How To Sell Office Space When The World Works From Home

Cal Axe
5 min readDec 6, 2020

What about postgraduates living in Manhattan?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

I post videos on Instagram and LinkedIn each week. Nothing crazy, just 20-second clips of me answering commonly asked questions about commercial real estate and the future of office space.

My LinkedIn audience loves the content. In fact, an executive at a Los Angeles tech company recently expressed how much he looked forward to the posts.

My Instagram audience, however, made up of fraternity brothers, high school basketball teammates, and ex-girlfriends, are puzzled — they’re not sure what to make of it. I don’t blame them. It’s a bit like a used car salesman crashing the court at Versailles.

Anyway, I received a disheartening DM from a college buddy.

“You sell office space?” it read. “You should quit your job.”

He was being cheeky, but it made me realize that the rest of the world was probably thinking the same thing.

I’m here to say that despite COVID, companies are curious, if not interested, in office space again.

The demand confuses me as well, so I’ve asked my clients why they want to go back to their irredeemably beige office buildings.

Here’s what I was able to gather.

No matter what they tell you, managers just can’t manage on Zoom

I met with a start-up client the other day. The CEO was not interested in signing a new lease, but she was curious about how COVID had affected the market. I asked her what the problem was with WFH. “I don’t have a problem,” she said. “My managers have a problem. They can’t manage!”

Managing a company is more than enforcing deadlines. Managers in the modern workplace are tasked with identifying fatigue and burnout among their team members, and, much like a football coach, they must know when and where to press the right buttons.

Stress signals are easily missed during virtual meetings, which means employees are responsible for communicating their anxieties.

Here’s the thing, it’s still competitive corporate America, don’t expect employees…

Cal Axe

I give practical advice about leadership and mindsets | Subscribe and get a free eBook about how to journal.