Office Suite Strategies Leads Recruitment and Development of Lakeside Executive Suites’ General Manager

Office Suite Strategies’ multifaceted work with Lakeside Executive Suites has evolved over their 7.5-year partnership.   In 2009, Lakeside Executive Suites’ owners reached out to Karen Condi, Office Suites Strategies’ president and founder, to solve their chronic profitability crisis.  The center had already been operating for ten years barely drawing enough revenue to break even. But, in 2009 they began to lose money.   Karen conducted a business center analysis that revealed the two major problem areas for Lakeside: marketing and staffing.   Along with a full technology upgrade and center revitalization, one of the most significant solutions that Office Suite Strategies has provided for this facility has been the hiring and development of their business center manager, Shalini Manickchand.   Shalini sat down with us this month to provide some insight on her interview, onboarding, and now seven-year career with the center and Office Suite Strategies.

The hiring process began with Karen Condi, Office Suite Strategies president and founder, pouring through résumés online to find candidates with the fundamental skillsets that produce high-performing business center managers.  Among those résumés, Karen found Shalini Manickchand, who had a background in commercial real estate and leasing.  Karen knew that Shalini’s experience in those industries would prove valuable to Lakeside Executive Suites’ future growth and invited her to a phone interview.  After a successful phone interview, Karen offered a one-on-one in-person interview, which was followed by an interview introducing Shalini to the owners of Lakeside Executive Suites.  During the interview process, Shalini recalls that Karen was very “detailed” in her description of the industry and the center.  Early on, Karen made sure to spell out the similarities and differences of the commercial real estate industry compared to the workspace services industry.     Shalini especially appreciated the care Karen took to calibrate her expectations for the work the position required during the interview process.  “While it was clear that Karen was an expert in the workspace service industry,” Shalini said, “she always projected an approachable impression, which made it easy for me to ask questions and get the best understanding position’s requirements.”

After her hire, Shalini went through an extensive and detailed formal training process, which focused on orienting her both on the operations components to the business and the marketing/sales techniques that work best for the services.  Training sessions for the first few months on the job took place on a weekly basis, yet Shalini recalls that Karen always made time for her when she needed help.  She describes Karen as being “easily accessible” to help problem solve and provide her insights.  Today, Shalini works more collaboratively with Karen to develop the center’s strategic plans, marketing endeavors, and sales goals.

Karen conducts weekly sales conference calls with all of the center managers under the Office Suite Strategies umbrella.   Shanlini operates Lakeside Office Suites on her own, so she appreciates the solutions presented in these calls by other the other managers.  She often learns new strategies to improve her own sales process.

Since her hire, Shalini has proven herself to be an invaluable resource to the Lakeside Executive Suites team.  Though she came into the position with a strong sales background, she finds that through regular calls and in-person meetings with Karen her sales techniques are sharpened and improved.  We asked the question, “What was the most helpful skill or training you’ve received from Karen in your career?”  Shalini responded, “There’s been so many; it’s hard to think of just one.  I’d say that the most important knowledge that Karen has imparted has been the value of a consultative sales approach.  Karen’s sales training encourages engaging in a consultation with the prospect to acquire an understanding of their needs and offering an appropriate solution to those needs through the center’s services. This builds trust with the prospect and will ultimately lead to new or continued business.”

After seven years at Lakeside Executive Suites, Shalini says that the facet of the business that she appreciates the most is providing a service that develops the businesses of entrepreneurs.  She enjoys watching her clients graduate from virtual offices to dedicated space to seeing enough growth to warrant leasing conventional space.  “It is exciting to be a part of each customer’s unique experience.”

The owner of Lakeside Executive Suites credits Office Suites Strategies with generating a 40% revenue increase in the first 18 months of their relationship.  Today, 7 years later, the revenue has more than doubled, and the center is experiencing a nice profit margin.  Shalini Manickchand is a huge contributor to that continued success using her sales and customer service skills.  If you’re the owner of a serviced office center, executive suite business, or any other workspace services venture and you are looking for an asset like Shalini to help grow your business, contact Office Suite Strategies’ Karen Condi today, kcondi@officesuitestrategies.com.