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Everything Coworking

The Everything Coworking podcast shares trends and how-tos for coworking operators and anyone following this exploding trend. Jamie owned and operated coworking spaces in Chicago and Palo Alto for eight years under the brand Enerspace Coworking. She was also the Executive Director of the Global Workspace Association for five years.
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Now displaying: Category: general
Jan 12, 2022

As a coworking business owner, you gotta know your numbers. Do whatever it takes to get into the habit of reviewing your goals and progress against those goals every single week. 

The most important numbers on your score card at the beginning of 2022 are:

- How many tours do I have booked?

- How many show up?

- How many convert?

- Where are those leads coming from?

What “product” are they interested in?

Knowing these numbers will help you predict the time it will take to get to full occupancy (our goal!) if everything stays the same in your business. It will also give you the documentation and confidence you will need to sell a bank, an investor, a spouse, or a landlord partner, on funding for a new location.

Here are the resources we mention in the podcast if you want to grab them: 

Everything Coworking’s Ultimate Guide to Coworking KPIs

Not fancy sample Coworking Scorecard

The book Traction (must read!! And get the paperback, not the Kindle version)

Also….while you’re here…if you’re on Apple Podcasts, go back to the main screen for this show, scroll down past the episodes and leave us a rating and review! To leave a written review, you have to click the “Write a review” link under the sample rating you see on the screen.

Thank you in advance!

Jan 5, 2022

Jim Heid is my guest on this episode. Jim has accumulated 40 years (yikes!) focused on the built environment - how we build community, how we improve the quality of life in towns and cities, and how real estate development can and should play an outsize role in improving people's lives.

From consulting, founding innovation companies, to real estate development for my own account, common threads are innovation, sustainability, creating stronger connections to the environment, and helping clients and communities make better decisions through improved processes, better information, and constructive examples and dialogue.

Jim is….

A built environment entrepreneur

Author of Building Small

Founder of Craftwork Coworking in Healdsburg, CA

 

In this episode, Jim and I talk about:

- Jim’s background

- The value of building small

- Why coworking for small developers - how it fits in to the value system of building small

- Why coworking for Jim in Healdsburg

 

Everything Coworking Featured Resources:

Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space

Community Manager University

Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective

 

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

Jim Heid on Linkedin

Jim’s Book: Building Small

Jim’s coworking space

Jim’s website

Dec 29, 2021

One of the most common questions I hear from coworking space operators today is: I'm having trouble selling my flex desks and dedicated desks. Help!

Most coworking space operators can't be profitable without coworking revenue - they designed their product mix and therefore their pro forma, to include significant non-office revenue. They need to sell the open space memberships - maybe 2 or 3x over!

Here's a framework for working through your challenge:

1. Describe your Ideal Community Member in detail. Why do they work away from home? What do they do for work? What type of work space do they need? What problem does coworking solve for them?

2. Out of that group of ideal members, what is the profile of a member that would use mostly open space seating to get their work done?

3. Are they comfortable coming to your space? Are you providing the cues they need to see on your website, in your social media, newsletter, etc.?

4. How can you find them? How can you message to them so that they know you have a solution to their problem?

5. What creative ideas might you come up with to frame your open space options to make them more compelling? Can you attract a niche? Can you create more privacy using divider systems?

Everything Coworking Featured Resources:

Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space

Community Manager University

Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective

Dec 22, 2021

I run a mastermind program for coworking operators called the “Flight Group.” Usually, what happens in the Flight Group stays in the Fight Group. But I thought it would be a good time of year to share a few nuggets from our Flight Group members to get you thinking about what you might pursue in your coworking business in 2022.

So I pulled together 10 nuggets or tips shared by our Flight Group members this year.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Close for the full week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

2. Charge setup fees.

3. Put urgency behind your email promotions.

4. Invest in your team - Think creatively about how to support them. sign them up for Community Manager University.

5. Use interns! 

6. Steal my community manager, pay a finder’s fee.

7. Get an “Owl” for your meeting room.

8. Have a team office you can’t sell? Make it a shared private office of dedicated desks.

9. Focus on building your virtual office and digital mail program.

10. Test stuff and don’t be afraid to fail!

 

Everything Coworking Featured Resources:

Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space

Community Manager University

Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective

 

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

The Owl for meeting rooms

Interested in joining our new membership for operators? Make sure you’re on our email list! Go to our home page and scroll to the bottom and enter your email address!

