Josh Coffy lives in a town of 20,000 near Columbus, OH. He and his wife Kelsey, bought a building downtown and launched a coworking business in it.
Josh shares his experience buying and renovating a building, why he decided that a coworking space was best use for the building, and the “good” and “bad” surprises that he encountered on his journey.
Josh is also a professional marketer and spills the beans on how he’s marketing his coworking space.
As individual operators, you likely don’t have access to data on market recovery. You can only see what you are experiencing in your own market. Coworker.com is a coworking marketplace with over 15,000 member spaces across 172 countries. They have a macro view of the industry trends that can help you get a line of site on what to expect over the coming months.
Madison, the COO, joins me on this episode to share their data and perspective on the recovery trends for coworking spaces.
The coworking model is evolving at a pace more rapid than anyone predicted. The variations on the approach to serving today’s workforce and local communities are becoming more diverse.
The story of Lodgic Everyday Community is one worth following as you’re thinking about how you will serve your members and your community.
Coming out of COVID, leasing a space has become less attractive because the operator bears the most risk. If you are going to lease, you must work with a broker that will help you negotiate terms that will protect you from a business-killing experience like a global pandemic.
The appeal of a management agreement is that it shifts the risk to the landlord. The upside is significantly limited for the operator, but therein lies the tradeoff. In this episode, we're talking about why management agreements are becoming more accessible and how they're structured.
If you’re starting a coworking space or even looking to expand your existing business, it’s worth considering buying a building.
Roughly half of my Coworking Startup School students are building owners that already had a building and decided that its best use was to house a coworking space, or people that wanted to start a coworking space and wanted the benefits that come along with also owning the building.
When COVID happened, my most resilient students were those that owned their buildings and had to negotiate with their mortgage lender, but didn’t have to deal with the landlord that doesn’t get it or couldn’t afford to give them some rent relief as too many of their members cancelled contracts.
Today’s guest, Matt Maurice, walks us through his experience buying commercial real estate and creating a coworking business to be the only tenant.
Tell me if you ever feel this way: Your business is not where you want it to be, there aren’t enough hours in the day and you either don’t take time off or you just have a really hard time feeling like you deserve taking time off and letting yourself relax.
If you’re an achievement-oriented, driven business owner, you probably feel this way a lot. I’m always working on staying more focused and setting myself up to not feel guilty about taking some down time on the weekends or taking some time off. In this episode, I share some approaches that I’ve learned on my journey.
If you have a coworking space, and you’ve decided to do everything you can to keep your business afloat until we see the demand shift (which is already happening outside of the U.S.), you must commit to keep marketing, even when you don’t see the results. Fill the pipeline so that you have warm leads when your potential members are ready to head back to the office.
In this episode, I cover four things you and your team should keep doing to prepare for recovery.
If you are working on opening a coworking space, these are activities that you will want to bake into your team roles, so take notes!
Your on-site team drives member attraction and retention. You can have the best furniture, the best cleaning protocols, the most delicious locally roasted coffee, but none of that matters if your team isn’t attracting and retaining your best and most profitable members. Today we talk about how to hire and train your Coworking Community Manager.
In this episode, I cover:
- Why the Community Manager role is critical to your coworking business
- Profiles of successful Coworking Community Managers
- Where to post job postings for Coworking Community Managers
- How to screen candidates
- How to train Community Managers
With a global pandemic going on, every step in the Sales Funnel counts. Subtle nuances in the process can make all the difference when it comes to landing your leads. Join me as I revisit episode 84, and we go through what it takes to create a Sales Funnel that works for your space.
In this episode, Casey and I discuss:
- Current market trends such as health and safety protocols, virtual tours, digital memberships.
- Landlords are quickly becoming more entrepreneurial in their approach to creative deal structures such as management agreements and hybrid leases. Some landlords are willing to assume more risk and provide more TI for a long-term commitment.
- Current opportunities: Second generation and “dark” space coming back to market - some with great build-outs, good deal terms, FFE included. Etc.
- Landlords are refinancing and looking to re-fill space with more TI and support for a coworking tenant.
- Potential pitfalls: Cash is King - lending markets are tight, and timing an opening to take advantage of 2021 demand.
In this episode, Jamie Hodari and I discuss:
- How he and his next door neighbor and best friend growing up started a coworking brand that now has over 100 locations
- His perspective on their portfolio mix (gateway vs. non-gateway markets)
- His commitment to management agreements
- How he was totally wrong about whether or not they should locate in malls
- His prediction on when enterprises will start giving budgets for coworking space use
- His perspective on commodity flex space vs. serviced shared workspace
- What WORC is up to
- The challenge of being a CEO during a pandemic
- The unexpected flair in "get out of NYC" rental house
Felicia Rubinstein, founder of HAYVN Coworking and Sonny Goodall, Co-Founder of Fireworks Coworking, just celebrated their one-year anniversary as coworking space operators.
