What are the key questions to ask your agent when renting an office in Beijing?

workspace-in-beijing-officeFind a place for your office in Beijing is not an easy task, but not an insurmountable challenge. The most important is first and foremost to appeal to professionals who know the market prices, good deals and have previously carried out research in the field. Once you have found a competent and trustworthy agent, it is important to know what are your needs and ask the right questions so that the real estate agency can find the perfect place. We present below a list of basic and essential questions to ask before renting offices in Beijing.

Location, size and layout
You probably have an idea of ​​the neighbourhood in which you want to establish your company but it is best to ask your agent. What are the prices and benefits of this area, what type of companies are present and which industries are most represented? More precisely on a building, what is the available space? Other offices are available beside or in another floor of the building? If your business is flourishing and your business grows quickly you may end up having to move to extend yourself.
Another important point is to know approximately how many workstations you can install in open space, and how you can rearrange the space. How many closed parts are included? Some of your employees, including executives, perhaps will need a closed space for welcoming clients and negotiate.

Equipment and facilities
What equipment has the office? A fundamental point is of course the quality of the Internet connection. The building he has a new and modern network. Test the connection speed is paramount.
Are local ‘bare’? How about ceiling? Is piping apparent? When the building was built? When was the last renovation? Can you make changes, especially in electrical systems or install raised floors?
It is also important to know the area. What are the public transportations (subway, bus) nearby? Can you find taxis easily? How many parking spaces are available? Is it a dynamic area where you can easily find restaurants, shops, a gym? Are there comfortable apartment compounds next to this place? What type of security is available in the compound? The work environment is an important issue for both you and your employees. Also, remember to check the insulation, including the quality of the windows. The winters are rather harsh in Beijing, and the summers can be very hot.

Contract and money
Ask your agent what kind of office you can afford within your budget? About legal and administrative problems, your agent must confirm that you have the right to have a professional activity in these premises, and your business sector is allowed. Some industries are banned in some compounds, which expose you to problems if you are not careful. Require to meet the owner and check the consistency of documents. Many intermediate pose themselves owners in Beijing, one must be very careful. Avoid sub ​​renting or worse, cons that will introduce themselves as owners when they have no legal title on the building.

Who will write the contract and to what extent can modify or add clauses? What is the free rent period (usually 1 to 3 months)? How long is the lease? Opt for long-term contracts that will give you more leeway. The owners also prefer stability, so you can negotiate the rent won’t increase during the term of the contract. Another important point is to know when you can move in? Is the rent should be paid monthly or quarterly? Can you have signage in the building, and which ones? What exactly is included in the management fees? What are the terms of renewal or termination of the contract?

After sales service
Is your agency offering help throughout the contract? Chinese agencies do not always have the culture of customer service and you might find yourself alone with difficulties. Specialized relocation agencies for foreigners offer greater guarantees in terms of assistance. What help can it provide in case of a problem with the owner? What legal solutions can the company provide in case of problems with the administration? What is their experience in these areas? Will it help you renegotiate the contract at renewal? Or keep you informed of new rental opportunities?

Here are some important points that should not be overlooked when searching for offices, but this list is far from exhaustive. Think to details is very important, and ask as many questions as possible. Insist on a clear answer if this is not the case. You have should be ready for every eventuality. There are numerous office buildings in Beijing, of all sizes and all grades (grade A to C). Specifically target your needs, be patient and persistent and you will find the perfect place.


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I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!