Getting Started

The basis of all moves is real estate so it is instinctive for one to start by seeking the services of a real estate advisor. This seems reasonable. There are many options to choose from and the best choice of advisor often depends on location, the nature of the business and the volume of space required. The size of the firm alone should not be the determining factor. The economics and scale of large real estate firms may not be consistent with the needs of many clients and often unique or unusual spaces are handled by specialty agencies.

Prior to evaluating the many space options, one must first define what is going to be required from the space, now and for the foreseeable future. Moving premises is equivalent to starting with a clean slate. It is an opportunity to redefine and realign the operational footprint to accommodate evolving business realities in a way that typically cannot be achieved though incremental reconfigurations.

Most real estate advisors have a series of metrics they use to determine 'need'. The results typically arrive in a hefty report with lots of charts and graphs. For many businesses (maybe even most) generic projections are probably quite adequate. But for others, the "one size fits all" approach squanders opportunity.

The enterprise will be in the new space for years. Taking the time to build a detailed analysis of requirements seems only prudent - before the clock is set in motion and the subtle pressure to commit clouds matters. A thorough evaluation of adjacencies, interactions, growth and staff needs should be the core of the space planning process. Not doing so prior to evaluating any space arguably puts the cart before the horse.

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January 2016

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