We talked to Jakob Dahoff-Nielsen, funder of MatchOffice, about commercial space renting, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jakob Dahoff-Nielsen: Of course, it is a difficult time, but compared to the people who have been sick, I can’t complain. There are a lot of people who are suffering these times, and saying that I can’t visit a restaurant or go to a movie will be really wrong. Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded MatchOffice.
Jakob Dahoff-Nielsen: It is a very long story. To make it short, being one of the best players in commercial real estate in Denmark, I have discovered search agent optimization and the power of the Internet and used this knowledge in the business building strategy. It was back in 2002, and since then, our company has just been growing.
How does MatchOffice innovate?
Jakob Dahoff-Nielsen: We have different strategies, one to ask and listen to our customers and do it on a regular and systematic basis to attract young and talented people with different backgrounds.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Jakob Dahoff-Nielsen: The overall revenue has been 5-10% down, but as we are in many markets that have very different backgrounds, it varies from market to market, some have grown, and some, on the contrary, have been hit hard.
We have made as many deals as before Corona, and it has just changed from traditional offices to virtual offices that people are looking for today.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Jakob Dahoff-Nielsen: We were lucky not to fire our employees. At the beginning of the pandemic, we have guaranteed that everybody will keep the job. Unfortunately, some young employees misunderstood this and stopped producing, and of course, they were fired after some warnings. We had had some free positions before the pandemic started, but because of it, we been able to hire all the stuff that was needed. We are approximately 3% more now than before Corona.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Jakob Dahoff-Nielsen: We try many systems, but we always back to outlook and human interaction.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Jakob Dahoff-Nielsen: At the beginning of the pandemic, we accepted loans because we were afraid of not having enough liquidity, but we didn’t use it, so next month, we paid it back.
Your final thoughts?
Jakob Dahoff-Nielsen: I think Corona has taught us to appreciate life, health and good friends, new ways of work, and buying opportunities in a difficult place.
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