🎉 Coworking celebrations.
💰 Non-profit gets $350k grant to support minority entrepreneurs.
Remember Omni Circle Group from week 1 of 2022? They were just awarded $350,000 to boost minority entrepreneurship!
Michael Odupitan shares that the Kauffman Foundation awarded the grant, and that the money is primarily to finance the creation and development of a cutting edge, minority-focused community that will provide owners of start-up businesses with the resources, skills and support they need to succeed.
💰 $8.75M in grants awarded to support under-served small biz.
Business Oregon have announced that they’ve awarded 33 grants, for a total of $8.75 million, to organizations that provide Technical Assistance (TA) to historically under-served and under-resourced small businesses across the state.
The organizations selected serve historically under-served communities as outlined in Governor Kate Brown’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan.
This Week is sponsored by…Upflex!
It’s thanks to great sponsors like Upflex that I get to keep curating and sharing this newsletter with all of you. This week their CEO, Christophe Garnier wrote a public letter about their plans, and their mission, for 2022. If you’re partnered with them, or thinking about it, I’d give it a read.
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Coworking news & views.
✈️ CEO of public company goes ‘full nomad’, will live from Airbnbs.
In this Twitter thread, Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb shares that from Jan 18th he’s ‘living on Airbnb’ – ie moving to, and staying in, a different town or city every couple of weeks.
Amongst the reasons, he shares that he thinks that “the biggest trend in travel will be people spreading out to thousands of towns and cities, staying for weeks, months, or even entire seasons at a time”. He also shares that 100,000 Airbnb guests booked stays of 3 months or longer over the last year.
So, have you added ‘befriend local airbnb superhosts’ to your marketing and partnership strategy yet?
💵 Could the next backers of coworking spaces be family offices?
Francois Botha shares, in a Forbes contribution, that family offices are increasingly exploring new asset classes to invest in.
One such asset class is coworking, alongside front-loading capital to software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, investing into crypto and blockchain plays; and carbon trading.
He notes that coworking spaces are “fast becoming an emerging asset class. They are regarded as a separate asset class due to their unique risk profile with the primary variable based on the tenant’s ability to pay rent.”
💸 It’s time to raise your coworking prices.
Stormy McBride from GCUC makes the sound argument that you should be raising your prices now, even if you think you might get pushback from some of your members.
Have you raised your prices since 2020? If not, why not?
🐻 Goldilocks, coworking and storytelling.
I love this piece from Alkaloid Networks that paints a clear picture of who their space is perfect for, through homage to the Goldilocks fairy tale.
Coworking content can be fun, informative and tell a story. Could you describe what differentiates your community from others using a fable, fairy tale or nursery rhyme?
☕️ On third places, coworking and space-as-a-service.
Neil Usher shares some thoughts around Third Places, the origin of the term, what makes these place more than spaces, 10 characteristics of great third places and why these places are seeing a resurgence.
He also shares this nugget that’s sure to start discussions in various CRE and coworking circles:
“It’s fair to say that some cowork spaces have attempted to embody the spirit and actuality of the ten characteristics. Yet in recent year they have been somewhat swamped by flexspace and ‘space as a service’ with its real estate industry backing. ‘Space’ as a service may be both possible and desirable — but ‘place as a service’ can’t be bought as the investment required is not cash, but character. To this extent there is probably a greater divide than ever between the two as distinct ideas.”
🏬 Are residential workspaces or lounges friend or foe?
Jerome Chang shares a piece in MultiHousingNews about how owners of multifamily properties are adding coworking space as an amenity into their buildings.
The valid point is made, that often these ‘coworking spaces’ are wifi-connected lounges that tenants can use at no cost, and that by “definition” is not a coworking space, but something completely different.
Putting aside the definitions, this is a growing trend, and some landlords (for example Silverman and DVORA here in Jersey City) are leaning heavily into managed and community-focussed amenities and spaces within their buildings.
The real question is, can those without communities or community managers be seen as extensions of the home office when looking at the wider picture of an individual (or team’s) ecosystem of spaces? And if so why, where, how, and when can your offering be part of that picture too?
🚲 Another coworking space for health & fitness professionals.
Sharing resources, improving sustainability of members’ business all whilst building supporting communities is what coworking’s all about, nobody said anything about there having to be desks instead of workout equipment right?
✋ How coworking spaces can get involved with other communities
The folks from 3411 Coworking share a quick post via the Atlanta Coworking Alliance to help space operators look for local and virtual communities to join, contribute to and possibly gain members through.
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💻 Coworking technology.
✅ Giving operators greater control over how resource data is shared.
The Syncaroo developers made huge changes to enable workspace operators and marketing teams to have granular control of how their resources are shared, synced and made bookable via connected platforms and services.
Operators can pick specific desks or offices to be made available or unavailable per integration, allowing for creative combinations of partnerships and sales channels to all drive up flex space revenues simultaneously.
🇦🇺 Workspace-on-demand platform introduces WNH booths.
Switch Workspaces have introduced a year-long “Switch Work Booths for Community” pilot that makes 80 work-near-home booths available across Singapore, in malls and residential buildings.
Bookable by the minute, via their app, I’m watching closely how the pilot goes, and comparing notes on the similar concept over in the US by Jabbrrbox.
🧾 2021 was when CRE brokerages started to fully embrace PropTech.
Back in week 44 of 2021, I shared a piece about how we may be heading towards tech-powered v2 of workspace brokers.
This week the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) share a piece that looks into how some commercial brokerages are investing heavily into tech, flex and seeking new ways to serve their client’s changing needs for workspace solutions.
