Jim Grady, Senior Vice President of Synergy’s Leasing team shares his thoughts on the development of SOS and navigating the current leasing market trends toward a return to normal.
Why did you develop Synergy Office Solutions?
Synergy Office Solutions was born out of multiple conversations with our tenant clients and top industry brokers in recognizing that a void existed in the current Boston market for a solution that combines the short-term advantages of flex space with the increased safety requirements that tenants are facing. SOS combines of the best of both with a simple, short-term lease alternative that also gives tenants complete control over their entire environment, thereby helping to alleviate health concerns and reduce anxiety which is increasingly critical as their employees begin to return to the office.
Is there a demand for flexibility as an amenity?
We see flexibility continuing to be important for companies as they face unprecedented challenges working through the current business environment. In some instances, there is hesitancy or even the inability to commit long term and the flexibility of lease term is certainly viewed as a benefit to help navigate these uncertain times.
What was the most challenging part of creating this new program?
Once the basic components of SOS were developed, the most challenging aspect was to create a website that was simple to navigate that also allowed for a high level of information. Thankfully, we have a great team at Synergy that worked tirelessly with our external partners to achieve a result that we are extremely excited about.
Do you think short-term office leasing is here to stay?
SOS was designed to address the unique moment in time that we are in today due to the pandemic. We do think that the desire for short term will remain on some level as companies grow or contract however, it is becoming increasingly apparent in our discussions that the majority want and need to return to the office. We continue to be big believers in the future viability of long-term office leasing in Boston and have been encouraged by recent activity and trends.
What is the draw for companies to lease office space in Boston (and elsewhere)?
It is very simple. “People need people”. While work from home has proven to be mildly successful in the short term, we have heard increased discussions centered on getting employees back together as soon as possible. Inter-office collaboration breeds innovation and company culture. These basic tenets which have been a driving force for growth for so many has suffered significantly during the pandemic.
In your opinion, where do you believe office leasing is going?
We firmly believe in the long term fundamentals in the urban office market. While we do expect that there will be some continued uncertainties in the near term future, we are encouraged by recent developments that we have seen. As the vaccine becomes more widely available and accepted, we fully expect that the office market, in Boston and elsewhere, will come roaring back.