Think You’ll Automatically Get Office Services From Your Sublet Office Space NYC? Don’t Hold Your Breath.

By Stephen Furnari - November 24, 2014
Think You’ll Automatically Get Office Services From Your Sublet Office Space NYC? Don’t Hold Your Breath.

Being a landlord was never part of a firm’s original plan so do not expect them to make that aspect of business a priority. You’re just a temporary source of income in their eyes.

When you think about it, running an office is a job in itself for any firm. Just having the Ricoh machine break down requires hours of communication with the provider. A firm that provides sublet office space NYC not only has to manage the obligations of being a landlord, but also being a law practice. More so than often, the practice of law will take precedence.

Servicing the needs of tenants is like the art of cooking. It’s seems easy enough, but is very complex and anything incorrect in the equation can destroy the entirety of your desired result. A law firm that provides sublet spaces is likely in bad shape and will typically not have the adequate resources to meet your basic needs. In most cases, you are looked at as a revenue source to help lessen the impact of their expenses and your needs will end up being a problem for the firm leasing the space.

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…

Sublet Office Space NYCA 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.

For 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.

NYC office sublet space is often inclusive of services that small firms need to maintain their organization. One of these resources is guest reception. A quality receptionist is an intrical part of any office. Beyond receptionist services are physical conference room, Internet connection, and even simple use of the copy machine. This needs to be managed by the office staff; however, firms that sublet space are often understaffed and do not have the appropriate people to service subtenants’ needs. Instead, some of the firms’ staff is called upon to handle these issues.

This is going to be a problem for you. Know that.

Sublet Office Space NYC

Office staff is paid by the landlord’s firm. Everything the office staff does is in the interest of the firm. The staff has to eat too and the subletting firm pays their salaries. Their loyalty lies with the firm, not with you. You may make an office buddy or two out of the staffers, but their interests will always be for the good of the firm.

Your sublet situation will never be the priority of the firm because the staff receives no additional incentives for helping you in any way.

When it comes to anything that has to do with your work, it will be treated as an additional nuisance rather than priority.

Avoid making office rental mistakes.

Get our eBook: “How to rent the perfect law office.”

About Stephen Furnari

Stephen Furnari is a self-employed corporate attorney and the founder of Law Firm Suites, the operator of coworking spaces for law firms. Through Law Firm Suites, Furnari has helped hundreds of attorneys launch and grow successful law practices. He is the author of several eBooks, including “7 Deadly Mistakes that Prevent Law Practice Success” and “An Insider’s Guide to Renting the Perfect Law Office”. Stephen has been featured in the ABA Journal, Entrepreneur, New York Daily News and Crain’s New York. Connect with Stephen on Twitter (@stephenfurnari).

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