Commercial Real Estate

How do you define commercial real estate? What sort of things should you be considering when looking for commercial office space? And who pays for what? Here’s our guide:

  • What is commercial real estate?
  • What is the difference between residential and commercial property?
  • How many units is considered commercial property?
  • What should I look for in commercial real estate?
  • How much do you need to put down on a commercial property?
  • Who pays commission in commercial real estate?
  • Is there a Zillow for commercial offices?
  • Where should I advertise commercial real estate?
  • Where can I find commercial real estate for large businesses in London?

  • What is commercial real estate?

    On the face of it, what qualifies as ‘commercial’ property might seem pretty obvious. It’s a shop, a factory, an office block—spaces devoted to commercial enterprises. Yet the definition is actually rather wider than you might think, including everything from farmers’ fields to train stations, theme parks to hotels.

    Commercial real estate is any space intended to generate income, and yes, the office space you’re looking to rent is very much included in that.

    What is the difference between residential and commercial property?

    The one big difference between the two is that you live in residential property and you run a business from a commercial space. Even within this ultra-simple distinction, however, there are some grey areas.

    You may not be expected to live in a commercial space but, unless the lease specifically prohibits it, that wouldn’t prevent you from having a sofa-bed in the office for when you’re pulling an all-nighter or have missed the last train home.

    Similarly, lots of people work from residential property. It’s just that the work they do is typically clerical and not something that requires commercial premises.

    How many units is considered commercial property?

    In the UK, it isn’t the number of units that determines whether a space is commercial but the purpose. So, if the property is leased to a business providing goods or services, or manufacturing on the site, it will be a commercial lease, whether it’s one unit or 20. That contrasts somewhat with the position in the US, where a block of five units or more will automatically be considered a commercial let.

    What should I look for in a commercial office?

    It’s all too easy to find yourself wowed by the temptations of a modern commercial office. So before the gym, rooftop terrace and skyline views have the chance to blow your sense of reason, remember to take this checklist with you:

  • Location: Does the office put you close to clients, transport links or your team’s homes? Consider what location would make sense for your business and stick to it.
  • Productivity: Don’t just look for commercial office space that can fit you all in. Look for premises that could make you work more effectively. If your new rental can deliver increased production or improved efficiency, it could effectively pay for itself.
  • Lease term: The simple rule of thumb is that short term flexibility is likely to cost a little more each month. Long term commitment will cost you less, so if you know that your new space will be the right space for years to come, a longer term could help you save.
  • Rent: Your rent may be monthly or quarterly, so make sure you’ll be able to meet the landlord’s requirements. Also bear in mind that a long lease may be subject to rent review, so ensure that you’ll be able to live with a small rate rise mid-contract.
  • Other costs: Depending on whether you’re taking a simple lease, managed or serviced offices, you may have furniture, décor and branding to pay for. You may also have business rates, local authority charges and VAT. If yours is a small business, however, you may be able to claim small business rate relief and when you choose a serviced or managed office, everything you need to work effectively will be provided.

  • How much do you need to put down on a commercial property?

    It depends on the specific letting company and sometimes the specific property.

    Usually, you’ll have a rent deposit to pay (equivalent to 3-6 months’ rent) which protects the landlord against your fleeing the country without paying. Some deposits may also cover the condition of the office. Whilst regular wear and tear are to be expected, your deposit could be used to cover the cost of the structural repairs when your next office party gets a little out of hand. At the end of the lease, the deposit will be returned less any deductions.

    Independent of the deposit, you may also have an upfront payment of rent to cover a month or more.

    Counterbalancing all of the above, many of our office spaces offer discounted rates for a certain period, or even a period of months rent free. Often, the longer the lease to which you sign up, the bigger the discount. And many of our spaces are all-inclusive, meaning the rates and bills are included. Look for the ‘all-inclusive’ labels between the name and map details of each of our commercial properties.

    Who pays commission in commercial real estate?

    It’s the landlord who pays commission once a property has been let. Fees do vary from agent to agent, so if you’re searching for a letting agent it’s always worth doing your homework to avoid nasty surprises.

    HubbleHQ usually charges the workspace provider 10% of a 12 month lease.

    Is there a Zillow for commercial offices?

    That would be us. Unlike Zillow, which is US-based and dedicated to the residential market, HubbleHQ is UK-based and the very best site for commercial property.

    Where should I advertise commercial real estate?

    At the risk of sounding repetitive, that would also be us. Rent your space with HubbleHQ and you join the largest online platform for office space in the UK, which puts your office in front of 40,000 potential tenants every month. And with an ultra-simple property uploader, you’ll be up and running in 5 minutes.

    Where can I find commercial real estate for large businesses in London?


    You may be searching for big office space in London, but often it’s not just the size of space that matters. So, you’ll be happy to see that big spaces come without small print in this selection, where business rates and bills are all included.

    For a team of up to 300 take a look at Spaces - Victoria, an open office built for collaboration. And if your idea of ‘big’ is 500, the brand new LABS - Victoria is an environment designed to promote productivity and focus set in an iconic grade II listed building.


    As the name suggests, customisable spaces are offices you can tailor to your own requirements, with all costs, from rent to fitout, bundled into one single, monthly fee. Customisable offices also let you add your own branding, which is handy when you’re a team of over 150 people.

    Want more options and commercial office choices tailored to you? Have a chat with our expert advisors at or search our platform now:

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