Planning for Change: Test-Fit Proposed Space


No COO would accept a space layout that fails to meet operating needs. Deal terms alone lack critical information to make the right space choice for the [long-term] operating needs of your organization.  A space planner can create a test-fit of spaces being considered. The test-fit will reveal how your staff seats and flows within the space, and the cost and time to build (permits and materials’ procurement included).  Deal terms and test-fit results give a full picture of space choices. (Note: If you choose to take surplus space to grow into, the space planner should design the surplus space to lease/sublease until you need it (e.g. firewall and locked door)).  BREG’s 7-Point Service includes a request for test-fit into each proposal to lease space.  The following outlines the process…

Lease Proposal

Deal Terms. The business terms of a transaction incorporate your space budget and the legal requirements of occupancy. These terms should be aligned with your search criteria (created by your search committee during strategic planning).  Your realtor is versed how to craft the terms, customized to your needs.  The content of this proposal are the basis to begin negotiations for the space.  You’ll use sellers’s (near complete) counter proposals and test-fit results to compare spaces of focus, whittling to a short list of properties to negotiate for, in order of choice (1st, 2nd, etc.). Always give your realtor enough room to negotiate any final points critical to your organization to reach a signed term sheet. That term sheet will represent the business and basic legal terms to draft a lease or sale contract.

test fit

Floor Plan

Test-Fit. An architect specializing in space design and planning can design a test fit of the space(s) you’re focused on; the result is a roughly accurate plan (in 2D and 3D). Landlords may offer this concession to tenants approved for occupancy; hire an architect when searching for a property to buy. The plan created should show how your staff ‘seats into the space (e.g. private offices, departments, shared rooms & spaces, etc). The architect can advise of a timeline to ready the space for use (e.g. full set of construction drawings, permits, procurement of materials, labor to install) and a rough estimate of construction costs. If a landlord offers a Tenant Improvement allowance (TI) and construction time before rent begins, compare that concession value and time with total construction costs and lead time to ready a space for occupancy.  Ask your realtor to estimate the lead time necessary to complete the search project, from strategic planning to 30 days after the move-in; that estimate represents the term of the project.

XAction Spreadsheet

Lease Proposal

The profile of deal terms and test fit results, per property, positions your realtor to model each deal to compare spaces of focus equally, presenting their findings to the search committee.  This slideshow outlines how BREG can manage your search process, from planning to post move-in.  If you’d like to discuss your plans for a real estate project, please ask your CFO or COO to fill out “Request a Consultation” at the base of About Me in this website.  Enter “Test-Fit” in the subject line, then paste the email signature of their executive assistant the message body. I reply within 24hrs to arrange an exploratory conference call within their calendar. ###

About Mayer Segal
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