Deciding to relocate your office doesn't just reflect a physical change of location and denotes a transformation your business is undergoing. Whether it's an expansion, downsizing, or simply moving closer to your clientele, each move is significant in its own right.
However, an imperative question looms large – What does it cost to relocate an office? This article offers a complete breakdown of the costs of such a transition process. In our quest to provide valuable insights, we will reference the expertise of local office movers who provide seamless and efficient services to help you understand the financial implications and enable a smooth move.
So, let's delve into the cost breakdown of relocating an office!
What Are the Total Costs of Moving My Office?
It would help if you considered various costs when relocating an office. You should budget and plan for more than just rent to finish the lease, complete the build-out, and occupy your new office space.
We know that the first year can be costly. We are often asked for an “all in” list of costs incurred during the first year. This guide is intended to help clients prepare for the expenses they may encounter.
This article will tell you exactly what to consider when relocating your office, including:
- Rent & Operating costs
- Security Deposit
- Legal Fees
- Costs of construction
Most office leases in Austin are quoted as triple net. You will be charged a base rental and estimated operating expenses for the entire year.
If you choose a gross lease (or a full-service lease), both these costs will be included in the rental price.
The base rent is usually the largest expense when calculating your leasing costs.
It is also the most expensive cost of your lease.
The base rent is the annual rental rate for each square foot. Multiply your rentable square foot rate by your per-square-foot rental rate to find your annual rate.
If you rent 2,500 square feet at a base rent of $40 N per year, your base rent is $100,000. (2,500 RSF * $40.00 = 100,000).
You should also know that your annual base rent can increase based on a dollar value or a percentage. Your lease agreement will detail this and should be included in your cost analysis.
Your tenant representation broker can negotiate a “free rent” or abated rent in your lease agreement.
You won't have to pay any base rent during the free period. You won't have to pay base rent during your free rent period. However, operating costs and other costs will be your responsibility (unless it is specifically stated that the free rent includes gross free rent).
Your free rent period will usually be a certain number of months when you begin your lease.
A landlord may give you a free month of rent to offset other costs incurred during your move.
The operating expenses of the office space you rent will consist of three main components.
- Common Area Maintenance (CAM) expenses
In an N lease, the operating costs are also calculated square-foot-per-year. Add the base rent to your operating costs, and multiply that by your rentable sq. feet.
This maintenance cost is not included in your operating costs, and you must pay it directly.
The cost of this type is rare in office buildings, but it can be found in industrial or flex spaces.
Equipment that uses more electricity than “average” usage will be metered separately and billed to you as a separate expense.
This category includes supplementary HVAC for a server or electricity for an uninterruptible supply. The lease or work letter lists the equipment the landlord requires to be submetered.
A security deposit is required when signing a lease for a commercial property.
Security deposits can vary depending on the circumstances, but in Austin, it's common for landlords to ask for a deposit equivalent to one month of gross rent.
The security deposit your landlord requires can vary depending on the market, creditworthiness, and TI allowance.
A cash deposit is usually the minimum security amount required. However, it is common for landlords to ask for an additional letter of credit, a personal guarantee, or a corporate guarantee.
The number of parking spaces for office buildings is usually expressed as a percentage of 1,000 square feet.
A 100,000-square-foot building with 300 parking spaces would have a parking ratio 3:1000.
The landlord will allocate you nine parking spaces if you lease 3,000 square feet of space within the building.
You can expect to pay extra for parking in the urban offices of Austin. In suburban office markets, parking spaces are usually included in the rental price.
You should have an attorney review the lease contract and its terms and conditions, just as with any other legal document.
The price of your attorney's review will depend on the time it takes to complete your contract.
If you don't lease a “spec” suite (a space built based on the landlord's plan), you will likely need to renovate it to fit your requirements.
It may only be a matter of changing the carpet and paint in a space that is a second generation, or it could require some serious construction, including millwork, plumbing, and other features.
The landlord usually provides a tenant improvements (TI) allowance as part of the lease. The landlord will give you a TI allowance based on your lease term, your credit with the tenant, and the rent you agreed to. This money is to help you improve your office.
In a highly competitive market like Austin, your tenant representative broker will negotiate the project amount with the landlord.
If, for example, the landlord offers you $50 per square foot of TI allowance, but your project budget totals $150 per square footage, you'll have to pay an additional $100 per foot from your pocket.
