Should Your Association Headquarters Relocate?

14 Feb Should Your Association Headquarters Relocate?

If you follow groups in your industry or your organization’s competitors, you may have noticed some of them announcing a change of address. While many are local or regional moves, others are taking their headquarters clear across the country.

If you’ve ever wondered if relocation might be right for your association, here are four reasons to give it serious consideration, as well as some tips for how to make a decision.

Real estate is too expensive where you’re currently located
Associations headquartered in the priciest areas of the country, like California, New York, and Massachusetts, have probably felt the pinch of the high cost of real estate. Whether you rent or own your office space, the most expensive locations make it tough to thrive.

Not only is square footage out of reach, but the cost of living overall is outrageous. If too much of your organization’s budget it eaten up by running your offices, it might be time to look at more reasonably priced cities.

The area around your headquarters has deteriorated
Some associations feel another type of crunch: deteriorating cities around them. This could be do to a number of different factors, alone or in combination:

  • Population dwindling
  • Poor infrastructure, including healthcare
  • Limited commercial real estate or essential services
  • Increased crime rate
  • Weather and natural disaster damage
  • Limited employment pool
  • Low wages
  • Inability to recover from the last recession
  • Failing schools

You’ll note these elements that are pushing people out of many cities include not just things that affect your association headquarters itself but your ability to hire staff or attract top-quality executive talent.

You need to be closer to trade shows and conference venues
If your association travels frequently to various events around the country or beyond, you might find it time consuming and expensive to be far from the action. This can be doubly true if you’re in a small city with few direct flights to major locations.

The extra puddle jump flight gets to be a pain if you’re in and out frequently. If your staff are losing days to travel, or if you’re paying too much for flights, relocating to a bigger hub might be in the cards.

There’s another factor to consider here too. As 5G technology is rolled out across the country, the largest metro areas will have it first. If you plan to use 5G for your association meetings, you’ll want to be located where you have easy access to it early in the game.

Helpful Suggestions
So, if relocation for your association is on the table, what are some tips to help nail down a resolution?

  1. Consult several moving companies to see what the cost of moving equipment, inventory, and the like would be. This will have to be factored into your budget.


  1. Be sure to weigh leaving your current location in terms of impact on staff, board members, and small businesses that serve you.


  1. Consider expanding to a satellite location versus a total move.


  1. Compare the costs of leased space versus taking on a mortgage.


  1. Speak with your attorneys and accountants about the legal and tax ramifications of domiciling your organization in another state, as well as any capital gains that might be realized by selling your current headquarters.


  1. Gather information about potential new locations from the Chamber of Commerce, real estate agents, utility companies, employment agencies, etc. Understand how the move would impact your organization both quantitatively and qualitatively.


There are a couple of additional options for associations that are considering relocation.

What about virtual office space versus brick-and-mortar offices? Is that an option that wasn’t even technologically possible when your association first opened its current headquarters?

Or, could you outsource your headquarters entirely? At Jaffe Management, we offer an array of services including:

  • A headquarters office
  • Meeting and event coordination
  • Leadership and volunteer development
  • Membership administration
  • Website design and updates
  • Social media and newsletters
  • Member communications
  • Financial services


Feel free to reach out if your association is thinking about relocating. Perhaps what you really need is not a move but a revolutionary, cost-effective, and stress-free approach to your association’s headquarters.