The business was established to bring office space suppliers together with business customers seeking flexible office space and such has been its success that it has seen its turnover double year on year.
Until the launch of officebroker.com, offices could only be let through local estate agents and chartered surveyors or advertised on basic office space supplier websites which failed to offer a proactive approach to customers needs. Finding quality office space was a time consuming exercise for the customer and the company was created out of an opportunity to provide a one-stop, online service where customers could access a complete market overview at the click of a button.
More than just a dotcom, officebroker.comΓÇÖs approach was revolutionary because it offered its customers a true broking option via a pro-active sales led, customer service approach with a personal, hands-on service from a dedicated account manager.
Having re-defined the market, the company now leads the way in the UK and has also established a US arm, which has been operating successfully out of Dallas, Texas since March 2006.
At the forefront of the officebroker.com proposition is its innovative website which has been constructed with the customer front of mind. Easy to navigate, the site allows customers to browse a huge number of offices across the UK and globally.
Within minutes of placing an office space enquiry on the website, customers are contacted by their own personal Account Manager who has a detailed knowledge of their respective region. Enquiry details are taken and within 24 hours a fully interactive individual report detailing all potential office space in the chosen area is supplied via a ‘login’ area on the website.
This comprehensive report includes fully interactive maps supplied by the MSN Virtual Earth Mapping platform and up to date pricing and availability of suggested office space. Customers are then able to request further information and arrange viewings through the report.
officebroker.com has organically doubled its turnover year on year since its inception in 2001 to become the U.K’s number one online commercial property broker. It maintains high levels of enquiries which are growing month by month by an average of 25%. Moving forward, the Company plans to sustain its success and also grow rapidly on a global scale. Later in 2007, officebroker.com Hong Kong will begin trading and by the end of the year, officebroker.com will have evolved into ‘the global place to find your space’.
Tips for relocation:
Providing timely, impartial information is central to officebroker.comΓÇÖs offering, both to individual customers and to the wider business community. The Company’s Managing Director Jim Venables said:
“Finding the perfect office location can be a challenge for any company, however it is only the first step and once secured, it is vital that businesses work hard to maintain a successful tenancy by nurturing relationships and reaping the potential business benefits to be had simply from being in the right location.”
According to Jim Venables, businesses looking to take on an office tenancy should apply a highly strategic and considered approach in both searching for the right premises and then managing the resulting space.
“Instead of jumping in feet first and taking the first available office space, we advise businesses to take their time as the right location can make or break a business,” says Jim. “And once you move into your new office that strategic approach should continue to be applied to developing and maintaining a good relationship with the landlord or office management company – this relationship can be as important as the relationship you develop with customers and suppliers or indeed other stakeholders in your business,”
Jim continues: “Being a good tenant is like being a good neighbour – not only will it bring social benefits to the company and its employees, but it can also reap considerable business
benefits such as being the first to hear about new business leads and great deals with local suppliers.”
officebroker.com offers the following advice to office tenants looking to find the right office space and make the most of their tenancy:
Before you make a decision
Consider a short-term and flexible notice-period which allows you to take the space you need right now but with the option to expand as your business grows.
Think of your employees’ needs as well as those of your business. Is the office close to public transport? Are their shops and leisure facilities in the local area?
Ensure there are ample parking facilities for your employees and clients.
Find out what extras are included in your tenancy such as access to meeting rooms, admin support or video conferencing. Are these included in the rental price or would you be better off opting for an office space where you can buy in these additional services on an ad hoc basis.
Will you be looking for offices in multiple locations – or perhaps access to meeting rooms in other parts of the country of the world? If so choose an office provider which has multiple sites and negotiate access to other meeting facilities or a discount for additional office space. The added benefit of this is that it allows you to ‘punch above your weight’ giving your company a national or international image without the additional investment.
Don’t just go for the first office you see…shop around and consider different areas and styles of building to work which will suit your need best and give the right impression to customers. officebroker.com recommends viewing at least three different offices before making a final decision.
