by Brandon Reiter
Looking for office space can be a cumbersome process, so when I set out on my search for Skyview CFO‘s first HQ, I went into the process rushed, with a small list of needs.
The first space I toured was in a communal office, great location; right in midtown off of 5th avenue. It wasn’t We Work, but one of the few smaller companies I had been in contact with. A manager showed us around and was very honest. It did not feel like she was being overly “salesy”, answering all of our questions pragmatically.
However, when I asked about their policy for soliciting fellow tenants, she appeared to have never been asked this before. A key reasons I want to work in a communal office is to be surrounded by potential new clients.
When we were leaving she did not ask us when we were planning on moving or laying out what the next steps would be. There was no follow up email or anything to make me feel pressure to act quick or risk losing the deal. Despite this, I was still willing to sign, as it was just a 3 month term and within the my budget. I was also busy and wanted to get it over with.
Just a few days later, wouldn’t you know it? I get an email from WeWork.
It was like they knew I was about to sign a deal they could beat. The email was a promotion for 2 months free on a space with a 6 month commitment. I was warry at first; in my previous searches the spaces they listed were out of my range. Nonetheless, I responded to the email and in less than an hour I received an email asking me what size office I was looking for and where. By the next morning they sent me two different locations with a base rate LOWER than the competitor’s with two months free. It ended up netting out to half the price over the 6 month lease.
The first location I went to was in a marvelous building with doors that automatically opened for me by the person working at the front desk. They greeted me, knew who I was and why I was there.
The WeWork sales process was not perfect but they knew how to impress me, and understood what I was trying to accomplish. They asked all about my business. They emphasized their networking events, and suggested that I hang up a flier explaining my services. They followed up immediately, asked me when I wanted to sign, and clearly laid out the next steps.
In the end I signed on with WeWork less than a week after seeing the locations.
The moral of the story here is that I went into this process, ready to make a deal quick as long as my few needs were met. I wanted to feel valued, and that this would be both my new HQ and a good investment. WeWork’s pricing, on top of their persistent sales approach, led me to sign with them over their competition. Meanwhile, had the competition been quicker to follow up with me, I likely would’ve signed before I even got the email from WeWork.