The end of your office space lease may be fast approaching. It is now time to ask yourself these questions:
Can I stay where I am for the next five years?
What are the costs to stay?
Do I have flexibility in the same location?
What is the attitude of the current property owner?
Is the current facility a good location for my business?
Is the current building adequate and cost effective?
What are the costs of relocation and down time to my business versus staying?
If a move is necessary, then:
Give yourself time; this process can be more time consuming than it has been in the past.
Companies must keep functioning as the research, negotiating, construction and the relocation process take place. It is not uncommon to have the entire process take up to 18 months.
Here is a ten-step relocation guide to help you through the process:
FIND A GOOD COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE LEASING/SALES AGENT
A commercial agent with BOTH leasing and occupant-type sales experience is critical to ensuring you get the best terms on your new lease or purchase.
Define your goals and find an agent who specializes in office leasing.
DEFINE YOUR LOCATIONS, SPACE AND BUDGET REQUIREMENTS
Consult a professional space planner to design your ideal office space for your business’ highest productivity and efficiency.
Define the desired location for your business.
Define how much square feet you currently need, but keep in mind the possibility for growth. You may need to find an office space that will allow you to expand your square footage and not have to relocate.
DEVELOP FINANCIAL OPTIONS AND A TIMELINE
Consider the long-term financial incentives of purchasing versus leasing.
Be aware of the holdover provisions and their costs in your current lease.
Determine the cash out-of-pocket expenses in comparison to your budget.
Estimate cost trends and operating expenses for your current marketplace.
COMPARE AVAILABLE MARKET PRODUCT
Review the product options in the market with your agent.
Explore the long-term ramifications of staying in your current office space.
Analyze the long-term outcomes of moving and either leasing or purchasing an office space.
HIRE AN ARCHITECT FOR “TEST FIT” FOR EACH POTENTIAL LOCATION
It is important to ensure that the new office space fits all of your business’ needs and requirements.
CREATE A COMPLETE DETAIL SPACE PLAN WITH SPECIFICATIONS TO ACCOMPANY LOI
Make sure that the Letter of Intent specifies any tenant improvements you need in order to make the office space work for your business.
NEGOTIATE BUSINESS POINTS IN A FULL LOI
Work closely with your agent to ensure that the Letter of Intent includes the most important provisions relating to your office space.
Make sure you fully understand everything stated in the Letter of Intent and be clear about adding any terms and conditions that are important to you.
Depending on your situation, you may need to consult an attorney to make sure your lease will not create any problems.
You may need to consult a contractor to ensure you obtain all of the tenant improvements necessary for your business.
If you choose to purchase the office space, you will need to speak to a banker to secure financing. Also, you will need to hire a CDC representative and an appraiser.