Virtual Office training program

Dec 15, 2021

Miro Miroslavov is the CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD

He is also a GWA Board Member.

Miro joins us fro his home in Bulgaria.

OfficeRnD recently launched the FlexIndex. The FlexIndex is a novel composite index, that provides visibility into the flex space industry’s health, post-lockdown recovery, and global trends. The index is comprised of 5 components (or KPIs), which represent critical business aspects of both small and large flex operators.

 

In this episode, Miro and I talk about:

- An intro to to the FlexIndex

- What geographies are most represented in the data

- What we can expect from the FlexIndex

- How often it will be published

- Where to find it 

- We'll walk through the 5 KPIs - what's being measuring, what the data says today and what insights we can draw from it

 

Everything Coworking Featured Resources:

Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space

Community Manager University

Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

Miro on LinkedIn

Office RnD FlexIndex

Miro’s email address: if you have KPI requests: Miro@officernd.com

 

Link to show notes here

Dec 8, 2021

There are three reasons that coworking spaces should think about using virtual assistants:

1. To grow your own coworking business or to make your own business more sustainable without adding another full time team member.

2. To help your members do the same...and to help them to be more successful so that they can afford to continue to be members.

3. To consider offering a VA service to your members as an additional revenue stream.

Molly Rose Speed  is the founder of Virtual Assistant Management, a Training and Placement company for Virtual Assistants.

In this episode, Molly and I talk about:

- Molly’s background - her “why” for starting her virtual assistant company

- The types of things VA’s can do for a business

- How a VA might contribute to a coworking business

- How coworking member companies might use a VA

- How to shift a resistant mindset from “I can’t afford to hire help” to “I can’t afford to not hire help.”

- How you know you're "ready" for a VA

- What if you don't have documented processes in place to help you train a VA?

- How the VA model works

- Integrating into team

 

Everything Coworking Featured Resources:

Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space

Community Manager University

Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

Download Molly’s Outsourcing Guide here 

Hire a VA: www.virtualassistantmanagement.com

Becoming a VA: www.virtualassistantacademy.com

Learn more about Molly Rose: www.mollyrosespeed.com

https://www.instagram.com/mollyrosespeed/

 

Link to show notes here

Dec 1, 2021

In this series on “The New Rules of Engagement for Coworking Spaces,” we’re talking about what aspects of our coworking business we should examine. 

Michael Abrams is my guest on the show. Michael has a deep background in real estate - as a landlord, developer and more recently in the flex office sector. 

Michael is actively helping operators negotiate creative partnerships and shares his perspective and case studies.

 

Everything Coworking Featured Resources:

Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space

Community Manager University

Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

Michael Abrams on LinkedIn

Here’s the course that Michael and I teach: Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective.

Link to show notes here

Nov 24, 2021

Things have changed. You must question all aspects of your coworking business. I like to refer to this shift as “The New Rules of Engagement.” 

This is the third episode in a series on “The New Rules of Engagement.” 

In the first episode of the series, I walked through the key areas of our business that we should question post-COVID. 

In last week’s episode, I did a deep dive on the aspects around “What you sell” that you should review/consider updating.

This week, we’re questioning who you serve.

In this episode, I talk about:

How the potential membership for coworking has evolved:

- Coworking started as a solution primarily for freelancers and solopreneurs that needed to get out of the house, find an alternative to the coffee shop and find their tribe.

- Coworking evolved as a solution for professional service professionals that needed small private offices.

- Over time, it started to grow into a flexible option for tech startups and small businesses that wanted the benefits of a large office but with more flexibility and without the overhead and operational hassle.

- Post-COVID, flex is an ideal solution for….everyone...and for all types of work, collaboration, events, and more.


- How coworking space operators need to decide who they are serving and adjust their physical space and their offers to meet their needs (as we discussed in last week’s “what you sell” episode.

