They say first impressions count, so when your clients reach your premises, what exactly are they presented with?

When initially finding out what a new client really wants in the way of a new office, so many say they must have a commissionaire.

Is this for looks or for security?  Frankly, some don’t look good and some don’t operate a secure building.  Apart from that, they are expensive and put the service charge for the building up substantially, so one needs to think very carefully when considering whether to opt for a building that has one.

Some commissionaires are so consumed by their building (and to some it does become their building!) that they become very protective to the extent that visitors to clients can’t get in without undue difficulty.

When I was younger, I used to do many viewings in buildings to show people office space they might be interested in.  One commissionaire of a big building was so very protective, (and sometimes down right abusive) that quite often the viewings never took place.  The stated reason was often that there was ‘a lack of advanced warning’, a ‘breach of security’ and similar.  Luckily they found him an alternative job in the end.

The real point is to be quite clear as to why you need a commissionaire before selecting a building with one, as the service charge can cost a lot more than a building without one – and who pays the service charge? The tenants!

About Michael Fraser

Michael Fraser

Michael - founding partner of Find a London Office - started in the London property market in 1970. Michael has developed extensive knowledge of the locations, the owners, the rental values, and - most importantly - has developed very solid contacts with the other agents working in the hub of the conventional office market, giving him a considerable advantage both sourcing office space, and negotiating the best possible terms for the tenant.

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