Regus is known for outfitting their centers with the latest furniture, wall hangings and fashion forward accoutrements to attract new clientele. The reaction of smaller, independent centers when a Regus property opens nearby is an initial pang of resentment followed by a collective sigh of resignation and a scurrying to hang on to the clients they have. After all, the magnetic allure of a Regus center can be strong enough to pull loyal clients right out the door — or so it may seem.
Regus does a lot of things right. That’s why they sit up straight among their peers and often incur the wrath that is part of being the leader. We could call them the LeBron James of the business center community, but that might tick off a lot of Kobe Bryant fans or Tim Duncan fans out there. Sorry for the basketball analogy here, but the point here is that Regus, like LeBron, leaves a lot of room for other super stars who can achieve their own loyal following. Independents can and do compete effectively. It is a matter of combining some smarts, creativity and hard work. And CORT has a few ideas we’d like to share with you.
- Conduct a furnishings audit: If your current furniture and furnishings are more than 10 years old, they may be dragging your center down. Furniture trends are changing more rapidly now than ever before. Visitors to your center are undoubtedly making the rounds, touring competing spaces, such as Regus. Drab, worn furniture reflects badly on your center and leads prospects to make other negative assumptions about other aspects of your centers that may break a deal before it even gets on the table. Ask yourself how you are meeting the needs for flexible, collaborative spaces. Does your furniture dictate how each space is used or can it be moved and easily re-assembled to accommodate different work styles?
- Create flexible/fluid space strategy: CORT recommends that centers leave a percentage, usually about 10%, of their offices devoid of furniture. This allows for new clients to customize their spaces and, assuming the center has access to healthy discounts, to mark it up for profit, while keeping the cost reasonable to the new client. It also allows for the gradual rotation of older furniture out and new furnishings in, keeping the atmosphere modern, vibrant and fresh to existing tenants and visitors.
- Market your style smarts: Once you make the decision to upgrade your furnishings, let everyone know! If you are not embedding tour videos on your site, this is a great time to start. Your YouTube channel (you do have one, right?) can spotlight some of the latest trends and highlight your programs for new businesses to personally select furnishings to reflect their unique businesses and culture. A policy of routinely rotating out old furnishings is appealing to your existing clients as well. You are providing them with a stylish, clean space that will enhance their business dealings and help bolster their confidence and enhance their brand.
CORT offers high-quality furniture that enables flexibility, efficiency and productivity by creating inviting reception areas, productive conference rooms, functional workstations and comfortable offices. The Alliance Network and CORT have a long-standing partnership and have created a furniture management program specifically designed for business centers. For more information, please visit www.cort.com.