Moving: The Necessary Evil
Many folks reading this likely know that RCR just relocated to a new office. We added to our team and needed more space, a great problem to have of course, but a problem, nonetheless. Thus, the necessary evil…moving! We had been in our previous space since 2016 and even though we moved just around the corner, the moving process was the same.
We obviously work hand in hand with our clients throughout the relocation process, but moving into the current environment was eye-opening for us, and frankly, we learned more than we thought we would. The process can be fun, frustrating, exhausting, and rewarding, all at the same time, but now that the dust has settled, we thought we would share just a few tips and takeaways that we have from the pain points in our process. Anyone considering a move on the horizon should learn from our experience and we are happy to discuss the process and make recommendations to help you navigate it!
Establish your team:
Consider utilizing a project manager and get them involved from day 1. Admittedly, we did not do this, and we regret it. In our minds, at 3,500 square feet, we didn’t feel that we were at a size to justify utilizing a project manager and we were wrong. Regardless of your size, you are still dealing with the same needs, delays, issues, and same number of vendors that you would if you were a larger user. In conjunction, form a dedicated internal move team. No matter what size you are, you truly need more than one person to assist as there are a lot of moving parts and pieces and decisions that will need to be made during the project, even if you engage a project manager. There are constant decisions to be made throughout the entire process. Make sure that your internal team is aligned upfront so that you can quickly make decisions as needed to help keep your project on track.
Be Transparent on Budget:
Develop a comprehensive and realistic budget that covers the cost of the project and make sure your vendors are clear on your budget (a project manager can assist you with this). Everybody knows by now, but pricing today looks a lot different than it did just a few years ago. Everybody wants to have a nice space that looks good and that you can be proud of, but you don’t want to break the bank. Of course, during design, our favorite carpet was the most expensive, but that is not the selection we ultimately made as our budget did not support it! Before you make selections or decisions for your space with your architect, design team, GC, etc., be clear up front on what your budget must be. If your vendors know your budget up front, they can help show you options within your budget parameters, provide potential alternatives, and make suggestions so that you aren’t spending time hitting out of your league.
Pick Alternate Selections:
The world of supply chain delays and issues has improved dramatically as compared to 12 months ago, however, we still experienced some issues with materials for our project. Material that was available during the selection process was then not available when it came time to order. Our advice is to backup selections for everything that you possibly can so that if you hit a snag, you already have an alternate to fall back on. This will save you a lot of time. This can apply to everything from carpet to wall coverings, specialty lighting to furniture.
Plan What You are Relocating:
Be conscious and thoughtful about what you plan on relocating. I will say, this is something that we did well planning and though it took some time on the front end, it saved time on the backside. If you are moving existing furniture, let your project manager or furniture vendor help you measure what you have and lay it out on your new space plan. This will not only ensure that what you are moving will fit properly in the new office or space it will be going in but will also help ensure you have the proper power outlets and data locations to support it. If you are purchasing new furniture to try and match with existing furniture, be mindful that some colors and finishes may have been discontinued, changed, or slightly modified. The “mahogany” of 2018 may be slightly different from the “mahogany” of 2023, even in the exact same line or brand family. Always request samples or swatches of colors, finishes, and fabrics so that you can compare them to what you have! In our case, we had a great furniture vendor who helped us dodge any issues with this.
Don’t Forget the Final Touches
I think most occupiers struggle with this last point and we were no different. The finishing touches make all the difference. When the touch-up paint dried and we got our final furniture delivery our space looked good, but something was still off. It was missing the little things that tie the office together. Coffee table books, artwork, greenery – do not discount the power of décor! Think about these items in advance of your move as some of them may take time to order. You may have some great photos or art you can reuse, but do they need to be reframed? Certainly, there may be some aspects of finishes that you don’t want to purchase until you are in the space, but making this a part of your planning up front instead of an afterthought will help you more quickly get settled in your new space and back focused on your business.
Remind yourself that the disruption and pain of moving are only temporary! Keep your employees well-informed and engaged throughout the process because it sparks a contagious buzz and means an exciting new chapter for your business. Finally, don’t forget to celebrate it!
Rich Commercial Realty