Commercial Property Case Study
New Deal for Zeald Turns Disaster into Opportunity
Fast growing web designers and e-commerce developers, Zeald had not long settled into a prime location at Albany near the northern motorway.
The company had naming rights to the building, and their logo stood out prominently.
But as can often be the way in these challenging financial times, the ownership of the building changed suddenly. The new owner turned up on the doorstep with a new lease containing less favourable terms than before. The new owner's attitude was, "You can either sign up now or vacate the premises in four weeks."
Zeald.com CEO David Kelly says the situation looked like a disaster...
"It was just before Christmas, and we are now a fairly large organisation. It looked like we didn't have any options."
Zeald had worked with Parallel Directions several times before to locate premises that would suit their fast growing and dynamic business, so David Kelly got in touch with Peter Scott and outlined the situation.
After running through Zeald's business strategy, Peter recommended calling the new owner's bluff and taking the challenging option to move out in four weeks.
David Kelly says Peter Scott opened his mind to the opportunities of moving the business to several locations, and separating out a front-of-house sales-focused office from another office that would serve as an operations facility, where the web development work itself would be carried out.
The separation of these functions would serve the future direction of the company that is increasingly focussing on work internationally. It was timely to start looking at sales offices in different locations, and keeping the operations as a separate function.
The new approach for Zeald not to have all its activities under one roof was going to save the company a significant sum in rental as well. Peter and David estimate the savings on rental will be several hundred thousand dollars.
David Kelly says the new deal has left the company with significant capital to invest in other areas...
"Peter opened my eyes to the opportunities. His business acumen was a key part of the process. He looked at our business beyond us being just another job or another contract, and addressed the wider strategic ramifications."
Peter Scott says it is good for a company to dig deeper when they are considering their strategies around leasing property and how their location reflects their business.
He says it is interesting to consider that Zeald's naming rights on a building in a prominent location wasn't necessarily the best thing for their brand...
"They looked just like any other corporate, and that didn't reflect the dynamic nature of their business. On further investigation of their business strategy, a less high-profile location was not going to do them any harm at all. In fact, a smart building fitted out for sales and interacting personally with clients in a separate location from their operations function more closely reflects the Zeald brand promise."
Peter Scott says companies such as Zeald want a relaxed atmosphere where clients can feel a sense of welcome. So that became the focus of the fit-out at one location, while the operations were set up in another building where it is not important to have an area of welcome and interaction with clients and the public.
Peter says it is good for businesses to be aware that in today's market, they have more options than they might realise and do not have to simply acquiesce to the demands of landlords and property owners.
David Kelly says Peter was pivotal in drawing attention to the opportunities...
"He saw the strategic business potential in what at first impression looked like a disaster."
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