Everything Coworking Featured Resources:

Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space

Community Manager University

Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective

Link to show notes here

Nov 17, 2021

Things have changed. You must question all aspects of your coworking business. I like to refer to this shift as “The New Rules of Engagement.” 

Last week, I walked through the key areas of our business that we should question post-COVID. In this episode, I do a deep dive on the aspects around “What you sell” that you should review/consider updating.

In this episode, I talk about:

- Flexibility

- Privacy

- The HQ Model

- Other Shared Space Models our Coworking Startup School Students are Pursuing

- Other Sources of Revenue

 

Everything Coworking Featured Resources:

Community Manager University

Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space

Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

Craftwork packages for offsites

Nov 10, 2021

Things have changed a lot over the past 18 months. You must question all aspects of your coworking business.

I like to refer to this shift as “The New Rules of Engagement.”

In this episode, I walk through the areas of your coworking business that we should question:

- Who you serve

- What you sell

- How you market

- Your real estate structure

Everything Coworking Featured Resources:

Community Manager University

Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space

Creative Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

Everything Coworking YouTube Channel

OfficeRnD FlexWorld Conference

ULI Small Developer Forum

Nov 3, 2021

The coworking ethos promises a lot. Productivity, hospitality, community, networking, business growth, and more. I had a serious case of expectation failure when I toured two coworking spaces in the town next to mine...which was amplified when I joined one of them.

In this episode, I talk about:

- How frustrating the tour experience can be when you can’t easily find the front desk

- How going on a coworking space tour should feel like being on a great date

- How it’s easy to use industry buzzwords but much harder to actually execute on things like hospitality and community

- Why you should have someone shop your tour experience to see if your stated values align with the actual experience.

- Why I’m thinking harder about offering 10-day passes

- One approach you might take to kick-start your referral program

Link to show notes here

Oct 27, 2021

Phil Kirschner, Senior Expert, McKinsey Real Estate and Organizational Transformation practices, has a pretty unique perspective on coworking & flexible workspace. On this episode, he shares a personal experience using a coworking space for a last-minute client call first thing in the morning...and how that sent off both literal and figurative alarms for him.

On this episode, we talk about: 

- How is the perspective about flexible workplace / coworking changing for large enterprise companies?

- How are large enterprises using flexible workplace / coworking to inform and implement their post-pandemic workplace strategies?

- What are the benefits and challenges of increased adoption of flexible workplace / coworking by employees of large enterprises?

- What can smaller operators do to improve the experience of enterprise members, both the decision-makers and the individual user?

Link to show notes and resources mentioned here

Oct 20, 2021

Every time Mitch Gray spoke to a group or a new client, he heard "Our biggest business challenge is that t's really hard to find good people." He had discovered a simple approach to his own hiring practice that gave him a constant pipeline of good people. He decided to share this with others. On this episode, we talk about how to always be hiring, why Indeed may not be the best source for local talent, and how to sell our "why" to attract great candidates. Mitch is a member of coworking space Firehouse in Clovis, NM.

Mitch Gray, small business consultant and author of “How to Hire and Keep Great People” shares his insights around hiring and how to get out of the mindset that “it’s really hard to find good people right now.”

On this episode, we talk about:

  • How to shift your mindset so that you can find great people even if it seems like it’s hard to find great people.
  • Why you should “always be hiring” even if you’re not actually hiring. Why Indeed may not be your best source of candidates.
  • Why hiring for culture fit is often more important than hiring for skills. Why you need to know your company’s “why” and sell your “why” to potential candidates.

Link to show notes

Everything Coworking Featured Resources: 

Community Manager University

Masterclass: 3 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets to Opening a Coworking Space Creative

Coworking Partnerships: How to negotiate and structure management agreements from the landlord and operator perspective

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast: 

www.mitchgraymedia.com

Instagram: @mgraymedia

Twitter: @mgraymedia 

Mitch Gray on Linkedin

Mitch Gray’s book on Amazon

Oct 13, 2021

Cofounders Amirh Davis and Christina Gutierrez met each other through a mutual friend that connected them to work on their mutual passion for coworking and childcare. They renovated a former bank building and opened in March 2, 2020, just a week before the stay-at-home order in response to COVID-19.

