Commercial real estate has entered an exciting new era, defined in a dramatic shift in where and how people work. Many entrepreneurs and corporations, your clients, are looking for more flexible, productive, and practical solutions in real estate.
Many now consider shared spaces as the ultimate answer to common real estate challenges. From Seattle to Houston, to New York to Atlanta, the benefits of coworking have generated a movement and new partnerships between brokers and flex space operators.
11 Reasons CRE Brokers Should Be Showing More Flex & Coworking Spaces
Below we outline the most compelling reasons you should present coworking options to your commercial real estate clients. Find out how adding flex and coworking spaces to your available property options can both impress clients and enhance your credibility for knowledge in the commercial real estate industry.
1. The Numbers Don’t Lie – Corporate America is Adopting Flexible Space Alternatives
66% of U.S. businesses are now using flex spaces, so it’s no wonder that 57% of surveyed C-suite executives said that they view shared spaces favorably. Another 20% are considering flexible office space, but have yet to take that leap, demonstrating a growing coworking movement, not a fly-by-night concept.
Flexible space appeals to leadership for many reasons, but 34% of businesses have cut their real estate costs by at least five percent. That’s enough to appeal to the savvy executives who need to expand their working environment, but not enough to cut massively into real estate commissions.
In the U.S., three percent of the workforce is currently utilizing coworking spaces as their regular place to work. Globally, it’s 12%.
2. It Could Potentially A Better “Current” Fit for Your Clients Space Needs
Particularly in the startup and entrepreneurial environment growth phases, shared space, meeting rooms, and offices give your clients access to more space and amenities in line with their business budget. By showing these spaces, you offer your clients a community vibe, shared amenities, and flexibility on top of a more uplifting aesthetic environment they won’t get when they lease an older Class B or C class building.
Many small businesses simply don’t know that flexible space is an option. When CRE brokers suggest flex space it becomes a breath of fresh air for a stressed, yet optimistic small business owner trying to figure out how they’re going to create an environment that draws in and keeps top talent in their industry.
A coworking building becomes one more tool commercial real estate agents have in their tool kits to provide the optimal solution to a client. The flex space model can fit so many client’s needs because of the efficiency with which they use space.
Flex spaces are two-to-three times denser than traditional office spaces. If this sounds like it would be crowded, think again. This is often 50 to 100 square feet per member, the size of a small-medium private office per person.
With traditional office ratios ranging between 125 – 175 square feet flex space is on par with corporate America’s current desire employee/floor plate ratios when including conference rooms, common areas, and kitchen space.
Flex space can create more welcoming, vibrant, inspiring environments for all professionals, not just those few lucky enough to get a corner office.
3. Earn Higher Fees & Commissions
The reality is that coworking/flex space operators are happy to pay brokerage fees. Most operators pay a 10% commission. With the average stay of a coworking member being in excess of three years, as reported by Global Workforce Association, agents and brokers can actually earn almost double the commissions placing clients in coworking and flex space as they can in a traditional three office space.
4. Faster Deals Easier Agreements
Deals get done faster in flex/coworking space because the documentation is significantly different in a membership agreement or license than you have in a traditional lease document. Coworking deals can get done in days whereas the typical traditional leases can easily take a month to six months depending on the size of the deal.
5. Move-In Ready / Turnkey Space For Your Clients
Flex space is turn-key ready. The furniture, the secured fiber-WiFi, the controlled-access, the amenities, they’re all there and prepared for a single client, five-person startup, or established Fortune 100 corporate clients to move right in and get to work. They don’t need to spend weeks or possibly months getting utilities, furniture, and equipment set up and moved in.
6. More Short-Term Flexible Solutions for Clients
As a CRE broker, you the marketplace doesn’t provide many short-term solutions. Most property owners expect a three, five, or even ten-year lease term from your client. Many businesses can’t make that commitment but may feel forced into a contract that doesn’t work for them or their business plan.
Because a coworking community optimizes the use of space, flex property operators welcome short-term memberships.
7. More Repeat Clients / Multiple Commissions / More Referrals
Flexible spaces promote productivity and business growth. So while even Fortune 1000 corporations are using the flexible workspace, some of your more entrepreneurial business clients may feel that they will outgrow a shared solution.
