smplr times 015 · How We Beat WeWork

Hey there,

I want to introduce you to hygge member Hannah. She moved to Charlotte, and within a week was standing inside hygge for a complimentary trial day. Her company stated they’d pay for any space she wanted. She does the research. They pay the bill.

We were the first stop on her coworking space tour. She spent the day with us, and on the way out, let me know she was doing the same with Novel, followed by WeWork. She circled back a few days later after finishing her other trials, and scheduled another time to come by. She was in. 🙌

It’s not often that we get details into what happened at the other spaces, but in this case we got the full story of her WeWork experience. For those of you that don’t know, WeWork has a ton of systems in place along with on-site employees that are supposed to streamline your experience with them. It’s quite the operation.

You can book on-site tours directly through their site. You’ll receive confirmation upon confirmation, with the later ones including instructions on where to go once you arrive and who you’ll meet.

For Hannah, nothing went as planned. She arrived for her 8:30am tour as scheduled to find no staff on hand. 9:00am rolls around. Nothing. Finally, right before 9:30am the first staff member arrives. Hannah, as relaxed as can be asked for her tour. The WeWork employee said she can do it in a couple hours. 😑 Hannah then asked if she could get set up to get some work done. She was continually asked to just hold on. This sucks.

The people at WeWork were missing something we do really well – investment in a relationship. If that employee’s real goal was bringing awesome people in, she would have/could have dropped everything to tour Hannah. She chose not to.

Their funding gives WeWork the potential to be in the upper tier of all coworking experiences.. They are gorgeous, and chock full of amenities. If price and location aren’t barriers, then they should win. In this case, the human experience brought them down.

We have a distinct advantage as independent coworking operators. We have systems in place that are built around taking care of people just like Hannah. As WeWork switches to focus heavily on larger and more corporate teams, we should continue to push even harder on each individual person.

Make them feel at home, and invest time talking with them. Every tour doesn’t have to be cookie cutter. We can bob and weave depending on who walks through that door. WeWork and the other big players can not.

This is our biggest advantage. Take advantage of it.

Let’s discuss it over in the Wash Your Mugs community.

And now, on to this weeks top articles.

🏗️ From AllWork
Cushman & Wakefield on the Coworking Industry Withstanding a Downturn
The coworking boom continues, and top leaders in real estate seem to think it could survive a major real estate downturn. These bigger players are super well backed and often have cash reserves. For us, it’s all about smart structured leases and making sure we didn’t bite off more than we can chew. Make friends with some real estate folk, and protect what you’ve built.

🍾 From Coworking Resources
Are Coworking Pop-ups The Future
No, definitely not, but it’s definitely a way to build community prior to opening. Build demand, and community and then once you find that physical space you have guaranteed membership.

🤔 From The Internet
The Global Workspace Association
Anyone in this association? I can’t vouch for it just yet. Jamie Russo of the Everything Coworking podcast is involved. She’s pretty awesome so I have a little faith. I signed up today, and will report back with all my findings.


Now for a smpl update. Resource restrictions, confirmation emails for resources booked and day pass confetti have all been implemented. We’re working hard on a pretty awesome performance upgrade. Stay tuned for details but smpl is about to get ⚡fast.


And just like that, we’re done. It’s over. Hope you have a simple week ahead of ya.

Until next time,
Garrett