Office Location Options

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Mar 5, 2010 5:10 pm

Ok so I’ve narrowed it down to 3 options and want some input as to what you guys thought would be the best for a Jones Office (Insert flea market booth, trailer behind taco bell store joke etc here).
Option 1:  5 year old Supermarket Plaza across the street from a Starbucks, Great street view high traffic and lots of opportunity for walkins. 1400 SF $2350/mo before Jones applies its buildout costs.
Option 2: 10-15 year old Office building 2 stories, professional center, (doctors/dentists) no street visibility as there is no outdoor signing other than my name stickered to the front of the glass door. 1300 SF $1300/mo before buildout expenses.
Option 3: Brand new office building. Looks like a colonial type home but is a weird yellow color. Has 3 offices, decent parking. 2 stories very nice inside, currently occupies an estate planning attorney who owns the building and he is wanting to add an FA and a CPA or possibly another attorney to have a kind of one stop shop for business. Visibility isnt very good but better than option 2. He plans on putting a large sign out front when he occupies the other 2 offices. 1250 SF on either downstairs or upstairs and a HUGE shared conference room for seminars. $2000 a month for rent but it is negotiable depending on the landlord supplying the buildout and or what Jones is willing to pick up since he wants to keep a similar nice wooden flooring, baseboards that have yet to be installed etc.

Mar 5, 2010 6:31 pm

Geez, I don’t know…Strip mall next to Subway, or brand new professional office with lawyer that wants CPA and financial advisor in the building for the benefit of his clients.
Maybe I’m missing something here.  I hope you are a little quicker with clients than with your office search.
OK, in all seriousness.  If it were me, this is EXACTLY what I would say to the lawyer…"Here’s the deal, I have another opportunity for far less money in a place that won’t cost as much to build out.  I am strongly considering this location because I think it’s a great opportunity for my firm to work closely with an attorney and their clients, as well as possibly a CPA.  I just want to get a feel for how you run your practice.  If you are referring clients to other advisors, I’m not sure it makes much sense for me to locate here.  What are your thoughts?"
Obviously, you need to word it however it makes you comfortable.  But to me, this is a no-lose situation.  If he tells you to fukc off, you just go to the other building.  If he says “Oh, of COURSE I will refer clients to you.  That’s exactly why I want you here.”  Well SHIT!  You just wrapped up an attorney before you even open your doors.  Of course, he’s under no obligation to send you a single client, and he may be a horrible lawyer.  But that would be one helluva way to get started.

Mar 9, 2010 2:32 pm

humn, Either one can work honestly, it depends on what your marketing strategy will be.

option 3 seems a bit expensive for what it is honestly.  Talk to the attorney to see exactly what the working relationship would be.

Signage is a must.

i am currently renting office space in a building owned by an attorney, he is hardly ever here, and we have gotten zip in terms of referrals or what not.

Where are you located? Office rents seem a tad on the high side, especially lately since the rents have fallen big time.

Mar 9, 2010 4:47 pm

I'd go with option #1.  Look, you're right across the street from Starbucks!  How great is that.  People coming in and out of the grocery store will obviously stop by your office and move their CD money to you.  And I'm sure that the market has a deli.  You don't ever have to leave your strip center.  People will flock to you once you hang up your EDJ sign. 

The reality is that it probably doesn't matter.  Whether you open your office in a strip mall, attorney's building, or office building, if you don't do the work necessary to make sure you survive, your location won't matter. 

However, I agree with B24 that if you can pin the attorney down on the referral business, I'd pick that option.     

Mar 9, 2010 5:32 pm

I would go with option #2 or 3.. But jones will pick #1(as evidence by spiffs comments.)...

I was driving to a buddy of mine's house(bought a nice house in bad area, regrets it, but can't sell it)...

They are putting a new jones office in a strip next to subway and a liquor store(that has been robbed 7 times in the last year)... That was where my target market and office was and I told them "no f---ing way"... good luck to that guy...

Mar 9, 2010 5:53 pm

You guys always choose strip malls. Makes no sense. Try next to a strip club. You can invest all those one dollar bills for the working girls. Rather than door knocking, you can do some knocker knocking.

Mar 9, 2010 6:12 pm

Speak with the attorney and see if he is interested in leasing the place to you for ~3 years and help you build your book while you work out your contract. The perk for you both is at the end of the lease he can refuse to renew while you can ACAT all your mutual clients then enjoy the day the signage is changed to "Attorney and Advisor Wealth Management". Wow what a perfect opportunity for a Jones guy!! Spoon fed for 3 years!!!