www.bocaratondirectory.com - Boca Raton Directory
Posted 12/29/2023

Annette Reizburg-Parrell

Annette Reizburg-Parrell

Annette, give our readers a brief intro about what you do.

I am the Sales/Leasing & Marketing Director for The WorkPlace at Town Center, shared office center. We lease fully furnished and serviced offices, mini office suites, team rooms, meeting rooms and larger commercial spaces to businesses and professionals of all kinds with flexible lease terms. In addition to the physical space, we have an amazing team that supports our clients with reception services, mail and package handling, administrative assistance, professional phone answering and facilitation of events that foster collaboration among our client base. 

For the "Work at Home" or "On the Road" businesses, we offer several Virtual Office plans that include use of our professional business address (rather than your home or a post office box) mail and package receipt and forwarding and access to meeting rooms and private offices whenever a face to face meeting is needed (with the tools to add participants in via zoom on our larger internet ready monitors. 

We make the investment in the equipment, furniture and other capital expenditures so our clients don't have to. We have a Voice Over IP (VOIP) telecommunications system and high speed, high capacity symmetrical fiber internet infrastructure with redundancy and security features in place as well as an IT team to help install computers and printers and solve technology problems. 

Our new clients get a plug and play ready office when they move in. And let's not forget about the coffee! We have fully stocked cafes throughout the building, providing coffee, tea, filtered water, refrigerators, microwaves and toaster ovens as well as a place to sit and have lunch, a snack or a break away from the office. We like to say, we're not landlords, we are partners in making our clients successful by taking care of the office while they focus on their business.

Readers would love to hear how you got started / how you got to where you are today.

That's a long story but it all really started when I worked in my father's answering service where I learned that businesses need support beyond their office staff and after typical hours. That led me to investigating computer based phone systems that were replacing switchboards. Yes Switchboards…not everyone reading this will know what they are. I became fascinated in technology and learned there were "answering services" that also provided offices and receptionists, then known as executive suites (a term still used today but that has evolved to business centers or co-working spaces). 

My first job in this industry was as a Center Manager in Philadelphia. And from that point on, I was hooked! I was recruited to become Vice President of Operations for a multi-location executive suite throughout the state of Florida that was a part of a franchise called HQ. The Franchise ownership wanted to be acquired so I found myself a partner and financial investor, Ron Whitehouse (another HQ Franchisee in Chicago) and we took over the company. In the late 1990's, executive suites found their popularity and profits soaring and a period of consolidation took place with larger nationwide players acquiring regional and individual locations. Ron and I took advantage of this consolidation and sold our operations to Carr America REIT just in time for me to take a break in my career when my twins Harrison and Rachel were born. 

After that I did consulting in the industry. One day, while passing the Town Center Mall, I saw a sign that a new executive suite was opening in the building right next to the Cheesecake Factory (this was January of 2009). I parked my car, went to the 5th floor, introduced myself to the owner and the rest as they say "is history". 

Now in 2023, I'm still with that wonderful company, Karl Corporation owned by Herb and Hans Kahlert, that has made this journey for myself, my team and our many many clients throughout the years an awesome experience and gave me the ability to continue my life's work in this industry!

What have been your biggest challenge(s) so far?

The biggest challenges in our business tend to be driven by real estate and economic cycles as well as service revenues that we offer that over time become obsolete and replaced by technology or trends. But in a bad economic cycle we tend to do better because we provide a low cost, low risk solution to office space. 

Large commercial office spaces and long term leases are officially on the decline. We will benefit and have been benefitting from this trend for companies to seek flexibility and smaller "right sized" space. However, a new challenge is landlords with vacancies are getting into our business as part of their building amenities to capture smaller space users so we are seeing new competitors enter the market. And because landlords have empty floors, regional and national competitors are taking advantage of being able to negotiate better terms and are expanding in our market. 

Zoom and COVID impacted our business in ways we never anticipated. As an example our meeting room rentals (a former big source of revenue) instantly disappeared and has not come back to any great degree post COVID. In order to remain viable, we have the challenge of having to adjust our pricing models, our offerings and look at our controllable expenses. I think this is true for a lot of businesses in this present economy and in this post COVID world.

What you’re most proud of / what readers should know about your work / what sets you apart from others.

I have always been most proud of being able to be a part of the growth and success of the businesses that we serve. I am so lucky to have a job where I don't just sell something to someone and never see them again. 

We live and work side by side, day by day with our clients and because of that we participate in their work lives and personal lives in amazing ways. I have life long friendships with current and former clients, I have celebrated their successes and have been there when their businesses were struggling, when they had illness or other personal challenges touched their lives. And they have been there for me in the same way. Working in an environment such as this really does create a business community and yes, at times, a business family. 

I am also proud of being a leader and mentor to many work teams since working in this industry both as a manager and as an owner. I am still in touch with many of my employees and teammates from my previous business ownership in this industry that led myself and my partner to a successful sale of our business. I look back in awe of them and their contribution to that. Business success is never just about the ownership or the high level executives. My successes have never come to me alone.

What does success mean to you / what gives you most gratitude?

It's what I have said in the previous question about what I am most proud of that means the most to me and gives me the most gratitude

How do you envision the next 5-10 years?

The next 5-10 years in our industry will, like always, be years of change. I have been in this business long enough to know that is the only thing we can count on. I'm sure technology advancements, changes in work/life balance, the economy and maybe even the environment will drive those changes. AI will be interesting to watch to see how it affects the changing world of work and our industry too!

What do you think is most unique about the city/population of Boca Raton and working with this community?

I have been a resident of Boca Raton since 1989. So it has been home to me for longer than any other place I have lived. I found it very easy to get involved in the community and to find networking opportunities. It is a business community that has given me many clients, close business associates and friends. It also gave me the opportunity to take on leadership positions that gave me the opportunity to give back to the Boca community. 

I am a former board member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Boca Raton and Congregation B'nai Israel. These leadership positions prepared me to represent the shared workspace industry globally when I became president of Global Workspace Association at the strategic time when coworking was being introduced to the business world as a new officing option. 

If you want to be a part of all that the business community of Boca offers, you can easily do that! You just have to show up and participate. It's as easy as that.

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