Your next office move in 3 phases
Just a few simple steps on how to choose what’s best for your business
The workplace is more than a 9-to-5 destination. It’s more than a desk, cubicle or conference room. It’s the epicenter of employee happiness and productivity. It shapes your brand image and impacts your bottom line. Choosing an office location is a critical decision for the future success of your business. While the process is extensive, it can be broken down into three main stages: strategy, selection and execution.
Stage 1: Build your move strategy
Build an internal team
Include individuals from various business lines. Once the internal team is organized, identify the right strategic partner to drive the process.
Set meaningful objectives and requirements
The vision and goals of the organization — the project deal drivers — must determine all requirements. Examples include brand building, employee attraction and retention, expansion or growth flexibility, increased collaboration, or client service requirements. Drivers are unique to each organization and are critical to aligning business goals with real estate needs.
Develop a custom timeline
Evaluate existing infrastructure and conditions, economics, market trends, and critical dates. While drafting a projected timeline, identify milestones to mark progress along the way, such as defining the space needs, initial discussions with landlords, proposal analysis and due diligence. Things are likely to change but managing a timeline that accomplishes business objectives is key.
Determine a preliminary project budget
Examine baseline economic metrics and use that information to establish a preliminary budget. Having a strong understanding of current spend, as well as an anticipated budget, will help you assemble a real estate deal that aligns with your business goals.
Stage 2: Select your space
Identify prospective spaces
Once you have a shortlist of prospective spaces, your CRE partner can begin to develop requests for proposals (RFPs). Each proposal is unique, based on building status and business drivers. However, RFPs present a prime opportunity to identify risks or expose areas that need attention from the landlord, prior to entering into negotiations.
Conduct a technical and financial analysis of each property
As feedback comes in from landlords, assess all responses and concessions as they relate to your deal drivers. Ensure that you gain a holistic understanding of the total spend, including rent, construction cost, free rent, building improvements, moving related expenses, signage, etc.
Prepare a subjective property comparison
Demonstrate which properties are best aligned with company culture and values using your business objectives. Team collaboration at this stage helps others feel more confident in the final decision.
Stage 3: Execute move
Select your space and enter into final negotiations with the landlord
At this stage, your team’s real estate legal counsel should be heavily involved in the review and finalization of two critical documents: the letter of intent and the lease document.
Finalize construction details and project timeline
Along a parallel path of the lease negotiation, make sure you’re on track to meet your original goals. With a dependable general contractor (GC) and architect, your team can finalize design drawings, enabling your GC to send out a hard bid for all categories. Meanwhile, your architect should begin looking at suitable fixtures, carpeting, furniture and equipment, as well as potential dealers and manufacturers.
Continue working with project manager
Once construction is underway and hammers are swinging, your project management partner will monitor activity onsite to ensure:
- The quality is exactly what you expect
- The space is built precisely according to the drawings
- The timeline and budget are being met
- The construction site is safe
Prep for moving day
The project may have gone well up to this point, but if the moving day does not, employees will be frustrated and unhappy. Look for ways to make a move without disrupting regular business activity. This might mean moving furniture over a weekend, or phasing employees by department. Whatever the case, structure a move to best fit your business, then create an internal communications plan in partnership with your broker.