The TI allowance can only be used for a construction project's soft and hard costs, such as framing, HVAC, doors, windows, or architectural fees.
The TI allowance will not cover moving costs, data cabling, furniture, fixtures, or equipment unless mentioned in the lease agreement. You must budget separately for these items if they are not mentioned in the lease or work letter.
When evaluating the space, a project manager can assist you in estimating these costs as part of your initial project budget.
Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment
FF&E is a major component of the total cost of moving into a new location.
It is difficult to determine the exact cost since it depends on many factors, including preferences, office size, and density.
Data Cabling, WiFi & Technology
The cost of installing data cabling in your office can be high.
Data cabling is required for standard data systems. Each employee requires two connection points (one for the phone and one for the internet), plus an additional dozen drops or more for workrooms, meeting rooms, etc.
Each drop costs between $125 and $200. A company with 50 employees can expect to spend between $14,000 to $25,000.
You will also need to include your phone and Internet expenses. It will also include physical equipment, such as Wireless Access Points, phones, servers, and so on, and the monthly service fee, which will vary depending on your internet provider and service level. You typically sign a multiyear contract with vendors such as Spectrum AT&T, Google Fiber, etc.
Plan for the printers and copier your business will require. These are usually leased and require a monthly lease fee and an initial delivery fee.
You'll need to hire a few vendors to manage, design, and finish your build-out.
Your vendor list could include the following:
- Project Manager
- Interior Designer
- Contractors (and subcontractors).
These vendors charge a percentage based on the cost of the project. Their fees will therefore vary depending on the scope of the job.
As a reference, your architect, engineer, and project manager typically charge between 8-12% of the total cost of your project, while your managed costs are usually between 3 and 5%. However, a good project manager can save you more money on your project.
Remember to include the costs of moving into a new office.
Budget between $1.50 and $2.00 per square foot based on how much space you currently have.
You should budget between $5,000 and $7500 for a 5,000-square-foot office.
The cost of moving will usually include the assembly and disassembly of furniture. You should budget more if your furniture is difficult to assemble.
This estimate excludes TV mounting, hanging artwork, whiteboard installation, etc. These services are usually available on an a-la-carte basis.
You may also engage other vendors depending on the project or business requirements. Signage for your office lobby may be included, artwork in the office, security systems, and other items.
Your project manager can assist you in determining which vendors you need to hire and estimate the costs.
How to Budget Your First Year After Leasing an Office Space
Here's a guide to calculating your estimated real estate costs in the first year you occupy a new office.
|[(Base Rent + Op/Ex) * RSF]
|– Free Rent
|Monthly Base Rent * # of Months of Free Rent
|+ Equipment Maintenance
|+ Submetered Power
|+ Security Deposit
|+/- 1 Month Gross Rent
|+ Parking Fees
|Parking Rate * # of Spots * 12 Months
|+ Legal Fees
|To be negotiated with your legal team
|+ Build-Out Costs
|Hard & Soft Costs (that exceed TI Allowance)
|To be estimated by your project manager
|+ Data Cabling, WiFi & Technology
|Typically both an installation/set up fee and a monthly rate
|+ Vendor Costs
|Typically a percentage of your project cost
|+ Moving Costs
|Est. $1.00 – $1.50/SF + any à la carte services
|+ Additional Costs
|Total Year 1 Real Estate Expenses
These fees are often one-time upfront costs that do not occur again during the lease term. You should expect to continue paying for the following costs each year:
- Base Rent
- Operating Expenses
- Equipment Maintenance
- Submetered power
- Parking fees
- WiFi & Technology Monthly payments (plus any fees for renewal if your contract does not cover the entire term of the lease)
- The Security of Your Own Home
Relocation costs for an office are determined by many factors, including rent, operating fees, parking charges, legal fees, building construction, equipment maintenance, data cabling, movers, and other vendor services. Combined, these form the overall picture of your relocation moving cost. It's a complex process, but careful budgeting and understanding all potential expenditures can help alleviate unexpected financial burdens.
If you're planning an office relocation, consider involving experienced professionals such as Buy The Hour Movers Brooklyn. Our expertise will ease your moving stresses and provide a seamless transition. Don't let the logistics of relocating hold back your business's potential. Reach out to Buy The Hour Movers Brooklyn today and make your office relocation successful.