A friend of mine has the most perfectly located office in Metro Detroit. As I drove there recently, I experienced some serious location envy. However, the green monster ended the minute I got to the building: there was virtually no parking! Where, I wondered, does everyone park? Entering the lobby, which hadn’t been updated in years, I found dust collecting in the corners, and junk sitting around. Apparently, this junk had been left by another tenant over a year ago—and no one saw fit to throw it away!
As I headed down the stairs, I was hit by the distinct smell of mold. The first thing I asked my friend upon arriving in her office was, “Is your staff sick?” Come to learn, they had been! My friend wanted to know why I was asking, and I explained the mold, I could smell it. We then opened a door that goes under the lobby, and found that the sewers were backed up, and had been sitting there for 6 months! No one was the wiser.
Obviously, this sort of situation demonstrates a landlord who isn’t engaged in his building. A simple walkthrough indicated there were several issues with the space. While the location couldn’t be beat, the landlord got a bit fat F.
If you’re going to lease a new space, watch and see how the landlord is maintaining the building. If things don’t look great, don’t lease the space. Location means little when you’re working with an unresponsive landlord who doesn’t take good care of the space. After all, a great location only does you so much good if the building is bad. Poor image? A sick staff? No good.