Look Before You Lease

We have the ability to see the future when it comes to aligning our clients’ needs with the right office solution and transaction strategy.

In our experience, successful Wealth Management firms don’t sell financial services. Rather, they offer their clients sustainable strategies and then they apply their expertise to deliver positive results well into the future.

Yet, even with that keen focus on the future, the best firms sometimes struggle when it comes to succession planning for their own organizations, particularly when it comes to their future office environment.

Driven largely by the pandemic, professional workplaces have changed. That’s because, rather than commuting daily to the office, many employees are working from home. Some do it part-time, others full-time. In fact, the “hybrid” workplace has become a key factor in the recruitment and retention of employees across all sectors of the US economy.

Tomorrow’s Answers Begin With Today’s Questions

With that said, consider this: On average, most office lease terms range between three and seven years. Now, hold that thought while considering the way you and your staff now interact with clients – and each other — compared to the before-times. Next, with those factors in mind, take a critical look at your current office space and ask yourself these questions …

Q. While comfortable and nicely appointed, will the size and configuration of your office space be optimal for your organization three, five, or seven years from now?

Q. What impression do visitors (both perspective employees and current/future clients) have of your organization based on your current office space?

Q. Going forward, will you consider hiring prospective employees even if they might reside in different zones and how will that impact your office space needs? (Wealth Management firms already are).

Q. Even if you plan to grow aggressively, will your space need to expand in light the way people are working today? (Note: While many Wealth Management firms are growing, their office sizes are contracting).

Q. If your future employees need to commute, will their commute be reasonably fast and easy? And is the commute time being considered at all levels of your organization?

Q. Will your space be environmentally healthy and eco-friendly? (i.e., natural sunlight; low carbon footprint; cognizant of all of all employee health concerns).

Q. Will it be located in a place that is safe and stimulating? (well-lit exteriors, security systems, on-site or nearby health facilities, childcare, outdoor space and interesting food options).

Q. Finally, will your current space be a competitive advantage or a hinderance for the organization you envision building by decade’s end?

These questions are a good starting point for considering if your current space will serve your needs going forward. And, if not, what’s missing and how will that impact your organization?

The Crystal Ball is Now Digital

At Rubicon, we don’t have the unique fiduciary skills that our wealth management clients provide, but we do hold ourselves to the highest standards in the industry. Thanks to our proprietary market analysis platform – Rubicon Reveal — we do have the ability to see the future when it comes to aligning our clients’ needs with the right office solution and transaction strategy.

Far more than simply showing available spaces and rates, Rubicon Reveal enables us to curate and analyze a wide range of often “un-seen” criteria including workforce migration, housing trends, transportation, education, recreation, event/cultural venues and more. We also know where and how financial organizations are expanding, contracting and moving.

This doesn’t make us wealth management experts, but it does help those that are to make well-informed decision about their current and future office space needs. Needs that are changing because the way people work is changing.

In closing, we believe that 2023 is going to reveal a lot about the future of how and where financial people want to work and how clients want to be served. We look forward to updating you on our findings as the year progresses.

Happy New Year to all!

Corey A. Waite is a leading commercial real estate advisor to the financial services industry. As Founder and CEO of Rubicon Concierge Real Estate Services, Corey works directly with senior executives coast-to-coast to deliver strategic plans and transactional services focused on optimizing the needs of employees, clients and members.

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