The search for office space can be a daunting task but thankfully there are a number of online platforms that can provide you with a starting point. As part of our series on finding a new office in London , we run down the "go-to" sites and services that will help you to find your dream workplace.
Best for it’s fully featured mobile app
Zoopla is the king of property search, in fact you have probably used them to search for a new apartment or house in the past.
What people don’t realise about this platform though, is that they have a separate tab for commercial properties that provides an easy way to search for all sorts of space – from offices to shops and everything in-between.
Special mention has to be given to the tube stop icons that pop up when you make a search to let you know where the closest transport options are.
Due to the size of the platform and it’s household name, the vast majority of properties available in London will end up on Zoopla at some point although you will often struggle to find pricing information for larger space. This means that you’re unlikely to miss out on your dream office.
In addition to the browser version of the site, Zoopla also boasts an excellent mobile app that you might already have on your phone from your last home move. It can often be a struggle to squeeze looking for new office space into your day with everything else going on so the app is a huge win for quick searches on your daily commute. The Rightmove app (mentioned below) is very similar although for us Zoopla just pips it to the post.
Why we like it
For on-the-go searches, it’s hard to beat Zoopla. Their mobile app benefits from the huge investment that has gone into helping individuals find places to live. It functions in a very familiar way and as well as displaying offices to rent in a list you can also do more intuitive searches on their map.
Best for the breadth of properties listed
Much like Zoopla, rightmove is a Titan in the property listings game and they too have a separate commercial tab.
For most searches, the platform is near identical to Zoopla but a link with the Real Estate Alliance in 2012 has meant that far more agents are posting properties on the site. So many, in fact, that the platform claims to be the UK’s largest property site.
Rightmove are also big in to reminders. Once you’ve set up your desired parameters such as budget, location and office size, logged in users can opt to receive alerts whenever a new listing is posted that meets your criteria. This saves a huge amount of time and ensures that you’re one of the first to view the hottest space.
Why we like it
Whilst rightmove is, in many ways, very similar in form and function to Zoopla it does a slightly better job at displaying information about its spaces in a readable format. If you’re on rightmove, you’re unlikely to miss out on anything as it is the UK’s largest aggregator.
Best for ease of use and clever filtering methods
Whilst Zoopla and Rightmove are busy taking over the world in the residential market, they’ve got a serious challenger in start-up Realla for the crown of commercial property search king.
Designed specifically for commercial searches, the attention to detail really shines through. They’ve made a big effort to tailor the user experience to the end user and in an attempt to remove the waffly jargon that you’re probably getting from your real estate agent they’ve added clever filtering options to simplify the process.
We’re particularly fans of the “number of desks” filter that allows you to tailor your search to the specific size your team needs – not in terms of square footage but the real number of humans that you can comfortably fit in the space.
Their side-by-side map and listings view is super user-friendly and means that you don’t have to keep flicking between different pages to get the information you need.
Why we like it
We love the in-depth filters that this portal provides as well as the ease-of-use of their mapping tool.
4. The Workplace Company
Best for holding your hand through the process
The Workplace Company is on a mission to remove the bureaucracy from finding an office space. Unlike the other tools listed on this page, they provide a service that aims not only to help you search for space but also hold your hand through the entire process from finding an office to moving in.
They will assist you in preparing all the documentation that you’ll need to show your potential landlord as well as organizing the legal bits that put most of us in a spin.
They are also the most London focused aggregator of the bunch and so tend to have the best in-market knowledge, segregating their properties into sensible location categories
Why we like it
We love that the Workplace co. will help you through the whole process. They understand that the hunt can be pretty traumatic and so the “training-wheels” approach that they take pays off big-time in our eyes.
5. Instant Offices
Best for flexible and serviced office space
In the fast-paced London business environment, it may be a struggle to lock down a space for a long contract given many companies growth aspirations. To find yourself with a lease on a space for 20 people for 10 years might end up being restrictive when you’ve got a team that seems to be expanding by the week.
That’s where Instant Offices come in.
Their specialty lies in the “flexible office” market where you can search for space on much less restrictive terms than the traditional players. The serviced offices that they host will typically have all the mod-cons thrown in – from broadband to furniture and you will likely pay by the month for the workplace with a short notice period.
Like the Workplace Company, they also offer some management services to help you along the way and their service is free, with no obligations to pay for the advice they give.
Why we like it
We love Instant’s focus on the serviced and flexible office markets. They realise that not every business can be locked into long contracts and offer the best selection of plug and play workspaces.
Best for getting the best deal
As a bit of an outside choice, it’s always worth having a quick check on London’s favourite classifieds site.
Whilst you won’t find the snazzy layouts, maps and area guides that the other platforms listed on this site provide, the best deals can almost always be found if you go digging.
As Gumtree is free for anybody to list on, you’re likely to find cheap deals from landlords managing the space themselves and avoiding agents fees as well as spare desks in other people’s offices.
Once you’ve got an idea of the type of space that you’re after from searching on the other platforms, we’d always suggest checking out Gumtree for an off-market deal.
Why we like it
Direct to landlord communications helps you to avoid never-ending agent tours that push you into the most expensive space. Best for the value hunters and those that don’t need the flashiest spaces.
|Zoopla||Fully featured mobile app||See More|
|Rightmove||The breadth of properties listed||See More|
|Realla||Ease of use and clever filtering methods||See More|
|The Workplace Company||Holding your hand through the process||See More|
|Instant Offices||Flexible and serviced office space||See More|
|Gumtree||Getting the best deal||See More|
Clipper Magazine is produced for Republic by Courier Media.
Article Last Updated: May 23, 2019