Your next office move in 3 phases

Simple steps to help you choose the best office for your business

October 11, 2023

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 relocation strategy
Form an internal team

Include individuals from various business lines. Once the internal team is organised, identify the right strategic partner to drive the process.

Set meaningful objectives and requirements

The vision and goals of the organisation — 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 organisation 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 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 along the way 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 costs, any free rent periods, building improvements, moving related expenses, signage, and any other important factors that could affect your spend.

Prepare a subjective property comparison

Demonstrate which properties are best aligned with your company culture and values using your business objectives. Team collaboration at this stage helps others feel more confident that the final decision about your relocation has been fully considered.

Stage 3: Execute the relocation
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 finalisation of two critical documents: the letter of intent and the lease document.

Finalise construction details and project timeline

Along a parallel path with 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 finalise 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 to supply the assets.

Continue working with your 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 expected based on your planning
  • 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 the delivery day, but this is a crucial point to ensure your employees get a great first impression of the new space. Look for ways to make a move without disrupting regular business activity. This might mean moving furniture over a weekend, or phasing in 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.

Want more? Talk to the team