If your commercial lease is expiring within the next 6 months or so and you are thinking about renewing or moving, please consider the tips listed below to help with the process:
1. Review your lease at least 6-12 months before the expiration date. This gives you time to think about a strategy—whether it is to possibly remain in your current location or to move to a more suitable location.
2. You need to evaluate a three- to five-year growth plan and implement a general budget. This will prompt you to focus on your company’s larger growth picture.
3. Contact a commercial real estate agent who specializes in leasing, sales and renegotiation. Get timing game plan. The size and specialization of the requirement will determine the time frame needed to find space. Based on the timing strategy discussed, and when the timing is right, the commercial broker should research availability, pricing, location and options for office or industrial space that meets your short- and, long-term goals.
4. You should evaluate the options presented that meet your office space, location, image and pricing needs.
5. You and your broker should narrow down the list and have the commercial broker verify availability, pricing, floor plans and set up your tour.
6. Tour spaces and ideally choose the top three properties. This is important because the more properties that will work for your company’s needs, the better the position you and your broker will be to negotiate.
7. Contact the phone company, Internet company, movers, stationery company, contractors and computer vendors to get an idea of the cost and timing of the move. Additionally, if the new space requires tenant improvements, your broker needs to help determine how long it will take to complete.
8. Your broker will prepare and send letter(s) of intent. Your broker should understand the market and the landlord(s) motivation, which will allow negotiations to get to a win-win situation quickly and efficiently.
9. Once the deal is made and the lease draft is received, it is important to review the lease with your broker for deal points and with your attorney for addressing legal questions or verbiage. Details of the lease agreement can save or cost thousands of dollars over the term of the lease.
10. Sign and execute the lease. Your broker should stay involved and keep the lines of communication open between the landlord and you so the transition period between old and new space is a smooth one.