Providing Flexibility for Entrepreneurs: Q&A with Yvonne Lim, Regional Head, The Executive Centre

Yvonne Lim, Regional Head of The Executive Centre, has been with the company since 2008, and has led highly successful Sales and Operations teams. The Executive Centre has over 90 centres across 25 major cities around Asia-Pacific region.

The Executive Centre provides on-demand serviced offices, co-working, virtual offices, meeting facilities, video conferencing and a broad range of business concierge services in the best Grade A office buildings in the central business districts of every city in which they operate.

In Yvonne’s role, she focuses on further cementing ties with regional clients and implementing cross-border strategies, and driving the expansion in the Asia Pacific region.

LadyBoss Co-Founder Liyana Stuart interviewed Yvonne to learn more about the serviced office business.

I am “selling” space made up of 4 walls and meeting different types of clients everyday

Q: What were you doing before The Executive Centre?

A: Before TEC, I have been in the hospitality industry and this complements my current job perfectly, as similarly, I am “selling” space made up of 4 walls and meeting different types of clients everyday but what’s more interesting now is the Real Estate component of the job keep me informed of the latest consumer trend and how we can tailored our “Serviced” component to meet client’s expectation in terms of office space requirements these days.

Our co-working spaces allow for companies and individuals to work in a semi-private or shared environment that is invigorating, social, yet conducive to business operations

Q: Many of our readers are entrepreneurs. How can using TEC’s services such as co-working and serviced offices help their business?

A: I think flexibility is the key. TEC is able to provide complete flexibility to clients, whether they want short term or long term, dedicated or casual shared space; being flexible and able to adapt the offering based on client needs, is a key advantage TEC can offer to all clients.

At the same time, with an established client base of over 5,000 corporate clients and 15,000 members across the network, there is huge opportunity for your readers to tap into an extensive network of like-minded companies and individuals, their knowledge and expertise, their experience and their broader networks.

All of our offices are contemporarily-designed, with best-in-class fit-outs and ergonomics. We provide leading Internet and telecommunications networks to all clients, very well supported by our onsite IT and admin support. You sign up, walk in with your computer and you can start working straight away.

Similarly, our co-working spaces allow for companies and individuals to work in a semi-private or shared environment that is invigorating, social, yet conducive to business operations. This allows for more open collaboration and translates well into a broad network of organised communities, supported by frequently held interactive and social events to maximise exposure and business opportunities.

Even without taking actual office space with TEC or being in our centres, we can still be the facilitator or your business. Sign up for a virtual office and your business will be superbly supported by our world class client service teams – taking care of your call handling, mail forwarding or any other professional business services you may require.

We have close working relationships with major brokers like JLL, CBRE and Savills

Q: In terms of sales and marketing, how do you reach your customers, and what works?

A: This is achieved through a range of channels that support the activities of our sales team in each location.

We have close working relationships with major brokers like JLL, CBRE and Savills, plus we are very active in collaborating with online brokers who help us reach out to overseas clients and in reality do the work for us.

On the ground, we have both Global Account Managers who work to cater to regional corporate client demands, plus local business development teams who are very active in networking, visiting conferences and events, to promote the benefits of our flexible and customised workspace solutions to new clients and audiences. The local teams also work to seek out partnerships with organisations who share similar brand positions and client bases, to create and capture new sales opportunities.

We measure our client satisfaction across all of our 98 centres every year, and consistently we achieve outstanding survey responses


Q: What is The Executive Centre’s advantage over other serviced offices?

A: We differentiate ourselves from our competitors with our premium positioning. Not only are we only located in the best buildings and addresses in each city, but also, fundamentally, we make sure everything we provide is of the highest quality.

That includes the latest generation of CISCO phones as well as the best ergonomic Herman Miller furniture; but primarily this revolves around the professionally trained client service teams that go the extra mile for all of our clients.

We measure our client satisfaction across all of our 98 centres every year, and consistently we achieve outstanding survey responses. The standard global benchmark for measuring customer satisfaction is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and TEC’s rating has been above 60 every time we’ve measured it. That puts us on a par with some of the very best service brands globally – and far exceeds that of any competitor in our industry. Couple that with the fact that our clients, on average, will stay with TEC for 36 months, and you can see we hold a significant competitive advantage over other providers.

Q: What is your best-selling product/service?

A: Serviced offices without fail will still be the primary product which clients seek for, the flexibility of the lease term and convenience of setting up the workspace within 24 hours give clients a lot of ease when setting up their business.

Our business is cushioned by both economic expansion and contraction. When markets are good and companies are expanding, the demand for workspace will surely increase

Q: Where do you see the future of the business?

A: I always say that our business is cushioned by both economic expansion and contraction. When markets are good and companies are expanding, the demand for workspace will surely increase. But even when there’s an economic downturn, we consistently receive enquiries because companies are looking for the flexibility TEC can provide. So on the macro level, business will continue to grow and we should continue to see our clients occupying our spaces and enjoying the benefits that TEC can provide.

Outside of TEC, the global movement to more coworking or shared space demands is something that we are adapting and adopting into our centres. The rise in demand for shared space, driven in part by the rise of millennials into key management positions, means that we have to remain on board with changing dynamics. This keeps us fresh and current, and ensures that we’re adapting and matching the office space demands of our client bases.  It will be really interesting to see how this trend continues to develop and mature over the coming years.

Hiring talent, constantly keeping them motivated and driven will be the biggest challenge than achieving my monthly numbers.

Q: Tell us about your Number 1 business challenge?

A: Hiring talent, constantly keeping them motivated and driven will be the biggest challenge than achieving my monthly numbers. Therefore I need to reflect on my leadership skills, constantly adjusting to the workforce expectation nowadays to keep my good people motivated and with a strong team nothing will be a challenge to my business.

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