They share their coworking stories, the members that they best serve, lessons learned, and why coworking has been such a rewarding part of their lives.
Angela Garland shares how she runs a workspace + coffee bar, plays the role of property manager for her landlord, and launched a drive-through coffee trailer that went gangbusters during COVID.
Kerri and her husband wanted to start a business and they wanted to make it a family affair. They roped in Faith and Johnny and opened their first Office Evolution Franchise in the Houston Energy Park on June 15, 2020.
They are leveraging their corporate super powers and their intensely aligned interests to build their community and fill their space.
Have you wondered how a community manager fills his/her day or if you're keeping yours focused on the right things?
Your Communty Manager is the heart and soul of your business.
Typically they drive both sales (tours) and retention (community building).
They do some heavy lifting in your business.
They also do about 100 small things every day that keep your space humming and your members happy.
In this episode, we talk about the "hats" of a typical CM, and how they spend their days.
In this episode, Mark and I Discuss:
- What does leadership mean?
- Who is a leader?
- What does it mean to lead?
- How do we lead through times of crisis when we feel like we are in early leadership stages?
- What are your favorite sources of leadership development and inspiration?
For the full show notes Click Here
In this episode, Mike and I Discuss:
- Global coworking space revenue vs. March 2020
- Global meeting room revenue vs. March 2020
- Creative approaches operators are taking to replace meeting room revenue
- Technology operators are using to create super simple and safe meeting room reservations
- High tech and low-tech ways to signal safety to members as they come back to the space
For the full show notes Click Here
In this episode, Craig and I Discuss:
- The 2019 GWA Industry Benchmark Survey
- Overview of respondents and how that might impact the data (size, years in business)
- The value of benchmarking data for operators trying to get a sense of how to model out a coworking pro forma
- How might our view of this data be impacted by COVID-19?
- How might product mixes shift going forward vs. what we see in the survey results?
- Membership tenure by product type (coworking, dedicated desk, office)
- What the data says about marketing tactics and the relative effectiveness
For the full show notes Click Here
We are living through some character-building times. Some of you have experienced great loss and devastation this year living through COVID-19 and the senseless loss of black lives.
We are all processing 2020 in our personal lives. As business owners, we are often in leadership positions because of our visibility and role in content creation and dissemination. We shape communities, cultures and content. Like it or not, members in our community are watching us and some are following us.
This is a time of great reflection on our role as leaders.
Enerspace Palo Alto is closing on May 31 (unrelated to COVID-19).
What a milestone.
But you should know I'm one of those crazy people that craves change and big problems to solve.
I also look forward to more focus on serving YOU.
In this episode, I share 10 lessons that I've learned over the last 8 years as a coworking space owner.
I am a Donald Miller junkie. He is the author of the Storybrand framework which I would describe as "life changing." One of my Coworking Startup School students named her dog after him. No joke.
Donald Miller talks about "Internal and External" problems. He argues that our businesses might be designed to solve "external" problems (i.e, I need an office), but we humans hit the "buy button" to solve internal problems (i.e., I feel more professional when I have an office to go to.).
I want to challenge you to not forget about the internal problems we solve when you're talking to potential customers. It's easy to get caught up in the challenges of de-densification and health and safety protocols. But the humans have needs beyond avoiding germs. That's what they're showing up to solve.
By this time, you've probably watched your share of webinars about the impact of COVID-19 on commercial real estate. They are generally helpful but likely a bit high-level and still leave you wondering...but what do I actually need to DO?
Mara Hauser has a unique super-power. She owns a commercial interiors design firm and is CEO of 25N Coworking with locations around the U.S.
This combination of expertise and her no-nonsense style created her "Back to Business" guide for coworking spaces.
For the full show notes click here.
Are you thinking about starting a coworking space or managing through this crazy season and wondering if you should continue with your expansion plans?
In this episode, I go through a SWOT Analysis of the coworking industry. I review the "internal" strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats based on a wide range of inputs from industry players.
My conclusion? Have a listen!
Charlie Morris is the Practice Leader for Flexible Office Solutions team at Avison Young. We talk about:
- Avison Young's approach to serving their constituencies with flexible office solutions.
- What the transition period will look like for both flexible office users and operators?
- What the "new normal" look like for both flexible office users and operators.
- The success factors for operators surviving the COVID-19 global pandemic.
- Activating closer relationships between operators and asset owners.
For the full show notes Click Here
Navigating the SBA loan application process for a coworking space can be challenging. Amanda Lewan, co-founder of Bamboo Detroit and Hasan Mirjan, founder of SpherePad and then SphereMail, share tips for success based on their own experience.
For the full show notes click here