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Commercial Trend Watch: Co-Working Real Estate

June 14, 2019
Commercial Real Estate Trends
By: Jason Holte

Shared workspaces have become a popular alternative to traditional office leases. What’s behind this trend, and how do brokers find attractive co-working real estate?

The office landscape has undergone a dramatic transformation over the last few years. Rather than locking in long-term office leases, the emergence of WeWork, Impact Hub, and other flexible office space operators has provided companies of all sizes with shorter-term, amenity-driven alternatives. Let’s dive a little deeper into this trend and explore how commercial real estate brokers can use location technology to identify suitable co-working real estate.

Co-Working Real Estate

The Co-Working Real Estate Trend

As a subset of the office market, co-working continues to grow at an impressive rate. According to a recent study, nearly 1,000 new coworking spaces opened in the United States in 2018, with an additional 700 spaces expected to come online this year. The just-released Office Investor Sentiment Report from Real Capital Markets further notes that co-working has impacted the office market by “pushing vacancies down, creating an incubator mindset, and paving the way for more dramatic disruption to office leasing.”

As companies like WeWork continue to expand their footprint beyond their core markets, the demand for co-working real estate will only continue to grow. This makes it more important for co-working companies, and the office brokers that they work with, to be able to evaluate unfamiliar geographies to identify their strongest opportunities. Instead of manually gathering location information from individual county assessors, leading co-working companies are utilizing location technology to inform their expansion. The next section will explore how our map-based real estate application, LandVision™, can help the office sector find and evaluate co-working real estate opportunities.

How LandVision Helps Identify Co-Working Real Estate

When evaluating potential flexible workspace locations, the first step is to identify a target market. Using this recent profile on WeWork’s expansion model as a guide, we know that the company often finds opportunities in emerging tech markets and other areas that host a large number of startup companies. Thanks to this Bisnow feature on emerging tech markets, we’ve chosen Colorado Springs as our target location.

Next, we’ll identify the criteria that WeWork utilizes to select co-working real estate. Interestingly enough, the company looks at factors such as the proximity to nearby amenities and the surrounding nightlife before they begin to evaluate property and building characteristics. Using LandVision, we can easily overlay Colorado Springs points of interest on our base map, and we can also search for specific amenities such as gyms, coffee shops, or bars. With these identified, we can then search for office properties located within a specified distance of our target amenities. Our search can then be further refined based on property and building characteristics, transaction information, and more. This can help us filter out the properties that don’t meet our requirements and allow us to dig further into the most promising opportunities.

Using LandVision to Find Co-Working Real Estate

With a few target properties in mind, LandVision gives us the ability to identify the property owners so that we can make a purchase inquiry. Using the owner portfolio feature in LandVision, we can determine who the true owner of a property is, even if it’s held in an LLC or trust. This also allows us to understand the owner’s full holdings and enter negotiations from a position of strength. Finally, we can generate an in-depth site profile report detailing the most important property characteristics and information on the surrounding area for our clients. Best of all, we were able to get from market identification all the way to property presentation in a matter of minutes all within a single application.

Learn More

For more information on LandVision, and to see why over 20,000 real estate professionals trust our location intelligence platform to find off-market opportunities and win more deals, request a free demo today!

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