This post originally appeared on tBL member Pam Pester's blog The Tenant Rep Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.

The Commercial Lease Process

This is part 2 of a 5 part series.
The Commercial Lease Process – Part 1 detailing four crucial lease clauses to review before you embark on an office relocation or renewal.

Assemble a Team, a Timeline and a Budget

The time required for a successful move depends on the size of the space required and the complexity of the new space required. For an office user with 10,000 or more square feet, it is best to begin the process within 18 months prior to the expiration of the current lease. It is critical to begin the process early enough to maintain leverage in lease negotiations and to be exposed to as many alternatives as possible.

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  1. Choose a Team Leader and Make them Aware of Management’s Goals. Being the point person on an internal office move can require a substantial time commitment.   The team leader should be made aware of this and may need to delegate some of their normal duties to someone else during the search process. In addition, it is imperative that the team leader receive clearly defined goals and instructions from all decision makers involved. Often the best choice for a team leader is the CFO, general counsel, head of facilities or an office manager.
  2. Assemble an External Team. The first step for the team leader should be to interview and hire a real estate broker. The broker can then assist in hiring other professionals such as architects, engineers, and construction managers.
  3. Clearly Define the Role and Responsibility of Each Member of the Team. The roles of each team member should be clearly defined and they should be held accountable.
  4. Create a Project Schedule. The team leader, together with assistance from the broker, should create and maintain a project schedule that keeps everyone on track. The project schedule should outline each team member’s duties, should include key deadlines for completion and budgets. Staying on schedule will prevent you from moving too late and having to pay holdover rent or from moving too early and having to pay rent on two locations.
  5. Establish a Preliminary Project Budget. The budget should address costs for construction, if any, professional fees, furniture, equipment, moving costs and any other costs not covered by landlord concessions.

Image Courtesy of “Team Puzzle Showing Partnership Together Community And Unity” by Stuart Miles

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