How Co-Working Spaces are Changing Multifamily Properties
by McKenna Hogan, on Jun 1, 2021 8:30:00 AM
Co-working spaces for multifamily properties are nothing new—but due to the pandemic, have seen a huge increase in popularity.
However, there’s quite a bit to learn about these “amenities” or extras being implemented in apartment communities across the nation. Below we will cover the ins and outs of co-working spaces for multifamily, and how you can jump on the trend to increase leases and revenue.
What are co-working spaces in multifamily?
Co-working spaces in multifamily properties are open areas complete with office furniture and amenities, and can have meeting rooms, suites, or different areas for specified purposes.
These spaces can either be rented out to businesses, or can be used by tenants who are working from home, often for a low membership fee. They can all occupy the same space, hence the term “co-working.”
This has become more prominent - especially for millennials - because more people are opting to work from home, and so paying rent for an official office space isn’t always necessary, or budget-friendly.
Co-working spaces are really important to renters right now - especially millennials - who have been working from home during the pandemic, or have the option to work remotely.
What are the benefits?
According to Property Manager Insider, since 2005, the number of professionals in the United States who work remotely more than 50% of the time has grown 159% to 4.7 million people.
Because working from home has, and will continue to be important to renters and workers, multifamily properties that have co-working spaces will be the hottest on the market in 2021 and beyond.
The benefit of having a co-working space isn’t all about appealing to renters, however.
Businesses are actively seeking out alternatives to the “basic office space” considering working from home has now become a viable option for many businesses—and is oftentimes preferred.
Because of this, spending money on leasing out an office that no one is coming into may seem a bit counterproductive to some, which is why renting out a co-working space for a more budget-friendly price can be extremely appealing to many companies.
Employees can come in on their time and utilize a collaborative space without all of the hassle of occupying an actual office.
Overall, it’s extremely timely to integrate this amenity due to convenience and comfortability—people wanting to go into the office can, and the rest have the option to stay home, or show up based on their own schedules.
And most importantly, it generates additional revenue for multifamily properties for a generous ROI, almost like having additional leases.
Who is qualified to implement co-working spaces?
A few necessary requirements for implementing a co-working space for your multifamily property include actually having the space as well as the budget to uphold it.
You'll also want to ensure it makes sense for your renters—can they afford it? Is it a good resource for them?
If you can check off these boxes, the next thing to consider is location.
Where is your property located, i.e. a big city or commercial office setting, and would people be able to easily access your space?
The point of co-working spaces is convenience. It shouldn’t be absurdly pricey, hard to find, or in a secluded location. Overall, it should be a convenient alternative to going into the office, whether it’s because of where it’s located, how budget-friendly it is, and even how beneficial the equipment is to people that otherwise might not have it.
You’ll probably also want to look into a management software for your co-working space.
Multi-Housing News recommends Yardi Kube, which helps manage costs and memberships so that everything runs smoothly.
Lastly, ensure you promote amenities, or extras that are a part of your co-working space.
Do you have excellent wifi? A coffee bar? Meeting rooms?
Any property can have a space where people can work, but not everyone can have a legitimate co-working office setting that functions just as well as a regular office.
Co-working space must-haves
As we mentioned, any property can implement a space where renters can work—but not all properties can execute a co-working space that is both appealing and functional.
Below are a few “perks” to consider for your co-working space that will catch renters’ eyes.
- A spaced out floor plan for comfort and safety
- Comfortable (and trendy) furniture
- Reliable wifi
- Printers that actually work
- A library
- A coffee bar or kitchen
- More than one meeting room
- Outside space
If you want tenants - and businesses - to feel obligated to utilize your space, you’ll need to give them a reason that’s more than just a desk and some wifi.
Maximize the experience to ensure customer satisfaction, and to keep the leases coming.
The future of co-working spaces
As mentioned above, co-working spaces were a hit even before the pandemic, and now some might even say they are a necessity.
Renters are actively looking for an apartment that is more than just an apartment. They want a place to work, socialize, exercise, and much more—especially during covid times.
Although renting trends are constantly changing, we foresee co-working spaces as a staple to multifamily communities, and will surely encourage more signed leases from both renters, and businesses.
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