Planning for New Office Space in the New Year

November 01, 2013

office move

The New Year will be here before we know it. If you are considering a business move, now is a great time to start the planning process. Whether you are moving up or in need of downsizing your space a bit, there are several things you need to consider before starting the search and definitely before making a final move decision.

Creating Your Needs List

The first step in the process is creating your needs list. Notice I said needs and not wants or wishes. This may seem like a common sense step; however, many times your needs list – those things you cannot compromise on - will first help you determine if the type of space is even available in the area that you would like to move to.

Office, warehouse, retail and medical space can be hard to find to match your specific needs and budget. Outlining exactly what you need first will help you prepare your leasing representative with key information to save you both time and money.

I would suggest creating a move team so that you can delegate key tasks for gathering information and costs. Assign a project leader and go over all of the important dates and deadlines with the entire team. Review what you’ve outlined as the needs list to ensure there isn’t any key information you didn’t include.

Space Considerations

I’ve outlined a few top questions to ask in order to help with the creation of your needs assessment.

1) Do you need more general office space – more room for desks, people and equipment?

2) Do you need a space that has more conference rooms for private meetings and client presentations?

3) Is parking a big issue now and how would you like to see that changed in your new space?

4) Are you downsizing and need to think through office layout and design to accommodate your staff but also provide privacy and function?

5) Do you need warehouse and office space in one location?


Another very important thing to review and consider in your planning phase is the budget. Again, you may be thinking, "Well of course I’m looking at my budget.” However, there are many things that businesses forget to consider as they begin preparing for an office move. For example, if you’ve decided to lease it’s important to review current lease rates in your market and the expected trend in dips or increases.

You don’t want to be surprised by an expense you haven’t included in the budget. This is where your move team can really help gather information so that you can make informed decisions.

The top budget considerations include:

1) The security deposit and first month’s rent

2) Gathering profit/loss statements, balance sheets etc. for the landlord to review

3) Phone and data cabling cost estimates

4) Phone and internet service costs

5) Property and general liability insurance

6) Costs for movers, furniture and equipment

7) New collateral, business cards and updates to online assets like your website and social media sites

8) The cost of a build out or finishing of a space

Free Service

There is actually a way to help you save money and time throughout the entire process. Many businesses decide to search for office space on their own because they think there are fees associated with hiring a tenant representative that specializes in commercial office space leasing.

What you may not realize is that a commission will be paid regardless if you seek the help or not because leasing commissions are typically pre-negotiated between listing agents and owners of the buildings.

Before you embark on a move project, consider reaching out to a commercial office tenant representative to help you with market research, trends, area information and other key expertise they have from dealing with leases all day every day.

You can review more detailed information about the topics I’ve covered by clicking on the link below.

5 Expenses to Budget for before Finalizing your Office Space Lease.

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Topics: Business Operations, Content Type

Nathan Smith

Austin Tenant Advisors

Nathan Smith is a commercial real estate advisor and owner of Austin Tenant Advisors, a local commercial real estate company that specializes ONLY in representing the best interests of business owners and companies in the search, selection, negotiation, and occupancy of office, retail, and warehouse space. Early on Nathan saw a need for business owners and companies to have the same expert advice as Landlords when it comes to leasing and purchasing commercial properties. In fact, he doesn't want to just level the playing field, he strives to educate and advise them in a way that puts them in a position of strength so that they find the best spaces and negotiate the best deals possible. Nathan graduated from Texas State University and had the opportunity to serve his Country in the Air Force Reserves. Nathan is married to Jennifer and has two children. He is also a die-hard cyclist and runner and has competed in numerous short and long distance triathlons and Ironman competitions.
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