How to Find Space for Your Business

Planning an Office Move – The Big Recap

By  David Haug

Planning an Office Move – The Big Recap

Planning an office move is a big deal, especially if you have many employees and a large amount of space. We have spent the better part of the year putting together really in depth articles to help you master this process.  Our Lease Timeline Checklist was designed for you to visualize this process and to provide you a road map for organization.  Be sure to download the checklist here.

Planning an Office Move – Critical First Steps

At the beginning of this process we went over the critical first steps necessary to your success in planning an office move. As much as you want to look ahead at this point, you really should look backward for a bit first.  Think about the pros and cons of your current space.  What have you really enjoyed about your current location?  What issues have driven you a little bit crazy?  Now is the time to reflect on the elements of your space that you love and hate.  Create those two categories so that you know what you are looking for and what you want to avoid.

Planning an Office Move – Effective Communication is Essential

You have started with reflection, now is the time to find a great expert you can communicate well with. To effectively communicate, you will want to find a commercial real estate expert that has your best interests in mind. You want someone to take exceptional care of you during this process.  You, your company, your employees, and your customers are all relying on you. Your ability to handle real estate at the highest level possible is often determined by the team around you. There is perhaps no better way to do so than to bring a CRE expert on board to help you navigate this sometimes difficult endeavor.

Planning an Office Move – Submitting Plans to Your Landlord

Proper planning is absolutely a foundation component to your success when planning an office move. Without proper planning it is difficult for you to know exactly what you want.  If you do not know this, it becomes impossible for you, your new landlord, and everyone involved (contractors, architects, lenders, and brokers, to name a few) to know what they need to do to help you achieve success.  All of this planning comes together into a unified plan and this is what you will submit to your landlord and their team.

Planning an Office Move – Double Check Everything

A certain insurance company made the discount double check a famous slogan. Now would be a great time to do your own discount double check. As we have covered in this outline and all of the associated links to additional resources, there is so much to account for when planning an office move. Seemingly small changes or updates can have a domino effect and really turn into bigger issues if not addressed early on. This best way to avoid any disasters is to double check your plans and timelines.  You should plan to review your status on everything at least once a week and more when needed.  Make your review process part of the process.

Planning an Office Move – Applying for Permits

Applying for permits is often a critical component to a move, especially if you are building a new building or substantially changing the current use of a property.  You are beholden to other people’s timelines when you engage this process. Most permits processes go through municipal and county approvals which means you are on their timeline, not yours. Municipal and county meetings are typically MONTHLY, so if you miss one, you lose a month. That can be a big deal. If you show up to a meeting and everything isn’t in order and you have to come back, that also costs you a whole month.  So make sure you work with a team of experts committed to delivering everything needed on the timelines you must adhere to.

Planning an Office Move – Begin Construction

This is both an exciting time and nerve wracking time for many. When you start construction you aren’t going back. At this stage, you are putting your plans into action and it is all about hitting your targets accurately. You want to begin and and your construction work on time, on target, and on budget. In an ideal world, you may even come in sooner, and under budget. Working with exceptional contractors is one of the best ways to achieve these goals, so make sure you choose wisely. We can help you find the best commercial contractor based on your individual needs.

Planning an Office Move – Final Phase

Because construction typically takes several weeks or months, you will need to keep your focus on this process all the way to the end. You should be meeting with your contractor once a week, or at the very least receive weekly updates. Depending on the extensiveness of the construction you are doing, you may walk through daily. Whether you are deeply involved with custom selections, or you have more general needs, walking through is essential. You will want to keep your focus on the final construction and finishing process. After all, you want to ensure you have a new business location you will love each day.

At Lighthouse CRE, we provide Lease Audit Services

This process will identify how your current lease compares to the marketplace.  We have saved clients tens of thousands of dollars with effective lease negotiations. Whether you decide to stay put or find a new location, we can likely save you money.  Included with this service is a free market report that shows you what spaces are currently available. We also show the lease rates, and this is imperative when comparing your current lease  to new options. And who knows, you just might see a perfect new location on our list.

Plenty of things change in the marketplace all the time.  If you have been in the same location for a number of years, it is very likely new developments and new opportunities await you. 6 to 9 months before your lease ends is the ideal time to request a lease audit.

David Haug

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About the Author

David N. Haug is the Managing Broker of Lighthouse Commercial Real Estate in Madison, WI. He is passionate about helping clients, customers, and friends succeed in finding property, selling and leasing property, and investing in commercial real estate. With over 17 years of CRE experience David has analyzed, reviewed and transacted hundreds of deals worth untold millions of dollars. Reach out today and ask David to guide you on your commercial real estate voyage!
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