Hey folks, Chris here, we're doing quick Q&A video on Facebook live for questions that have been submitted to us. This one's a little bit different though because it's not a quick question about the business rather more of quick questions about how I got involved in commercial real estate, small offices and office space itself. So my story dates back several years, probably to 2012 or thereabouts when I was looking for a small office space. I was pretty frustrated and angry that I couldn't find anything. This happens to many of us spending so much of our time in calling a broker, you'd see a listing, find a space that looks like it might work for you and pick up the phone and call them but they end up being very unprofessional. As soon as someone finds out how much or rather how little space you need of maybe a couple of hundred square feet just for yourself or a partner or a team of three back in those days, they just click and you not worth of their time.
This was a pretty disappointing thing to happen especially when you're trying to start a new business, with so many challenges and many things that you're trying to overcome and having to fight just to get information on an office space or getting someone to kind of serve you in the manner that you would expect was unbelievable. So at the time when I was trying to do this, I wasn't in real estate business,I was doing something else. When you looking for the office space, you definitely felt disoriented as you would when you're starting the business, trying to build something new or build up a product so you can put a roof over your head, pay your bills and take care of your family. But I didn't have have that working for me.
For me, one of the biggest roadblocks is that I needed an office space, i needed to get out and have some separation. Some people are able to work quite well, quite successfully from within their house, the kitchen, living room, name it. And that's great. I'm just not one of those people. I need to have a separation of space. I have my off work space, especially at home where I'm not doing anything productive necessarily. Then you'd have my office or work space, the change of scenery and environment adds to my productivity. Again, I can only speak for myself in that regards. I wasn't the type who really want to be meeting with clients coffee shops or other places considered to be off work places-don’t get me wrong coffee shops are great for holding meetings as well. However it depends on what type of image you may wish to portray, the type of product you are selling and the type of clients that I was working with, with a pretty expensive, big ticket products, it wasn't really the image that I wanted to portray for that business.
So getting into an office was important for me to get things moving. When you know you are building up something, you definitely want to get the respect of your peers and the people who you work with in your industry as well and gain respect . I definitely wanted to build up the company. At that time, we were doing advertising for yacht clubs and I definitely wanted to be successful, be fulfilled, enjoy what I'm doing and have a place where I could go and work. But the challenge that I kept hitting was that no one would give you their time of day to engage in what you needed. The agents and the brokers wouldn't even bother with you and they would out rightly say that it's not worth their time to help you.Then i did understand that, but it definitely was disappointing.
Definitely not what I wanted to hear and I figured that there had to be a better way. So, I focused on getting myself into real estate, targeting and working within that commercial segment in the market who were able to get small office space for the type of a client. That worked well enough. At first, the brokerage that I had worked on at at the time was okay, but then it got to the point where we got busier, but then said there were too many small clients and they didn’t want the work- It's too much work for their secretary. I either had to either stop that line of work, stop the business, leave ,get fired or find somewhere else to take your clients and your work. So I ended up leaving. I didn't like the approach of undermining the little guy who wasn't really paying them enough money , but it's not what I wanted to do.
I wanted to work in that market because I saw that there was a need having been on the receiving end of that, and aware that was something that we could offer. It was pretty evident to me that the old sale of real estate just wasn't working. It wasn't serving that type of a client who was all for the larger four thousand five thousand square foot person, you want a portion of a floor or a full floor. So I had to come up with a plan at the end of the day and that was a plan to come up with a new system or build a new platform that focused specifically on small office rentals, co-working spaces, short term leases, all the stuff that nobody else had wanted, all the types of products that everyone else-the other landlords, commercial brokers and everyone else had ignored. What was necessary in that plan was building up a ton of relationships and meeting a ton of landlords, property managers, business, all owners of building who have space and convince them that partitioning out small bits of space for these smaller clients could be a worthwhile endeavor.
One of the conflicts and challenges that I had to run into while trying to get this business started is that there was no cooperation or consideration from other commercial agents. They didn't get what we were trying to do and they didn't really care to give us time of their day for what we were trying to do. Also, I didn't zero in and narrow down on the specific type of client I was working for and wanted to work with. So we had a lot of disloyal and unpleasant clients until we figured out a way to better screen and qualify the prospective clients and early on in the business.
I had tried to start this up with a friend of mine who had just started in real estate as well and about the same time that I had, but after I explained the system to him and what we were doing and how we were advertising, he wanted no part of it. He didn't see that there was money that would come through it. To him it was a waste of time. So i was left on my own to figure out and get everything going -if I wanted to continue with it at all. So fast forwarding we're able to achieve through tons and months of calls and contacts and meetings and speaking with different landlords, property managers, building owners to having built up a network of several thousand different locations across Canada and in a couple of parts in the world such as in Europe,South America, Caribbean, et Cetera.
We've been able to reach out now, introduce and get connections to build these relationships with thousands of different building owners and have these spaces available for our clients. We're looking for small spaces, co working spaces, short term leases, and we've to date been able to help hundreds of entrepreneurs, small businesses, independent professionals who were just looking for a small suite just for themselves. You could be a small starter- someone who was either small because they, maybe were just starting up their business or small by design because they only wanted to work for themselves and work with the clients they had wanted to, but they still wanted to be treated like a professional. They still wanted the respect that they deserved, even though they're only getting a small office space. And I'm very proud to see that that's what we were, you know, eight we're able to with all office space and that's how we're able to kind of help our clients get the exact small offices and spaces that they need to help them do better work wherever they choose to do it in the world.
I hope that answers your question. With regards to a little bit about my story, a little bit about my background in how I had got started in commercial real estate and with all office space, it wasn't a smooth process. It didn't go over terribly well as planned and I often wonder that if I had known it was going to have been so much work if I would've continued, I would like to say yes-. I'm not, not too sure though but by the end of the day I love what I'm doing. I love where we're at right now and I love the fact that I'm here and we're still serving our clients at home and abroad while I'm here in beautiful Mexico. So that's the story. Keep the questions coming in. Very happy to answer them as best we can and we'll look forward to catching guys on the next one.