Convincing a landlord
In Berlin there is a very high demand for spaces, both residential and commercial. The more popular the area is, the faster they go. To begin with, if you are looking for a space, particularly if you’ve chosen to look for something in Mitte or Kreuzberg, we highly recommend to ensure you are very well prepared beforehand.
Have a good look of the brochure of a space before going to a viewing. Most important things to consider are:
✓ Minimum rental term
✓ Possible need for renovations
If something is not clear, don’t be afraid to ask! It's best to immediately clarify everything right at the beginning!
The first impression counts
Although renting an office space may seem to be purely on a business level, personality and first impressions can be a deciding factor in whether you get the office or not.
Firstly, we recommend to narrow down the attendants of a viewing to a minimum, ideally to one person. Landlords are looking for reliable tenants and usually want to deal with only one person, not five. Therefore, it's sensible to choose one member of your team to manage communications with the landlord. Another decisive factor can be age - “The older, the better”.
The more organised you appear, the more professional you look and the higher the chances of you getting the space. Being organised also means being on time. This is extremely important! Coming late is never a good idea.
Have those documents ready
The higher the demand for a space, the more effort you have to put into standing out. It is a good idea to bring all required documents right to the first viewing. For instance, when you have found the perfect space having a folder with all the required documents ready can put you that one step in front of your competitors. In Berlin this folder should contain the following documents:
✓ A short but convincing description of your business model
✓ A proof of income
✓ A credit check (Schufa oder Creditreform)
✓ A “Handelsregisterauzug" (trade register excerpt/ certification of registration)
✓ A copy of your CEO's ID
✓ Not alway required but smart to have prepared are testimonials of your former landlord or current investor/s
Landlords usually prefer a GmbH when it comes to legal status. If your startup or company is not there yet, you can try to negotiate a higher deposit or a personal bank guarantee [Bankbürgschaft] in order to provide the security the owner is looking for. There is always room to negotiate.
In general, you can think of a viewing as a job interview. The owner wants his/her space in good hands. That's why, apart from financial security, it usually is quite important that you leave a good impression on a personal level too!