How Much Does It (Really) Cost To Relocate An Office?

March 18, 2019 | Commercial Real Estate

An empty office ready for employees to move into | Office relocation costs article

There are many reasons why you might want to relocate your office. Is your business growing? Do you want a better location? Perhaps you’re simply after an office upgrade.  

Whatever your rationale, if you’re asking ‘how much does it cost to relocate an office?’, you’re off to a good start. Because it’s not just the new rental rate that you need to consider …

I.T. and New Fit-Out Costs

Depending on your business type, moving office will probably involve more than packing up a few computers and plugging them in at the new office. There can be a range of costs associated here, and if you’re a reasonably large business you’ll need some IT specialists to help. Telecommunications is another job you’ll probably need specialists for.

Many commercial leases have flexibility in terms of fit-out. Some landlords will split the cost if it will benefit them in future, but some won’t. Either way, if you need to make alterations to your new office space, be prepared for the expense.

Set-up for painting a new office | Office relocation costs article

Moving Costs

It probably goes without saying, but you’ll need removalists to facilitate your actual move. There are companies who specialise in corporate moves, and the cost will vary depending on your business size. Obtain a quote in advance and be sure to factor this into your moving budget.

Potential Staff Impacts

Are you moving far from your current location? Be prepared for some staff backlash if your environment is changing significantly. Many staff will be excited by a move, but some may not. And if it impacts your staff, that immediately impacts your business.

For example. if your cosy old office lay outside the city with free parking and you’re now asking staff to fight traffic on the way to the CBD each morning, you may find they start looking elsewhere.

You can’t put a dollar value on this, but it’s worth considering how your staff may be affected by a move (and, in turn, how that affects your business). And a high turnover rate because of a move can cost the company a lot more than anticipated.

Employees in an office having a serious chat | Office relocation costs article

Loss of Business

Depending on the nature of your move, you could also lose customers. It’s a natural part of any relocation and one which needs to be carefully considered. For example, if you’re moving away from the CBD because you can no longer sustain the high rental costs, you may also be sacrificing some clients. If that’s the case, maybe a move isn’t the best thing.

Ideally, you only ever want to be moving to better surroundings with more visibility and accessibility for customers. If you’re not, consider the potential impact on your customer base and whether the lost business will be made up for in your new location.

Here are a few great tips to aid customer retention if you do choose to make a move.

Make Good Costs

A ‘make good’ is a clause in a commercial lease agreement that requires tenants to return the property to the same condition it was at the start of the lease.

It can be a costly exercise, particularly if the tenant has a lack of understanding about their rights and obligations, or received poor advice prior to their lease commencement.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to ‘making good’ is around $250 to $300 per square metre. However, you can expect these costs to increase when it comes to removing specialised or expansive fit-outs.

Keep in mind that negotiating a payout in lieu of a ‘make good’ may work in your favour and reduce the risk of landlord-tenant disputes. If you decide to go down this road, it’s best to agree on a figure prior to signing a new lease so that the cost and terms can be incorporated into the contract.

Read this article to learn how to make good at the end of a commercial lease and avoid landlord disputes.

Collateral Costs

This may not be the most expensive aspect of an office move, but still, one to consider.

Any signage or printed business cards, letterheads, brochures, flyers etc. with your address on it will need to be updated. That applies to your online presence too. Your website will need to be updated, your address with Google for search results and probably social media accounts too. And, depending on how tech-savvy you are, you may need a helping hand when it comes to fixing all your online addresses.

Request A ‘Stay vs Go’ Analysis From Tenant CS Today

If you’re still asking ‘how much does it cost to relocate an office?’, we don’t blame you. The thought of moving office can be daunting, but we’re here to help.

Tenant CS are experts when it comes to helping commercial tenants make the best real estate decisions for their business. We can perform a ‘stay vs go’ analysis to determine how much it will (really) cost to relocate your office and to make sure that you don’t spend any more than you have to. 

Contact our team today for more information or view some of our success stories.

Want more information about how a tenant advisor can help you? Read this article about 7 reasons to appoint a tenant representation specialist.

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The Author

Johanna Pudlarz joined Tenant CS in 2014 to support the Australian tenant representation Sydney team. Previously working for CBRE (Paris and Kuala Lumpur) and Colliers (Mumbai), Johanna is an adaptable problem solver with a strong work ethic.

Johanna currently works as a Senior Consultant in the Sydney office and has a Masters in Finance from Ipag Paris Business School (France).

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