August 2008- I Think My Phone is Broken

What a strange title for a newsletter?  Why would one think his phone is broken?  It is not ringing, sometimes not at all, other times very seldom.  Why do you think this is occurring during the dog days of August 2008? There are several reasons for this state of affairs and we will discuss them and see what we can do to remedy the situation, correct the lack of activity and plan for it not to happen again.

First, the simple truth is people do not use their business phones as much as before.  Email is the major method of communication, providing a record on the computer and even a hard copy if downloaded and printed.  You need to know, however, that the law treats an email message as an oral communication.  If you need a written message, download, print and mail the email to the person with whom you want to establish a written record.

Second, the current economic “correction” has reduced activity in the real estate market place to a dribble of its former flow.  The writer leases high rise office buildings for a living and activity in the market I work is slim or non-existent.  For example, a beautiful penthouse office space, full floor, private elevator lobby, private lavatories, separate meter for electricity, five large office, conference room with a wet bar with gorgeous views of downtown near the edge of the Gables.  This sublease has been offered at the low rate of $32/SF with few takers.  Now it is being offered at the mid-twenties, net of electricity and the phones are still not working.  Are they broken or are we at a standstill in our office economy?

Next, could one of the reasons the phone does not ring is we are not doing a good job of marketing the space.  Building signage, new flyers to target specific portions of the sublease, broker contact, open house for brokers are some of the traditional methods of marketing sublease office space.  We are now taking some less traditional avenues to fix our phone.  One approach is developing mailing lists from directories of specific professions such as law, accounting, small business, architects and bankers.  Direct mail has historically been a low response method, but it will only take one to win the day.

Since office leasing is very broker driven in the South Florida market, a very generous commission split has been structured for the tenant representative that brings a deal.  Also, the master landlord for the building indicated he will entertain a new lease for the sub-tenant for a term beyond the sublease term and will pay a commission to the tenant representative broker.  The stage is set for the achievement of the objective: the sublease of the penthouse at such a dynamite price.  Incidentally, the sub-landlord will provide new carpet and paint for the “right” subtenant.

Need we say more?  The broken phone will be fixed.  Call will be received from qualified prospects.  The sublease will occur.  Time will overcome and fix my broken phone.