Impact of Coworking in a Business Center

A Business Center is in need of new tenants. They are almost 70% vacant. I suggested them converting one of the floors to a Coworking. (each floor is around 600 square meter and they have 9 floors) I told them having a coworking will promote their building and in the long run help them find new permanent tenants assuming some of coworking members will rent them permanent offices at other floors eventually. What are your thoughts on that? Has anyone had similar case? They say "coworking is good for big cities, in our 300,000 populated city it will not work. I don’t think it is true. How can I convince the building owners about the benefits of having a coworking floor?

Thanks,

Caner

Hello Caner,

It is true that larger spaces are hard to lease out as compared to coworking. Maybe you could talk them into converting a small part of the aforesaid space into coworking and test it out. However, I suggest that you back it with some facts and figures (For eg: No. of freelancers in your city, any business travelers etc.). Moreover, the space utilization efficiency is much higher in coworking as compared to a traditional office where a lot of common area is wasted. If not anything else, coworking will especially work out if a lot of tourists visit your town. Maybe you could add in a coffee shop to hang out with great wi-fi along with coworking! All the best! Do get back to me in case of any queries.

Cheers
Raghu

···

On Friday, 20 April 2018 01:36:28 UTC+5:30, Caner Onoglu wrote:

A Business Center is in need of new tenants. They are almost 70% vacant. I suggested them converting one of the floors to a Coworking. (each floor is around 600 square meter and they have 9 floors) I told them having a coworking will promote their building and in the long run help them find new permanent tenants assuming some of coworking members will rent them permanent offices at other floors eventually. What are your thoughts on that? Has anyone had similar case? They say "coworking is good for big cities, in our 300,000 populated city it will not work. I don’t think it is true. How can I convince the building owners about the benefits of having a coworking floor?

Thanks,

Caner

Thank you Raghu. Your advices and leads are very valuable. If you are already in this business and may be interested in expanding in Atyrau, Kazakhstan I will be glad to cooperate.

···

On Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 1:46 PM, Raghuveer Kovuru [email protected] wrote:

Hello Caner,

It is true that larger spaces are hard to lease out as compared to coworking. Maybe you could talk them into converting a small part of the aforesaid space into coworking and test it out. However, I suggest that you back it with some facts and figures (For eg: No. of freelancers in your city, any business travelers etc.). Moreover, the space utilization efficiency is much higher in coworking as compared to a traditional office where a lot of common area is wasted. If not anything else, coworking will especially work out if a lot of tourists visit your town. Maybe you could add in a coffee shop to hang out with great wi-fi along with coworking! All the best! Do get back to me in case of any queries.

Cheers
Raghu

On Friday, 20 April 2018 01:36:28 UTC+5:30, Caner Onoglu wrote:

A Business Center is in need of new tenants. They are almost 70% vacant. I suggested them converting one of the floors to a Coworking. (each floor is around 600 square meter and they have 9 floors) I told them having a coworking will promote their building and in the long run help them find new permanent tenants assuming some of coworking members will rent them permanent offices at other floors eventually. What are your thoughts on that? Has anyone had similar case? They say "coworking is good for big cities, in our 300,000 populated city it will not work. I don’t think it is true. How can I convince the building owners about the benefits of having a coworking floor?

Thanks,

Caner

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Hello Ivan,
Thanks for your informative and helpful message. In our town there are no coworking centers. The vacany in the office building can be temporary because of being them higher in prices and not ready for a chance in the market. They had a big corporate client which took all the building and when downsized and vacated the building, they were not ready to deal with smaller companies. They even don’t have a coffee corner/small cafeteria in the building. I am not sure about the potential freelancers and IT specialists in town but I guess as everywhere else should be.

I would be glad to cooperate with coworking specialists who want to be active in this part of the world. I am located in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. It is a major oil town with lots of investment projects going on.

Best Regards,

Caner Onoglu

www.altaca.com

···

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 1:27 PM, [email protected] wrote:

The idea you are proposing sounds reasonable, especially if they have such a high rate of vacancies. Before searching for a solution - any idea on why they ended up in such a situation in the first place?

The city size argument doesn’t really matter. You are not going after the general population. Instead, they should be looking at the IT/freelancers scene. Plenty of potential, if you have people in those professions living in the city. I can give you an example of a city in Bulgaria called Plovdiv (population around 350k). However, there are around 3 places and even more opening in the area. Why? Because more and more IT professionals are moving there and would like to get a place to work without the need for long-term commitments.

