FAA is on the move

Magazine ,

By Josh Gold, CAE, CMP

FAA has moved to:
200 East Robinson Street
Suite 900
Orlando, FL 32801

Executive Vice President

Psychologists agree that moving can be one of the most stressful events in a lifetime, even when the reason for the move is a positive one. No doubt many of you have witnessed this as you’ve observed residents in your communities come and go. As stressful as moving is, data from the National Apartment Association show that multifamily residents are at least as likely to move out at the end of their lease as they are to renew. That’s based on the 51 percent average turnover rate reported by respondents to the 2019 NAA Survey of Operating Income & Expenses in Rental Apartment Communities.

Moving to a new office space happens far less frequently and doesn’t cause the same upheaval to one’s personal life as moving to a new home does. But it does come with challenges, and can be stressful for employees. Being prepared for the unpredictable can help make the process more manageable. The Florida Apartment Association is in the midst of moving to new office space. With a little luck, we’ll be settled into our new digs when you read this. We are excited that we’ll have enhanced facilities and greater capacity for face-to-face meetings. And although we are only moving a couple of blocks, we have learned some lessons along the way.

Expect delays

As is often the case, the new office space needed to be reconfigured and updated. It won’t surprise many of you to hear that the project ran into some snags and, as a result, our move was delayed. We planned our moving date based on the end of our current lease and a desire to avoid impacting the FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show or the FAA Legislative Conference. Once we found the new office space that would work for us, we converted the lease at our existing office building to a month-to-month agreement, and notified our current building management of our expected move date. We allowed what seemed like plenty of time for the updates to be completed, plus a buffer.

Sure enough, things did not go exactly according to plan, and the buffer wasn’t quite enough. We were lucky that our existing landlord did not have a new tenant yet, and we were able to stay two additional months. While we did have to pay a higher rent during the month-to-month portion of our lease, we had also negotiated rent concessions from our new landlord, which helped to mitigate the impact to our budget. We also had a contingency plan to move to a temporary location should that become necessary.

Prepare for the move

As disruptive as moving can be, we would never want it to disrupt service to our members, and that meant identifying all the action items that would need to be completed. For example, we needed to arrange for the internet, phone, printer and fax, and other services that enable us to serve you. Setting up those services had to be scheduled around the move itself, which management at the new building required be done on the weekend, rather than during normal business hours.

We decided that staffers would report to the new office on the weekend as well, in order to settle in to their own offices and be prepared to hit the ground running on Monday morning.

It was also important to include staff in the decisions about finishes and furniture, as well as assignment of individual offices. We took into consideration the various ways team members need to interact and how often, as well as variables such as which offices are likely to be warmer or cooler throughout the workday.

Take time to purge

One of the best things about moving is the opportunity to clean out old files and supplies that haven’t been used in a while. We keep up with shredding documents after the legally required retention period, but something about packing inspires a review of what should stay and what should go.

On the other hand, FAA will be observing its 50th anniversary in 2021, and so we’ve been mindful about keeping photos, magazines, conference programs and more, which will become part of that celebration.

Note: FAA is asking longtime members to look around for photos of fellow members and memorabilia from events. If you have some to share, please email communications@faahq.org.

Pack logically

Although we hired movers to transport boxes and equipment as well as furniture, team members are responsible for their own computers, personal desk supplies, and anything else they might need on Day One in the new office space. Additionally, team members carried their own framed and other breakable items.

Settle in and celebrate

We tried to plan for everything at our new space, but we realized that it might not be perfect from the get-go, and we’ll make adjustments as needed.

Moving — whether a home or an office — can be disconcerting. Mostly, we’re excited about this move and we believe that our new offices will enable us to serve you even better. Together, we’ve grown as an organization and achieved many goals. We look forward to many more accomplishments in our new office space!