On the business side, my experience has been lackluster at best. Although it is still too early to judge the business climate in Orlando my experience has been negative in terms of business to business service. As I am opening a new office for my company in Orlando I set out early on Monday morning to look for office space. I don’t need much as I’m in the process of just setting up a footprint for my company to operate in Florida. I had taken the time earlier in the weekend to look for suitable locations and I made a list to call on.

I grabbed a cup of coffee at Starbucks, opened my laptop to Google maps, as I am very unfamiliar with Orlando, and started to call on my list. Not one person answered the telephone. I had at least ten offices I was interested in and not one representative was available to answer the simple question of whether they even had the type of office I was looking for! All I got was either an answering service or voice mail. Leaving a carefully detailed message as to what I was looking for I sat and waited for the phone call that never came.

That’s right, three days later and not one person on my original list bothered to call me back. My list was made up from actually visiting the office complexes that I was interested in on the weekend and writing down the telephone number and the name of the person listed for inquiries. I had made a quick trip to Orlando back in May to look at office space in preparation for my move but I wasn’t able to meet with any of the office complex representatives then. All were either unavailable or not able to see me that day. I assumed that it was because it was right before a weekend with a holiday.

Unfortunately it seems that it wasn’t a holiday after all. I get the feeling that local realtors aren’t too interested in working on Mondays or Fridays. Maybe they had it so easy in the heydays of the housing bubble that right now they figure it’s not worth the work.

Don’t get me wrong, the people I did get to talk to were very pleasant but they didn’t have the information I needed. I finally gave up, opened up Google and started cold calling. I got lucky and reached a broker out of the city who manages an online listing service and he was able to hook me up with just the right person. I am now typing this from my new office and am completely satisfied at my new digs.

But the thought that it took an out of town online list manager to hook me up with the right person is making me wonder if business to business service is something available in Orlando or is the tourist market that is the driving force for business in the city.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...