The Trend In Office Real Estate That's 'About To Explode'
It was not long ago that co-working began taking the office sector by storm and baffling traditional office providers with its rapid rise in popularity, but there is a new disruptor in town: third-party non-core real estate providers.
These providers are offering temporary meeting space, conference rooms and event space to companies that would traditionally have leased or rented that space through their landlord. The goal is to offer employers a temporary solution on a need-by-need basis, giving office occupiers more flexibility to pursue cost-saving initiatives such as shrinking their square footage.
“This new segment of conference and meeting events being outsourced is a whole new facet within flexible workspace that’s about to explode,” said Colliers International’s Ryan Hoopes, senior associate of Flexible Workspace Advisory Services in Dallas.
As employers continue to take smaller leases, the demand for these third-party providers is growing, and companies are popping up left and right to get a piece of the pie. In April, event space liaison Bizly soft launched its online platform.
The company connects corporations through an online portal to hundreds of available venues that provide space for events, conferences and meetings. The company has been likened to an online travel agency that books meeting and event space through a myriad of hospitality venues, including hotels, restaurants, golf clubs and even bowling alleys. The online portal provides details about each venue’s size and the amenities offered, and also offers a messaging feature that allows the employer and venue to connect.
So far the company has signed up roughly 450 hotels, including major brands such as Starwood and the Four Seasons, Bizly co-founder and CEO Ron Shah said. The platform has raised $1.5M in venture capital and is undergoing another round of fundraising soon.
“We’ve seen a great increase in adoption as more employees use the platform,” Shah said. “That’s our goal — to continue to build on our features to make sure we can serve all the needs for adoptions.”
One of the reasons these third-party space providers are gaining popularity within the industry is because they offer more than mere space — they provide hospitality services and create an experience that users would not otherwise get.
“By outsourcing they are paying for [space] as needed. A third-party provider is curating hospitality and service [and] at the end of the day the corporate tenants … will have more flexibility and will shrink long-term commitment footprint,” Hoopes said.