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The Basics of Office Relocation

corporate real estate Oct 17, 2015

6 Topics to Explore in your Strategy Meeting

Moving an office, whether it is local relocation within a corporate campus, from city to city, or across the country, can be a daunting task.

Office relocation is not a quick and easy process and it requires a significant amount of planning and foresight before the physical move actually takes place.

But where do we start? An office move can be complex and complicated, but the best place to start is asking what it can do for your business.

Why Move?

The first question that you should consider about an office relocation is why you should move. The decision to move usually breaks down to better economics, increased space efficiency, or access to skilled talent.   Once the decision is made to relocate, identifying all the details relating to the move requires advanced planning, experienced coordination, sequencing, and execution.

Office Space Planning

More and more attention has been given to the traditional office layout (consisting of cubicles and private offices) over the past decade as business owners and corporate decision makers are embracing how alternative workplace strategies can positively impact their companies.

These strategies are explored during the office space planning phase, well in advance of the physical move-in date and concluded prior to executing a new lease.  Space planning is the precursor to a successful relocation as typically the roles and responsibilities are beginning to be outlined for the relocation project to take place.

Commercial Leases

Many factors impact a business’s need for commercial real estate. So what happens if you are in the middle of your lease term, can an office relocation realistically happen?
It IS possible and it’s important to assess the likelihood of this event happening before the lease is up.  Here are a couple key areas to explore if better understand if this is a viable option:

  • Check your Lease Provisions- assuming there are no restrictions in your lease, market your space for sublease to tenants in the market.  If your lease has a termination option, clearly outline the notice dates and transaction timeline.
  • Market Conditions- understand what is trending in the current office market and submarket.  Lower vacancy and strong leasing activity can present opportunities for your Landlord to recapture your space, making an early exit from your lease possible.

Here is a guide to negotiating the new commercial lease to ensure you secure maximum flexibility for your business.

Moving Costs

Moving is never inexpensive and it important that adequate moving expenses are modeled into the preliminary financial budget. We all know CFOs hate surprises to the budget!

Landlord concession packages help mitigate these costs, but it really depends on the market and opportunity being considered.

Additionally, there are professionals to consult with that may be able to reduce these expenses based upon their strategic partnerships and buying relationships.

Time Constraints

For all businesses, time is money and opportunity cost.  However for some companies it is impossible to relocate at certain times.  Managing time constraints are critically important for most organization’s office relocation.

It is vital that the process is managed efficiently, with key operational functions coordinated and sequenced to minimize disruption to the business.

Attract and Retain Talent

Relocating the office is an opportunity to position your company to attract the best talent. Landlords with buildings near mass transportation and with amenities (both in the building and within walking distance) are enjoying low vacancy levels.  These factors certainly matter to potential candidates.

To give some color to this, a close friend of mine recently was pursuing his career options. He lived very close to New York City and had always worked in Manhattan.

The opportunity to avoid the commute was very attractive.  Having tremendous experience, strong relationships, and a skill set in high demand, he opened his search up to other cities & markets within a few hours drive of NYC.  Obviously, the company and position were the highest priority, but I asked him what else was part of his decision-making. 

Having multiple opportunities to consider, the strong companies that "checked the box" on these amenities seemed to reside closer to the top of his list as he made his decision.

Getting Down to Business

Each of these factors has their own nuances when it comes to getting the right balance. Unless you've been in the office relocation business for a while, it may be challenging to understand what can go wrong, ensure you see all the options, or how to get the best pricing.

It’s important to speak with a professional to address the specific concerns you may have and get a confidential assessment of your office relocation.

Contact us anytime at 201-694-2870 to discuss your project and we’d be happy to help you figure out how your move can be done most efficiently.