Picking your office space can be an exciting yet a challenging venture. You may know what you are looking for, but without assurance on how and where to find what exactly, can make the entire experience even more daunting. With some guiding factors though, the experience can be rather less challenging. Kevin Kayisire, one of the founders of Kayko, a platform aimed at powering small businesses with tools to accelerate their growth and thrive in the digital economy, says that it’s important to take note of the renting fees. “Renting in Kigali is super expensive, that’s a fact! Also, it’s hard to get an ideal house in your ideal location of choice, because you have to pass through multiple middlemen like real estate agents who are also expensive,” he says. He adds that real estate agents are available in Kigali, but sometimes accessing them is hard because they charge a lot. David Asifiwe, who rents an office, agrees that office renting is very expensive but being aware of some factors to consider can make it easier for those hunting for an office. “Landlords also increase rent due to other things being expensive. Overall renting in Kigali can be expensive but factors like the location can also contribute to that. Finding a location that is not pricey helps when someone is looking for an affordable place, places that are mostly located in affordable neighbourhoods and not those that are obviously high in standard,” he says. When looking for places to rent in Kigali, it requires a lot of research on the kind of place you want, what you have in mind, and what is beneficial for you. Kayisire explains that while looking for a place in Kigali, he had to look at different factors that benefit him and his business. “When looking for office space in Kigali, I was looking somewhere near our home residence for commute purposes, but in a business centre so that I have access to a network of businesses without moving around so much. I also looked for the aesthetics of the office building in general; if it was somewhere I would feel comfortable and proud to invite some of my business partners and investors,” he says. Other factors to consider Edna Mupenzi who rents an office that offers IT services in Kigali, shares some factors she always looks at when renting: Easily accessible to both clients, and stakeholders A value for money emplacement, where rent is not a burden on the running cost of the organisation Looking at where the advertisement materials to be used will be and how they will serve the purpose Hygienic place where clients and stakeholders feel at ease once seeking the services and other partnership interventions “Having some factors to look at can help you as someone who is renting because you will meet a lot of real estate agents that will help you look for spaces but if you don’t have some factors to start with, it is going to take you a lot of time and money looking for a place,” she says. Kayisire also shares that the last thing he looks at is if the place is quiet, at least inside the building-this is crucial for their business, he says, because as a tech start up, there is a lot of creative thinking going on among the team which requires some level of calmness. When looking for a rental in Kigali, Asifiwe suggests looking at the location, the price to see if you can afford it, and the facilities it holds- if it meets the requirements, the tenancy agreement and what it says, and why the previous tenant left, what the condition of the place is, and also, ask if you can be able to make some changes to the place.