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Thursday, May 29, 2014

OfficeList turns 10! - 2004 - 2014 -

Celebrating 10 years!

Letter from OfficeList.com CEO
   and Q&A with our founders

Today we celebrate OfficeList’s 10th year anniversary.

Thank you to our team and to all our clients! It’s been an amazing journey so far and today we celebrate our accomplishments and the tremendous potential of the next 10 years to come.

During this time we have made new friends, our families have grown and and are proud of the value we provide day to day to thousands of small business and entrepreneurs and our workplace-as-a-service partners throughout the USA and Canada.

As a company we have changed in many ways. We’ve grown, developed awesome technology, expanded past our home borders into Canada and became leaders in a competitive industry that is very close to our hearts. It is also important to note what has not changed. Namely our commitment to providing real tangible value for our clients, to provide exceptional service and to live by our core values of excellence, integrity and focus on our partners.

Looking ahead, we are focused on accelerating the execution of our growth strategy while continuing to build on the strength of our team and our experience.
Thank you and here’s to another 10!

Uddy Carmi
Co-founder & CEO

Q & A with our founders

Uddy Carmi                                                                   Jorge E. Pena
Founder & CEO                                                              Founder & COO

1- Jorge, what was the most difficult situation you had to face to start the company?

When you are starting a company you want it to be up and running in as little time as possible. Dealing with delays and things that take longer than you anticipated is difficult to manage. We did face a lot of challenges in the process but I would not label them as “difficult”, they were just hurdles we needed to jump over.

2- Uddy, if there was one thing you could have done different, what would that be?

I would’ve launched Canada from the beginning. We started with the US and entered the Canadian market a few years ago. It proved a great opportunity for expansion. But really, no regrets!

3- Uddy, what do you not like about being an entrepreneur?

I find that developing the idea and launching a project is the most exciting part of being an entrepreneur. Once you become established, you tend to become an employee of your own company. I need to keep on my feet innovating and coming up with new challenges, projects and ideas. If not, the whole purpose of being in business for yourself can get blurry. I’m passionate about it so am always looking at where we can take the company and other ventures to explore.

4- Jorge, what has been the greatest and the most difficult situation of the OfficeList experience?

It’s hard to pin point the greatest experience but I would have to say the feeling I had when we got our first lead to sign an office space. It was at that precise moment that I realized that we were on to something and that we were actually offering a really good value proposition. Before that moment everything seemed “artificial”. The most difficult situation is without a doubt when things are not going so well (and in a 10 year company that is bound to happen a few times) and you have to be really creative to kick back and bounce to an even higher level than you were before. It can get very stressful.

5- Jorge, tell us what is the hardest thing of co-owning a company

Getting your partner to do exactly what you want without him even knowing it… Hmm, I guess the cat is out the bag now… Kidding aside I would say that I have been very fortunate to partner with Uddy since we complement each other nicely and have not had any major incidents in all these years.

6-Uddy, If you had the chance to go back in time, would you create OfficeList?

Definitely. OfficeList has been our baby and we’ve nurtured it into a leader in its field. The people, families and companies that have been touched by OfficeList make us proud.

7- Uddy, Where do you see the company in 5 yrs, 10 yrs?

We are working on new lines of business related to our core and international expansion is a logical next step. Our industry is evolving and we need to evolve with it. Internet and technology is more and more entrenched in our day to day and we are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities a dynamic business environment can present.

8- Jorge, where do you think you would be or working on, if OfficeList hadn't come along?

At a different company I would have started as well! The first job I had when I graduated from University was at an investment banking firm. It took me 15 days to realize that what I really wanted was to start my own company and that is exactly what I did. OfficeList came along a few years later but making that first move was crucial to developing the skills required to be a successful entrepreneur.

9-Uddy, what has been the greatest and the most difficult situation of the OfficeList experience?

One of the greatest things that OfficeList has brought us is the quality of people we have met. Over the years employees and clients have become friends. You can’t put a price tag on that. Over our ten year history, we’ve had some rough patches where we may have lost focus and had some rough times. Its frustrating to be down when you know the potential your company and your team has. Fortunately we’ve dusted off and emerged stronger each time.

