Showing Charities around a possible new office space for them - can be challenging but often interesting and occasionally even fun!
In the first of this two part series Gary Phillips, Head of Marketing & Sales for CAN Mezzanine shares his first 3 of “6 of the best” experiences and some top tips that he has gained over the past few years in filling up office space at CAN’s 2 London offices (Old Street and Loman Street) with charities, social enterprises and Not for Profit organisations. He also highlights a few of the lighter sides and challenges that he has had whilst conducting over 300 viewings in the past 3 years.
1. 2’s company and 10 is a crowd
Showing on average 2-3 people around our facilities is challenging, as we are all different and ensuring everybody is engaged is important. So showing a group of 10 people around was a challenge.
a) Losing a few of the party on the tour was not a great start (we found them eventually, after they wandered into a Trustees meeting for another charity)
b) Trying to attempt to break the Guinness book of records for cramming as many people in a lift as possible was a mistake and perhaps the last straw
c) Attempting to co-ordinate 10 people walking up 4 flights of stairs at equal pace and avoiding Para-medic intervention was a push too far.
d) I won’t even mention the attempt to deliver a round of refreshments that involved several combinations of Soya, Sweeteners and Ginger tea! 10 waters it is then!
2. Selling a house can involve using the smell of baking bread or Fresh flowers- an office can be different!
CAN Mezzanine have communal kitchens that are provided, with microwave ovens and fridges so our customers can bring in their own food. This is a great feature but can back fire when showing people around.
Imagine how difficult is was for me to explain the benefits of our open plan space when faced with freshly wafting fragrances of Home made fish stew and Goat Curry, which were excreting from a 4 minute power setting on the microwave!
Lesson: We must install that bread making machine soon!
3. You never know who you can bump into
You get to meet many interesting people on office tours and a few of my favourites have been:
a) Meeting the wife of a legendary UK guitar player and trying not to sing his hit or playing air guitar to his solo, whilst conducting the tour.
b) Showing a famous TV Historian/Architect around who was wearing a bowler hat throughout the 20 minute viewing- hats off to him!
c) An actor that had appeared on an updated version of a comedy involving a Hippo and trying not to think of this whilst delivering my lines.