When to Start Looking for a Lease Renewal or Relocation Option for Commercial Real Estate

When to Start Looking for a Lease Renewal or Relocation Option for Commercial Real Estate

In the dynamic world of commercial real estate, timing is everything. Whether you’re considering a lease renewal or a relocation, starting the process at the right time can significantly impact your business’s financial health and operational efficiency. Here’s a strategic guide on when to start looking for these critical options.

Understanding Your Lease

The first step in determining when to start looking for a lease renewal or relocation is understanding the specifics of your current lease agreement. Key elements to review include:

  • Lease Term: The length of your lease and its expiration date.
  • Renewal Options: Any clauses that provide the option to renew your lease, including deadlines for exercising these options.
  • Notice Periods: The required notice period for informing your landlord of your intention to renew or vacate.

The Optimal Timeline

1. Lease Renewal:

Starting the lease renewal process early is crucial. Ideally, you should begin evaluating your options 12-18 months before your lease expires. This timeline allows ample opportunity to:

  • Assess Your Needs: Evaluate whether your current space meets your business requirements in terms of size, location, and amenities.
  • Market Research: Conduct thorough research on current market conditions, rental rates, and availability of similar properties.
  • Negotiations: Engage in discussions with your landlord to negotiate favorable terms, including rent adjustments, lease duration, and potential improvements or upgrades to the property.
  • Contingency Planning: Prepare for the possibility that negotiations may not go as planned and ensure you have alternative options ready.

2. Relocation:

Relocating a business is a complex and time-consuming process. Therefore, you should start exploring relocation options 18-24 months before your lease ends. This extended timeline is necessary for:

  • Identifying Requirements: Clearly define what you need in a new space, considering factors such as location, size, layout, accessibility, and budget.
  • Property Search: Conduct a comprehensive search for suitable properties, visit potential sites, and evaluate their pros and cons.
  • Financial Planning: Analyze the financial implications of moving, including moving costs, potential downtime, and any tenant improvement allowances offered by prospective landlords.
  • Lease Negotiations: Engage in negotiations for your new lease, ensuring you secure the best possible terms and conditions.
  • Transition Planning: Develop a detailed plan for the move, including logistics, communication strategies, and timelines to minimize disruption to your business operations.

Factors Influencing Timing

Several factors can influence the timing of your lease renewal or relocation efforts:

  • Market Conditions: In a hot real estate market, desirable properties may be snapped up quickly, necessitating an earlier start to your search.
  • Business Growth: Rapid business expansion may require a larger or more strategically located space sooner than anticipated.
  • Lease Terms: Shorter lease terms may necessitate a more frequent review of your real estate needs.
  • Economic Climate: Economic downturns or booms can affect rental rates and availability, influencing your decision-making process.

Leveraging Professional Expertise

Navigating the complexities of commercial real estate requires expertise. Consider enlisting the help of a commercial real estate broker or advisor. These professionals bring valuable market insights, negotiation skills, and a network of contacts that can streamline the process and help you secure the best deal.


Starting the process of lease renewal or relocation well in advance is a strategic move that can save your business time, money, and headaches. By allowing ample time for thorough research, careful planning, and effective negotiations, you position your business for a seamless transition, whether you choose to stay put or move to a new location. Remember, in the world of commercial real estate, early action is the key to unlocking the best opportunities.