They give us a behind-the-scenes experience growing their business during a challenging environment for coworking and childcare.

They share how they attract their members, how they run their childcare model, and advice they’d give to new operators, and anyone considering integrating childcare into their coworking business.

Link to show notes here

Oct 6, 2021

MRP launched its first flexible office concept under Make Offices. Over time, MRP expanded that brand into non-owned assets.

After several years of learning, a global pandemic, and significant evolution in what tenants want from office space, they relaunched a more inclusive building services platform under the moniker “Heyday Properties.”

Link to show notes here

Sep 29, 2021

When I met Tessa in 2016, she had a lot of passion and a vision for Kwench that came with a big ticket buildout and a big funding gap.

Since then, she opened a 5,000 square foot beta space, redeveloped 25,000 square feet of an old rail house and moved in five months before COVID hit.

Kwench is a full-service work & culture club for creative, ambitious thinkers & doers who seek more. Tessa added a cafe/general store as an amenity in April....and has big plans for what the next location will include.

Link to show notes here.

Sep 22, 2021

Adam and Zach, co-owners of Workspace Collective in Ocala, Florida, opened their first coworking space in October 2019 in a house built in 1890. They opened their second location in June of 2021 in a 7,000 square foot modern, industrial building downtown.

On this episode, we talk about:

- How the business is a family affair - their wives really run the show behind the scenes.

- How Adam and Zach leverage their backgrounds in sales to fill up their locations and to support their members.

- What they learned from opening a second location

- Their plans to own the buildings they operate in going forward

- How they're going "all-in" on their micro offices

- How they market their podcast studio and more!

Link to show notes here!

Sep 15, 2021

Ben Wright is Head of Flexible Office Solutions, SquareFoot. He is also the founder of Upsuite, a digital platform that helps people find and book flexible work space. Ben is a former economist and a data nerd. His passion for data surfaces insights that help coworking space operators get access to market dynamics that they can act on.

On this episode, we talk about:

- The findings of Upsuite’s Q2 North American coworking data

- The return of demand in major cities such as NY and LA

- How operators are still working on getting to a cash flow positive occupancy rate

- How shopping is still lagging signing in many markets

- The challenge of digging out of deep COVID discounts for WeWork

- The return of small team demand

- 4-8 seat requirements

- How the drop in supply is making demand feel higher in some markets

- Why he’s worried that the coworking sector isn’t ready for the return of demand.

Link to show notes here!

Sep 8, 2021

Jenny Poon is the CEO and founder of CO+HOOTS coworking in Phoenix, AZ. She is a true OG in the coworking industry with a wealth of experience to share.

In this episode, we talk about:

- How Jenny got her first space started by doing a management agreement with her landlord way back in 2010.

- How she eventually moved her community into a building that she bought...after having her SBA loan pulled at the last minute and crowd-funding to save her business.

- How favorite automation hacks to free up her Community Managers to focus on...community!

Link to show notes here!

Sep 1, 2021

Justin and Kelly are co-owners of Flocc Studio in Dallas, TX. Kelly is also a sculptor and Justin is also a photographer and the founder of a digital lighting school. On this episode they share:

- Their unwavering decision to serve a creative niche at their space

- How they curate their application-based membership

- Managing a business with a spouse

- Their approach to alancing the coworking space + three more businesses

- How their intern program saves the day and how they run it and more!

Link to show notes here!

Aug 25, 2021

Mark Gilbreath is the CEO of liquidspace, a real-time booking platform for offices and meeting rooms by the hour, month or longer.

On Wednesday, August 18th, GSA, the federal agency responsible for managing the world’s largest workplace, a 700M square feet of real estate portfolio serving over two million employees, announced that they have awarded LiquidSpace a contract to provide Flexible Coworking Services (FCS) to government employees.

So, what’s the backstory?

