The Flex Market is Booming - How Can Landlords And Building Owners Get A Piece of The Action?

Presented By IWG

As local economic centers recover from the coronavirus pandemic, businesses need to sustainably adapt to new ways of working. There has been a fundamental shift in the way people live and work, spurred on by the 15-minute city phenomenon. Getting the local provision right could facilitate business growth in all sectors, as well as produce cohorts of happier, more productive employees.

In recognition of how real estate must support business growth, IWG has created three different partnership models that open up the opportunities inherent in flexible working. Property owners and landlords can sign a management agreement with the flexible space provider, while entrepreneurs and investors can access IWG’s franchise model. Large enterprises can move away from having a large headquarter office and instead tap into IWG’s thousands of global locations.

“All businesses — property owners, entrepreneurs, customers — are looking to embrace the shift to hybrid working,” IWG Vice President of Network Development, Americas, Michael Berretta said. “They recognize the benefits this brings, such as reduced commuting time, lower costs and benefits for the environment. This is why we’ve created our partnership models, to offer a quick, simple way for businesses to take advantage of our expertise and the scale of our network.”

As the map illustrates, IWG already has a wide network of flexible office spaces across more than 120 markets around the world under its brands Regus, Spaces, HQ and Signature. Adoption of the firm’s franchise model has been growing rapidly since it opened its first franchise deal in the U.S. in Detroit in February. In 2021, there has been a 350% increase in committed locations compared to the same period last year.

Article Continues Below 

IWG is looking for property investors and landlords to open new office centers across North America. 

Take a look at the data and case studies on this map to see where you could benefit from the growing demand for flexible office space. 

Berretta said that the high growth of this market is attributable to the simplicity of the franchise model as much as the proven returns it provides. IWG is an expert in this sphere and “can make any space in any portfolio in any location work,” providing a full range of services — customer reception, events space, lounges, virtual offices — through each of its brands.

“We’ve been providing real estate solutions for businesses for 30 years, which means we have expertise in all areas of operations,” Berretta said. “We know how to create the right workplace solution for each individual space and how to make sure it is providing exactly what that demographic is looking for. Design, marketing, digital solutions, facilities management — these are all areas that we are experts in.”

Another reason landlords are attracted to IWG’s model is the company’s emphasis on environmental sustainability, he said. The company has pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2025 while focusing on the bigger picture: the need to help all types of businesses reduce their carbon footprint. Flexible working could save 214 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, research from IWG found, equivalent to the amount of carbon captured by 5.5 billion trees.

“Reduced commuting time, fewer hours spent cooling or heating empty offices — there are many environmental benefits to creating more local flexible office space,” Berretta said. “We know that our customers will be increasingly looking at their carbon footprint, which is why we have geared our offering to help them in these efforts.”

Overall, IWG is looking to partner with property owners that have a similarly forward-thinking outlook and that want to tap into the huge demand for flexible space today with a sustainable solution. As this map demonstrates, IWG’s network is already vast, but it still has a huge appetite to work with partners to create more.

Banner photo courtesy of IWG. It features the Spaces Ballpark location in Denver. 

This article was produced in collaboration between IWG and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

Studio B is Bisnow’s in-house content and design studio. To learn more about how Studio B can help your team, reach out to