Snapshot of Deskpass App

2021 is finally here. One of my highlights from 2020 was making new connections. As many, myself included, tried to make sense of working from home and understand the changing landscape, I was grateful for the many new friends and innovators I met — and am still meeting!

I decided to start asking these leaders, innovators, and thought leaders a few questions. Because of the interest level in their answers and perspectives, we were able to transform these “interviews and conversations” into CORT Workplace Talks, a place to learn from some of the best in the business on new trends…


Chat with Lindsey Telford, AIA, LEED GA, Fitwel Amb, of Zeller.

Zeller. Innovation In Play with Pop-up Work Park in Chicago.

It seems like forever ago that I joined with 900 commercial real estate professionals at the RE Journals Event 2020 Forecast Conference in Chicago. I just registered for the same conference for 2021. It’s virtual, of course.

So much has transpired since January 2020. People packed shoulder to shoulder, enjoying the camaraderie. Little did we know how much we’d miss such gatherings. During that conference, I sat in on a robust panel discussion about spec suites, flex space, and the upsides of change coming to this asset class.

That is where I met Chris Baker, President of Zeller Realty Corporation


Most agree that flexible space is no longer the stepchild of commercial real estate. As an emerging asset class, the question is no longer, “should flexible space be provided in most buildings”, it’s now merely a matter of when, where, and how. Many landlords are deep in the discovery process as they figure out where flexible space will exist to support evolving strategies and answer the demand.

Recently I had a conversation with Lawrence Gellerstedt. I truly value his thoughts since he was a leader at both Cushman & Wakefield and WeWork before launching his firm Southsource Advisors in Atlanta.


Chantal Wirekoff. Edgy, smart and a visionary.
Chantal Wirekoff. Edgy, smart and a visionary.
Chantal Wirekoh. Smart, Edgy, Visionary in CRE.

Recently, Melanie Jones on the workplace team at CORT had the opportunity to chat with Chantal Wirekoh about her perspectives on work, commercial real estate, flex space, and an eye for innovation. From her time at WeWork to building startups and now with her own consulting projects.

MJ: I’ll never forget the day I read your initial (and now famous) Medium article on flexible office and the future of work. Immediately I noted to myself, I don’t know this woman and I need to! Since then, we’ve developed a friendship. Thank you for joining me in this conversation.

Let’s dive…


Lawrence Gellerstedt and crew at Southsource Advisors being authentic in leading change in #CRE.

I had the opportunity to join with Lawrence Gellerstedt and converse around changes in commercial real estate. Known by most as LG, he is like me, on a mission to challenge the status quo in an industry so our convo was pretty dialed in! Please connect with both of us and add your two cents!

Melanie Jones: You and I met about five years ago. At that time, you often worked out of the infamous Atlanta Tech Village as an innovator for Cushman & Wakefield. Sometimes you wore a t-shirt. You were razor-sharp focused on supporting technology firms in the…


Furniture as a Service supports Flex Space, Change and Innovation. Four Hacks to Help.

It’s now a fact, not simply speculation, that Space as a Service is driving significant change in the steady world of commercial real estate.

My colleagues and I spend much of our time helping clients and commercial real estate teams understand how to navigate through change with flexible spaces. Below are four hacks typically of interest to our clients. Of course, the hacks include utilizing Furniture as a Service (FaaS).

The FaaS hack involves accessing vs. owning furniture through a subscription-like approach. …


Furniture as a Service expands toolbelt for CRE and building ownership.

Today’s tenant representative competing in the hustle and bustle world of commercial real estate simply has to be over-the-top, full service minded. Delivering at the highest level is key to winning the trust and respect of potential clients, and exceeding expectations of current ones. From my observation working within the brokerage firms, I can easily say it’s a balancing act at best.

Patience is so important but must be balanced with drive. An easy-going likable personality must align with strong negotiation tactics. Passion inspired space recommendations has to sometimes give in to not so favorable feedback from the tenants. …


Ownership must provide Building and Tenant Amenities These Days. FaaS can help.

I spend time in plenty of gorgeous Class A buildings that offer the latest and great amenities. Many of them have little, if any, vacancy. Those building owners are smiling. That is the goal, after all!

Honestly, though I spend more time in buildings that do not have all the bells and whistles. I see first-hand how commercial real estate teams are constantly seeking new and creative ways to attract and retain tenants. My colleagues and I also help clients reposition buildings. …


FaaS provides Early Stage firms with a powerful tool to support growth!

FaaS (Furniture as a Service) is the equivalent to subscription services provided by some of our favorites like Spotify, Gamefly, and Bombfell — only for the office.

As an advisor to early-stage tech firms, I am always energized by the stories. Sometimes it is simply mind-boggling to hear how founders, and their teams, have diligently applied innovation, fueled their ideas to solve problems and ultimately made life and business better.

It’s a whole lotta work. Thank you “tech teams” for working tirelessly pushing ideas through the tech startup process with the hope and dream of growth, serious expansion, creating change…


FaaS supports change and brings new options to CRE teams.

Recently I attended a business function and enjoyed dinner with some new acquaintances. As I chatted with an industry colleague, she said, “Oh, I know what CORT does. You lease furniture, right?”

Driving home that evening I thought about her comment. Yes, CORT does lease furniture, but that is certainly the WHAT not the WHY of our business model. WHY always trumps HOW and WHAT. Any good fan of Simon Sinek is familiar with the critical differences of the perspectives.

After that “ah-ha” moment, I jotted my thoughts down to summarize WHY most clients work with CORT. …

Melanie Jones

Igniting change in #cre with the #FurnitureasaService model — an access vs. ownership approach. #FaaS #flex #CRE #disruption #SPaaS #office #landlord #broker

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