So you’ve made the decision to make an office move. It’s an exciting time, filled with opportunities to reinvent, reset and renew. At the same time, the site selection process can be overwhelming. There are several factors at play, including neighborhood, space size, layout potential, availability of sophisticated technology, proximity to amenities, parking and public transportation.
In fact, many of our JLL offices are going through this process ourselves. Just last year, our El Segundo office in the LA area reinvented its space, and right now, our San Diego team will be moving to a new space soon. Each had to determine which of these factors were most important to our employees during the site selection process. For our culture, we knew it was critical to ensure the space could accommodate a variety of collaboration spaces, including conference rooms, lounge areas and cafes.
To make things more complex, when making such a significant financial investment, it is important to consider not just what your workforce needs today, but what will it need in another five to ten years. As the way we work continues to evolve at a neck-breaking pace, this is not an easy question to answer. So where to you begin?
We share our nine-step guide to optimize your office relocation:
- Build a team of trusted experts. Teams aren’t only for sports. A team of individuals with specific roles and responsibilities, who share common goals, and communicate efficiently with one another will bring your relocation to fruition seamlessly.
- Set objectives and requirements. Conducting interviews, completing programming, building a business case, and developing a summary of requirements are all necessary steps to establish a vision for your company’s future.
- Map out a custom timeline. Identify critical milestones. Don’t overreach; be realistic.
- Determine a preliminary project budget. Assess and audit your current expenses and overall situation. Develop a conceptual budget.
- Identify prospective opportunities. Determine the best available space options after completing an in-depth market research.
- Tour the market: After conducting a property analysis, finalize your shortlist.
- Evaluate properties on your shortlist. For each property on your shortlist, conduct a technical and financial analysis. After completing a subjective property comparison using deal drivers, maximize results against your business goals and objectives.
- Finalize your letter of intent (LOI) and negotiate your lease. You’ve selected your site and now it’s time for the legalities and technicalities. Develop a strong LOI; enter final negotiations of the lease document; and determine construction details and finalize your financial budget.
- Plan and implement your next move. With the imminent relocation in sight, finalize your design details, monitor the construction site, and prep for moving day!
While no two site selection and relocation projects are exactly alike, there are practical guidelines that can take some of guesswork out of your move. Structure a move to best fit your business, then create an internal communications plan in partnership with your broker. When you are ready for moving day, check out JLL’s week-by-week move checklist.
About the author
Andrew Medley is an Executive Vice President at JLL who exclusively represents users of real estate in facility and site acquisition. He is responsible for lease review/negotiations, site evaluation and selection, portfolio management, economic incentives support, strategic planning, construction and tenant improvement management and detailed financial analysis/comparisons for users or real estate.