If you’re like most people, you hate moving. It’s a task no one looks forward to, but sometimes it’s just necessary. Other times, a relocation can be avoided simply by renovating your current space.  In commercial real estate, this is a scenario that tenants often find themselves in; weighing the pros and cons of a move or figuring out if the numbers work to just improve their current space.

 With our years of experience working in commercial real estate and advising tenants, we have simplified the initial analysis for our clients into a single set of factors. By starting our process with these five factors, we can help our clients have a better defined direction as they move toward this big decision for their business.

 1. THINK ABOUT YOUR PEOPLE. Good businesses know how important it is to care for their employees. So we start by encouraging our clients to consider their people. Who are your employees and where do they live, how do they work? Knowing this information and factoring it into the decision process can lead to a keeping employees happy and/or increasing employee satisfaction. Are you seeking to attract new or specific talent? We advise clients to consider the future of the company in growth and whether new talent should be a factor in the relo or reno process. Do you have great access to talent in your current location or would a move better place you for your ideal workforce pool? Will your people be hoteling or teleworking? How your people will be working in or out of the office will help answer the type of reno or relocation space you are considering. Can your current space accommodate current or future plans for workflow? Or will a move better suit the style of your office work?

2. KNOW YOUR BUDGET. We always advise our tenants to get a good handle on their budget for either scenario and to allow themselves enough time to work out the financials. You’ll need time to evaluate all of the factors and engage in negotiations. Starting the process can be daunting, but it is much easier if the budget is confirmed and the timeline can allow for it. Know That Time is important to budget. Timelines that are cut short or rushed can make adhering to the budget a difficult, but not impossible, task. Try to allow enough time to keep the pressure off of the budget. Are you expanding or downsizing? Consider how the current space or potential spaces could accommodate your business plan for expanding or downsizing within your budget.

3. CONSIDER YOUR BUILDING: Tenants should not only consider their space, but the entire building where they are located. Does your current building with a reno? If you’re downsizing, expanding, renovating, it is important to know what changes your current building would allow for. Are you considering a reno for the entire office or just shared space? If you are looking at staying in your building, assess what kind of reno would be sufficient for your business and budget. Will you do a full renovation or just focus on shared areas? Is swing space available? It is worth it to look into swing space if you are considering a renovation to see what could fit with your space and the changes need to complete your reno.

4. KNOW YOUR BRAND & BUSINESS. Both a renovation or a relocation can impact your business and workflow. Consider your business cycles and how they will be impacted. Either option of reno or relo can interrupt work and disrupt business. We advise tenants to examine their business cycles and factors those into the timing of their decision. Is your brand tied to your location? You should know if your business and brand has a strong association with your location. If so, this could be a factor in choosing renovating over relocation. How does the design reflect your brand/business? Some tenants have a strong brand and company aesthetic. If design is an important factor in your spaces, it should be heavily considered when looking at choosing between reno or relo. Can you achieve or replicate the brand design you currently have in either scenario?

5. FACTOR YOUR LOCATION. Location. Location. It’s said time and again in real estate. For companies who are evaluating a move, taking a look at their location is a major factor that cannot be overlooked. Look back at your people and where they live. Again, consider the people who make your business run. What will make them happier and more productive and more likely to stick with your company. How does your location factor into business? Does your current location make business with clients, customers, and partners easier? Would a relocation better accommodate? Look at access. Examine whether your current space or potential spaces could have better access to highways or transit, amenities, restaurants, and/or lodging.

TAKE ALL 5 FACTORS and if you still need help, we are here for you. Your office is our job, and while we developed this piece to help tenants better make this decision, our ultimate goal is to help tenants through the entire process, step-by-step, from beginning to end.

Cecil & Campbell Advisors is a commercial real estate advisory firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia – specializing in tenant representation, acquisition and investment sales of commercial space.