Over the past few months, the ongoing U.S. recession has forced many attorneys, mortgage companies, residential real estate, and financial and professional services companies to either vacate or consolidate their facilities. According to the latest Market View report by CB Richard Ellis, clients are electing to "right-size" their office space to be more in line with market conditions, choosing smaller suites, shorter leases, and more flexible terms. Premier Business Centers (PBC), America's largest privately-owned provider of full-service executive office centers, has observed this trend first hand while helping international, national, and local companies consolidate their locations.
"Flexibility is a big part of the appeal of 'right-sizing'," confirms Premier Business Centers' Chief Executive Officer Jeff Reinstein. At present, Reinstein says, most companies that participate in right-sizing are using that flexibility to reduce costs during the economic downturn. In Los Angeles County, for example, existing clients are consolidating facilities and entering into short-term renewals, according to the CB Richard Ellis report. Expansion activity decreased 22.5% in Los Angeles County and 17.5% nationally during 2007, and that trend is expected to continue throughout the balance of 2008.
Unlike with a traditional office lease that generally ranges in term from 3 to 10 years, Premier Business Centers offers flexible short term agreements that range from a single month to several years. Depending on the term selected, right-sizing companies have the ability to reduce or increase their office space in a very short time period, Reinstein says. "If a business is growing, we can move them into a bigger office suite, and if a business downsizes, we can help by switching them to something smaller when their agreement expires. In either case, the business gets to keep the same address and phone number, and their clients are never affected."
PBC's full-service executive suites reduce overhead for businesses in both good and bad economic times – as much as 65% per year (based on a 1,000-square-foot office). Premier Business Centers provides professional office managers and receptionists to act on the client's behalf, which alone can save $30,000 to $60,000 annually. PBC also provides an information technology department to handle any computer problems, a personalized phone service to answer telephones, and a secretarial service to handle postage, filing, and other tasks.
"We handle everything," says Reinstein. "If the fax runs out of paper, we replenish it, and if the copier needs toner, we fix it. Instead of having to worry about all of those details, clients can focus on running and growing their business."
Premier Business Centers offers office space and conference rooms by the hour, day, week, month or year. Offices can be rented for as little as $300 per month and can be rented unfurnished or fully furnished with mahogany desks, leather chairs, executive desk accessories and more. Each location is completely equipped with a telephone, high-speed Internet access, fax machines, copy machines and office supplies.
Premier Business Centers currently accommodates thousands of clients nationwide, including many Fortune 1000 companies. Reinstein says that clients appreciate the personalized experience provided by PBC. "We look at each client's specific situation and work to create the right office solutions for them by offering flexible terms and the ability to choose from among a wide-range of services to suit their individual needs. Our clients are treated as entrepreneurs. We enable them to operate their facility as if it were their own."
This approach has earned Premier Business Centers positive reviews from professionals all across their service area of California, Texas and Washington State. "The Premier Business Centers business model makes it easy for clients to focus on their businesses by handling all of the office infrastructure issues," says a C.P.A. in the Bellevue, WA area who has been a PBC client since 1992. "I have had many compliments from clients about the appearance of the office and the friendly nature of the [Premier Business Centers] staff."
In addition to its full-time and part-time office-space rentals, Premier Business Centers offers a popular "virtual office" service. PBC's basic virtual office plans provide entrepreneurs and small businesses with a prestigious business address and a place to meet clients; all mail is collected for them as well. Other levels of the virtual office service include the addition of a personalized answering service with voicemail and sixteen hours of office or conference room use.