Remember to cover your office contents with an insurance policy – your business centre will only provide insurance cover for the actual building.
Get advice – before taking the plunge speak to an independent body, like officebroker.com! We offer simple, impartial information and all of our staff are fully trained and specialise in certain geographical areas, so they know the offices like no one else.
So you’ve found your dream office. What next?
Meet the people who really count – developing a good relationship with the facilities or services manager for example, can mean you are given priority over other tenants.
Never underestimate the importance of developing a good relationship with reception staff – in a serviced office environment they are the first point of contact customers have with your organization. Make sure they understand your business and the approach you like to take with potential customers, importantly, don’t forget to keep them up to date with company development:
Strategic Partnership Creates World’s Largest Online Serviced office and Apartment Resource
Plans to establish an Asia Pacific division are coming to fruition for officebroker.com – the UK’s largest commercial online office broker.
The company, established in 2001 by entrepreneurs Jim Venables and Andy Haywood, has already made forays into the US market, having launched a successful office in Dallas, Texas, in 2006.
Plans to open a Hong Kong office later this year are now well underway with the announcement that officebroker.com has formed a strategic partnership with the world’s leading serviced apartment web-broker – Move and Stay (www. moveandstay.com).
The company, which has offices in Bangkok and Barcelona, maintains a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region and although, serviced┬áapartment rentals form the core element of its business, it also handles enquiries fromcustomers looking to secure serviced office space around the globe.
While already working with many international office providers operating out of the region, most of whom are existing customers of officebroker.com, the new partnership means that Move and Stay’s office enquiries will now be managed by officebroker.com and was forged because of officebroker.comΓÇÖs proactive approach which delivers the best conversion rates in the industry.
Anyone looking to secure an apartment or office anywhere in the world can now search for space worldwide, browse through service and amenity details and make direct contact with providers thanks to the unique search technology shared by officebroker.com and Move and Stay.
Customers of both officebroker.com and Move and Stay will now also benefit from locally trained consultants who offer an enhanced service by managing all transactions both at the search stage and on an on-going basis.
officebroker.comΓÇÖs success in the UK, European and US markets means the company is already a major global presence. Plans to expand into new markets have always been part of the company’s growth strategy but, as Jim Venables says, establishing a presence in a new geographical location is all about planning.
“We don’t rush in to new markets for the sake of it,” explains Jim. “Moving into a new area takes a lot of research and careful planning and we see the collaboration with Move and Stay as a first step to becoming the biggest online office broker in the Asia Pacific region. Move and Stay is well established in this part of the world and, by tapping in to their local expertise, we will also start to develop our own presence and reputation in the region.”
Meanwhile, officebroker.comΓÇÖs strength in Europe and the States brings considerable advantages to Move and Stay which plans to expand market share in these areas.
“Move and Stay is well known and has a great reputation in Asia Pacific,” says Gael Ovide-Etienne, CEO of Move and Stay, “officebroker.com, meanwhile, have established a very strong presence in Europe and the UK and, as both businesses look to expand globally, it was obvious that there was a natural fit.”
Gael continues: “This is not just a technology partnership. We see it as a strategic collaboration which will allow both businesses to develop internationally and share local expertise. Many of the major global players that we work with already have relationships with officebroker.com in the Asia Pacific region and, in addition to adding value to our customers; this partnership will allow officebroker.com to do what they do best with our Asian partners for the first time.
Jim Venable says: “From June 1st 2007, all office space enquiries generated by Move and Stay will be managed by officebroker.comΓÇÖs trained consultants based in our UK and US offices. We very much look forward to forming new relationships with these customers.”
In a global marketplace, customers looking to source office space overseas are often also looking to source good quality serviced accommodation for their personnel. “We can bring added value to our customers by introducing them to the services of Move and Stay while, at the same time, adding value to the office space enquiries generated by them in the Asia Pacific region,” continues Jim.
“It’s the first time that this level of expertise in both apartments and offices has been available from one single source,” says Move and Stay CEO Gael Ovide-Etienne. “We expect our customers to be as excited about this move as we are.”