No Smoke Without Fire Sales
Host operators know each other personally as many worked together at some time, often graduating via serviced office ‘universities* Regus and MWB, so they tend to know what others are doing. Any carping usually happens in private over lunch.
Online agents such as officebroker.com, SoS and Instant Offices are also a public indication of who is letting what and for how much. But some things slip through the cracks.
When Regus took over Easy Offices, competitor MLS withdrew property from the agency’s lists. This time around, MLS special deals may go offline because agency commissions are unlikely to cover costs at ┬ú1/desk,
A few dissenting voices have gone public, however.Philip Grace, managing director of operator United Business Centres, is open about his dismay.
‘It provides a false image of the industry, Implying that we need fire sales,* he says.
‘We can’t see the need for such measures when business is so good. Enquiries are rising and we have no trouble filling space.’
David Saul, managing director of BE Group, is another critic
This sort of thing does not help get across the right message to clients. They will discover extra charges on top of the headline rate arid then face increased costs when the special offers end.’
He believes this will harm efforts to persuade occupiers that managed space is preferable to conventional leasing because charges are fully transparent.