8-12 Months from Expiration
Pull out your original lease documents and any amendments to review the terms. Begin a conversation with your broker to determine your best path forward and determine whether you’re going to relocate, renew, expand, or downsize. Be prepared to answer questions about your timing, budget, current/expected employee count, and what kind of expansion/downsizing plans do you have for your business.
6-8 Months from Expiration
If you’ve decided to renew your lease, your broker will begin the proposal/negotiation process with your landlord and/or their broker. In this case, the timing becomes less important depending on the amount of space you possess. If you’ve opted to relocate it is important to begin the search process with your broker as early as possible. Narrow your search area and budget to look at realistic options for your business. Remember, the leasing process can take time.
5-6 Months from Expiration
If you’ve chosen to renew, you should be looking to review your landlord’s proposal at this time. Work with your broker to finalize terms and begin moving toward finalizing a deal. At this point, if you’re going somewhere new, it is good to narrow your options down. By this point your broker should have requested proposals from landlords and/or their brokers and you should have a good idea of what the terms of any new lease would be.
4 Months from Expiration – By the 3-4 month mark you should have finalized and completed any renewal amendment with your current landlord if you’ve chosen to go down that path. Remember to leave yourself time to find new space if negotiations fail. If you’re moving, this is when you need to have made final decisions on the spaces you’re moving forward in negotiations on and understand proposed build-out, and move-in timing, and overall expenses related to a move.
3 Months from Expiration
At the 3 month mark expect for things to really begin picking up. You will be meeting with your broker more than before to finalize terms and work out the last details of any proposals or lease documents, space plans, and buildout requirements. You will also need to have time to begin any furniture purchasing so that there is no rush when it comes time for your move in.
0-3 Months from Expiration
During this last 90 days you should be in the buildout process and should be looking to begin the process of the move. The lease should have been signed with enough time to have the buildout completed and to allow you a comfortable window in which to begin the tear-down of your current office and all equipment. Once build-out and all work has been completed, make sure to do a final walk through with your broker, space planners/architects and any designers involved. Verify that the work has been completed appropriately and is up to your standards (and within the terms of the lease).
Ray Martin of Easton, CT has some final tips for you. Communicate your needs/desires clearly to your broker and never be afraid to ask a question.
All timing is completely dependent upon your space needs. The smaller the space, the less time this process will take. Speak with your broker to understand the timing a move or renewal will take.
Be realistic in what your budget will afford you and what kind of terms you should be looking to get based on that budget and ideal term.
Leave your space in good condition and have all deposits returned by your landlord.
Keep employees in mind when considering new office space (retention/recruitment is important).
Make sure that your employees and support staff are involved where they need to be. Employees need to be happy in their new space and a sense of connection increases their desire to come into the office for work. For more information on your timeline, contact The Martin Agency today.
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