How do you look for business premises close to your home?

Premises for business activities are to be found just about everywhere. But there are many factors to consider when choosing: price, surface area, condition, access, environment and, of course, location. Finding the right business premises close to home can be a real headache. And yet, working close to home offers many advantages. Here are a few pointers on how to go about finding business premises in your area.

What are the advantages of working close to home?

It goes without saying that working close to home saves time and money. Shorter commutes mean lower fuel costs and fewer traffic jams. Eventually, if you're lucky enough to be able to walk or cycle to work, you'll even be able to avoid being dependent on public transport strikes, or having to look for a parking space.

Not wasting time on transport can improve your quality of life by eliminating the stress and fatigue associated with these journeys. This inevitably leads to greater efficiency and productivity.

What's more, your neighborhood, town or village is a familiar place. Knowing the environment, the type of population and their habits, the most frequented places, the activities present, the competition... makes it easier to set up a new business. What's more, your acquaintances can become customers or contribute to the establishment's reputation.

How do I find business premises?

1. Word of mouth

The advantage of setting up a business close to home is that the power of word-of-mouth works much better. In fact, relationships with people around you help you to hear about available premises, sometimes even before they are put on the rental market. Your banker, your insurer, your baker, your concierge or your condominium manager are all people who, in addition to family, friends and neighbors, can provide you with information and help you find that rare gem.

Craftsmen and retailers are often interested in business premises. By asking them, it's quite possible to find the premises that match your requirements. They can also give you additional information, such as the rent, the surface area of the premises, its condition and sometimes even a few special features, such as the type of landlord, problems encountered by previous tenants... On the other hand, it's a fairly lengthy process, since you have to meet a large number of people and talk to each of them.

2. Internet advertising

The Internet is a goldmine, but to avoid being swamped by the flood of information, it's best tocarry out a targeted, geolocated search for vacant premises in your target geographical area. The ads that appear should then be filtered according to your criteria (price, size, rental conditions, etc.).

Initially, the search can be carried out from home. This is one of the quickest solutions, as long as you carefully select the advertisements and obtain as much information as possible by telephone from the owner or the real estate agency handling the rental. Otherwise, you can waste a lot of time visiting premises that don't meet your expectations or needs.

On some agency websites, it is possible to view the interior and exterior of the premises on video. You can also use Google Earth to get an idea of the neighborhood and its location in the city.

3. Publish an ad yourself

Social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, can be used to search for premises in your preferred neighborhood. Posting an ad is quick and easy, and requires no special skills. It will be distributed to a wide audience, but be careful to target the right people. There's no point in reaching uninterested Internet users. Adverts must be focused on the desired geographical area and clearly written to avoid any misunderstanding.

The people who respond are generally open to discussion. To avoid unnecessary travel, it's important to ask the right questions and to be very explicit about what you're looking for.

4. Contact specialized real estate agencies

If you're short of time or patience, the easiest way to find local business premises is to use local real estate agencies. They inevitably have in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market. However, it's important to choose agencies that specialize in commercial and craft premises. Indeed, some are better qualified to sell luxury goods, others to rent vacation apartments... Not all agencies specialize in the rental of business premises. It's a good idea to find out more before you visit.

If necessary, the real estate agent will negotiate with the landlord, and take care of the formalities (drafting the lease, inventory of fixtures). This service comes at a price, with fees representing at least one month's rent, and sometimes much more.