If you are enticed by low fees for a virtual office NYC, BEWARE. Low fees are low for a reason.
Virtual offices in New York City are not hard to come by. Just type “virtual office NYC” into the search bar and you’ll be presented with a variety of options.
Prices range from pricey to cheap and everywhere in between and for some, going cheap sounds like the best option. However, you get what you pay for and going cheap my have you wondering why you went with it in the first place.
What is a virtual office NYC?
Virtual offices are financial contracts where the prospective client pays a low monthly fee to use the commercial address and typically any services or amenities provided by the shared space. Access to these amenities is often critical to an attorney’s success. Services such as conference room time, internet, and even office equipment make the life an attorney so much easier.
Why do lawyers like virtual offices?
The reasoning behind using a virtual office NYC is different for every attorney. It total, three main reasons fuel the decision to seek out a virtual office agreement:
1. Fees for “space” stay as low as possible.
With real estate prices skyrocketing, it can be very difficult to attain a physical office space, therefore, a virtual office may be the only option. One can have an address and eventually get a space one day with the help of a virtual office.
2. Referrals can be exchanged.
Referral systems are typically unmatched compared to not having the virtual space. A legal community is powerful and helps to get an attorney’s name known and build repute.
3. Marketing yourself becomes easier.
A virtual office NYC can be your best tool to market yourself to clients and other attorneys.
Full service v. cheap virtual office packages.
When one searches for a virtual office it is best that they stick to full service rather than cheap. You get more flexibility with full service arrangements and are more than just an office address.
If you go cheap or “basic” you will find it to be a hinderance rather than helpful because you get the bare minimum.
Being too basic also means you likely won’t have access to amenities like conference rooms which never bodes will.
You may not get to meet clients at that office.
If you are a business that rarely does any client interaction a cheap virtual office might be the perfect thing. However, lawyers see clients on a regular basis so going cheap is going to be a hinderance.
Conference rooms are a necessity and if you can’t meet in a room at your office address it will likely confuse the client.
First impressions are key and something like this can blow your credibility altogether and can inevitably affect your referral stream.
Mail fees will be your worst enemy.
Great deals are often very rare when it comes to a cheap virtual office NYC. When something is being promoted as a “cheap” option, the costs are often seen in other places than the price tag of the virtual office. Receiving mail is often the largest hidden cost and is likely unexpected for the attorney who sought out this cheap virtual office.
Being charged for every piece of mail received is not only outrageous, but will hurt your bottom line as that money can be put elsewhere in your firm.
A cheap virtual office provider makes its money in the fees that consumers do not anticipate. These fees are relevant to just about everything. You’ll be charged for receiving your mail in addition to having it sent out. Even a stamp is a fee. This goes well beyond the actual cost of what is is to send out mail, but the provider just looks at it as offering a service.
Full service providers differ by typically charging only a small handling fee to package all your mail. The Law Firm Suites fee is currently only $2.00, much less than “cheap” virtual office providers.
Fees for “packages” will hurt your wallet even more.
Virtual office providers often set limits on how many packages one can receive per month.
Operators frequently define a “package” as any item not delivered during the one daily USPS mail delivery. So, anything dropped off by hand delivery, overnight courier or special handling is considered a “package”, no matter how small the item is.
Sometimes attorneys receive very little mail or packages on a monthly basis, but if you receive a lot this will come back to bite you. If you go full service, mail costs will likely be bundled into the arrangement with no excessive fees.
Ethical restrictions may prevent you from using a cheap virtual office address.
Many jurisdictions have restrictions about what constitutes a bona fide office. In some cases, a cheap virtual office that is slightly more than a post office address cannot be used as an office address for a law practice.
Regulators often require that your commercial address be a place where clients can meet with you or find a representative of your firm.
With full service virtual office arrangements, you meet standards necessary to practice. The main difference is there is no long term commitment.
Do the financial math before you commit to a cheap virtual office.
Cheap virtual office can be a sound investment if it is what is right for your firm or for your current situation, especially if one is just starting out. A cheap office may be beneficial if one does not receive a lot of mail and can swing the hourly conference room rentals.
But keep in mind, it’s a hassle (and expensive) to change a law firm’s business address. So when you are doing your math, if upgrading to more of a full-service location is part of your plan, factor in the cost of your time and the expense to change the firm’s business address when doing your cost-benefit analysis.
In the end, you might find that going with a full-service virtual office provider is not only the best option, but the only option for the needs of your firm.