Ask the Experts at GL Hearn

Top Tips for Maximising your Property Relocation

7th October 2019, 3:58 pm

Relocating to new offices can be a welcome catalyst to bring about positive change in an organisation while also impacting positively on productivity and staff engagement.  Finding the right space to satisfy the operational needs of the business which also delivers on the evolving requirements of an agile workforce is essential to futureproofing your space and to ensure you do not have to move again before the end of your lease.

Critically, however being proactive, doing enough research and acting early can optimise the number of options available and greatly enhance the tenants negotiating position.  Lack of planning and leaving decisions late can result in tenants being forced into unfavourable terms on either lease renewal or when acquiring new offices.

Here are GL Hearn’s top tips highlighting the key points to consider before your property relocation:

  1. Timing is Everything

The key to a successful office relocation is to ensure that you leave enough time to evaluate your options and execute the move therefore the earlier you start the planning process the more chance you have of securing the best space and agreeing the most favourable commercial terms.  The first step is to ensure that you are aware of the critical lease event date, whether that is a break option or lease end and this process should begin at least 18-24 months before that date.

  1. Stay vs Go Cost Analysis

Stay vs Go cost analysis is the next critical step and it involves comparing the costs to stay in your current office vs relocating to another.  The first costs analysis may simply include a comparison between the rent, business rates and service charge costs however the model can be built up to provide more detailed analysis to include rent free, dilapidations and fit out costs.  To provide this complete picture input from Building Surveyors and Design and Build companies may be required to provide realistic dilapidations and fit out costs.

  1. Setting the Budget

The output from the Stay vs Go cost analysis will help a business decide whether to stay put or relocate.  Setting a realistic budget from the outset will help ensure a smooth transition through the internal approvals process and avoid any unexpected surprises or hidden costs.

  1. Choosing the Right Team

Whether a business has made the decision to relocate or is still considering its options getting the right professional team on board during the early planning stage will help to inform and streamline the decision-making process.  It is also of critical importance that a well-chosen diverse internal relocation team is selected to ensure wide representation from a cross section of the business.

  1. Defining the Brief

The more time a business can spend defining the brief by carrying out thorough research and seeking the views of staff and key stakeholders the smoother the process and the more successful the result.  The key is not necessarily replicating what you have now but understanding the possibilities and to ensure that you futureproof your new space.

  1. Workplace Analysis

Appointing a workspace consultant will assist in developing the brief even further and consider in detail how your workspace impacts on your working practices, analysing what works well and what does not. Having this input from the outset can influence the search and shortlisting part of the process but will also feed into the design of your new workspace to ensure you achieve the maximum benefit from the move.

  1. Due Diligence Surveys

Once the property has been selected and long before the lease is signed, it is essential to get condition and a maintenance and electrical surveys carried out on the new premises to identify any potential repair issues with the building or the M&E systems.  Any defects which occur or become apparent once the lease is signed and after you have moved into the property will usually fall to the tenant to cover the full cost of repair.

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