Pack your bags, because your next office space may be in the Bayou City. In 2018, Houston was listed as one of the top-rated cities to work in by Indeed, a testament to the city’s growing economy and diverse population.
If you’re thinking about finding a beautiful Houston office space for rent, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll cover just how amazing it is to work in this city, along with some tips for finding your first space.
The benefits of renting office space in Houston
Having an office space in Houston can be a major advantage for you and your business. Here are just a few reasons why.
Source: Sikich LLP
1. It’s an international hub.
Over the past few years, Houston has developed a reputation as a global city. Not only is it the most populous city in Texas (4th most populous in the country), but it is also one of the most diverse populations in an American metro area, with nearly one in four Houstonians who are born abroad. The city features 90 consulates, two international airports, and the second busiest seaport in the nation, making it a crossroads for the international business community. Getting an office in Houston would help create a sense of professionalism and productivity for foreign customers and locals alike.
2. It’s an industrial powerhouse.
Houston is known as the country’s “energy hub.” The city is responsible for one-third of the country’s oil and gas extraction jobs. Houston’s petrochemical industry is valued at 15 billion USD, the largest in the nation, while its manufacturing industry is valued at 100 billion USD, offering the most manufacturing jobs in the country. Finally, Houston is home to the Johnson Space Center, NASA’s largest R&D facility, and the second-largest employer and contractor in the area. Businesses in the energy or engineering industries would find themselves right at home in Houston.
3. It’s a creative oasis.
Los Angeles is probably the first city that jumps to mind when it comes to entertainment. But artists and creatives are increasingly migrating to Houston for its cultural environment. It happens to be one of the few cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in the four major art disciplines–opera, ballet, music, and theater– as featured by the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and The Alley Theatre and Theatre Under the Stars, respectively. The city also hosts about 21,000 arts and cultural programs each year. Creatives won’t find a better chance for networking and expanded reach for their brand outside of Houston.
4. You don’t have to pay state or personal income tax.
That’s right–although taxed at the federal level, you don’t have to worry about paying the state. Foreigners are equally taxed as US citizens, regardless of their residency (the substantial presence test can determine your tax status). For freelancers, contractors, and consultants, this small bump in pay can make a tremendous difference in one’s overhead costs.
Best areas to have an office in Houston
Houston is an ever-growing cityscape, so naturally, you want to find the ideal neighborhood for an office space. But instead of asking about the best area for an office, start by considering your own business needs. In particular:
– Where are your clients located? This depends heavily on the nature of your business. If you service IT firms overseas, then ample physical space may not be crucial. On the other hand, if your customers happen to be actors or other entertainment-based contractors, you’d ideally want to be in a culturally relevant part of town.
– Where do your team members live? Imagine the commute from your team’s perspective. How will they get to the office from their apartment or house? Some spaces in the city are more accessible via public transportation than others.
– What do you need in an office? Many technology firms require a conference room to conduct remote meetings, while some content creators value the spaciousness of an office. Consider your top three qualities you need in an office to help in your decision making.
Novel Coworking, for example, has two locations in the Downtown Houston area: one in the Theater District, and one on Main Street. Both locations offer amenities that Novel Coworking is best known for: direct fiber internet, an espresso bar, conference technology, and much more.
Want to tour Houston from the comfort of your chair? Watch Island Hopper TV’s 15-minute video of the Downtown and Midtown Houston area.
Houston office space market statistics
How much does buying office space cost? How much do other companies pay for office space in Houston? And what about other amenities in the workplace? Here are a few quick facts and stats you should know if you’re looking to buy a Houston office space.
– The average monthly office price per person is $130/month (LiquidSpace)
– There are over 2,886,189 square feet of space throughout the city. (LiquidSpace)
– Employment increased to a 3.3% annual growth rate in the quarter ending May 2019. (NAI Partners)
– Citywide leases and renewals have increased, while office space vacancy has risen slightly. (Houston Business Journal)
– Houston’s Class A rentals per square foot have decreased in price between 2017 and 2018. (The Tenant Advisor)
How to find the ideal office space
1. Start by asking yourself how much space you will need. Do you have a large team working on multiple aspects of your company? You may want to look into an office suite or multiple private offices. Or maybe you only have one or two other team members, in which case a single private office, shared workspace, or coworking space is all you need. Solopreneurs will want to consider a dedicated desk, a desk that only they have exclusive access to in a coworking environment.
2. Start your search early in the year. Many tenants leave it last minute to find an office space, only to see it snapped up by an equally interested company. Start your search months ahead, and create a shortlist of the best spaces. Signing an agreement will take a few minutes, but research, tours, and moving will take weeks.
3. Tour the location in person. Most places will allow you to visit and walk through the spaces yourself. If this is an option, go for it! Not only will you be able to visualize your team within the space, but you can also get a general vibe of the area as well, something you can’t get online. Some things to keep in mind: how far the commute is, what amenities are available (such as meeting room access), nearby restaurants and points of interest, and anything else that might come to mind.
4. Ask the current tenants. Ask your friends and relatives for their opinion. They might already have a membership with one of the office spaces you’re considering, and they may be able to give you a more honest account of that environment. If you haven’t already, check reviews online and see what other people are saying. Weigh each person’s comment carefully— does their experience positively or negatively affect your ultimate decision?
5. Negotiate the terms. Prices will be fixed on certain things, but you can almost always negotiate the final signing fee depending on the terms of the contract. For example, signing longer-term agreements may result in a lower monthly rate. Be on the lookout for special events and location openings, where companies tend to offer a free month of rent or a similar deal.
Each person and business will have their own set of criteria and journey in finding the perfect office space. Remember, the most important thing is to review your own business’s needs and limitations and find a space compatible with your criteria.
Novel locations across the nation offer a variety of office space solutions, from private offices and coworking for 1-20 team members to office suites for teams with over 100 members. Visit our Novel Coworking Houston to learn more about what Novel Coworking can do for your business!