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Coworking news & views.
🧮 Could a tool from the bond market decode flex leasing forecasts? #
Sam Gamble is back with another (uber-geeky, and always interesting) take on using Markov Chains to model monthly occupancy rates, number of new members forecasted to join or leave, using just 3 pieces of information.
"A Markov Chain is a mathematical model that helps us understand transitions between different states over time, and in the bond market, it’s used to predict the movement of bond ratings."
📼 What if you could bring your kids to work with you? #
Nestworks shared a video from their recent popup space, from which they proved two important points: 1. There’s demand for childcare + coworking combos. 2. Kids can play happily with caregivers knowing their parents are close by getting sh*t done.
☕️ Venture studio explores payable-table concept for coffee shops #
Paul English shares an idea (and landing page) for PaidTable where coffee shops make tables bookable (as oppose to ‘hogging tables all day’ and nursing a single coffee).
Curious to see how this plays out. But in the meantime, I do love how some coworking spaces have instead chosen to partner with frustrated coffee shop owners to exchange day pass cards for member discounts. Win win, but what if cafés start competing with bookable tables?
💥 Is this the phoenix moment for coworking? #
Andrea Pirrotti-Dranchak, global enterprise director of NewFlex, which operates flex office spaces on behalf of landlords, shares thoughts she recently shared with reporters investigating the fallout from a potential WeWork bankruptcy on the wider coworking market.
In short: Andrea notes that fully remote for all employees and return-to-office mandates aren’t going to work for everyone, and employees who get this shift wrong may be seeing valued team members walking out. Which I take to meant that coworking isn’t going away, it’s just being re-born for a wider clientbase.
⚖️ What factors go into the valuation of a coworking business? #
Clive Dale shares a number of different ways buyers and sellers may use to set the value of a coworking business when it comes to (increasingly popular) M&A transactions. Namely, they run through discounted cash flow, asset value, comparison methodology and a multiple of EBITDA. With the latter being the most popular or dominant methodology.
📖 What the f is “flex space” anyways? #
We often hear discussions around terminology and taxonomies (ie what do words mean and symbolize) within and around coworking space industry. In this short video, Annie Draper, Director of Operations and Corporate Relations at The Square, shares the evolution of "Flex Space" throughout her career and how it’s adapted and evolved to adapt to changing needs of workers.
🤔 Does everybody in RE know the model needs to be reinvented? #
Martijn Roordink shares their thoughts on how the RE model must be reinvented. Noting that if owners and operators combined the best of hotel and flex space models they could generate triple their current yields.
I’d love to dig further into this new model, but I do agree with Martijn than integrated ops and tech management will be a huge part of the new model for commercial real estate.
👋 Reading this and wondering how to sell to coworking spaces? #
A lot of brands want to sell to coworking spaces. I try tell as many of them as I can that the secret is not selling to, but supporting, coworking spaces.
In this short deck I share how brands can work with me and this very newsletter to grow their businesses through content that busy operators actually want to click on and engage with.
🔮 How well did these coworking predictions from 2016 hold up? #
Nexudus share a fun post digging into some of the predictions their CEO Carlos Almansa Ballesteros made about coworking back in 2016, and looked at how those trends hold up today 7 years later. Spot on were remote work being embraced, corporate coworking, community at the heart, nichification, and tech advances driving innovation.
Carlos, any lottery numbers or stock tips?
🏋️♂️ Are gyms the hottest new offices? #
The Wall Street Journal digs into the growing trend of health-focussed and gym-centric shared workspaces, looking primarily at Local Time’s offerings from the eyes of one of their members Jessica DiGiovanna.
Interestingly, the benefits and higher cost outweigh working from home, as she "only goes to her real office for big meetings and other organized events".
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💻 Coworking technology.
🥽 Are FPV drone videos the next big flex? #
Droneologist shows off a first-person-view (FPV) drone video they made recently for Spacemade.
Drone footage isn’t new, but nicely edited tours could be a lovely way to give prospective members a feel for the space, especially if they’re able to capture some of the community going about their day.
🚀 How to see who’s winning in booking space race? #
Look at whose customers are sharing about how they use flex spaces, how it’s part of their culture and how damn happy employees are for it.
We previously saw Slack share how they use WeWork All Access to build community internally, today we hear from Dropbox about how they leverage Desana.
📱 30 types of meeting room displays for your coworking space #
The andcards team breaks down 30 different types of meeting room displays that coworking spaces may use to help members see which room is available, when and other useful information or actions.
