Tech in CRE

What WeWork Spaces Services means for traditional brokerages

There was already a fascination across the CRE office market with WeWork and similar coworking spaces. Now, WeWork has become even more fascinating with the announcement of their new brokerage-like service.

What’s happening?

As the way we work every day becomes more mobile, the office sector of CRE has been becoming gradually more flexible and service-oriented. One major example of this is WeWork, the most well-known coworking space provider in the business.

But this past July, WeWork “announced that it is piloting WeWork Space Services, which will represent companies and help them find office space outside of WeWork’s locations.” Now, WeWork has in-house brokers who will help mid-size companies –– those with 10 to 250 employees –– find a workspace that they can make their own with their branding, outside of WeWork’s typical coworking set-up.

What does it mean for traditional brokerages?

WeWork seeks to continue their relationships with young, growing companies instead of sending them on their way once they outgrow a coworking space. And, they’re leveraging the desire of tenants, buyers and investors to work with modern real estate brokers. Because of this, according to NREI, traditional brokerages will be forced to evolve their approach to client services, and it could cause a rift in the relationship between WeWork and brokers.

But WeWork said they’re seeking to maintain their existing relationships with brokers. In a statement, they said: “WeWork Space Services is intended only for the small to medium business segment, the overwhelming majority of whom generally approach WeWork directly. Furthermore, it will not represent tenants if they already have a broker. As such, we are confident that the strong relationships we enjoy with brokers will not be impacted.”

Even so, brokers at more traditional firms may need to be more aggressive to compete with WeWork for a younger, up-and-coming demographic of potential office space tenants, and those firms should be ready to provide their brokers with cutting-edge tools to ensure the survival of their business.

Relationships and intermediation will always be crucial in the transaction process, but as a broker, you shouldn’t disregard technology developments, especially in CRE marketing. Marketing tools like email automation and instant document creation can allow your brokers the time they need to develop stronger relationships with their clients. Download our resource to learn how you can use marketing technology to your advantage.

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