10- Jorge, what was the biggest fear of deciding to be an entrepreneur?

The fear of failure. If any entrepreneur tells you different I would bet OfficeList they are lying. No matter how much confidence you have in yourself there is always something in the back of your mind measuring the risk and evaluating the cost of failure. And that is quite alright. Using that fear to keep your expectations real is key and you can use it as a motivator as well.

Jorge and Uddy, please give young entrepreneurs a piece of advice

Jorge: I recently read a piece of counter intuitive advice which rang very true to me… You are usually told to follow your dream and do what you really enjoy in life. That sounds great but it does not guarantee success and happiness. Your dream will most of the times be unachievable and the frustration you will accumulate will be very hard to handle. Instead, you should pursue what you are really good at (chances are you enjoy doing that too because you are good at it!). This approach will be much more effective in getting you closer to your goals and overall happiness in life. Ignoring the “one piece” of the question, I would say my second piece of advice would be to find a great partner who shares your vision and is willing to make it true. Doing it alone is half the fun.

Uddy: You don’t need to raise a bunch of money and quit your job to follow your dream of being an entrepreneur. I started OfficeList while running a Business Center and my partner was designing websites. A side project became what OfficeList is today. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you’ll know it and you’ll make it happen. Lack of time or money, of the security of a job, should not dissuade you to follow your heart. 

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Monday, November 25, 2013

OfficeList Launches Its Mobile Website

Everyday, more people are browsing the internet through their mobile devices. According to the Pew Research Center, 57% of American adults own a smartphone, and 60% of them use it to access the web.

OfficeList is proud to announce the launch of our mobile site, a new tool for all the people looking for office space from their mobile devices.

For several months, we worked along a great team of developers and web designers to produce the finest product possible, ready to suit your office search needs.
  • Find the closest location to you using our 'Current Location' feature.
  • Access all the offices you've selected through 'My List'.
  • Easy-to-use interface, with clear buttons, large fonts and high quality photos.
  • Responsive design, our mobile site adapts to all your devices.
To access our mobile site, go to m.officelist.com and start browsing, no need to download apps or buy anything, just access the new site every time you browse from your mobile. You can then add us to your favorites so you can easily find us.

We want to learn from you, please call us at 866-354-5478 and share your feedback with us so we can improve your office search experience.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Cases of Extreme Customer Service

Every company says they provide the best customer service, unfortunately in some cases it’s only written but never applied. Abundant examples can be found online of bad experiences from unsatisfied customers and how companies failed to keep theme as a happy customer. 

However, positive stories can also be found. Those that show how customers are not only satisfied with their purchase, but also deeply grateful with someone else for going above and beyond to solve something. 

Here are some examples:

AirbnbAfter some stories reached the news about guests trashing some of the host properties, the company decided to hire 50 agents to revert this situation and make sure the good stories also reached the media. Sometimes simple details can make a difference.
After Adam Jackson discovered that one of his guests had stolen a pizza cutter from his kitchen, he tweeted about it and Airbnb overnighted a new one to him with a nice apology note. 

Zappos: A company that is widely recognized for their excellent customer service. Plenty of stories can be found online, because they live up to their slogan “delivering happiness”. They have no time limit for their calls; their longest one lasted 10 hours!
One night, Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh took some of his client out for a night in town, once they got back to the hotel one of his clients was hungry and wanted some pizza, but it was 2AM and the hotel kitchen was closed. Tony suggested her to call Zappos customer service and ask where she could find pizza. Not only did they suggest three pizza stores nearby, but they also ordered it for her.

Taco Bell: The people in Bethel, Alaska were pranked to believe a Taco Bell would be opened in their city accessible only by air and river. Their disappointment was shared with the company when they found out the news was not true. Once Taco Bell heard about this through their social media channels, they decided to cheer up their Bethel Taco fans, airlifting a truck with 10,000 free tacos. 

