The Ultimate Guide to Moving into a New Office

The Ultimate Guide To Moving Into A New Office

The prospect of moving an office can be…intimidating. Many businesses will make compromises and stay in a “good enough” location just to put off the hassle of relocation. Don’t let yourself, your employees, or your business settle for “good enough.” The perfect office for your company is out there, and unless that’s where you already are, follow these easy steps to not only find your ideal spot, but make the move much less difficult!

Step 1 - Take Inventory

The first step to a successful move is taking inventory. Not of the items in your office, but of where you stand as a company and what your needs are.

If you’re in an office, has your company outgrown its current space, or are you in the market for something smaller? Are you happy with the neighborhood you’re in or could it use an upgrade? Are you tied into a lease or is it expiring?

If you are remote, what is your return timeline? Will your whole team be returning or will you be going with a hybrid model? Are there neighborhoods you’d love to be in, or any that you want to avoid?

Whatever your current situation, you need to make sure you have a firm grip on where your finances stand and your growth projections, as these will be two of the most important factors in finding the perfect space.

Lastly, be sure to poll your employees on their needs. After all, it’s their office too. While commute time is generally concern number one, be sure to ask if they have any unique requests, like a large pantry area for team luncheons, gyms nearby, or whatever else they may need to make this move an upgrade for them as well. Even if you love it, it doesn’t make sense to move to a place where your team isn’t going to be happy.

Step 2 - Educate Yourself

If you’re in a space, now is the time to review your lease and understand your lease expiration, moving constraints, early termination options, and any other items that might affect your transition. This can be a pretty convoluted process as leases aren’t often written in plain English, so it’s best to work with a tenant broker who deals with these contracts regularly.

With professional help, you can rest assured you’ll know exactly what’s expected of you once you move out.

Next, it’s important to learn the market. Again, tenant brokers are a huge asset when it comes to this. They can help you get a feel for market conditions and what to expect when you’re ready to look for a space. This can help you set a budget for your new space and understand what you can get for your money.

Once you’ve worked those points out, it’s time to determine your timeline. It’s best to start at least 6 months out, even if you’re a smaller operation.

Things to factor in include your remaining lease term, time for market surveys, space tours, handling negotiations, legal review, construction (if necessary), and cementing move-in logistics. It’s a lot to square away, so be sure to give yourself adequate time. Time is your best friend during the negotiations process.

Step 3 - Find the Right Place

Once you’re actively looking for a new space, your tenant broker will become your most valuable resource. By determining how much space you need, what spaces are viable within your budget, and what abatement packages you should expect, your broker will help specify your needs and uncover unique opportunities you might not find on your own.

Now it’s time to start touring spaces. Don’t rely on pictures on the web, seeing a space in-person lets you truly get the feel for what’s possible within, and of course, allows you to explore the neighborhood that surrounds it. When you’ve narrowed down your list to 2-3 top choices, you’re ready to submit proposals.

Your tenant broker will help you understand where to begin negotiations and how to get the best possible deal from each landlord. With financial projections, they can help you know how the all-in costs compare for every option you’ve selected, weigh each opportunity, and make the best selection for your business.

At this point, it’s important to work with a real estate attorney alongside your tenant broker to ensure that your lease will protect you and your business. If you don’t have a real estate attorney, your tenant broker can help with referrals. In fact, your broker can help with all factors involved in leasing a space including selecting data/IT companies, working with furniture vendors, architects and designers, moving companies, and more.

All that’s left is the “fun” stuff: paperwork, securing insurance, and submitting a security deposit. Once you finish that, it’s time to execute your lease and get ready to move in!

Step 4 - Moving Logistics

Most of all, be sure you’re not winging it come move-in day. Create a floor plan of your new space, with detailed instructions on where every piece of equipment will go and the path it will take to get there. Best know now that that big piece of machinery won’t get through the door, not move-in day.

Assign roles to your team so that everyone knows what’s expected of them leading up to, during, and after the move. Divide up the to-do list and make sure there’s a lead to ensure everything that needs to get done, does. Don’t leave anything to chance. If you’re going to toss the leftover snacks in the break room, be sure that’s on someone’s list. The more coordination you have with your team, the fewer surprises you’ll face and the smoother your move will go.

Before you move, get to know your new landlord. Establishing a relationship of open communication can pay huge dividends down the road. Getting off on the right foot is important for maintaining a good relationship – and this starts on move-in day. Communicate with them and your property manager so that there are no hiccups or nasty surprises and you arrive as the ideal tenant you know you are.


Step 5 – Enjoy The Process! 

Moving can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! A new office space should be a fun and exciting experience with your growing team. By following these simple steps, you don’t have to settle for “good enough” when it comes to your office. So go out there, get help, and find the perfect place for you, your employees, and your business!