WeWork and Knotel are two of New York’s largest flexible office providers and regardless of which side landlords root for, each firm offers something unique for the consumer.
While WeWork is the city’s largest office tenant, many property owners say that doing deals with the company is not as simple as other brands, with one anonymous owner claiming that the company was aggressive when making offers.
Building owners who have previously signed deals with Knotel found future deals much easier as they follow a similar structure, but some landlords say the opposite for WeWork. In fact, as the coworking firm has grown, it has become increasingly more difficult to sign a deal with WeWork.
Eugene Lee, Knotel’s chief investment officer, said that the company’s huge growth comes from landlords who sign multiple deals.
“It has always been part of the plan with us to develop these deeper relations with owners,” said Lee. “It was a lot of education. We spent a lot of time getting to know the owner community and developing relationships with landlords. It took a little bit of time [for them] to get comfortable with us and how we’re different from coworking.”
On the other hand, some landlords believe that Knotel asks for a large amount of concessions from owners. But Knotel’s landlord-agreement deals, which includes splitting of profits, has helped it continue signing deals with the same landlords.