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Updated: November 3, 2023

How to move your commercial office space

On the long path as an industry leader or owner, your roles are often focused, deliberate and, as a result, your field of expertise is honed. But occasionally there are moments of need when even seasoned professionals humbly become “client." Lawyers seek counsel, doctors yield to the care of their colleagues, therapists process the advice of contemporaries, teachers are taught and, in my case, commercial real estate brokers embark on the journey of becoming tenants themselves. In May 2023, after 20 years at our office space, my company moved.

In this column I’ll share some tips on how to move your professional office space. This guidance is delivered not only from the perspective of a commercial real estate broker, but through the lens of experience and enlightenment that came from my firm’s relocation. 

Strategic planning

File photo
Justin Lamontagne

Moving or not, strategic planning for your business needs to happen annually. Imagine it as the development of a roadmap to success: setting goals, formulating a clear direction, and outlining actionable steps to get results. A periodic, yet consistent, survey of strategic options also helps recognize changing market conditions and resources.

For the Dunham Group, the path to relocation started in earnest two full years before our moving day. We evaluated critical factors such as our current staff and broker count, financials, office space condition, size and location, market dynamics, growth projections and our company culture and values.

This high-level assessment allowed us to prioritize requirements and establish concrete action plans with deadlines. It also fostered inclusive participation from all team members, ensuring that their input, goals and concerns were heard.


A critical initial step in a successful office relocation is to establish a dedicated and empowered relocation committee. This is especially important for companies with a group of type-A opinionated experts! In our case, a small committee consisting of four members, led by Tom Moulton and Katie Breggia, played a pivotal role.

They quantified our requirements, conducted market surveys, curated a shortlist of options, arranged site visits, and guided our leadership team through lease-term negotiations. Furthermore, they served as the primary point of contact for competing brokers and owners throughout the decision-making process. Indeed, they were our “brokers.” And after the final decision was made, the committee remained authorized to collaborate with our various vendors and merchants to bring us to moving day on time.

Know what you don’t know

Lean on your business relationships and leverage the expertise of others in the commercial real estate field. Whether that’s brokers, lawyers, lenders, designers, engineers, movers, etc. Recognize that while you excel in your own domain, these experts excel in theirs. By acknowledging this, you will allocate your time and energy more effectively, trusting that investing in the right team of professionals will yield significant returns.


One of the best decisions we made was to dedicate an afternoon, months before our move, to do a deep clean and de-clutter our current space. After two decades of occupancy, it's astonishing how things can accumulate, with most of it being deemed junk.

It was also an opportunity for us to take inventory and prioritize storage needs. We combed through files, records and documents to determine what needs to be moved and what can be archived or digitized. These proactive efforts significantly streamlined our formal move, made months later. 

Communicate logistics

Ensure that all business partners, suppliers and clients are aware of the new address and contact details to maintain uninterrupted correspondence. Arrange for IT and telecommunication services. Plan the installation and transfer of essential services, such as internet connections, phone lines and email systems, to avoid any downtime during the move.

Listen, adapt and be patient

During our space planning, designing and discussions, I was opposed to two material components of our floor plan. Both were about private offices versus open space. In retrospect, I projected my personal feelings and expectations on some of my co-workers. And I was wrong. We did it their way and the space and work environment are better for it. We also took our time after moving in, adding finishing touches like artwork, plants and even final desk positioning. One of our planners advised us to “be patient and live in the space,” allowing us to adapt and discover what works and what doesn't.

There is no doubt that moving commercial real estate offices can be daunting. But with proper planning, communication and execution, the transition can be seamless. With these strategies in place, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the challenges and embark on a new chapter of growth and success in your new office space.

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