earlier to allow time to find the best possible fit.

Put together a team of professionals

Don’t go it alone. Putting together a team of qualified professionals may be your most important task. Choose a local experienced, full time Fort McMurray commercial agent who can share market trends, demographics, provide research on comparable rents and knowledge about the various areas for consideration. Many businesses make the mistake of not engaging the services of a local leasing agent. A Fort McMurray Real Estate agent can find you the optimal location assist you with finding the perfect commercial or industrial property, negotiate favourable terms and craft an offer to lease that will help you save time and money. Engage the services of a commercial Real Estate lawyer to review the finer details of the lease. You may need to enlist the services of professionals such as an architect, inspectors, accountant, various trades and in the case of larger businesses a project manager to serve as a single point of contact. Your Fort McMurray Real Estate professional can assist you with assembling a team.

Know your budget

Budget is important. Research all the costs to operate a space and your business. Many businesses wind up over budget because they didn’t review all the costs. Consult with your financial institution, accountant and review your business plan. While budget is important be open minded in your property search. Don’t let the rate be your only consideration. Bear in mind corporate image, visibility, parking, and the utility of the space and other complimentary businesses in the area that might create great synergy. Taking into consideration items such as this can help boost your corporate image, retain employees and attract new business.

Do your homework

Evaluate the buildings mechanical infrastructure to determine if it meets your business needs. Inspect the space or building inclusive of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and HVAC to ensure it is in good working order before you commence the lease. Be certain all building safety codes are met and the proper permits are up to date for any development in the space. Double check with the RMWB on zoning and ensure that your use will be permitted so that you can obtain a business license. Many businesses have made the huge mistake of assuming zoning alone is enough to ensure a business license. If your business requires a heath inspection check ahead to ensure you can meet applicable standards. Carefully review hours of operation, parking regulations, elevator access, security details, property tax and operating expenses. Did you know that many Landlords charge additional operating costs for running HVAC after normal operating hours?? Be in the know and avoid unplanned for costs that can affect your businesses bottom line.

Measure, Measure, Measure

When leasing commercial space, as a tenant, you must be 100% sure of the amount of space you are paying for. Do not rely on the landlords plans alone. Don’t be afraid to require the Landlord to prove it with a BOMA certified drawing. It could be a costly mistake if you do not have the space properly measured by a space expert.


No term is too small to negotiate. Ask for favourable clauses that will benefit you. Explore Landlord incentives such as tenant improvement allowances, rent free periods and moving allowances. Carefully review options such as the option to sublease, terminate, extend and expand. Negotiate items such as designated parking and after- hours operation. Plan ahead for the future growth of your business. Address caps and terms for operating costs, pass through charges and negotiate the right to independently audit any charges.

If you would like to learn more about leasing or are considering leasing a commercial space for your business and contact Susan Lore, The Lore Group, Coldwell Banker Fort McMurray or visit our website to view a list of available properties.