In this context I would also check if there are already coworking spaces in the city and how are they doing. This might give you an idea of the viability of the idea.

Hope this helps.

Ivan Guberkov | OfficeR&D

Website: officernd.com

On Monday, April 23, 2018 at 2:23:29 PM UTC+3, Caner Onoglu wrote:

Thank you Raghu. Your advices and leads are very valuable. If you are already in this business and may be interested in expanding in Atyrau, Kazakhstan I will be glad to cooperate.

On Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 1:46 PM, Raghuveer Kovuru [email protected] wrote:

Hello Caner,

It is true that larger spaces are hard to lease out as compared to coworking. Maybe you could talk them into converting a small part of the aforesaid space into coworking and test it out. However, I suggest that you back it with some facts and figures (For eg: No. of freelancers in your city, any business travelers etc.). Moreover, the space utilization efficiency is much higher in coworking as compared to a traditional office where a lot of common area is wasted. If not anything else, coworking will especially work out if a lot of tourists visit your town. Maybe you could add in a coffee shop to hang out with great wi-fi along with coworking! All the best! Do get back to me in case of any queries.

Cheers
Raghu

On Friday, 20 April 2018 01:36:28 UTC+5:30, Caner Onoglu wrote:

A Business Center is in need of new tenants. They are almost 70% vacant. I suggested them converting one of the floors to a Coworking. (each floor is around 600 square meter and they have 9 floors) I told them having a coworking will promote their building and in the long run help them find new permanent tenants assuming some of coworking members will rent them permanent offices at other floors eventually. What are your thoughts on that? Has anyone had similar case? They say "coworking is good for big cities, in our 300,000 populated city it will not work. I don’t think it is true. How can I convince the building owners about the benefits of having a coworking floor?

Thanks,

Caner

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There’s a couple of interesting things in this thread I’ve been wanting to reply to.

"They say “coworking is good for big cities, in our 300,000 populated city it will not work. I don’t think it is true.”

I totally agree with you. A couple of weekends ago I was a part of the first Coworking Pennsylvania conference in Lancaster, PA (and maybe the first state-wide coworking conference in the US? I’m not really sure).

One of the most striking themes was that out of 60+ attendees, there were…less than 10 joining from the 2 “major” cities (Philly and Pittsburgh). The majority of coworking in our entire state is happening in smaller cities and towns. For just one example, Radius Coworking in Erie PA (population <100,000) has played a huge role in building a new and vibrant creative/small business community. There were even additional coworking spaces opening up in nearby towns smaller than Erie, started by former members of Radius.

Coworking in big cities gets all of the press, but coworking in small towns is where I see people creating disproportionate value with nominal financial investments.

The real investment, of course, is in time and relationships and human capital. Which leads me to the second question:

“How can I convince the building owners about the benefits of having a coworking floor?”

While I understand the objective, I generally think the goal of “convincing people about coworking” is misplaced.

Some building owners definitely see the value of activating their buildings with vibrant resources like a coworking space. And I do know for a FACT that a building with a coworking space makes for a sexy sale, both in residential and commercial settings.

But designating space for coworking is only a fraction of the work it takes to create activation like Radius has in their building, and like the other successes that I’ve seen with this approach.

Rather than trying to convince a building owner that coworking would work…**I’d show them. **

I’d follow the same playbook I always recommend: start developing a community, or find one that is already forming but doesn’t have a home. Start doing things together that help each others’ work and businesses, and when you find yourself needing a place…see if the building owner would like to start getting active in that community. You can encourage them (and guide them) about how to show up, be helpful, and understand the community they might be able to help thrive in their building.

If the landlord actually gives a shit about the community, and has a long-view, this has a chance to work. Those landlords exist, though they are rare. This is a great test to see if they’re really in it for the long haul…or if they’re just looking to fill idle space and don’t care about the impact on the community.

-Alex

···

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 1:27 PM, [email protected] wrote:

The idea you are proposing sounds reasonable, especially if they have such a high rate of vacancies. Before searching for a solution - any idea on why they ended up in such a situation in the first place?

The city size argument doesn’t really matter. You are not going after the general population. Instead, they should be looking at the IT/freelancers scene. Plenty of potential, if you have people in those professions living in the city. I can give you an example of a city in Bulgaria called Plovdiv (population around 350k). However, there are around 3 places and even more opening in the area. Why? Because more and more IT professionals are moving there and would like to get a place to work without the need for long-term commitments.

