COVID19 has fundamentally changed the way we do business. From the largest firm to the humblest upstart, everybody is now reevaluating the merits of their working conditions. A modern office, full of shared spaces and common areas, seems inappropriate in a time where distancing is encouraged and many are electing to work remotely.
A new franchise owner navigating this changing landscape might have little idea of where to start when thinking about a practical office model. Some workers might perform better working remotely, while others who find themselves faced with opportunities for nothing but remote work might prefer an office environment among their peers. In every case, cost-effectiveness and office location are under more scrutiny than ever before.
The property management industry is at the forefront of this change; one franchise in particular has seen rapid growth by focusing on coworking. Their model of business exemplifies a flexible workspace, and addresses concerns over work life balance in a way that has received numerous accolades from Entrepreneur and Inc.
Coworking, at its core, involves multiple companies sharing the same neutral workspace. Though until recently unheard of, the demand for coworking spaces has skyrocketed: from 600 spaces in 2010 to 26300 in 2020. It makes up almost 2 percent of commercial real estate and is expected to increase by thirty percent in the next ten years.
This franchise in particular is working to fill a niche within the coworking environment. It offers a ready-to-use, flexible space to small and large firms alike, as well as entrepreneurs, for a fraction of the cost of building and operating a private office space. It also seeks to serve a better work-life balance for small businesses: Most of its locations are constructed close to residential neighborhoods, keeping commute times low for workers.
Keeping close with family is imperative during times of pandemic. It’s also smart: long commutes are costly and can potentially lead to exposing workers and communities further away to the virus. This franchise is taking other steps to reduce transmission, including a ratio of private, semi-private, and open spaces to ensure companies are able to maintain a safe distance between employees, while enhancing their ability to communicate when needed.
Because of these steps, and the service a coworking space serves in a community, it is a relief that this franchise is also considered an essential business, staying open through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the most striking thing about this franchise is its cost-effectiveness. Requiring simply one salaried employee, calls moving to a switchboard if this person is unavailable, and utilizing a subscription-based renting model, it has strategically positioned itself as a viable option for franchise owners looking for a safe bet in the tumultuous times brought on by the pandemic.
The coworking model has been found to resist the worst of recessions as well: a demand always exists for such flexible space, especially considering its alternatives. The franchise caters to small businesses and entrepreneurs, giving them a chance to have a practical working environment for relatively cheap, in addition to providing opportunity to local, underserved populations in suburban areas.
For potential franchise owners, this property management business can offer a reliable, safe option to find a way into the market among discouraging times. The structure means most relations between franchise owner and tenants are business to business (B2B) and are part of a growing market. It can give a unique space that is both efficient and cost effective, while attracting local business.
The property management market has changed alongside every other field in recent months, but coworking models show promise as a solution for both small companies and franchise owners alike. This franchise made it to the top by adapting to concerns surrounding the virus and catering to both workers who prefer remote working and those who wish to return to an office environment. Coworking is definitely worth a look for any who are interested in owning a franchise in property management.