Market Expertise: Large Corporate Relocation (Featuring Senior PM Robert Dunleavy)

Written by Kate Carlson
Market Expertise: Large Corporate Relocation (Featuring Senior PM Robert Dunleavy)

If the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location, then one could reasonably argue that the three most important factors in corporate relocation should be pre-construction, pre-construction, pre-construction!

It doesn’t matter if it’s a small to mid-sized business moving across town or a billion-dollar, multinational headquarters moving across the country. An unsuccessful pre-construction phase will inevitably lead to massive problems and easily avoidable frustration toward the end of the project.

So, what does a successful pre-construction process look like?

We’ll break down the top six things every general contractor needs to do to ensure a stress-free, on-time corporate relocation.

The 6 keys to a successful corporate relocation

1. Set (and stick to) a realistic schedule

On average, it takes several months of pre-construction planning to make sure things go smoothly in any corporate transition. Not only do you need to account for this time, but you also have to schedule out every foreseeable task before any boots hit the ground.

This step often involves asking a lot of questions, such as:

  • What vendors will we use?
  • What kind of coordination efforts need to happen?
  • What are the true phase durations? (Be as realistic as possible here.)
  • What does the tenant need to do to successfully transition into their new space?

Once you have this schedule set, you need to stick to it to the best of your abilities, barring any unforeseen setbacks.

2. Incorporate thorough space planning

How will the space best fit the people? How will those people work inside the space? How can the space fully optimize both departmental and interdepartmental workflow?

Asking those types of questions is how you anticipate problems and react to how a space may change as a company grows and evolves.

3. Keep up to date with office space trends

Office space design has changed in leaps and bounds over the past few decades. Nearly gone are the days of cramped cubicles and claustrophobic offices. If a company is moving to a new (often larger) space, it probably has something to do with escaping these antiquated layouts.

That’s why it’s imperative that you stay abreast of these trends, such as open “bullpen” style workspaces, hotelled offices, and more comfortable collaboration areas. Not to mention the increased demand for state-of-the-art AV integration—specifically in conference rooms—to allow for telecommuting with clients and coworkers both at home and around the world.

4. Prepare an accurate budget

Accurate budgeting and proper estimation are arguably the best ways to avoid surprises and stay on top of project development through the different phases. By paying attention to the details and fully understanding the architect’s plan issuance, it’ll be much easier to stay committed to the budget throughout the life cycle of the project.

5. Communicate early and often

Creating an open and honest dialogue with your architect(s) at the onset of the project will go a long way toward preventing and/or solving any problems that may occur during construction. In addition, by building clear lines of communication and a strong relationship with the client, you’ll find it much easier to “say it like it is” and keep everyone working toward a shared goal.

6. Be accountable for every aspect of the job

This is one area that separates a good contractor from a great contractor. Everyone involved in the project should own at least one piece of the overall accountability, whether that means the entire construction phase or the details of one single order.

You can’t simply assume that everything will work out according to schedule. You have to stay on top of every task and continue to follow up with those that are assigned to others.

Get to know Robert Dunleavy

Robert Dunleavy

Robert Dunleavy is a Senior Project Manager at Greiner, and one of our resident corporate relocation experts. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management from Mankato State University and is a LEED Accredited Professional with over 17 years of experience working on commercial interiors and other mixed-use projects.

Corporate relocation projects he’s worked on:

Let Greiner be your corporate relocation partner

From assisting with complete relocations to executing full-scale remodels during off-hours, we understand that time is of the essence and the services you provide must continue to operate seamlessly during construction.

As we take your vision and transform it into reality, our top priority is to deliver the quality and craftsmanship you need to enhance your environment and enable you to attract and retain top talent.

For more information about our corporate relocation services, please contact Robert at