As the CRE broker who helped a small entrepreneurial owner find the perfect solution for their current needs, you’ll have the opportunity to find the right solution again, whether that’s a different flex solution or a traditional office space.
Showing coworking spaces to clients can increase the frequency that clients need your services and the potential referrals and commissions that come with it.
8. Coworking & Networking = Potential Commissions
Networking with flex space providers sets CRE brokers up for success. It puts them in the right place at the right time. Fostering a relationship with coworking operators can create a preferred vendor relationship that saves you time and generates endless referrals.
9. Build Trust & Buzz in the Multiple Industries
Establish credibility within various business industries and a name for yourself. Get those startups out of the coffee shops or working from home in someone’s living room and earn commissions and loyal customers at the same time. You can do it by finding the right solution that works for their business today. When you do, the news will spread in their business circles and it will lead to referrals to other entrepreneurial businesses.
Being on board with the evolution of commercial real estate and leveraging the popularity of coworking and flexible workspace can help you generate a more loyal client base and demonstrate that your market knowledge.
10. Demonstrates Industry Knowledge To Your Clients
How many CRE brokers do you know to believe coworking is a fad or the same as the old fashion executive suites? These agents wouldn’t even consider showing a shared office space to a client, but the truth is, they’re out of touch with what business clients today want and need.
Because we’re in the middle of a coworking movement, the fact that you adapt to changing real estate trends shows that you understand modern business needs. You’re willing to play the long game, delivering more short-term and customized solutions because in the long run, you’ll build your clientele faster and they will be more loyal.
11. Interim Solutions for Clients
You may have a client going through a major renovation, and the property owner says they won’t be able to move in for several months until he can renovate the space. This can hinder their ability to meet their business goals and objectives.
Or, you may have a client that wants to open a temporary office before they plant their flag permanently and make a big rental commitment.
It doesn’t matter if they need space for two weeks or six months; flexible office space offers your clients more agreeable options. You’ll be a superstar for your client faced with the move-in delay dilemma and solve their short term needs.
So, if you’re ready to add flexible workspace/coworking to your space arsenal, please consider Sharedspace – our coworking spaces are designed to help businesses thrive.
SharedSpace is an Atlanta-based coworking solution for your business clients. We focus on creating a professional, modern, energetic, and productivity-conducive environment for our members. Because our spaces are fully furnished and offer shared amenities, we offer your clients enhanced solutions that might not otherwise be able to afford in a private space.
Our office building is filled with creative, professional, and entrepreneurial people and businesses who are all about productivity and community with incredibly flexible leasing options.
Coworking & Flex Space Options at SharedSpace
So ask your client some questions. Showing them coworking spaces here at SharedSpace helps you provide them with the best business options and customized plans for their unique client profile.
Amenities at SharedSpace’s Atlanta-based locations include:
- 24/7 secure access – They’ll use an app to access the building whenever they need
- Natural light – A Cornell University study showed that natural light decreases eyestrain by 51%, reduces stress headaches by 63%, and drowsiness by 56%. Another study showed people are 15% more productive in rooms with outside windows. Our layout maximizes natural light. All of these amount to a more productive, healthy workforce.
- An energetic atmosphere – The decor, layout, ceiling heights, and culture of our spaces foster energy, happiness, and productivity.
- Locally-roasted coffee served all day, along with other beverage choices
- Meeting & Event Rooms – Members can book supplemental working spaces, to use as meeting rooms, client presentations spaces, training rooms, and more. These spaces come complete with modern AV equipment and adjoining kitchen, so they’re ready to help businesses optimize their use of time, workspace, and resources.
- Private offices – Even though we focus on our sharing, energetic environment, we also offer private offices to support the needs of our coworking community members who need calm and quiet to be most productive.
- Hosted events – We host a weekly happy hour and Waffle Wednesday to mix things up and offer members the kinds of social activity perks they might miss out on as solopreneurs or small businesses.
- Printing – Basic B&W printing included
- Free parking – Save drivers as much as $14/day
Still unsure? Please visit our website and schedule a tour for yourself to see what the hype is all about.