meet up with… Rupert Searle, The Workplace Co.
A few weeks ago, in early September, we packed up our bags, belongings and computers and bid a fond farewell to Holborn Tower, MT Finance’s home of over four years. Our next stop? The 20th floor of The Broadgate Tower, an imposing skyscraper on the edge of The City. A space found and organised by real estate consultancy The Workplace Company, this signifies a new chapter in our 14-year history. But how did this move come about? Rupert Searle, Associate Director for The Workplace Company, took some time out to tell us about the process of securing offices for corporate clients like MT Finance, the architect he most admires and overcoming challenges.
The Workplace Company recently helped facilitate MT Finance’s move to The Broadgate Tower, could you tell us more about how the location was chosen?
When we first sat down with founders Joshua Elash and Tomer Aboody, the brief was to try to find a space that could work for MT Finance as it grew – ideally one efficient floorplate where the majority of the team could be together – in a building which represented MT Finance and the way it has grown and will continue to grow. We looked at quite a few different buildings before settling on The Broadgate Tower; its proximity to both The City and the slightly edgier area around Old Street were both important, as was the building itself.
You’ve worked with a number of different businesses, how much does the process of finding a new office differ from client to client?
Every company is different and has different needs for the space but the process always begins the same way – a sit-down with the owners and decision-makers, assessing their needs now and their needs over the next three to five years. Some value flexibility, some cost, some image but normally it’s a combination of all the above. Once we have an idea of a brief, we start putting options together. We have a research team that is constantly looking for spaces for our current clients and from there we can start to go out viewing options. Often after a first round of viewings the brief can change – companies see things in buildings they like or dislike, but from there we begin to narrow down the search.
What is your favourite part about working in this industry?
Working on getting our clients the best deal possible is really rewarding but so is following clients through their lifetime. I’ve been working in this industry long enough that I’ve now followed some clients through four or five moves and seen the way they have developed.
And what has been your proudest professional moment so far?
Finding space on behalf of a medical research company looking for a cure for Covid the middle of the pandemic. It was uplifting to see a positive outcome from my job during such a difficult time.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced, and how have you overcome these?
Unquestionably working through the 2008 recession and Covid. Trying to prevent deals from falling through when times are tough requires an increased sense of tenants’ unique problems and finding swift solutions.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Recommend building surveys to all your clients.
Which architect do you most admire, and why?
Alfred Waterhouse. He built the Natural History Museum and Holborn Bars. He built more buildings than Sir Christopher Wren. I love the fact he then covered some of his buildings with gargoyles. Can’t really see a modern architect doing that.
If you could live in one London building, what would it be?
If you would like to find out more about The Workplace Company, they can be contacted here.