Property Tour of Vertafore’s Headquarters (PHOTOS)
By Liz Gibbons
DENVER — The Colorado Chapter of CoreNet Global recently hosted a property tour and panel discussion at Vertafore‘s headquarters in Denver with Vertafore’s Vice President of Operations Bobby Cesafsky, CBRE Office Tenant Representative Ryan Link, DLR Group Principal Audrey Koehn and DLR Group Workplace Leader Amy Hoffman.
In 2016 Vertafore recognized the need to revisit company objectives and operations to become more efficient. The idea started as condensing locations with similar services and operations; instead of having four administrative office locations and three marketing and sales team locations, there would be one central location. This would allow customer support representatives and developers to be housed in one location for better internal communication.
“When consumers would engage with products, or ask customer support about products, they would end up engaging with different people from all over the country, resulting in completely different customer experiences,” stated Cesafsky.
Vertafore needed a fresh headquarters with a central location. Cesafsky explained Denver was seen as more feasible than other cities for several reasons, including central geographic location that allowed for easy travel access to the rest of the country; potential for relationships with university communities that could provide talent pools; technology market saturation; and labor cost.
When the team started considering locations, the Denver market had 12 percent vacancy and Link knew the company needed a space that would accommodate the phases of company growth, while also appealing to millennial workers.
“It was a business decision with a real estate strategy, but it was the business and retention and recruitment of the employees driving the real estate decision,” explained Link.
Once the space was selected, the DLR design team moderated a visioning session to understand the theme of the space, which was identified as urban natural. DLR then worked to use the floor plan to create a feeling of distinct neighborhoods.
“We did not want the culture of this space to be stagnant. We wanted people to move through and be able to circulate through it. To do that, we created unique, identifiable destinations within each neighborhood,” described Koehn. “I think it has been very successful in keeping this company culture alive and thriving.”
Cesafsky explained how the space was pivotal in recruiting efforts, stating that visual components like renderings and floor plans helped the recruiting team attract new talent. Additionally, teams and employees have been able to foster a sense of comradery. Cesafsky stated that the company held a ping-pong tournament.
“With DLR’s help and guidance, we created a lot of ‘touch-down spaces,’ or informal meeting areas, where it’s not a reservable room. Places like the picnic benches and booths. We wanted to be able to provide people with places to go, where they can bring their laptop and meet with a colleague,” stated Cesafsky. “I was really surprised how much those were used immediately. I’m hopeful that that’s fostering what we want from a culture standpoint.”
In fall 2017, Vertafore moved into the 4th floor at 999 18th Street, North Tower in Denver. DLR Group is working on designing the 5th floor space to accommodate more employees who are currently working in temporary space on the 6th floor of the building.
Images courtesy of Liz Gibbons