Prepare 18-24 months in advance
Time is leverage. Most companies do not allow enough lead time to adequately prepare for, analyze, and execute a successful relocation or renegotiation of an existing lease. Have your team develop a timeline, including critical action dates, for use throughout the project.
Location, location, location
Choose the most suitable location for your business. Identify and map all employee residences (more weight can be given to key executives). Note their commuting times and mileage, taking traffic patterns into consideration. Other proximaties to consider include labor base, clients and suppliers.
Thoroughly understand your square footage needs
Floor configuration, private offices, employee re-stacking, shared services, and systems furniture will have a dramatic impact on the usable square footage required. Space programming and planning services should be conducted early in the acquisition process.
Audit your lease
A lease audit is the thorough review of tangible and intangible components that make up your total occupancy costs. When done by a qualified expert, a lease audit can be a great tool for uncovering inequities in your lease and creating significant leverage in a lease renewal or renegotiation.
Identify your technical requirements early
Technical criteria are often a primary driver in the space acquisition process, since they directly affect your company’s ability to do business throughout the lease term. Availability and quality of public utilities, building systems, and telecommunications infrastructure can vary greatly from building to building, thereby limiting the universe of suitable alternatives and saving time.
Develop a complete project budget
Financial modeling is a powerful tool that will help fully understand your total cost of occupancy, recognize specific cost-reduction opportunities, and develop budgets. The models also act as a bench mark and help keep the team focused on a common goal.
Compare your current facility to “market”
In order to make a fair comparison between your existing facility and various space alternatives in the market, many factors must be properly compared and contrasted. Among them are rental rates, tenant improvements, concessions, relocation costs, building quality, landlord stability, loss factor, accessibility, age and efficiency of building systems, operating expenses, and proposed escalations, to just name a few.
Build protective contingencies into your lease
Five years into a 10-year lease, the organization often needs more or less space provided for in the lease and is stuck with paying rent on an inefficient facility. As a result, some organizations will take a shorter term lease (usually at a higher rate). Instead, consider taking a longer term lease at a better rate, but build in contingencies such as expansion/contraction rights, right of first refusal on adjacent spaces, lease buyout or lease termination options.
Be creative and open minded
This is particularly true in a “tight” market. Expand your search area. Look at less obvious alternatives. Be flexible where possible. There are always great opportunities out there if you know where to look!
Retain a qualified project management team
The day-to day responsibilities of your core business are demanding enough. A qualified Project Management team acts as an extension of your internal team and can help you realize significant savings and operating efficiencies through their expertise and past experience. The award winning tenant representation team at The Acclaim Group provides a full complement of tenant representation, project management and space disposition services. The team also acts as a resource throughout their clients’ occupancy. Their methodology is thorough, meticulous and extremely versatile in scope.