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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Open Office Is Working for Brokerage … and Its Customers

When brokers at Colliers International in North County talk to clients about opening up their office space, they have a new place to take them for inspiration — the brokers’ own office.

The commercial real estate brokerage firm in May completed what Regional Managing Director Andy La Dow called a “transformation” of its Carlsbad offices.

La Dow declined to say how much the transformation cost, but he said the firm’s 8,300 square-foot space at 5901 Priestly Avenue was completely redone from what he said was “a traditional, closed design” to what he described as an “open design that fosters collaboration and connectivity” among brokers.

What that means is most of the private offices are gone and those that remain have glass walls so they’re not so isolating.

Brokers work in a common area in cubicles that they can peek over with sit/stand desks that allow them to work standing up or sitting down.

There’s also large, open common space where people can hang out.

“We did a complete refresh of all finishes, furniture and lighting,” La Dow said. “We opened up some of the ceilings.”

The new look is “focused on bringing people together,” La Dow said.

“It’s really just to create a space where people can visually connect, have the opportunity to have conversations that they otherwise wouldn’t have had,” La Dow said. “It’s really helped to create a better environment with our existing brokers to collaborate, but it’s also allowed us to attract more brokers from other firms and attract younger brokers.”

Before the renovation, Colliers North County was a very traditional looking place, with private offices along the perimeter linked by a dark corridor with high-walled cubicles in the rest of the area.

“It was a very dark space, very little natural light,” La Dow said

The new look has caught on with clients.

“They’re very intrigued with how we did this and what we’ve done,” La Dow said.

Renovation of Collier’s North County space was modeled after the firm’s 20,000 square feet of office space in UTC at 4350 La Jolla Village Drive, which Colliers moved into in November 2016.

Other brokerage firms, including CBRE and JLL, have made similar changes to their space.

CBRE in 2018 opened new open-design offices in the UTC Westfield shopping mall and JLL adopted an open space arrangement in its offices in UTC.


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