Whether you’ve been growing your company in the same coworking space for years, or you are shopping around for the right space to land your 40-person branch office, there are several things you can do to ensure you are getting the best monthly rate. The key thing to understand is that all coworking companies like WeWork, Knotel, Industrious, and others operate identically to Landlords. Their highest priority is to reduce vacancy, making them willing to negotiate to keep you or attract you to their space. With that in mind, you should feel confident that by implementing these strategies you’ll be sure to get the most “free” beer and coffee for your money.
1) Understand Your Options and Build Leverage
Everyone knows about WeWork, but there are over 100 independent coworking companies operating in NYC. Their price points, amenities, and culture range from a bare-bones hipster coffee-shop-style desk for $400/month, to an all-inclusive executive suite with views of central park for $5000/month. Once you understand your company’s space needs and budget, you can begin to narrow down the search. By having several competitive options you can leverage them against each other and get the best deal. Don’t be afraid to tell one coworking company that you are interested in the other and let them compete for your business.
2) Use Perks and Amenities as Bargaining Chips
Not getting enough conference room time and don’t really need the free beer that is usually tapped out anyway? Prioritize the amenities that your company needs, and avoid paying for the ones you don’t. Avoid coworking options with superfluous “free” amenities that do nothing for your company, because you end paying for them one way or another.
3) Go For a Longer Term if You Can
One of the largest benefits of coworking is the ability to signup for a short or flexible period of time. If your company is established and stable enough to consider a 2-year or longer term, make sure you are getting a discount for your longer commitment. Additionally, this is a good time to start thinking about if coworking is still right for you. Due to the competition of short-term leases from coworking companies, many Landlords are offering 3-year leases at much more affordable rates then coworking.
4) Look for a Recently Opened Facility
In an effort to quickly fill their vacancies, newly opened or soon to open coworking facilities offer discounts and promotions that are worth considering. For example WeWork was offering free 2 month memberships to their newest facility in Penn Plaza last month.
5) Consult a Professional That Understands the Market
These days, there is a wealth of information at your fingertips, but this doesn’t replace an expert that understands the various coworking options and amenities which will help you cut through the fluff and focus on the right options. This saves both time and money by only viewing relevant options and creating leverage to negotiate the most favorable terms. It’s important to know that commercial real estate brokers in NYC get paid by the landlord (or in this case coworking provider) so there’s no cost for their guidance.
6) Compare the cost of coworking to dedicated space
Here’s a secret- WeWork hates losing members to dedicated office space. Sometimes comparing to other coworking providers doesn’t provide the leverage needed to negotiate a better deal. When this is the case, you’re best bet is to find a dedicated space alternative. Even better if it’s a sublease. There are various tools to search for office space in NYC or reach out to a broker to guide you through the process. Once you’ve identified a direct space option, you could establish a benchmark for WeWork to meet.