Lego: Luka, a 7 year old boy sent a letter to Lego explaining how sad he was because he had lost one of his figures, and he asked if he could be sent a new one. The response from Richard, a customer service manager, was not only very creative, but also included a gift card. 
Credit: http://twitter.com/lukaapps

Luka, I told Sensei Wu that losing your Jay minifigure was purely an accident and that you would never ever ever let it happen ever again.
He told me to tell you, "Luka, your father seems like a very wise man. You must always protect your Ninjago minifigures like the dragons protect the Weapons of Spinjitzu!"
Sensei Wu also told me it was okay if I sent you a new Jay and told me it would be okay if I included something extra for you because anyone that saves their Christmas money to buy the Ultrasonic Raider must be a really big Ninjago fan.

And these are only 4 stories from hundreds out there. Start thinking how your company can give a smile through extreme customer service and win customers for life. 

We’d love to hear from you, share your stories of positive customer service experience with us in the comment section.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Entrepreneurs, Get Ready for Startup Weekend!

Startup Weekend

If you think you have a revolutionary idea that only needs a push to get off the ground and become the next big startup, then you shouldn’t miss Startup Weekend.

Startup Weekends are 54­-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups.

Although any idea can be pitched, almost 95% of the projects are mobile or web focused. 

The biggest benefit about these events is that, unlike any others, it’s not about sitting and listening to theory. As their site says it’s “No talk, all action”. Usually Fridays are for networking and listening the ideas from entrepreneurs by giving them 60 seconds in front of the microphone. 

The ones with the most potential will be selected, mentored and will work together during the whole weekend to prepare a demo and presentation which will be shared on Sunday with the judges. The judges will then select the top 3 projects. 

If you’re wondering who is behind this event, although there are hundreds of volunteers that work to creating this entrepreneurial community, there are also “galactic partners” like Google for entrepreneurs or global partners like Coca-Cola. Although OfficeList is not affiliated in any way, we know that the creation of new companies is what helps a strong economy grow and motivates younger generations to create. 

This event currently takes place in 478 cities around the world; so regardless of where you are, you can look for your local Startup Weekend here and start thinking of that pitch that will make you stand out from the crowd. 

Only a few weeks ago (Aug 9th), Startup Weekend Las Vegas took place and the winner was Plus1 Analytics, an application designed to assist casino staff track high rollers and VIPs in real time, improving efficiencies and customer service while minimizing uninformed risk to the casinos. 

Some of the following startup weekends for September are:
  • Sept 6th: Tempe, AZ

Remember, 60 seconds is all you get. Just like an elevator pitch where you need to sell your idea going straight to the point and showing why it’s so unique. Once you get your idea going, don’t forget to give us a call and we’ll help you find an office!

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Body Language in a Business Environment

  Source: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

Remember when you were a kid and you did something bad? Or if you have kids, what’s the posture parents adopt when they are going to punish their kids? Most parents either put their hands in their waist or they cross their arms trying to look upset. That’s when you as a kid knew something bad was coming.

Body language tells a lot more than what you think. A TED video posted Oct 2012 shows Harvard researcher, Amy Cuddy talking about this; body language shows power, dominance, and strength or it can also show the exact opposite. 

Just like in the wild, where animals tend to expand, grow bigger or adapt positions that make their body seem larger to show their dominance, humans also respond to the same principle. For example, those who win a race extend their arms in a V shape, taking more space. A CEO will sit stretching his arm to the next chair while a staff member might curve, lower his head or shrink unconsciously, like accepting that sub ordinance in the office

According to the University of Illinois Extension Statistics, first impressions generally comprise: 55% your appearance and body language, 38% the tone of voice in which you say something and 7% what you actually say. 

So how does this apply to your business?

When making a negotiation, people want to project a strong image. They want to hide their weaknesses and exaggerate their strengths. 

  • Crossing your arms is OK to call your kids attention, but not to negotiate. It shows you’re bored or anxious. The best way is resting your hands on your lap or in a neutral way. 
  • Avoid crossing legs; it seems you’re closing yourself. The opposite is not suggested either, a very relaxed position may suggest you’ll fall asleep. Make sure you adopt a comfortable yet relaxed position. 
  • Are you a foot tapper or shaky legs person? Try to control it; you don’t want to seem an insecure or anxious person. Leave the dancing for later. 
  • Your eyebrows say much more than what you think. Raise one and you’ll look arrogant, raise both and you’ll look skeptical. Relax your face muscles and focus on the speaker. 

