Internet connectivity is a major part of what companies need to be successful today. When it comes to finding an office for a company to lease, it’s so important to make sure the building offers the technological capabilities required for the business to run. That's where TheSquareFoot, a technology-fueled real estate brokerage, comes in.
TheSquareFoot offers two distinct things, says CFO and Co-Founder Aron Susman. The company provides "technology that allows prospective tenants to browse through commercial spaces all around the country, and a broker team member to walk those tenants through the entire process of leasing space."
According to Susman, "a lot of prospective tenants move in without knowing everything about the place they're leasing. When they sign that lease, get moved in, and suddenly realize they don't have good internet connectivity, they can really be in a bind."
Located in Flatiron in New York City, TheSquareFoot works with all kinds of tenants, from law firms to oil & gas companies to tech businesses. Thriving tech startups like Instacart, OC Tanner, Casper, and Breather are just some of the companies TheSquareFoot represents. Part of what draws these tech tenants to TheSquareFoot is the company's reputation for finding what tenants really want. For example, one trend Susman sees in what today’s tenants are looking for is airy, bright, loft-type spaces with an open feel, but despite that, according to Susman, by far the most important trend today is "high speed, reliable internet - and finding that isn't as easy as one would think."
Older buildings weren't originally wired, so many haven't been updated. Luckily that's changing, thanks in large part to tenant demand. As Susman states, "tenants need high-speed internet that can support high bandwidth needs, and that is reliable and able to support a large number of data uploads and downloads."
In New York City, buildings with modern, open floor plans in the Flatiron, Soho, Union Square, and NoMad neighborhoods are in high demand, and Susman doesn't see that changing anytime soon, with one caveat. "The problem with those buildings is that their individual floors weren't intended to support more than 100 people or so," Susman says. "They just don't have the infrastructure of those in Midtown or Financial District." However, technology firms, such as LinkedIn, that would prefer a lofty-style space often must turn to those classically “corporate” office buildings. Without the right infrastructure and technology, these companies cannot operate at full capacity, so connectivity overrules good office space vibes.
Having a Wired Certification is a huge benefit too, says Susman, because tenants know they're going to have "great, high-speed connections, and that takes the worry away right at the beginning. These tenants need a service provider that's a trustworthy brand, so they know they'll be getting great customer service. They also want to make sure backup connections are accessible and available, in case their main connection goes down for maintenance or due to a problem with the service.”
According to Susman, the current problems tenants are running into when looking for office space can be helped by "brokers who listen to their clients and communicate with them, so that the client's needs can be more easily met." Being upfront about the entire leasing process right from the beginning is a great way to keep clients onboard. And TheSquareFoot's brokers are compensated on salary - not commission – so their incentives are aligned with the tenant’s satisfaction. With the company’s unique approach, TheSquareFoot advances the quality of the commercial real estate leasing transaction by assisting prospective tenants in thinking about the technology and space they need before they sign a lease.
By giving tenants what they need from the start, tech-savvy brokers at companies like TheSquareFoot are revolutionizing the way commercial tenants find the office space - and the technology - they need to grow and thrive.