Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Office Relocation: A Checklist

If an owner feels that it is time to make a geographical change, here are five things to consider beforehand.
1. Get Help…Right Away
Commercial real estate contracts are tricky and can be full of confusing clauses. As with most trades, real estate comes with its own set of industry jargon and acronyms. Also, contrary to popular belief, the commercial realtor charges the landlord, not the business owner who is seeking a property.
2. Proximity To Customers And Employees
It’s the first rule of real estate, “location, location, location.”
If you have a name out there, you can be on a secondary road and people will find you. If you have a unique niche in the market, they have to find you. Are you strictly making your money off of walk-ins or people who are looking for you? Many people can save money on real estate if they know that.
3. Price Is Right
Robyn Howes, president of CertifiedNETS, an IT services provider, recently found financials to be a great motivator when relocating. “I was happy with our space in an (St. Louis County) Enterprise Center incubator,” says Howes. “But an opportunity to purchase some real estate with some other companies came up that was just too good to pass up. From a financial standpoint, when we put together what all of us were paying in rent, owning the building was a lot less money.”
4. Space Is Not Too Tight (Or Loose)
The space has to fit the needs of the business from square feet to utilities.
The most important thing about a new space is how it well it fits into your future. Get the space that fits your needs five years from now. If you are going to grow by 20% or decrease your warehouse space by 20%, then your space should provide that.
5. Know What You Want Before You Start
Having a very specific idea of your needs and prioritizing them can lead to a much shorter cycle when it comes to selecting an office space.