When Looking at a Sublet Office Space NYC for Law Firms – Confirm and Re-Confirm the Appointment.

By Stephen Perih - January 14, 2014
When Looking at a Sublet Office Space NYC for Law Firms – Confirm and Re-Confirm the Appointment.

Sublet office space in NYC is a viable option for small firm and solo attorneys. If the subletting law firm actually keeps the appointment.

Subletting an empty office in someone’s leased office space (typically that of another law firm) is traditionally the most common office solution for self-employed, small firm lawyers. Sublet office arrangements are attractive to small firm and self-employed attorneys because it allows them to leverage someone else’s long financial risk and up-front investment by paying a small premium in rent.

Sublet office space NYC arrangements can be very productive and last for years. They can also be a nightmare. In fact, one of Law Firm Suites executive suites NYC clients recently shared the following story with us, illustrating an exceedingly common sublet mishap.

Sublet Office Space for Attorneys: Floor Included.

The security guy let me right in. I didn’t have to show ID. I didn’t sign anything. He just pointed to the elevator. No questions asked. No words exchanged.

I was scheduled to visit a potential sublet in a solo lawyer’s office at 12:30 PM on a Tuesday in November. Scheduled is the appropriate word.

I exited the elevator into a very dark hallway. I looked for a sign or a name to point me in the right direction, but, couldn’t find one. So I just walked down the long, dark hallway. I finally found the suite I was scheduled to visit. I tried to turn the door knob, but the door was locked.

I was 15 minutes early and figured he was just “on time.” I looked for a place to sit. Nothing. Just me and a dark hallway. I walked its length. Then it’s width. Then I repeated the process.

sublet office space nycAt 12:30 PM no one showed. I hadn’t seen anyone in the dark corridor since exiting the elevator. I waited. 12:35 PM. Then 12:40 PM. I shot off an email just to confirm I had the right time.

I just kept waiting. 12:45 PM. Then 12:50 PM. At least my eyes were now used to the dark hallway.

I knocked on the door again. The phone was ringing inside his office. I leaned against the wall and slumped down to the floor. All I wanted to do was visit the “affordable sublet” advertised in the Law Journal.  Now I was sitting on a dank carpet in a dark hallway.

The attorney never did get back to me. I left at 1:03 PM and I never saw anyone in that hallway. What if I were a client?

The above story is a prime example of one of the potential perils of choosing to locate your law practice in a sublet office space NYC for lawyers.

Law Firm’s with sublet office space NYC  have no dedicated sales manager for subtenants.

Unlike a commercial landlord or a professional executive suites NYC operator, law firms rarely have anyone whose sole job is spent showing available space to potential subtenants.  Open any legal publication to the “available space” section, pick any random sublet ad and call the number listed.  Try to get someone on the phone who can give you more information or set up a time for a tour. Most of the time the firm’s secretary who answers the call won’t even know the ad was placed.

sublet office space nycYou may spend a lot of time trying to track down a busy partner who barely has time to eat, never mind setting up a time to tour sublet office space that they probably resent having to rent in the first place. This becomes exceeding frustrating when you view the time wasted on missed appointment in terms of your billable hour.

We regularly secret shop law firm sublets close to our office centers to see what our competition is doing.  You’d be surprised how many times we have shown up to a pre-arranged meeting where we waited for up to an hour to see someone, or worse, where the doors to the suite were locked and no one from the firm showed up at all, like the above example.

If you struggle to get someone’s attention when you are trying to pay them money to rent an office, see what happens when they have your money and the Internet or phone system goes down in your office.

When you book an appointment at a law office sublet, save yourself time, energy, hurt-feelings and a hour seated on the floor: confirm, re-confirm and re-confirm the re-confirmation with the attorney advertising the space. 






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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