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Brand Counsel’s Richard Wheatley talks to us about their move to 1 Albert Street

Brand Counsel is a creative brand agency that recently moved its business into 1 Albert Street in Auckland’s CBD. Having moved from a larger space to an Alberts Private Suite, Brand Counsel Director, Richard Wheatley explains how the change is working for their business.

1. You were previously based at 87 Albert Street and were one of the tenants there when Alberts parent company Auckland Real Estate purchased the property. What made you decide to move to our flagship property at 1 Albert Street?

We had great space at 87 Albert Street and spent about three years there. When Auckland Real Estate purchased the property, we had a chat with Leasing Manager Kylie about more flexible options and they suggested we consider 1 Albert Street. We came down and Alberts and Kylie showed us around. We were really pleased with what we saw. It was all go from there.

2. The Alberts Private Suite model is different to a traditional lease. What was it about the Private Suite option that was appealing to you?

Our space is half the size of what we had before. However, because of the shared amenities, kitchen areas and meeting rooms we realised we didn’t really miss the space we had before.

3. Has your working style adapted to suit your new workspace?

Not really. We all like to collaborate in our line of work, so we prefer not to work remotely. We need to interact so need to be together. I do use the Alberts meeting space for emails and zoom meetings. However, if you consider the graphic designer in our business, they need to be at their desk with their larger screens.

4. Have you had any of your clients comment on your new workspace?

Yes, our clients have expressed how impressed they are with the space.

5. What aspects of the facilities do you utilise and what do your team think of the shared space here at Alberts?

Our business is all about presentations and the space at Alberts allows us to give great presentations to our clients. We have learnt that having gone from presenting on a 55inch screen to the large 75inch ones in the Alberts meeting rooms, the resolution of our presentations might need to increase, but that’s not really an issue.

One of the big positives for us is the concierge team. They are all very welcoming and give a good impression to our clients. When we meet our clients on level 1 the concierge has already set the tone for the meeting or presentation. We know our clients are already having a good experience – before we even show up.

When I give a sales presentation, I am essentially selling our business. It is fantastic to have the concierge and the technology along with the central location 1 Albert Street offers.

We also love the shared space here. To be honest, when we started here, we were a touch cynical about the ‘membership’, but now we’ve joined some of the events we have realised how genuinely friendly everyone is, it’s a wonderful workspace community. What we’ve lost is space we have definitely gained in other ways.

6. Alberts members club and restaurant are going to open soon. What are you most looking forward to with respect to the next phase – hospitality and members club, and why?
The bar on a Friday after work! It will be nice to pop down for a coffee during the day too. Both areas will be a bonus. I was sold on the concept of the shared space on level 1 and all the meeting rooms anyway, but it will be even more special to have the restaurant, theatre and Club space as well.

7. What would you say to any prospective SME tenant who was considering Alberts as their new workspace?
Alberts is good value. Even though our office space has decreased in size I feel like the overall value for money is the same due to what the Alberts model provides. The Alberts benefits balance out the reduction in floor space.

We would certainly recommend Alberts. It’s particularly great for professional service firms or consultants. The front of house aspect means you and your clients are well looked after. It is all very professional.

8. Given the current health crisis, how has the Alberts model supported your business?
We haven’t been here long enough to experience this. However, we can say that we found Kylie and the Alberts team very helpful and flexible when it came to our move here. Our transition may have been made easier because we were already a tenant of Auckland Real Estate. However, we genuinely feel the flexibility provided meant the landlord isn’t the faceless figure some landlords can be. We feel very fortunate to have Alberts and the team looking after us.

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