By Claire Luik, VP Product & Business Development – Digital Workspace at essensys
For coworking space providers to set themselves apart, they need to implement an intelligent, technology-based strategy around the beating heart of their space: the member community. As is widely accepted, coworking members want to feel part of a buzzing, productive and collaborative experience that fosters budding commercial and social relationships. For space providers, using the best technology available on the market to help create a thriving community is a powerful way to drive growth and revenue, and ensure sustained success.
Enable the network effect
To empower better member interaction and collaboration, and also attract new potential customers, it’s vital to have the right technology in place. We’re talking about much more than Wi-Fi here; offering cutting-edge connectivity is a given. Your workplace needs a powerful technology solution that includes an intuitive social platform. With features such as easy login via LinkedIn profiles, it can blow away restrictive physical barriers to enable seamless member collaboration across your building floors or multiple locations.
Combined with trend analysis features on the provider side (read on), this type of technology helps you build a vibrant community that’s fully engaged with the networking events, parties and other activities you offer.
Soon, you’ll be enjoying membership and occupancy growth, translating into higher revenues. Naturally, the larger the community you create, the greater the value of your member network.
Strengthen your position to negotiate leases
A prospering member community combined with high occupancy rates is a business model that’s music to the ears of landlords and investors. It puts you in a better position to negotiate leases in buildings where previously you may have been knocked back.
Better still, you could entertain a participation lease or a joint venture with the landlord. It’s a win-win growth strategy as the landlord benefits too, filling empty spaces in his portfolio and becoming part of your growing network.
Use member analytics to customize your services & events
Naturally, community managers can gain a flavor of their workspace’s community by simply being around their members. However, the right technology platform gives access to a range of analytics that generate much richer, actionable insight into members’ skills, interests and behaviors.
A dashboard showing patterns and trends can help you tailor your services, events and marketing activities, which further enriches your community’s experience. As your community grows, it is crucial to analyze member engagement.
This highly customized service will not only transform the member experience but also help generate more enquiries, which draws a direct path to increasing revenue.
Lift your member experience to the next level
Another way of developing great communities is to host sponsored events with associations, companies and exciting guest speakers that are keen to get in front of your members. This type of affinity marketing model can play a huge role in enlarging your events’ audience, drawing in more prospects and striking up revenue sharing relationships.
Eventually, your community member experience becomes strong and sticky enough to be become one of your unique selling points. Existing members who no longer need to work physically from your space may even choose to renew with a ‘community membership’, solely due to the indispensable networking and social opportunities available. Likewise, other building tenants or new prospects may sign up for the same reasons.
Use technology to create a slick & profitable model
Of course, installing the most powerful technology platform on the market isn’t the silver bullet to attract and retain more members and drive profitability. For example, the caliber of your staff, such as community managers, has an immeasurable role to play in the success of your business.
There’s no doubt that coworking spaces are hard to get right and a market-leading technology platform can make all the difference. It can enable a slick, profitable model built around the nurturing of a flourishing community.
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