It’s hard to improve if you don’t know where you stand. Identify inefficiencies in your current workspace, decide how the new space should function and the present the plan. A few questions to ask:
- How can we improve operations?
- What style of facility suits us?
- How many square feet and what is the configuration?
- What do we prioritize the most? What is our image?
When it comes to employees, it is important to get a handle on their average commute. We can assist in providing a commute analysis. What are the amenities that will improve the quality of life for our employees and what will attract top talent? We can assist in providing a demographic analysis. What are the logistical components of our facility? We can assist in providing a traffic flow analysis.
During our first meeting, we strive to obtain a wealth of information and gain a full understanding of our client’s business, which should dictate the type of property that will be a perfect fit for them. Asking the right questions in this initial meeting will help ensure that the entire process runs smoothly and more efficiently. As the expert in corporate real estate, it is our responsibility to know the client’s business well enough to understand exactly what type of building may or may not work. For example, we stay up to date on the local codes and ordinances to see how they might affect various businesses.
The Most Common Pitfalls and Ways to Avoid Them
- Taking too long to get started
Time is your biggest asset. Procrastinating in Phase 1 is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make when considering a move.
Best practice: It’s never too early to start thinking about your occupancy plans. Kick off initial discussions no less than 6-9 months before your lease expires. (Your timeframe will grow as your company does.)
- Not building internal consensus throughout the process
Many companies get ready to execute on a new lease only to have the deal go sour because they lack board approval or executive consent.
Best practice: Avoid a late-stage veto by keeping the entire team informed with updated documents each step of the way.
- Assuming you don’t need to assess the market
Just because you plan to renew your lease doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look elsewhere. The biggest threat you can make to your landlord is a strong case for moving out. This is the last thing they want, because they’d be forced to make the space “market ready,” pay leasing commissions and carry the expense for vacant space.
Best practice: Gain negotiating leverage by touring the market and understanding your options. Your landlord will work hard not to lose you.
- Not exercising renewal options
Renewals without negotiations are dangerous. Why? Even in a stay-put scenario, you may find future growth opportunities within your building, need base building improvements, or only want new paint and carpet in your space.
Best practice: There are ways to protect your future flexibility in your lease: termination options (in the event that you decide to leave), rights of first offer on adjacent suites (so that you have first dibs on new spaces in your building), and contraction rights (if your needs change and you’re using less space).