How to Define the Effectiveness of Communal Work Spaces

By in Coworking

Coworking spaces have become big business in the last ten years. With nearly 18,000 spaces that serve upwards of 2.3 million members, the industry continues to grow at an impressive 24% annually with no stopping in sight. It naturally follows that competition among coworking space operators has grown as well.

Measuring success is always important. In a traditional office space, continuous performance management review software is able to establish how effective your team is being. Likewise, in order to develop your coworking space to provide high service while maximizing revenues, you need data to determine best practices.

KPIs To Think About

Key performance indicators (KPIs) for coworking space management will vary by type of operation. Coworking spaces are inherently different from traditionally dedicated office spaces. Therefore, understanding their utility, value, and performance means the industry has its own unique KPIs.

In the early days of the market, “cost per desk” was the primary method of measuring effectiveness. You counted up the spaces, number of users, and the time spent to determine success.

What was lacking, however, was a deeper analysis on how space was used, who used it and why, and even when they were visiting. Having this data on hand in today’s market can help owners and managers leverage their space and revenues to the best advantage.

  1. The Space Itself

Coworking spaces serve individuals and groups. Private offices, conference rooms, shared open environments, or group areas all will have different rates of occupancy. Understanding how much these spaces are used can drive the amount of physical area dedicated to them. Having that data can give you a cost per square foot measurement that can influence the type of clientele you look to attract and maintain.

Tech services like private phone booths and video conferencing areas will also represent a sunk cost that requires success measurement. Finding the right balance within your coworking space that drives both collaboration and individual work will give you a clearer idea of what will produce customer satisfaction for the best ROI.

  1. Present Users

Breaking down visitors by the numbers will give you a sense of utilization volumes. Tracking how many people use the space daily, whether they are part of a single business, and when they use the space on an hourly basis can help design schedules that optimize space management.

One factor to examine is whether the space is being fully used by the user within the time allotted. Comparing actual versus anticipated figures can give you insights on how to schedule in a way that maximizes income per space.

  1. Retaining Clients

Coworking spaces succeed with client stability. Knowing your customer and meeting their needs can lead to long-term use by individuals and business units. With 70% of members anticipating remaining in place for at least a year expecting to remain in place for at least a year, finding ways to increase that number will reduce marketing costs significantly.

Keep tabs on how many members you acquire per month, how they are hearing about you, and your ongoing retention rates. Doing so will allow you to evaluate which advertising channels you should spend your marketing dollars on. Surveying your current clients about how their needs are being successfully met will give you areas to highlight in your marketing strategies.

  1. Measuring Data

Tracking all this data often ends up in spreadsheets, which can be unwieldy and time-consuming. In addition, you may not be able to run reports that produce actual insight value. Coworking space management software is specifically designed to address KPIs for the industry. Features include the ability to segment and analyze data in a variety of ways, all of which can produce valuable insights on your space management.

By understanding the underlying numbers of who your users are and what they need and expect, you can optimize your space to reach better KPIs. With the right adjustments, you can maximize revenues without sacrificing service or increasing tenant turnover.

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Jack Cohen

Jack Cohen has over 22 years of industry experience developing and implementing real estate strategies for clients in Manhattan and throughout the United States. Prior to founding Spaces Commercial Real Estate, Jack was a Managing Director at Colliers International for 3 years and a Director at Cushman & Wakefield for 9 years. Jack’s forward thinking has engineered some of Manhattan’s most unique and difficult deals including the repositioning and leasing of 636 11th Avenue, a 564,000 RSF warehouse to office conversion, which was awarded real estates highest honor- REBNY’s Henry Hart Rice Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award. Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Business where he majored in Economics and Business Management. He is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, the executive committee of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the Board of Education of Keter Torah, his childrens’ school. Jack lives on the Jersey Shore with his wife and three children.