Space is a valuable commodity, especially in densely populated urban areas that continuously attract talent with career advancement opportunities. As a result, space in such urban areas have a high cash value for those who utilise it to its full potential.
Companies such as Airbnb capitalise on the commodity of residential space and has such built a company with a $31 billion valuation as of September 2017. It boasts 650,000 hosts with 3 million listings and nearly 100 million nights booked in the last year. Considering the price tag of even the lowest cost properties per night, the financial gains of sharing space are astronomical.
While somewhat lagging behind the disruption of the residential property industry, the commercial property industry is also now seeing rapid digitisation, providing numerous opportunities for positive cash flow.
In the office and workspace sector, those with extra office space can reap the benefits of digital disruption as easily as going online, filling out a form, and uploading a few photos to get started with renting out spare office space.
1. Make extra money with your office space
This one is a no-brainer. Whether you have a fully serviced private office to lease or several extra desks that you’d like to offer a flexible license for, you can easily generate extra income with your space.
A private office can net tens of thousands each month depending on size and location. A spare desk could bring in as much as a rented bedroom. Even the least expensive coworking spaces in the city can earn several hundred per head per month.
While the traditional method of renting out office space through a broker is tried and true, listing the same space digitally is considerably more flexible.
Traditional brokers are limited by human capacity and only have access to a handful of potential tenants—those associated with them and their firm. A reputable digital listing platform powered by technology can reach a much wider audience of potential tenants searching for office space online. The human tenant advisory team behind such digital platforms are able to provide bespoke advice sans the deal-driven element often found in traditional brokerages.
2. Work with new people who inspire you
Coworking has been a rising trend in the way people work today. This is because coworking communities house freelancers and companies under one roof with various common areas where professional discussions and connections are easily made.
This workplace model is not just limited to coworking culture. For example, a video production company can sublet their extra desks to video editors for ease of collaboration, an advertising agency can rent their spare office out to a design agency, and a capital markets firm can choose to house a fintech company.
It is said that we are the average of the five people we associate with most, and that it’s not about what we know but rather who we know. If you have a spare desk or office, why not fill it with tenants operating in a business that you want to associate with?
3. Nurture a community of like-minded individuals
If you own or manage an office space and are looking for tenants to fill the space entirely, you could consider creating a community rather than simply renting your space out. Community is a fundamental building block of society, and one of the reasons cities were formed in antiquity.
Help build the professional society of your city by creating a community in your space. If you have space in an area known for startups, choose to house and nurture startups. If you operate in a financial district, find businesses in the industry to take up your offices. Both your tenants and neighbours will appreciate the effort you put in to positively contribute to your society.
4. Contribute to sustainable urban development
As we know, space is a rare commodity, especially in highly developed urban areas. As cities grow, property value therefore rents skyrocket, core areas experience extreme densification, and decentralisation sometimes occurs as businesses try to find a balance between location and price.
Location is important to business development. A company that is situated in the centre of commercial activity operates differently from a company that is further from city centre. Consider the difference between working in hub versus outside of the city, and the kinds of connections you can make at local coffee shops and pubs. A good location can help with talent acquisition, decrease commute times, allow accessible client meetings, and contribute to the overall image of a company.
However, desirable locations often come with a high price tag due to the laws of supply and demand. Those with unused space may find it difficult to rent their space out due to complicated agreements with traditional property brokers, contributing a lack of office space supply therefore driving rents up and businesses out of city centre.
By listing your extra office space, you can help your city become more sustainable by making use of empty space in an increasingly populated world, and keeping property prices in check especially for the benefit of growing companies.
5. Play an integral part in moving the property industry forward
In our increasingly digitised world, various industries are being disrupted by technology, providing consumers with choice in industries, some of where there has formerly been a near monopoly. Uber disrupted the taxi industry, Airbnb disrupted the hotel industry, and Google disrupted the information industry. By providing an alternative to taxi services, Uber provided customers with more choice in booking a safe ride home. By providing an alternative to hotels, Airbnb connected travellers with locals for a deeper understanding of local culture. By creating the most powerful digital search engine in the world, Google served to educate the masses.
Digital disruption has now reached commercial property—a traditionally conservative industry. With a record number of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, there has been a shift away from long-term leases in favour of short-term rentals. Larger businesses are also increasingly exploring flexible lease options.
The business model of the traditional property industry is hard-pressed to keep up with these changing demands. A broker, while deeply knowledgeable about the sector they deal in, is nevertheless constrained by human capacity, sales quotas, and limited access to available space on the market.
Technology that disrupts commercial property, like all disruptive technologies, aims to put choice in the hands of those it serves—the hosts and the tenants. At Hubble, we directly connect those with an office space to those looking for an office space. By creating a 24/7 accessible platform that displays every listing we have in every city that we operate in, we add choice into the traditional business model of commercial property.