Don’t Expect Any Office Services From Your Sublet Office Space NYC

By Stephen Perih - January 16, 2014
Don’t Expect Any Office Services From Your Sublet Office Space NYC

Being a landlord is a full-time gig. Do you really think your sublet office space NYC provider is going to prioritize your needs over theirs?

Just making sure the fax machine is functional often requires four to five hours wasted on hold with Verizon, or a similar telecommunications provider. The law firm that provides sublet office space NYC needs to manage these responsibilities in addition to their full-time legal practice. Which one do you think suffers?

There’s an art and a science to servicing the needs of tenants. The law firm that sublets empty office spaces likely does not have the bandwidth to adequately service your most basic needs, nor are they incentivized enough to give great service. In many cases, simply expect to be viewed as a source for cash to offset expenses, and your needs to be a nuisance to their primary duty: practicing law.

One of our clients recently shared the following story with us:

Sublet Receptionist: You received a call while you were out. 

Subtenant Attorney: But I’ve been back for four hours…

A colleague sublet a single office from a real estate attorney. The office suite was nice but a little over-priced for the area. My friend liked the office and didn’t mind paying more than the going rate because the real estate attorney’s receptionist was going to screen my friend’s calls and greet his guests.

sublet office space NYCFor whatever reason, the real estate attorney had a problem keeping receptionists. Every three months there was a new face greeting my colleague and his clients.  In between receptionists, often for weeks at a time, the reception desk stayed empty. Instead, the door to the suite was locked and incoming calls were answered by the paralegals in the back office. Of course, the busy paralegals that were prepping residential closings all day long resented having to take on the extra work.

More often than not, the real estate attorney’s staff answered my friend’s incoming calls with their own firm’s name (not my friend’s) or just outright mispronounced his name.

Finally a new receptionist was hired.  A few weeks after starting the job, she stopped by my friend’s office to tell him that he received a call while he was out. My friend replied, “But I’ve been back for four hours, did you not think to tell me earlier?” Receptionist [with attitude]: “No.” My friend asked: “Did you get a name or number?” Of course, the receptionist replied: “No.”

He later learned the call was from opposing counsel looking to discuss settlement options on a gigantic case. He promptly gave notice to the landlord. Keeping receptionists wasn’t the landlord’s only problem. He couldn’t keep subtenants either.

Sublet office space NYC often include services essential to running a small law practice, such as guest reception, phone, Internet, conference rooms and use of copy machines.  All of these services require your landlord’s staff to manage; however, few firms that are subletting extra spaces have the appropriate staff whose sole responsibility is to service the needs of subtenants. Instead, the firm shares some of its staff with subtenants.

This can be a big problem for subtenants.

Think about it. Staff is paid by the landlord’s firm. The landlord’s firm supervises and evaluates the staff, and determines their raises and bonuses. Guess where the staff’s loyalty lies?

You and your sublet office is an additional nuisance for which the staff receives no additional compensation.

How, then, do you think that your work will be treated?

About Stephen Perih

Stephen Perih graduated Vassar College (no, it is not an all girl’s school) in 2005 before earning his JD from New York Law School. Stephen joined Law Firm Suites in 2012 as the Sales & Operations Manager. Since then, he has organized and emboldened Law Firm Suites’ community and accelerated the unique referral exchange among a rapidly growing roster of attorneys.

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