Small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) make up more than 70% of Auckland’s office leasing market. Many find a move to central CBD locations financially challenging with quality office offerings being unobtainable. Alberts set about changing this by providing A-grade, central CBD office space options specifically with SMEs in mind.
We caught up with one of our founding Alberts tenants Craig Pellet, CEO of Streamline to hear what factors influenced his decision to relocate his business to Alberts.
1. As a business, what attracted you to the workspace and tenancy options as offered by Alberts?
Our move to Alberts was a journey that started back in February 2020, before the first lockdown. We had an office in Newmarket and we were all a bit frustrated by the fact it was hard to get to using a car or public transport, so when our lease came up we decided we should review our location.
For us, the CBD was essential because it offered great transport links being close to Britomart and the ferry terminal.
We did consider other office options, but Alberts suited us best. Our work model is evolving to allow us to solve business process challenges by collaborating with an ecosystem of partners, sister companies and customers. We do that remotely but also in person; Alberts offered space to work together when we need to. It gave us an ideal base or a ‘home’ that we could all easily get to and not spend all day travelling to work. We did have a short period where we had no office and we learnt very quickly that having an office was an important focal point for us.
The flexibility of Alberts and the awesome fitout meant we had a good premise for staff with a fabulous view and the icing on the cake is that the Alberts offering is next level.
2. Has the new style of workspace changed your working style?
We had already decided to change our workspace and were happy that we found Alberts as our working style fits with the Alberts model. The two things we looked for were proximity and flexibility and Alberts has both.
We were pleasantly surprised by how friendly the other tenants are on our floor. We hadn’t considered this, so it was a really nice, unexpected bonus.
3. How has the new style of workspace and tenancy options benefitted your business?
Working remotely and not having a base is hard. There is a desire for most to have work/life balance. The timing of the Alberts space being available and the change to our business was perfect.
Financially, when you consider our footprint is smaller than it was, a decision to incorporate working from home and working from the office makes sense. For example, our suite fits seven people and we are a team of 12. Our office is rarely full, simply because many of the team work from home. We don’t want to spend all day travelling to and from work so having the flexibility enables the team to manage their time accordingly. Our lives are far calmer now we have utilised the Alberts space.
4. What aspects of the shared facilities do you utilise and how well do they fit into your working style?
We use the boardrooms for presentations to key clients. Our client Sharp recently did a product launch here and have asked to do so again in future. They have recognised the value in the Alberts space and location and seeing we use their equipment here in the Streamline office, they now ask us to show some of their clients their product instead of asking the clients to travel further afield to do so.
We like how we are not limited to just our suite. Any client going into Alberts will notice it has a relaxed and comfortable feel to it and it is a great place to do business.
Alberts space is a relaxed environment. The Concierge makes the space quite posh whilst being very friendly. The shared kitchen space is very clean and all tenants respect the space. There is certainly a sense of pride in how shared areas are presented and you can see that nobody wants to let the side down.
5. What are you most looking forward to with respect to the next phase – hospitality and members club, and why?
Proximity and ease of use. There will be more options for functions and service. On a Friday afternoon, it will be great to be able to go somewhere on the premise for a meal or drinks. Our clients won’t have to move their car or drive somewhere. It is positive that Alberts control the whole model and have mixed up the norm by being able to provide such services on the same footprint.
6. What would you say to any prospective SME tenant who was considering Alberts as their new workspace?
Just do it!
We made a call with our business. We cannot seat our whole team in our office, but this suited our business journey and we made the decision based on location, style, what we do and where we are going.
Consider what the space looks and feels like and if you want to mix with others.
With Alberts there is huge flexibility and ability to grow. The model fitted with our lifestyle and our commitment to remote working.
7. Given the current health crisis, how has the Alberts model supported your business?
We are riding a wave, like many others. However, our decision was done before lockdown and for this, we are extremely lucky as the timing was perfect. We can now lead the way for others to make a similar decision.