5 Real Estate Strategy Tips
Real estate strategy deals with the analysis of your existing situation and helps you to take stock of your current building and location and underpins the work that is carried out further down the line. Without this analysis and a clear understanding of your current situation, decisions can be derailed further down the line.
1. Gain a clear understanding of who your stakeholders are.
As with any project, it’s always critical to know who is calling the shots, who you’re reporting to, and who to include in your project team to support you throughout the process.
2. Commission a strategic real estate analysis of your current building and the facilities that it offers you.
List all the known constraints about the layout of the existing space, the way the desks are laid out, and the number of meeting rooms or breakout space that is available to you. Consider whether there is enough choice of different ways of working, how does the building infrastructure work for you, are there enough power sockets around the space and is the air conditioning sufficient and effective for the space. How do you rate the performance of your landlord’s property management team – are they responsive, supportive and do they look after your needs effectively?
3. Get Staff Feedback.
Many of our clients will take the time to get feedback from their staff as to how they feel about the existing building and its facilities such as showers, toilets, bike storage, and parking. Make sure that an office move will actually benefit your staff in regard to the quality of facilities that the building offers them. For larger organisations, something like a Leesman survey can be a seriously powerful part of your real estate strategy)
4. Take time to understand the existing lease agreement on your current space.
Whilst some clients have in-house capability and experience to understand the technicalities of a lease many clients will engage with a property agent or solicitor to help them. Key points to search out and understand will include are lease end date, lease breaks, lease holidays if relevant, clauses around subletting, and a clear understanding of your dilapidation¹ obligations. Engage the services of a good property agent, which are often best sourced through recommendation. An agent will carry out market analysis and give you a clear idea of the current trends in the property market, rent rates across your local area as well as comparisons with alternative locations that fall within your search criteria. They may have experience with your current or potential landlord and would be able to give you an insight into the likelihood of renegotiation on your existing lease.
5. Consider the pros and cons of your existing location.
Considering the proximity to public transport and facilities in the neighbourhood such as coffee shops and gyms will help in your analysis of your existing situation. Make sure you specifically consider staff travel times and commutes and how they may be affected by an office move.
Real estate strategy can be a daunting prospect, but get some professionals on your side and it'll be a lot easier. If you need a hand starting out, give our team a shout and we'll be glad to help!
Looking for additional tips about the whole office move process? Check out our Design and Build handbook!