Smaller offices. Browse for space. Pay online. Sounds very much like a coworking space or business center, not like JLL, the Washington D.C-based commercial real estate giant.
Yet according to a recent article in Technical.ly, JLL is testing the waters in a big way with HiRise, a new online marketplace that lets small businesses search for space and pay online for serviced office spaces; including coworking and incubator spaces less than 5,000 feet.
To say the least, this is a new business model for JLL. The goal, according to JLL spokesman, Glenn LaFollette, is to get business into the JLL pipeline earlier.
HiRise is expected to open its doors later this month. Industry analysts will be watching to see if the new venture gains traction. If so, JLL could insert the model into its 50+ markets by the end of 2015.
The good news is that JLL’s foray into the business center and coworking space industry puts yet another stamp of approval on an industry that has already changed the dynamics of how we approach office space rental.
The challenge for a marketplace that is already showing signs of over-crowding is to get competitive and stay competitive.
As more ‘heavy weight’ players enter this space, some of the smaller independents risk getting squeezed out. Business center and coworking space owners and operators should have their ears to the ground and be prepared to do battle by breaking new ground on their own.