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Office Relocation Done Right: Plan, Manage and Execute a Successful Office Move

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Is an office move in your future? Whether, when, and where to move your office have far-reaching consequences that impact every aspect of doing business, from customer relationships to day-to-day operations to profitability. Did you know that on average, two-thirds of employees who are given the task of managing an office move either quit or get fired within six months of that office move. Our tips and advice will help you plan, manage and execute a successful office move and keep your job!

Businesses move for all kinds of reasons. Maybe they need more office space, an updated image, or a better location. They might be launching a technology startup or moving up from a home office. Perhaps things haven’t worked well with the current landlord or property management firm and it’s time for a change.

Whatever the reason, it had better be compelling because an office move is a complex process. And, according to Karen Warner, author of Move Your Office, the cost of leasing office space is one of a company’s biggest expenses; second only to salaries and wages. Because the decision about whether—and when—to move your office is so critical, it pays to plan carefully and ask the right questions before getting started.

Is an office relocation necessary? What’s making you consider an office move, and are there options for resolving those issues without moving? If you have outgrown your existing space or you need to downsize, your current landlord might be able to accommodate your new requirements. Or perhaps your existing office space could be renovated or reconfigured to be more efficient.

If you need to enhance your office’s image, would a facelift work at your current address? Investigate options for remodeling, updated signage, or even redecorating your current office space with upscale colors and furnishings.

Would a new office location be better for business? A better location in your metropolitan area could bring you closer to your customer base or even attract new business. First impressions count, and the neighborhood makes an impression on every visitor before they even see your office. Even if the location doesn’t impact your type of business, it can impact your bottom line—office space rental rates can vary widely in different parts of town. Also, the right location with the right amenities can help attract and retain key employees.

11 Tips for a Successful Office Move

1. If an office relocation is in your company’s best interest, follow these 10 steps for a successful office move.

2. Work with a pro. Always engage a commercial real estate broker to represent you in your search for office space and to help you manage the entire office relocation. Enlisting the services of the right commercial real estate professional can save time and money throughout and even long after the office relocation process. A broker can provide invaluable information about the local market and help negotiate the most favorable lease terms. Seasoned real estate professionals will also be aware of opportunities not advertised to the public.

3. Give it time. Most businesses spend six months to a year to find the right location, negotiate the lease terms, set up the office relocation logistics, and get moved in.

4. Nominate a moving committee. Form a team of employees at the outset to coordinate the office relocation process and help keep track of all the details.

5. Select a panel of experts. Establishing an advisory team of external consultants and specialists is a critical step. They’ll help you find the right location at the best terms and ensure that your new office space is well-designed and appropriate for your business. Your advisory team could include a commercial real estate broker, a real estate attorney, an architect or office space planner, a furniture consultant, and an IT/communications consultant.

6. Determine your specific needs. With the help of your advisory team, define the requirements for your ideal office space, from the amount of space you need, to the type of building that would be the best fit, to the preferred location.

7. Identify potential properties. Have your commercial real estate broker prepare a detailed list of available office properties that fit your needs profile, including a photo of each building, the size and cost of each available space, and a map with directions to each location.

8. Take a property tour. Your real estate broker will schedule a tour and guide you through visits to each property on your list. Compare notes and determine which three or four locations are the most promising.

9. Conduct a competitive leasing analysis. Once you’ve got that short list of prospective properties, your commercial real estate broker will provide an analysis of the economics of each space and coordinate any preliminary space planning needed, helping you assess how the various potential layouts will suit your business needs. Your broker will also prepare written proposals for each landlord, addressing issues such as rental rate, lease term, building expenses, renewal and expansion options, signage availability, and parking.

10. Select your new building or space. Your broker will compile landlord responses into a spreadsheet giving a side-by-side comparison of each of the properties to help you make the most informed decision about which space is the best fit for your business.

11. Negotiate the lease terms. Next, your new landlord will issue a lease, which must be reviewed by the principal(s) from your company, your real estate broker, and an attorney to ensure that all terms are understood and agreed upon.

The decisions about whether, when, and where to move your office have far-reaching consequences that impact every aspect of doing business, from customer relationships to day-to-day operations to profitability. Considering all the variables, it makes a lot of sense to get professional support and follow a clear plan that helps you make the right move—and make the move right.

Visit for detailed information on managing your next office relocation.

Karen Warner is the author of Move Your Office, the best-selling office leasing and relocation guide. Move Your Office is available at Karen’ skill and experience as a commercial real estate broker has helped many businesses manage a smooth transition to their new location. Her extensive knowledge of the commercial relocation process and unique talent as a tenant representative allows her to expertly assist clients in finding and negotiating office space. Karen’s status as the author of three best-selling commercial relocation books gives her the tools and savvy to formulate effective office relocation strategies.

Office Relocation , Office Rental , Office Space

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