Do you have any additional tips we might have missed? Share your suggestions on body language with us in our comments section, our Facebook page or our Twitter and let us hear your thoughts.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Top 5 Largest Office Buildings in the US

Most people tend to think the largest office building in America is the Empire State building, and although it’s one of the tallest, it’s not the biggest office building there is in the US.

Before going through the list, try to guess one! 

5. McDermott Building in San Antonio, Texas with 4.463 million square feet.

The building is owned and managed by United States Automobile Association. Although it has only four floors, its long shape helps to hide its enormous size. It has been expanded numerous times since its creation in 1976. 

Source: chitowndining
4. Willis Tower in Chicago, IL with 4.5 million square feet. 

Until last year, it was the tallest building in the US, until One World Trade Center opened. Formerly named as Sears Towers, it has 108 floors and was finished in 1973. It still maintains its position as the eight tallest freestanding structure in the world. 

Source: Wildnatureimages

3. Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, CA with 4.8 million Square feet. 

Located in the city’s financial district, it consists of five office towers which are connected and two hotels. This space holds 14,000 people who work there. 

2. Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan - 5.5 million square feet. 
It’s the tallest building in Michigan and its 7 connected skyscrapers are home to the world headquarters of General Motors in Detroit. The highest building of the “RenCen” has 73 floors. 

1. The Pentagon in Arlington, VA with 6.6 million square feet. 

Source: David B. Gleason

Back in 1943, in the early years of WWII, the Department of Defense had 17 buildings spread all around, that’s why they decided to build The Pentagon, which today holds almost 24,000 workers between civilians and the four branches of the military. Its corridors have a length of 17.5 miles and its total floor area is three times the floor area of the Empire State Building. Although it’s a 5 story building, it also has 2 underground levels. 

Unfortunately, to have an office in three of these buildings, you either have to work for the Department of Defense, General Motors or the United States Automobile Association; but the good news is that if you’d like to have an office in Embarcadero Center or an office at The Willis Tower, you don’t need to be a millionaire or work for a large multinationals. Those two buildings have business centers offering executive suites for independent professionals and small companies. Give us a call and we’ll guide you through the process.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

It's Never Too Late, Entrepreneurs after 50!

Senior Entrepreneurs

If you are reading about entrepreneurship, you’re probably expecting to read about a college dropout in his 20`s that came up with an idea that was developed in a dorm room or his garage.

But who said entrepreneurship has an age limit? We’re always hearing through the media about a young genius who came up with something, but the majority of entrepreneurs in America are mature professionals who launch their own ventures.

In the UK, The Guardian recently wrote an article about people who are starting their own business after retirement. Due to the European crisis, pensions are reducing and are no longer enough to make a living, that’s why people have started their own companies even at age 63. There are also other cases when very active professionals retire, but the lack of activity ends up boring them, which leads to bright ideas that later become successful companies.

According to Vivek Wadhwa, director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University “Twice as many successful entrepreneurs are over 50 as under 25; and twice as many, over 60 as under 20. The vast majority -- 75 percent -- have more than six years of industry experience and half have more than 10 years when they create their startup.”

A few examples are:

Cheryl Kellond, a woman who at 43 founded Bia Sport, a GPS sports watch that records time, current heart rate, sending the data straight to an online profile. It also comes with a panic button that gives women who work out alone peace of mind.

And a great example from the office space industry is Sune Larson, a Swedish Entrepreneur who started his business of serviced offices in Stockholm 10 years ago when he was 50.

Sam Taylor a British entrepreneur who started his own company at age 63. An online art gallery which is now offering more than 200 pieces from 30 different artists.

Studies show that although young people tend to assume higher risks, thus more projects are started by them; mature people have more years of experience which allows these new projects to last more over time.

A man once said “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” That man built an empire of smiles and happiness, he was Walt Disney.

It’s never too late to dream and start making those crazy ideas into reality.

If you’re one of those mature entrepreneurs, we’d like to hear your story, write to us in our comments section and share it with us!

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