Jim Venables and Andy Haywood – Ones to Watch
Formed in 2001 and the number one online office broker in the UK the company has seen incredible growth. Its 1,000s of clients include both office space providers (such as Regus), who are looking for businesses to fill their offices and businesses (such as 3M) who are looking for serviced or flexible offices within the UK or the rest of the world. The company also now also operates in the US and the Far East with an office in Dallas and plans to open dedicated offices in Asia and Amsterdam early next year.
Jim Venables and Andy Haywood, founders of officebroker.com, initially went into business as a recruitment company but their real break came when a representative of a major office provider walked into their office one day and said: “You find people jobs why not find them offices?”
They took a look at the market, saw a large gap and then proceeded to fill it by creating officebroker.com.
officebroker.com began trading in 2001 as a commercial property broker designed to bring office space suppliers together with businesses seeking serviced office space. In early 2002 the company designed its first website, which consisted of just one page. Focusing on the search term ‘office space’, officebroker.com rose to the top of the Google search engine, which enabled the business to trade well for the first few months without any cost of sale.
The initial officebroker.com service was almost entirely phone and email based but now, six years later, the company has a comprehensive website, a huge global database with 1000’s of office buildings,┬áa portfolio of corporate clients, a team of over 60 people and a highly recognisable brand. Working with over 97% of UK serviced office providers and a large proportion of commercial property agents, officebroker.com is officially the UK’s largest online office space search facility. [/p]
Explaining how the business has been able to quickly take such a strong foothold in its chosen market, Jim Venables says: “The officebroker.com service stands apart from its competitors, because it is the only online property broker to offer a pro-active customer service approach. While other online brokers act more as “lead generators”, with little or no telephone contact with clients, officebroker.com assigns an account manager to each of its clients, providing a unique, customer focused experience.”
Further alluding to the company’s USPs, Andy Haywood says: “We provide customers with a single point of contact and present a detailed market overview to help them find the best deal. As a broker, we make life very easy. We knew we could make a huge success of this straight away by becoming the only online property broker to offer a pro-active customer service approach. I believe our unique, customer focused experience helps us to stand out from our competitors and is a huge factor in our ongoing success.”