2. As a Senior Manager for Office Services, what do you think is the most challenging aspect of the job, and how do you overcome that challenge?
Office brokerage is a very competitive profession. It’s definitely easier to lose a client than to win one in this business. To quote Don Draper of Mad Men, “The day you sign a client is the day you start losing him.” One has to have a high service level all the time. It is challenging because it requires extra effort, diligence and strong competency from the team to keep clients happy. You need to be proactive and think like you’re in your clients' shoes. The key is to always know your client's business, operations and employees very well. This way, it will be easy to spot opportunities for your clients – and for yourself as well.
"One has to have a high service level all the time. It is challenging because it requires extra effort, diligence and strong competency from the team to keep clients happy."
3. With the current market situation, what's the outlook for the Philippine office market and how should occupiers move forward?
I’m confident that the office market will eventually recover but I also think that demand will be driven differently. Historically, certain industries like BPOs and POGOs drive office space demand. While that can remain to be true in the future, I think health, safety and business considerations of any company (not just BPOs or POGOs) will factor in office demand more moving forward.
"Occupiers should reimagine how they use their office space. A great deal of digital transformation has occurred over the past year."
Occupiers should reimagine how they use their office space. A great deal of digital transformation has occurred over the past year. People are more health conscious (or at the very least, “virus-averse”). We won’t (and shouldn’t) use office space like we used it before the pandemic occurred. Should you go for a bigger office to adopt physical distancing and adhere to increased health protocols? Should you operate out of several satellite offices closer to where employees live? Should you adopt remote work as a permanent policy and only need a smaller office? Should you add an office in another city in the Philippines to diversify your operations?
Ultimately, it really depends on the occupiers’ businesses and their realities, but I think these are questions and conversations worth having right now and in the future.