18 months ago, in January 2020 the GSA issued an RFP as a part of their Total Workplace Program stating that "Working beyond the confines of a traditional office had become common" and that they sought to "equip government employees with the tools and the spaces to work from anywhere". With the announcement of the GSA’s awards, it is now evident that the government is poised to become one of the world’s largest consumers of coworking.

Others included in the contract award:

  • WeWork
  • Expansive
  • The Yard
  • Deskpass

Mark and I talk about:

  1. Why the GSA has decided to offer flexibility to this workforce and what it says about the broader employee choice trends.
  2. The GSA’s 50/50 approach to awarding every other “task order” going to small businesses (with less than $30M in revenue). What does this mean for boutique operators?
  3. How might the 50/50 approach might impact supply over time?
  4. Will this award encourage landlords to add flex offerings to the Liquidspace platform?
  5. How will the GSA’s move serve as a signal to other enterprise businesses still trying to figure out their approach?
  6. How does an operator get added to the platform so that they can be considered for GSA business?

This is a discussion you don't want to miss, be sure to listen to the full episode.

Link to show notes here!

Aug 18, 2021

Creating a marketing list for your coworking business opens up opportunities to use email marketing as a tool. On this episode, we talk about three things you can do with a “marketing” email list:

Sales Funnel tool: To nurture those that aren’t “search and join” members.

Direct Sales: To announce office openings, run BOGOS, sell event tickets

Indirect Sales: Affiliate revenue, Membership sales that aren’t attached to your physical space

Listen to the full episode for details on how to use your marketing list for these opportunities, what email service providers to use, and how to grow your email list.

Link to show notes here!

Aug 11, 2021

This week we're shifting from working on the "how" to working on the mindset challenges that often prevent us from making progress and living our best lives.

I am highly trained in the “how” department. So much so that my analytical rigor as an MBA grad from the top business school in the country might have squashed some of my intuitive side. I got to a point in my post-MBA career when I was really stuck and wasn't able to move on to the thing I could sense deep down was next for me.

Fortunately, I found Rita Hyland. Her website describes her coaching practice as "a place where leaders come to reclaim their purpose, clarify their vision, and reconnect with their true voice."

She did exactly that for me. Not just once, but twice :-) The first time I worked with her was the process that birthed Enerspace, my own coworking space. It was a life-changing process that gave me the awareness and the tools to work through mindset issues as they come up. And as entrepreneurs, we are all managing mindset issues on a daily basis.

Rita is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, wife, and mother of three active children. In this episode, she talks with us about how to recognize common mindset barriers that keep us from pursuing our best lives.

Link to show notes here!

Aug 4, 2021

For some of you, the idea of being your own landlord is terrifying. For others, it's a compelling way to create operating income and build long-term wealth at the same time.

Jerry Alexander has been running this combo successfully since 2004. He is a commercial real estate investor running seven flex office/coworking locations out of buildings he owns.

He shares a bit about his flex operations, but more importantly, the value of investing in commercial property. Listen to our full conversation here.

Link to show notes here!

Jul 28, 2021
Potential members that tour looking for office space understand that "product" and they usually "need" it and value it enough to pay for it. Often they require privacy, a space to meet with clients, or make frequent ongoing phone calls. 
 
Outside of major markets, you likely tour fewer potential members that come in looking for a flex desk or dedicated desk. These require more education and more of an "emotional" sell. Your sales funnel for offices is pretty simple. Google search --> tour --> close.
 
 
Your sales funnel for flex desks and dedicated desks might look more like this:
 
- Learns about coworking from a friend after complaining about not being productive at home.
- Searches "coworking near me" and starts following a couple of local spaces on Instagram.
- Checks out membership options and considers budgeting $300/month for workspace.
- Maybe signs up for a couple of local spaces' newsletters.
- Reads member interviews to understand who works in a coworking space...
- Sees an offer for a day pass...schedules a tour.
- Has a great experience testing out the space.
- Goes home and keeps thinking about whether or not to budget $300 to be more productive...can they get an ROI on that?
- Reads another newsletter and gets a little FOMO over Waffle Wednesday....
 
You get my point. It's a different sell.

In this episode I share one marketing tactic you can use to start educating and attracting more coworking/flex desk users.
 
Link to show notes here!
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