News & Research Archive

How to Plan a Year-End Move

Dec 07, 2010


If you are a tenant ready to make a year-end move, now is the time to think not only about the move but also about contingency plans in case something goes wrong. With holidays, bad weather, vacation time and other tenants seeking to move during the last two weeks of the year, things can and will go wrong with your move.

Very few tenants in today's market planned their year-end move months in advance, giving them very little time to plan their move. With company budget cuts, hiring a moving consultant, contacting vendors, and getting the most competitive rate, securing a move-in date can prove to be very difficult.

A friend of mine in the moving business indicated that on average he gets two to three calls a week from firms that want to make large moves within a week or two. A telecommunications vendor indicated the same thing. Moving involves organization and allowing for the time required to get organized. Today's firms don't have the adequate workforce needed to set aside time to properly plan out a move.

Here are things that you should know:

1. Moving companies If you do not have a move date by now, take the first moving company that will help you.

2. Furniture companies Most furniture firms today keep very little inventory in their warehouses so ordering new furniture is probably impossible. However, consider used furniture; there is an abundance of good quality used furniture available.

3. Telecommunications As with moving companies, don't be picky. Check out references and hire them immediately. Also, if you are moving into an existing building, check the existing wiring and consider reusing it.

4. Insurance You will need your certificate of liability insurance naming the new Landlord as additionally insured. Make sure you order this from your insurance carrier the minute you have the lease in your hand to sign. A landlord will not let you move in without them being named in your insurance policy.

5. Change of Address Make sure you notify the Post Office as soon as possible about your change of address.

6. Stationary and Office Supplies Cut back on your order of stationary and office supplies and start your re-order of new stationary, business cards etc.

7. Copier and other Equipment Check with your copier mover to see if there are any special instructions that your moving company will need to follow. Copiers are sensitive to move so make sure to follow the directions of your service provider. If you are planning to purchase or lease new business equipment start looking today. No one is carrying inventory so your choices will be limited.

8. Interior Design Once you get to your new offices you will need to plan out the interior design. Your moving company or an architect can provide you with names of commercial interior designers to help fit your offices with plants, pictures, etc to create the right look for your new offices.

9. Plant and Water Services Don't forget to let them know you are moving and when.

10. Necessary Security Services If you are moving your firm into a Class A or large Class B building, you will have to schedule your move with your new building manager. Most buildings downtown now require you to hire a special security guard to monitor the moving of your furniture from the street to within the building. Inquire in advance whether or not they require additional security so you are not surprised later.

11. Unions If you are moving into a large Class A or B building, chances are the building will only allow union movers and furniture installers. Most moving companies and furniture installers are not union but some buildings will waive the requirement. Be sure to ask your new property manager before arranging for any contracted work to be completed.

If you find out that your firm cannot move in on time, speak with your current landlord and inform him as soon as possible that you will not be out of your current premises as expected. There is a provision in the lease called a "holdover" provision that will allow landlords to charge up to 200% of your current rent if they agree to let you stay. If they have already leased the space and you have to move out, check into executive suites such as Regus that can usually get you up and running temporarily within 24 hours. Although more expensive, this could be a better alternative as you could house some employees at an executive suite while others work from home through the holidays.

Whatever you do don't underestimate the amount of time and effort a move will take and don't make the mistake of not making your move priority number one.


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 25 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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