Luxury – it’s all relative. While one man might cherish his tiny flat, others won’t stop until they’ve acquired a 75-room mansion with a luxury swimming pool made entirely of Swarovski diamonds. Just like every person isn’t the same, neither is the home they live in.
And the same applies to commercial properties. When you’re running a business, you’ll always yearn for better staff, improved facilities and, most importantly, a retail premises that could impress the gods (or, at the very least, wow people with money to burn).
But, as we’ve said, luxury is a relative term. If you’re a vintage clothes store raking in cash, moving to Saville Row will seem more luxurious but will also see your customers swerve you like you had contracted Ebola.
What’s more, moving into an opulent den could backfire on your finances. If your customers haven’t upped sticks and left, your new shop floor might be inefficient, leading to fewer profits and a gradual stagnation of your business momentum.
Without the right help, the property market is a minefield, with every explosive detonated taking a massive dent out of your bank balance.
To aim towards your idea of luxury and avoid diminishing fortunes, we’ve come up with these top tips. Study them carefully and bear them in mind before you jump headfirst into a lease agreement.
Image: Mitch Altman
Who to trust
Here’s some advice when chatting to letting agents – never take what they say at face value. They’ll tell you a bombsite is a “fixer-upper” and a cardboard box is a “petite townhouse” – and then they’ll charge you for their time.
The dodgiest of letting agents can sell snake oil to a python, and pocket a commission that could buy them a mansion.
As a small example, here’s a brief exchange between an earnest and innocent customer and a dodgy, sweaty-palmed letting agent.
Customer: So, does the property have hardwood floors?
Dodgy letting agent: As you can see by the soft feel of the flooring, the property maintains a spongey texture throughout, perfect for keeping the balls of your feet as fresh as a new-born baby’s.
Customer: There are no hardwood floors, are there?
Dodgy Letting Agent: Well, not exactly…
That exchange, or one very similar to it, happens every day in unleased shops across the country. In fact, it’s probably happening somewhere right now.
But the industry isn’t filled exclusively with finks and shysters. Some companies can be trusted. Our recommended commercial property provider is CoStar, a company with an excellent website and a keen eye for finding the perfect property for every client.
Where to be
The demands of business require a keen balance between luxury and affordability in your workplace. Most companies aren’t looking for the finest of the finest. They simply want somewhere that appeals to their customer’s best interests and meets the bottom line.
Again, consult your letting agent and find the perfect area for you before you splurge any cash. With their help you’ll have luxury and value under one roof.