It is hard to make predictions, especially about the future. The current context has been a cruel reminder of this truth. But while this may make coworking and flexible workspace forecasting seem impossible now, it’s more important than ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the coworking and flexible workspace industry particularly hard, precisely because of its flexibility.
Coworking and flexible workspace are under pressure to maximize revenue from the little the space has. At the same time, coworking and flexible workspace managers find it challenging to set the correct prices in today’s shifting markets.
This has led the coworking and flexible workspace industry to talk more about forward-looking data, how to access it and use it to optimize revenue and help to forecast demand more accurately.
To be successful in this new context, relying solely on observing past performance data is not enough. Coworkings and flexible workspaces must rethink their approach and adapt to the current market conditions by using enhanced resources. Then they can position themselves well for the post-lockdown period, find new demand sources and revenue lines, which might require developing new approaches.
Moving forward, the key to success for today's coworking and flexible workspace will demand a proactive, data-driven approach supported by innovative tech tools and top-of-funnel demand information.
Top-of-funnel data will revolutionize the industry by providing coworking and flexible workspace with the capability to better predict true demand based on notional demand (those who would like coworking and flexible workspaces if they knew it) and unmet (those that have made the decision and are now looking for the right match). On top of that, the ability to gain these insights automatically by supportive tech solutions will save a lot of time and provide a unique competitive advantage for coworking and flexible workspace.
Using forward-looking data brings many valuable benefits you won’t get just from looking at historical data.
Among other things, using forward-leaning data can help you do the following:
Since this may sound a bit abstract, let’s look at three ways you can apply predictive, forward-looking market intelligence in day-to-day decision-making to maximize your revenue.
High-level booking intent can be read on the traffic going to coworking and flexible workspace operators website. Web traffic intelligence tools such as SimilarWeb track this information, as shown on the next chart.
However, this do not give a sense of the localisation of booking intent. Forward-looking booking intent received by supply and demand aggregators such as Valve take into account how demand for your destination is trending in various source markets. Once you know which markets are interested in your city and which office types they’re searching for, you can create geo-targeted ads and promotions for this source market. Use this to direct more of the unmet demand to your property and let your favourite benchmarking tool support you with appropriate rate suggestions.
Combine forward-looking demand data with competition insights to understand how your competitors are reacting to changing demand in the short and long term. Who is opening where? Having this bird’s eye view of the market helps you accurately position your property among your primary compset and in the market overall. This means you reduce the risk of outpricing yourself all while maintaining appropriate rates following real-time changes in the market.
Top-of-funnel data looks beyond current competitor rates and trends on broker's books. It looks at the notional demand - people who would love coworking and flexible workspace if only they new about it.
It gives you the bigger picture by including socio-economic data such as population count, median income, proximity to points of interest, and much more. Since this is much more data than any team could ever collect and analyze manually, a business intelligence tool comes in handy. It will give you the chance to see your market and future demand as a whole instead of just individual snapshots. Use this information to refine your revenue strategy and optimize tactics and decisions both in the short and long term.
“Market conditions for coworking and flexible workspaces have changed drastically with fundamental shifts in worker behavior and constantly evolving demand patterns. Understanding worker search patterns and upper-funnel data has become essential for coworkings and flexible workspaces to capture demand before their competition,” said Ben Tannenbaum, CEO of CoworkIntel.
Until recently, brokers have mostly possessed a monopoly on forward-looking demand data.
Business intelligence tools like CoworkIntel can now reveal this data to coworking and flexible workspaces by providing coworking and flexible workspaces with aggregated data sets that reflect coworking and flexible workspaces notional and unmet demand through booking intent, end-of-leases for traditional offices and socio-demigraphic indicators of the maximum achievable demand in some geographical coworking and flexible workspace market.
To take things a step further and ensure rates are always optimized in real-time, this data can be fed directly into a benchmarking tool to improve rate recommendations. CoworkIntel's Dashboard integrates both the existing demand data and future one.
For a coworking and flexible workspace, this brings a unique competitive advantage and provides better conditions to predict, forecast, and boost future business, revenue, and profitability.