Expert Insight: Top Priorities in a Flexible Workspace

We rounded-up industry leaders to discover how they’re prioritizing key components of a flexible workspace operation. Highlighted below are some of the key levers that can help your business accelerate growth and compete better in a fast-growth market.

MEMBER EXPERIENCE

  • Member experience is a critical aspect of a flexible workspace, especially as the market grows and occupiers have more choice. The webinar revealed that almost all operational aspects can impact your members’ experience.
  • Clearly define your experience and make it unique to your brand. Understand who you are, what your values are, who your target audience is and what their requirements are.
  • From a tech perspective, seamless and efficient service delivery enables staff to better serve member needs and improve the experience with easily accessible, quality services.
  • Differentiate your brand from the competition. Your culture and brand allow you to elevate the conversation with prospects. Tenants might be attracted by location or price, but they'll stick around because of their experience in your workspace.
  • An excellent member experience can influence word of mouth referrals. Consider incentives and reward programs to help grow your sales pipeline and community.
  • Focus on what services members need and how to best deliver them.
1. Member Experience
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2. Differentiating your brand

DIFFERENTIATE YOUR BRAND

  • With a booming demand in the market you have to prioritize differentiating your brand and the member experience. This is possible via community, technology, culture, and member experience among others.
  • Partnering with associations to offer additional amenities will drive more value to your member base. Consider third-party discounts or partnerships to offer childcare, health and wellness activities, car rental discounts, or partnerships and vouchers with local organizations that align to your brand values and your community goals.
  • Technology is not often thought of as a differentiator. However, tech services, security and SLAs can be a competitive advantage for your proposition. When it comes to corporate tenants, tech security is a deal-breaker and you’ll be expected to answer questions from HQ IT departments.
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FLEXIBLE TECHNOLOGY

  • Tech touches on all functions in your business – operations, HR, member experience, service delivery and more. Getting it right from day one is crucial.
  • Tech services such as reliable internet, Wi-Fi, phones, and applications are essential services for all occupier types, from independents and SMBs to enterprise tenants. Delivering on their varying expectations and requirements demonstrates operational maturity, improves member experience, and can drive sales.
  • Ensuring services are easy to deliver and that you have visibility over performance is an enabler for a successful operation. Service delivery should be simple, seamless, quick and efficient so your members can get to work and stay connected with a few clicks of a button.
  • Comprehensive but easy to use technology that doesn’t require IT expertise liberates staff and helps employee retention.
  • Be strategic about choosing technology. If you’re ambitious and looking to expand, invest in reliable, scalable infrastructure that can grow with your business. The right tech platform can help keep you ahead of the curve.
  • Being proactive about tech security can help avoid an expensive breach and hit to your brand reputation.
3. Tech Management
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4. Employee Retention

EMPLOYEE RETENTION

  • A business model intended to deliver agility and flexibility, such as a flex-space operation, is intrinsically complex. The multi-tenanted environment adds a layer of complexity to all of the core operational areas such as billing and invoicing, service provisioning and technology to name a few. Simplifying the process of managing these many tasks is crucial to keep your staff happy and productive.
  • Complex processes and disparate systems leave staff frustrated and burnt out by manual processes and a never-ending workload and divert focus from important tasks such as engaging with members.
  • An easy to use tech platform simplifies CRM, billing, and service delivery and removes the requirement for IT expertise, enabling your employees to work more efficiently.
  • The easier your platforms, tools and systems are to use, the greater control your staff will have over their priorities and, in turn, more time they’ll have to build relationships with customers.
  • Aside from enabling their success with tech, a strong company culture and brand values help to guide staff by providing them with goals, a clear focus, and the right tools to get their job done. This can all be reflected in your members’ experience.
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BUSINESS MODELS

  • While the majority of flex-spaces run on traditional leases, franchises, management agreements, joint ventures and private funding are also contributing to growth in the market.
  • Buying your building or space might be the ideal situation but isn’t always the most feasible. The next best strategy in today’s market, according to the panelists, is a management agreement.
  • Collaborating with landlords offers the ability to leverage amenities within the building and gives your members a wider range of services and experiences throughout the building, not just your workspace.
  • Demonstrating an efficient and profitable operation, business plan, and track record when engaging with landlords is crucial to gain traction with them.
  • Each real estate negotiation process varies. Have a clear understanding of what each party is trying to achieve and work your way to common ground. Hiring a broker or consultant can help you navigate the murky waters to partner intelligently.
  • When negotiating a deal, understand your risk appetite and know when the deal will no longer work for you. Make sure you stick to your plan and walk away if the numbers don’t add up.
  • Most landlords are still trying to understand flex. Some will be more entrepreneurial and others more conservative. Ask the right questions and remember that every negotiation is different.
5. Business Model
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6. Sales&Occupancy

SALES AND OCCUPANCY

  • Your many operational priorities will all impact your sales pipeline and occupancy rates.
  • Brand is king. The first touch point prospects and customers have with your brand is your website. It’s critical to make it as simple as possible for prospects and customers to see your contact information, schedule a tour, and view your space online. Invest in your website and your tech platforms to ensure a consistent and memorable experience throughout the entire customer journey.
  • Before you launch your space it’s important to have your CRM platform up and running so you can generate demand and nurture leads before you open. 

  • Leverage your brand, vision and company culture by making them key selling points with your prospects.

  • Understand who your target audience is and how and why you’re targeting them to define your strategy and drive sales. Have a plan and stick to it.

  • Sales is more than just acquiring customers. It’s about retaining them too.

  • To retain customers, keep your finger on the pulse of the industry and keep your members close. Understand what they want and need and commit to delivering it.

OUR PANELISTS

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See the full webinar

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