Commercial Property

Several times in the course of a month, I am contacted by companies or individuals looking for commercial properties to rent or buy.

It is very obvious, and everyone usually agrees, that the nature of one's business is a very important factor and usually determines, and in many cases limits, one's final selection. A retail company will seek passing trade. A legal office, clinic or accountancy firm would usually go for easy parking and easy access, with the exception of cities like Valletta or Sliema. However in the past years, there has been a great increase in IT businesses, or similar companies who do not see the public face to face, but communicate via modern technology.

Here in Malta, perhaps more then other countries, it is very important for such companies to take into consideration a few very vital points, which are:

1. Distance from the nearest sub station, and telephone exchange. Positioning your office far away from these sources will increase your chances of falling prey to sudden power cuts, possible crossed lines, and faulty ADSL connections. Most of the roads are constantly being dug up, repaired or flooded. The more roads you throw between you and your source, the more cables you are throwing to the mercy of the public and all elements.

2. Proximity to other businesses.If you are located in Sliema and there is a power cut, you can be sure that hundreds of shops will be calling the authorities and putting pressure on them for a fast repair. However, if you are on the perimeter of a scarcely populated village, chances are you can call it a day. You're one voice complaining in the wilderness. Residents do complain, but you'lb be surprised how compliant people are if their business is not on the line.

3. Try to restrict your choice to well established and populated roads. If you're looking at a good business location, but some houses on the road appear derelict, make sure you can survive the 3 months or so it might take to demolish and rebuild the potential site into offices or apartments. If you work a lot over the phone, you might have to resort to double glazing and full air conditioning in summer to be able to survive the commotion.

4. Watch out for ground floor premises located on steep hills. Make sure the road is not prone to flooding. If you're on the ground floor this will mean that one of the office walls will usually be at foundation level of the building next door and up the hill. If this wall is not well sealed off, you are risking flooding or humidity, which is the worst enemy of your computer and any other electrical equipment.

Although these scenarios will not occur on a daily basis, they will seriously effect your business in the long term. It only takes one bad day, or month to ruin many hours of hard work in winning new customers and new accounts.

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