Last week, I was fortunate enough to walk the streets of Amsterdam with one of the Netherlands most famed interior architects, Flip Verbeek. He use to be co-owner of a company called Flow that has designed some of the most amazing interiors in buildings throughout the Netherlands. As we walked the streets, looking at building after building that had been designed by Flow and the talented architects in the team, I was inspired. The passion that this man has for design and visuals that are sustainable and complement the environment in which it inhabits, is contagioius.
So contagious in fact, that on my flight home from Amsterdam, I looked up www.realestate.com.au, found a property and days later, bought it.
The property will be the new home for Marketing Eye in Melbourne. It is located in my favourite street in the city, Greville Street and fits inside my inner-city bubble that I love to live in. While I won't be here so much to enjoy it, it gives me great pride to be able to find a building with the character and potential that the one I have just bought has.
This whole process happened so fast and has totally absorbed my week (so sorry to anyone I haven't gotten back to in the last few days - because this is more work than anticipated).
I am sharing this story for a number of reasons but mainly because making a decision to buy a building for an office is a big decision. While in some cases it is economically sound, Melbourne and Australian real estate prices are not the most appealing in the world. It is seriously expensive to buy a small block of land anywhere in Australia and not comparable to say the US, which has ample land and building for sale that is much more cost efficient.
In making the decision to buy rather than extend a lease in Melbourne, I considered my employees first. We have a talented crew that do a really good job and it is important for the company to ensure that they enjoy their jobs as much as possible.
I bring my dog to work each day but I think it would be impossible for others to do so without us getting kicked out of the building for harbouring a doggie daycare centre. These things have restrictions and unfortunately for those who love their animals as much as I do, it is such a pleasure to be able to extend this to people that work for the Marketing Eye brand.
Marketing Eye has also been around now since late 2004 and live running since late 2005. In that time, we have build a "franchise" model with an office design - but it is time to evolve further in this area and build the "dream" that can be followed all over the world exploring international design elements and environmentally sound practices.
This evolution will only be positive for the company.
The actual buying of the property was an interesting process. Having grown up with family in property and real estate industries, I was very surprised at how much I allowed the real estate agent determine what I paid and how the contract was made. In business, I am very strong but it felt like it was a personal decision, so all of a sudden I became a person who just wanted to buy the property and not think about it again. A moment in life where I wished I had someone to bounce it off and to deal with the real estate agent. In the end, the real estate agent got what he wanted and I am sure he played the game, hooked up the buyer (me) and made the vendor very happy. The perils of doing things alone.
On a more positive note, the building is going to be awesome. I can't wait to work with the architects to design something fabulous that we are very proud of and that the team love working in. I look forward to people bringing their dogs into work and having Friday BBQ's at lunchtime with anyone who is in the area and feel like like a "snag" or in my case, a salad.
Clients and friends are always welcome and a bit of space will be a blessing for each of the members of the Marketing Eye team.
This building is more than a piece of real estate or a long-term investment. It is an evolution of the Marketing Eye brand and bringing together a team collaboration to produce the perfect work environment for the people who deserve to have the best - and that is our team. Every brand needs a house, and now Marketing Eye has one!
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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