Will we spend when we rent? Do we do more when we own.

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In one of my previous employments, I was tasked to look for a new office. I decided that I would ONLY look for offices which are partially renovated. Somehow I found one where the tenant had just moved out and somehow, their main wall at the reception was painted the same colour that I wanted! Anyway, to cut the story short, the reason for partially renovated is so that I do not need to pay too much for renovation, an investment which is also a cost because I do not own them when I move away. It’s just a rented office. In fact, this is one reason why many new start-ups choose co-working offices instead. It’s easy to move in, have access to everything that has been renovated well in-advance and it’s financially more sound. After all, even minor renovations like painting the whole unit, new furnitures, office carpeting, some shelves here and there and even lighting points etc would have cost easily RM10,000 or more. Perhaps best to use this RM10,000 to pay for a longer rental instead!

That was years ago. Today, I met two good friends for a cup of coffee. They trained / facilitated a Leadership programme for my previous employment and I must say that they are one of the best in the market. Yes, I have attended way too many programmes during my 20 years of working life. Corporate leaders looking for a very comprehensive leadership workshop, do let me know. I can recommend to you. They have just moved to Sunway GEO office suites from their previous office in Puchong. The one in Puchong was rented (1,500 sq ft) and the current one (nearly 1,000 sq ft) was purchased. One major reason? They find it tough to spend money to renovate a unit which they do not own because it’s not going to belong to them. Now, with a new unit, even if it’s smaller, they will spend money to renovate it and make it into a small training hub. I have just been to their unit and it’s turning out nice and professional. I am very sure their current and future clients would be happy to learn that they do not need to pay substantial venue rental if they only needed a course for a few pax. They would sent their staffs over instead.

Even when I look for a secondary property to buy, my preference is always for renovated units. Unless it is a new property, then I would prefer to renovate it myself. I think it will be true for a long time more. In fact, I seriously do think that we need to change the way we look at offices these days. If we are serious in what we do, then we must plan for continuity. Co-working offices are certainly great to start but if we have more clients visiting us, it will not look good to meet him at a ‘hot-desk’ or even in a small room where there’s 4 chairs and we already occupy 3 for example. As for making the office look good, there’s no point in doing so much to a rented unit and when the owner suddenly changes his mind, he may just ask us to move. Thus, I think it’s probably starting in a co-working office / rented office which is renovated and when the business gets serious, then we get a unit of our own. Happy ‘entrepreneuring!’

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written on 27 Aug 2018

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