Headquarter Relocation AdviceApril 12, 2019
When you last moved your offices, how much time did you put into thinking about the location? In the commercial real estate word, headquarter locations are usually a very strategic decision for large and medium sized companies. Regardless of your size, your office location should be a well thought out strategic move for the company. In this post, I would like to touch on what I believe to be important areas to consider in your company’s upcoming relocation.
- Vision – Use your location as a way to set the vision for your company. As a leader in your company, your vision is not always communicated well to the rest of the company. One of the ways to convey your vision is to do that through your offices. We like to challenge clients and suggest that they start from a clean slate and develop a updated vision for the company. Don’t just look at cost but look at branding, business incentives, labor, workplace strategy, sustainability, health and wellness, technology, exit strategy, and lease covenants (to name a few).
- Talent – One of your first steps in considering a relocation is to look at your current employee base and who you want to attract. Map our your current employees based on zip codes and look for the center and see how it compares to your current location. Next, look at that location and try to determine if the demographics match who you see in your company. Let’s face it, with the labor markets as tight as they are today, a big problem that companies face is attracting and keeping talent. If your location can help you attract new talent, you can use that as a way to grow your profits. As more and more younger employees move into the work force, we will see a shift in priorities for employees. We are already seeing higher prices in buildings that are close to public transportation (BART) and amenities. Employees want those locations so whether you are facing a generational shift or not, today’s workforce is looking for an entire package and your office location plays into their decision.
- Trends – Look at the trends in the market and make sure you are capturing those in your space. Don’t just look to current trends but look at the future. A few examples of current trends are proximity to transportation and amenities, open format vs. offices, common meeting places in your space and in the project, colors, lighting, open kitchen formats, current furniture offerings, and technology to name a few. Remember that employees are looking for a work environment that complements their work-life environment.
- Marketing – Plan to use your new offices in your company marketing. You can use your new offices as a way to show customers and prospective employees that you are progressive as well as emphasize your overall marketing message. Consider using digital displays to show images of what you want to convey to both your internal as well the external eyes that see it.
- Exit – As you move into a new location, be mindful of your exit strategy. This is a bit of a mind bender but you should always be thinking of how you will get out of your decision if needed. For this you can look to your lease language as well as formulate a plan on how you can exit or downsize. This can partially be accomplished by your layout if you can leave a portion of your space that can easily be subdivided and sublet or given back to the landlord.
- Help – While you are planning for all of this, it is very important that you work with a broker that knows the market, the trends, where to find solutions, and the process that companies follow to make these decisions. I have been working with companies for 19 years and have developed the tools that companies need to work through a renewal or a relocation decision because sometimes the best decision is just stay in place and update your vision for the next 5-10 years. Every time you come up on a lease expiration, you have an opportunity to update your vision and add value to what may be status-quo.
Let me know if I can help with your company’s upcoming relocation or renewal. You can reach me at 925-239-1422. I look forward to hearing from you.