Or could we see a PropTech co acquire a multinational brokerage?
In a counter-point to the previous story, Tomasz Ogrodzki ponders if we could someday soon see a property technology acquire one of the large multinational brokerages like JLL, Colliers, Cushman & Wakefield, Savills or Newmark.
With $32B in funding, I can see where he’s coming from, especially since WeWork was once rumoured to be entertaining such a move. Time will tell I guess.
📃 Flexible Workspace in the UK post Covid-19.
The Future of Flex report examines the prospects for the flexible office space market in the UK after the Covid-19 pandemic.
It builds on pre-pandemic research into the flex sector, conducted by international architecture and interior design practice Arney Fender Katsalidis (AFK) alongside the BCO (British Council for Offices) and Professor Jeremy Myerson of the Royal College of Art and WORKTECH Academy.
The report looks heavily into the shift of larger corporates towards flex and how landlords are increasing flexibility. It does mention that they expect to see a contraction in utilization of flex by freelancers and small businesses (let’s call them “indie members”) which is then filled with corporate demand.
This goes against the trends and data I’m seeing, where corporate demand augments indie member revenues for spaces who adapt to offer options & flexibility to both demand segments.
h/t Zoe Ellis-Moore for sharing.
📈 Coworking makes up 21% of space taken up in Hyderabad.
In this article Samson Arthur, senior branch director for Knight Frank India, shares that coworking in Hyderabad “accounted for 21% of the space taken up during H2 2021, up from 8 per cent in H2 2020”.
Apart from the 13% jump in market share, it’s also means that coworking options were a smidgen above 1/5 of all space taken up in the capital city of India’s Telangana state.
🚀 Record year for small biz applications in the US.
Over 5M new small business applications were made in 2021 (up from 4.4M in 2020 and 3.5M in 2018 and 2019). SCORE performed a meta-data analysis on these applications and found some interesting statistics.
A number that stuck out to me is that 88% of entrepreneurs said that online sales are an important source of revenue, and that 97% indicated that digital tech is crucial for their business.
Is your coworking space making it easier, cheaper and better to sell online or access digital tools?
Coworking market moves.
🤝 Insolvency plan allows coworking space to continue journey.
Christoph Fahle shares a heartfelt message to the community, cofounders and team at betahaus, announcing that thanks to an unanimously confirmed insolvency plan the company can continue on their journey to change the way people work.
💥 Cordish Cos. expands their popular coworking venture.
Meloday Simmons reports that Spark Flex will be expanding into another 40,000 sqft in Baltimore.
This move follows new locations launching in St. Louis and Kansas City (MO), as well as 5 expansions of their existing Baltimore location since it opened in 2016.
The existing location at Power Plant Live now fills 85k sqft across 6 floors with 250 businesses and 800 members. Shervonne Cherry shares that this highlights a new era for workspace in downtown Baltimore.
🤩 Coworking + churches leader selected for prestigious fellowship.
Daryn DeZengotita, founder of Table Coworking, has been selected for the prestigious START program, Glean Network’s landmark, MBA-level entrepreneurship fellowship.
The fellowship is developed with Columbia Business School, the program prepares leaders to launch new ventures designed to serve their constituents in light of the shifting American religious landscape.
💂♀️ Whitelabel flex brand announces first 60k space in London.
infinitSpace have revealed their first flexible workspace in London – a 60k sqft location offering coworking, private offices and meeting rooms, located within the iconic Aldgate Tower, an impressive 16-floor glass Grade A building.
The space, called beyond Aldgate Tower is their own brand that was created for commercial landlords, but this location is in partnership with Brookfield Properties.
Reminder: I first introduced you to infinitSpace when they raised $1.2M to create and run whitelabel flex spaces back in week 16 of 2021.
🎙 Coworking conversations.
Jerome Chang, Shervonne Cherry, Rubin Beckner, Iris Kavanagh and others discuss last week’s newsletter and the trends they represent.
Bryan Weatherford and Rubin Beckner discuss how the work from home movement struck popularity into the coworking industry and how Venture X uses his skills to accurately market coworking space to the unique consumers across different locations.
Caterina Maiolini, Community and Partnerships Manager of SALTO Systems and Elena Giroli, Change and Communications Manager of Creative Works discuss how community managers like themselves handle the changes and shifts that the pandemic brought to the coworking sector.
Jamie Russo dives into working with investors, re-using others’ management agreement templates, and managing phone booth usage.
📆 Coworking events.
👋 Discuss this newsletter.
Jan 21: Join other readers in discussing this newsletter, the stories I shared and the trends they represent.
📊 State of Flex Office Market
Jan 26: In Q4 of 2021, The Instant Group conducted a global survey aimed at flexible office operators to gain insight into the trends and demands of the changing market. This webinar will take an in-depth look at the trends and insights found in the report and host an open Q&A with experts.
📲 PropTech LDN Meetup
Jan 26: Casual get together to chat real estate, technology, and everything in between. No presentations, no pitches, no agenda – just a fun and informal environment to meet with friends and colleagues old and new.
🗺 Convo: Google Business Profiles
Jan 28: The next Coworking Convo dives into best practices for Google Business Profiles (fka Google My Business).
🍳 Coworking Breakfast in London
Feb 3: The London Coworking Assembly is meeting at Create Works Space for breakfast, connecting and coworking.
🌎 The Coworking Alliance Summit
Feb 16: The Coworking Alliance Summit returns to hold space for space operators leading, or looking to start, coworking alliances locally or across the globe.