CBRE research has found that traditional coworking operators continued expanding in 2019, but at a much slower pace. In the meantime, several big real estate firms such as Tishman Speyer launched their own coworking brands.
Industrious has been taking a different approach since 2018 by partnering with real estate companies, which has allowed the company to double its network size and support international expansion.
“One element that helps make these landlord partnerships flourish is an understanding from day one that what really matters here is working closely together to deliver something transformative to the people who spend day in and day out in their buildings,” said Jamie Hodari, CEO of Industrious. “It really helps to be constantly reminding ourselves it’s not really about Industrious or about these landlords—it’s about the building’s user. That helps resolve any ego issues and gives both parties a North Star when there are difficult decisions to be made.”
Hodari said that since Industrious debuted in 2013, many operators at the time depended on its flexible and community offerings. Now, successful shared office providers promising better work days is propelling them into success.
Hodari said that the biggest struggle for the sector is the lack of transparency as there are few public coworking companies.
The partnership model is more complex, but Hodari feels that it is the only way to ensure the industry is sustainable.