🧾 Lead gen is the biggest challenge for coworking space operators. #
Interest in flex space and coworking is up, but that isn’t leading to an increase in bookings or memberships for many operators. " According to a coworking survey conducted by Yardi Kube in partnership with GCUC, owners and operators identified lead generation as their biggest challenge, but still, most of them (55%) plan on expanding in the next 12 months."
Other interesting datapoints from this piece: of the 350 respondents, 45% noted that their websites generated 75% of their leads. At the same time 27% of the spaces noted that lead generation was their biggest challenge (followed by hiring, system complexity, reporting and manual invoicing at 20%, 13%, 8% and 5% respectively).
⏫ Convene coworking at 80% occupancy #
Natalie Hernandez shares a piece highlighting how Convene is bucking the popular narrative that coworking is on it’s way out noting that the firm has "kept it coworking tenants intact with an 80% occupancy rate at an average lease term of 15 months."
⛵️ Axios notes that the coworking sector is on the upswing #
In another follow on piece from WeWork’s announcement last week, Axios digs into some numbers from other operators (namely Industrious) that highlight strong demand and business models. Quoting Jamie Hodari they note that they’re seeing "more demand for [flex working spaces] right now than at any time in the last decade", with revenues tripled since 2019 and current rev growth rate sitting between 35-40%.
Coworking market moves.
🇬🇷 One of Athen’s oldest spaces moves to Kolonaki #
The Cube, co-founded by Stavros Messinis and Maria Calafatis who launched the first coworking space in the capital of Greece, has completed a move to the Kolonaki area.
And no, there’s no relation between my surname and the area. I believe.
🤠 Common Desk continues expansion with new Irving location #
Peter Greenspan shares news about Common Desks’ new 37.5k sqft space in Las Colinas area of Irving, Texas.
🆕 Firm launches and quickly sells out Nashville founding memberships #
McKenna Yoder shares that Switchyards had launched (and quickly sold out of) Nashville Founding Memberships.
🇦🇹 Hotel brand launches 3rd coworking space in Vienna #
Coworking Europe notes that Schani Hotels have opened their 3rd coworking location in Vienna. Watch as even more hospitality and hotel brands adapt to offer or partner with flex space options.
🍠 Coworking space dives into fractional office offerings #
The Shop Workspace in Salt Lake City have introduced ‘part-time coworking’ a membership that comes with twice-a-week access at a lower rate. Interesting to see operators explore offering fractional or shared memberships in this way.
🇬🇧 Local council seeking coworking space operating partner in Crewe #
The Economic Development team at Cheshire East Council shared an opportunity for a flex workspace operator to partner up and take over a town-center location on a base rent + profit share lease. The council have earmarked 7 figures for refitting and setting up the space (excl. furniture) and are seeking interested parties who would like to partner up to run the space.
🇭🇰 4 new IWG locations set to launch in Hong Kong #
Darren Rogers shares that IWG are opening four new flex workspaces in Hong Kong, bringing their total to 21. One of the spaces was a former Ucommune location.
🎙 Coworking conversations.
Isabel Berwick chats with Laura Beales (Tally Workspace) and Ebbie Wisecarver (WeWork) on the FT podcast about why beer taps are out and phone booths are in and how design of workspaces have matured since the pandemic.
Rishi Chowdhury chats with Antony Slumbers and Hattie Walker-Arnott about the rapidly changing AI landscape and how to keep abreast of market trends on the Buildings 2040 podcast.
📆 Coworking events.
📬 Key elements to designing your VO offering #
Aug 23: Discover the essential components to craft a successful virtual office offering. Whether you’re a seasoned coworking space owner, community manager, mail operator, or someone just starting out in the industry, this interactive session will prepare you with the knowledge and strategies to design a thriving virtual mailbox service for your community.
🗓 Event ideas & strategies #
August 25: Coworking was never just about desks and wifi. It’s about community and basking in togetherness. What better way to do that than events? But how many times have you gone through the painstaking effort of planning, buying all of the things, and then..nothing? Maybe a trickle of people show, but definitely not the masses like you had envisioned. How do you go approach event planning and execution in a way that keeps your members engaged and wanting more? Let’s chat about it.
🇨🇦 GCUC Canada in Toronto #
Sept 12-13: GCUC returns to Canada for a 2-day event at The Vault.