Are you moving your law office? Even if it’s just to a bigger space in your current building or across the street to a modern office park, there are considerations to be made.
- Evaluate the real costs like moving servers, rewiring a new office, purchasing new office furniture, and renovating new space to fit the needs of your firm, not just the rent at the next location.
- Time to negotiate the new space. Commercial real estate negotiations can be more arduous than residential so budget time for contract negotiations. Think about hiring a commercial real estate tenant broker who specializes in tenant negotiations. There’s an associated cost but it could be worth it to get the right space at the right price.
- Designate a Move Coordinator from your team or hire a moving company who can provide a plan for moving your legal team.
- Create a timeline, especially if you have a large firm, so that each person knows when they will be going to the new office.
Why are you thinking about moving your law office?
Before signing a lease and hiring a moving company, discuss with key team members why it is important for your law firm to move. If it’s simply to have a bigger lunch room, then you may want consider updating the current space rather than moving the firm. If it’s to be in sought-after brand new office space in the heart of downtown, the cost per square foot could be significantly more than what you’re currently paying. Whatever the reason, it’s important to have a vision of the must-haves for the new office.
What does the new space need and what would be nice to have?
While it might be great to have a coffeeshop, gym, and spa in your law office building, those all come with costs. Be sure you can afford what you need and then talk about what would be nice to have. It’s not to say you can’t have a coffeeshop in your lobby, only that it’s probably not a must-have considering many North Carolina cities have big name and locally owned shops within a short distance of corporate office space.
- If you’re planning to keep the current office furniture, will it fit in the new space?
- Is the landlord willing to work with you to create space that suits the needs and desires of the firm?
- Do you need to keep paper files or can they be scanned electronically and stored off-site?
The costs to make changes and get ready for a move could outweigh the benefits and/or impact your move timeline.
Do you have a timeline for moving your law office?
Designating a move coordinator is key to saving you from endless calls and questions. Consult with your office manager to let them know how much authority they have in creating and executing a timeline to move the team. At what point do you want or need to be involved? For example, do they have final say in the final walk-through prior to move-in or would you like to be involved to be sure everything is ready as you negotiated with the landlord? Make sure the rest of the team knows who is coordinating so they can field questions to that person and not you. It will save you from countless emails and enable you to focus on client work.
Whether you’re moving a three person or 50+ person firm, evaluation and planning are important when moving your law office. While the prospect of new space is exciting, it can also be stressful so let your team help. Here’s to a stress-free move!