In this context I would also check if there are already coworking spaces in the city and how are they doing. This might give you an idea of the viability of the idea.

Hope this helps.

Ivan Guberkov | OfficeR&D

Website: officernd.com

On Monday, April 23, 2018 at 2:23:29 PM UTC+3, Caner Onoglu wrote:

Thank you Raghu. Your advices and leads are very valuable. If you are already in this business and may be interested in expanding in Atyrau, Kazakhstan I will be glad to cooperate.

On Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 1:46 PM, Raghuveer Kovuru [email protected] wrote:

Hello Caner,

It is true that larger spaces are hard to lease out as compared to coworking. Maybe you could talk them into converting a small part of the aforesaid space into coworking and test it out. However, I suggest that you back it with some facts and figures (For eg: No. of freelancers in your city, any business travelers etc.). Moreover, the space utilization efficiency is much higher in coworking as compared to a traditional office where a lot of common area is wasted. If not anything else, coworking will especially work out if a lot of tourists visit your town. Maybe you could add in a coffee shop to hang out with great wi-fi along with coworking! All the best! Do get back to me in case of any queries.

Cheers
Raghu

On Friday, 20 April 2018 01:36:28 UTC+5:30, Caner Onoglu wrote:

A Business Center is in need of new tenants. They are almost 70% vacant. I suggested them converting one of the floors to a Coworking. (each floor is around 600 square meter and they have 9 floors) I told them having a coworking will promote their building and in the long run help them find new permanent tenants assuming some of coworking members will rent them permanent offices at other floors eventually. What are your thoughts on that? Has anyone had similar case? They say "coworking is good for big cities, in our 300,000 populated city it will not work. I don’t think it is true. How can I convince the building owners about the benefits of having a coworking floor?

Thanks,

Caner

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Great message Alex, thank you. I especially agree with the last point. First I need to develop a community and the place present itself somehow.

···

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 1:27 PM, [email protected] wrote:

The idea you are proposing sounds reasonable, especially if they have such a high rate of vacancies. Before searching for a solution - any idea on why they ended up in such a situation in the first place?

The city size argument doesn’t really matter. You are not going after the general population. Instead, they should be looking at the IT/freelancers scene. Plenty of potential, if you have people in those professions living in the city. I can give you an example of a city in Bulgaria called Plovdiv (population around 350k). However, there are around 3 places and even more opening in the area. Why? Because more and more IT professionals are moving there and would like to get a place to work without the need for long-term commitments.

In this context I would also check if there are already coworking spaces in the city and how are they doing. This might give you an idea of the viability of the idea.

Hope this helps.

Ivan Guberkov | OfficeR&D

Website: officernd.com

On Monday, April 23, 2018 at 2:23:29 PM UTC+3, Caner Onoglu wrote:

Thank you Raghu. Your advices and leads are very valuable. If you are already in this business and may be interested in expanding in Atyrau, Kazakhstan I will be glad to cooperate.

On Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 1:46 PM, Raghuveer Kovuru [email protected] wrote:

Hello Caner,

It is true that larger spaces are hard to lease out as compared to coworking. Maybe you could talk them into converting a small part of the aforesaid space into coworking and test it out. However, I suggest that you back it with some facts and figures (For eg: No. of freelancers in your city, any business travelers etc.). Moreover, the space utilization efficiency is much higher in coworking as compared to a traditional office where a lot of common area is wasted. If not anything else, coworking will especially work out if a lot of tourists visit your town. Maybe you could add in a coffee shop to hang out with great wi-fi along with coworking! All the best! Do get back to me in case of any queries.

Cheers
Raghu

On Friday, 20 April 2018 01:36:28 UTC+5:30, Caner Onoglu wrote:

A Business Center is in need of new tenants. They are almost 70% vacant. I suggested them converting one of the floors to a Coworking. (each floor is around 600 square meter and they have 9 floors) I told them having a coworking will promote their building and in the long run help them find new permanent tenants assuming some of coworking members will rent them permanent offices at other floors eventually. What are your thoughts on that? Has anyone had similar case? They say "coworking is good for big cities, in our 300,000 populated city it will not work. I don’t think it is true. How can I convince the building owners about the benefits of having a coworking floor?

Thanks,

Caner

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