With the soaring rates for office space in Manchester only set to remain on its upward trajectory, one would expect that the facilities they offer would follow suit. Well expect the unexpected.
What first brought our attention to this stagnation was from a consumer point of view. For the last couple of months Vantage have been trying over and over again to relocate. However, have failed over and over again in finding an office which provides the facilities to warrant the price.
In a city that prides itself on style, innovation and being a hub for modern companies to thrive, frankly the office property sector stands out like a sore, outdated and over priced thumb.
For the past two months we have been to view around twelve offices in the centre of Manchester. Out of those twelve not one provided shower facilities, bicycle parking and storage, modern kitchenettes or fit-outs.
One conceivable route of the problem could be the huge thirst in demand. Why would landlords or agents bother spending money on making their offices modern? When demand is so high companies aren’t looking at how much bang they get for their buck. Instead they make due with a badly equipped shell and high rates.
Another possible reason could be the failure to identify what the modern company and employee needs. With the emphasis on protecting the environment and the rising costs in fuel and public transport, many employees today choose to cycle, walk or run to work. But who would want to sit in an office drenched in sweat or risk their prized mode of transport being stolen? Nobody!
The same can be said for companies. The start-ups of today who mainly specialise in technology, design and creative based services/products, want and need an office that will reflect their innovative and modern brand image. Dull carpet tiles and white washed walls aren’t going to impress clients, investors or employees. This is why so many are choosing co-workspaces as a home for their business. But at the moment co-workspaces simply cant facilitate larger companies on a mass scale.
Now you might be reading this and thinking well so what, if the demand is there why should I bother doing anything? And you’re right…FOR NOW. Currently the demand is high and competition is low because nearly every office in Manchester is offering similar packages with similar prices.
However, it only takes a couple of likeminded people to completely disrupt the market. The competition will then be who can provide the best facilitated and modern spaces with the lowest cost. Rather than simply who can provide a space at all.
And the competition is already here. Co-workspaces are leading the way in what offices can be, its just they haven’t had time to expand and offer full size offices…YET. Once they do, then out-of-date and under-equipped offices will be eaten up and re-branded as the newest co-workspace.
In a few years time the market will be saturated in creative and digital companies. So there is still time to prepare and bring your properties into the 21st Century. And at Vantage we would love to help.
If you are considering a new fit-out or just need some professional advice, please get in touch!