How do I plan for an office space move?

One of the most important elements that is often overlooked and one that we often receive requests for advice on, is the office space relocation process. What do we need to consider? When and how do we plan for a move? How much will it cost? Who shall we select as vendors for furniture, phone systems, the relocation process?

A good tenant representation advisor should be there to ensure the office space move process goes as smoothly as possible, with the aim of minimizing disruption to their client’s business and ultimately, their profitability during this always difficult transition. They can manage the entire relocation process as part of their real estate management services scope and coordinate with in-house management if necessary. Alternatively, you could outsource the entire process and hire a project management company.

Either way, seek expert advice if you are not experienced with the office space relocation process. Factoring in a relocation budget is essential as part of evaluating the total cost of an acquisition of a new facility. Most other office space relocation considerations can be left until up to three months before the big day. Every scenario is different so it’s critical that all the factors involved in a move are investigated and evaluated long before the lease or escrow on a new facility is closed.

Planning is key; if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! You wouldn’t believe the things managers overlook during an office space relocation, so a checklist is essential. Here’s a good one:

3 Months before Moving Day:

Secure office space Communicate the office space move to employees Identify major tenant improvement needs Confirm relocation budget Choose the move day Obtain necessary permits Start contracting for major tenant improvements Order new phone number Order new fax number

1.5 Months before Moving Day:

Design office space Assign office space Order chairs Order desks Order systems furniture Hire movers Order change of address labels for notification Order new address labels for existing stationery, marketing materials Order signage for new location Identify phone system requirements Order phone lines Order Internet access Order phone forwarding Arrange internal/external maintenance service Arrange for trash disposal Set up cleaning service

1 Month before moving day:

Address punch list items on completed tenant improvements Get business insurance quote for new space Arrange for copier move or buy new equipment Order security system Order keys, access cards Arrange for beverage service Send change of address to all vendors Send change of address to all customers Send change of address to all subscriptions Notify all lessors of equipment move Order checks with new address Order long distance service Transfer 800 numbers or order new numbers Sell old equipment, furniture

Preparing for the office space move (1 day to 1 month before moving day):

Install phone lines Install phone system Assign new phone numbers, extensions Order new stationery Order new business cards Order new business forms Identify closest overnight drop off boxes Inventory existing computers Inventory existing furniture by room Order dumpster for purging Purge old, obsolete materials Create new office extension directory Create new office layout map Create new fax cover sheet Create driving instructions Get new shipping labels Notify Post Office of change of address Update website with new information Add note inside mailbox about office space move and change of address Obtain moving crates/cartons Take down systems furniture Pack up desks, personal spaces Pack up common areas Store property that will not be moved Tag furniture to be moved Tag all wall items and move to central location Install systems furniture Distribute new keys, cards Collect old keys, cards Empty, defrost and clean refrigerator Code new office space on a map for movers

Moving Day:

Post coded signs in new office for movers Protect main moving paths Move plants

Post office space move:

Install office artwork Periodically visit old office to pick up mail Schedule phone training Schedule security training Get back to work!