Behind the scenes at Metropolis Property Research

This week we continue with the latest in an occasional series on the work of Metropolis Property Research, with a look at ‘no names’ policies.

In the early years of the millennium, companies refursing to give the name of the facilties or office manager dealing with a search or a relocation were very rare. The main sector for this refusal was pharmaceuticals in the age of protests over animal welfare. Later, secretive hedge funds followed suit.

After the 2008 economic crash there was a noticeable rise in companies refusing to put calls through to facilities manager, as supplier firms began to compete for a shrinking pool of work, leading to call numbers rising.

That was followed by a rise in the activities of Indian call centres that we all know today with highly speculative calls over PPI claims or ‘software problems’.

As a result the property and procurement staff at many firms put up their own ‘star wars defence shield’ to prevent incoming callers getting through. This, despite the fact that callers from lead providers such as Metropolis are only calling to offer to competive tenders for removal, office finding, refurbishment, furniture, cabling and related services! The result of such supplier calls is often lower relocation costs for the relocating or refurbishing company, but sadly all facilities department callers are lumped together..

The response from the research team at Metropolis has been to use market intelligence to give lead subscribers the edge. Metropolis has pledged to provide a ‘starting point’ name for every office mover story run, regardless of how high a wall built by the company ‘no names’ policy.

Methods include the obvious ones, such as combing the ‘About Us’ section of the office occupier’s website, to checking Linkedin records, followed by a call to the switchboard to check name and status armed with a ‘real name’. In addition and more subtely, Metropolis has a vast 100,000 record archive of previous property contacts and tens of thousands of companies, which allows for conversations that start with questions such as “you used to have a facilities manager a few years ago, named John Smith, does he still work there”?

Finally, if all else fails more imaginative approaches include calling to follow up on a previous conversation where the researcher “didn’t quite catch the name” or crosschecking press releases with the often eager to help marketing departments.

Office occupiers have their reasons for ‘no names’ policies, but equally it is the job of the diligent researcher to secure the best contact details to give Metropolis subscribers the edge in appointment making, tender submissions and sales.

Let the battle continue!

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