From the very beginning of my career as a private investigator back in September, 1981, I’ve always had an office. One may have argued that there was no reason I should have had an office, since at the time I had no business, a phone that didn’t ring and an empty Rolodex. (Some of you may have to look that up to determine what it is).
My “pedigree” as a former federal agent always told me you need an office: Don’t work out of your car, home or a UPS or USPS postal box. To be credible and legit, you must have an office, not just the appearance of one.
My first office was just a small suite. I shared many of the services with other tenants. After a one year, I moved into a “real” office on the ground floor of a three-story bank building. That was a big time move for me. Soon I needed to hire a couple of licensed private investigators to help with our increasing workload.
In the early 1980’s, I was simply astonished that the few private investigators in Southern California did not have an office, but worked out of their homes. Having an office doesn’t make you a good investigator but is really makes great business sense. It was truly like I enjoyed a distinct advantage over the competition.
From these humble beginning in Orange County, I started getting clients throughout Southern California and then in the Northern California area as well. We even had a few cases in other states. Keep in mind, this was a time when there was no Internet, email or cell phones. All the clients from corporate America, the legal profession, the insurance industry and the public wanted to actually meet with their PI before retaining him/her.
So, the advantage definitely came to us by having an office, even though many potential clients had us come to their offices.
Even before the dawn of the Internet, it was painfully obvious that our services were needed in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Slowly, we opened offices in all three cities. Business was so brisk, we opened a second Orange County office in Mission Viejo to cover the southern part of the county.
Our corporate office initially was in the city of Orange. We then moved to the Stadium Towers office structure next to Anaheim Stadium where we were for almost twenty years. That was a great location with easy freeway access for clients.
We then moved to the 620 building across from Fashion Island in Newport Beach, and that’s where we have been headquartered for the last 14 years.
Over the years, I watched many talented investigators fail because they didn’t adjust to the changing times of the PI business. The most underlying of these is that the business is fraught with huge peaks and valleys. One day you can buy a Mercedes-Benz and the next month you can’t afford the gas. Literally. It is why I drove a turbo diesel vehicle for 17 years even though I could have upgraded at anytime… I was scared and I didn’t want to get caught up in the hype.
Pacing oneself is key.
The 21st century private investigator rarely actually meets their clients in person. There is no need for this interaction in 2018. Everything is done by their “machine” that they carry with them. They don’t have time for meetings and rely on website content and online reviews. This trend has been involving since 2014.
And that’s the reason we are closing our four branch offices (in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego & Mission Viejo) effective September 22, 2018.
We will maintain our headquarters’ corporate office in Newport Beach, CA.
Our services will continue to be offered throughout California, the U.S. and in a few selected foreign countries. And I don’t think our business will miss a beat without having the actual physical remote offices.
Our network of former DEA, FBI, IRS and Secret Service agents are unsurpassed within the current investigative establishment. We have over 60 former agents available in California with a networking group of over 600 throughout the U.S.