Small Businesses: Get A Virtual Office You Can Be Proud Of

Not all virtual offices are created equal: know what you are buying and what is a reasonable price.

Amidst the growing popularity of virtual offices, many service providers are using the term ‘virtual office’ in ways that were not intended by its creators. This article will help you sort through important considerations when purchasing a virtual office.

Virtual Office Space Minneapolis | Novel Coworking | CloudVO

What is a Virtual Office?

To put it simply, a virtual office is a service that gives you access to a physical office infrastructure on a part-time basis. Typically the user’s main office is remote, whether in another city or at home. A virtual office plan can include products such as mail services, digital mail, live telephone answering, or access to day offices and meeting rooms at the selected location under a subscription model or some other form of discounted pricing.

What differentiates a virtual office user from a full-time office user is that the former does not have a permanent office at the location, but uses some elements of the services offered by the shared office infrastructure of the selected location.

It’s not just about mail – but mail services are important

The business address you  select for your virtual office is one of the most important choices you will make. You will use that address on your marketing collateral, business cards, or website, and the flexible office operator hosting your plan will need to receive mail on your behalf, hold it for you to pick up, forward the mail to you, or scan and email it according to your directions. That’s what a complete mail service with digital mail makes possible. Make sure the operator has that kind of capability–a staffless, traditional office facility won’t be able to do that for you.

Some providers, typically low-cost providers, use the term ‘virtual office’ to describe digital mail services delivered out of inexpensive warehouses or UPS-like mail centers. They do nothing to improve your business image and, in fact, using their service is more likely to hurt rather than help your business. Beware of ‘digital mail’ at $9.99 as we have seen advertised across the web. In our experience, use of a business address for complete mail service including forwarding or digital mail is more likely to be a business image killer than anything of real value to you when priced less than $49/month. The office infrastructure is likely to be nonexistent, unreliable, and nothing to be proud of.

A range of $49-99/month for a mail plan that includes the use of a true professional business address is what you should budget for. More prestigious, Class A buildings in large downtown areas like New York City or San Francisco will lean toward the high end of that range or even beyond. You’ve got to pay the price if you want to establish your business in a trophy property. Nice suburban buildings in less expensive areas may offer effective mail plans on the lower end of that range. But stay away from plans below $49/month as they are just as credible as a “luxury” condo with an ocean view in Hawaii for $49/night!

What kind of business address?

One of the key drivers of the choice of a virtual office is the professional nature and image of the space the virtual office plan is attached to. Two important elements need to be considered: convenience and image. 

If you work from home most of the time but need to access the office on a part-time basis, selecting a location close to home makes sense. If you live out of town but need to conduct business in your location of choice, then proximity to clients or your place of business matters; for example, a Federal Court House if you are an attorney, or the State Capitol if you are a lobbyist.  That speaks to convenience.

Image is important too because you will establish a big part of your business identity at the flexible office space that hosts your virtual office plan via the use of their business address on your marketing collateral. If the building is an old coffee shop converted into a shared office space that does not look very professional, your business image will suffer even if the general location is attractive. A downtown address may look nice on paper, but if the building’s appearance does not match the address’ prestige, it is all for naught.

If the space does not offer meeting rooms with the digital equipment that is expected in today’s business environment, you should not want to use it for business meetings.

Flexible Office Spaces and Health and Safety | CloudVO

Going beyond mail to establish a strong business identity

A good way to establish a stronger business identity is to add a local phone line (that is not your cell phone number) and live phone answering services to your new business address. The combination of a professional business address with a local phone number and a real person answering the phone, will help you project a much stronger business image on your website, or on any directory where you list your business information. People do expect to see a phone number with an area code that matches your business address. Listing your cell phone number on your website can be an image killer. Who expects the president of a company to publish their cell phone on the web?

You may not think you need it at first, but knowing that a phone answering plan could be added later to your virtual office plan is important. CloudVO’s live phone answering services range between $99 and $149/month with unlimited minutes and more free calls than 99.6% of users will ever need.

How about part-time offices and meeting rooms?

Due to the pandemic, hosting a business meeting at Starbucks or in your home is out of the question. That was never a good idea to start with anyway. 

When Zoom meetings from home fall short and you need in-person meetings, having access to day offices or meeting rooms at your flexible office location is important. CloudVO enables you to buy heavily discounted subscription plans starting at $199/month to use day offices and meeting rooms in safe locations that respect local health and safety guidelines and often exceed them. We call these CloudTouchdown Passes. CloudVO displays health & safety protocols on many of its locations on the website via a safety shield icon that works as a badge of honor. Click through it and access the health & safety protocol for that specific location.

San Francisco Virtual Office Plans Health and Safety | CloudVO | Carr Workplaces

How can I trust that I make the right purchase?

There are only two ways to go about it: use a reputable company that has a network of locations that are carefully vetted for their professionalism and suitable business image, like CloudVO, or tour the place in person and talk to virtual office customers at that location. However, more than 75% of virtual office plans are purchased online. If you can’t go there in person, search for reviews on Yelp, Google, Trustpilot, or other reputable platforms. Chances are that you will see CloudVO Partner locations among those with the highest ratings and best reviews. We closely monitor the customer experience at our partnered locations and work with those that may underperform to improve their status. If there is little or no improvement, we will not retain them.

If you are not sure of the level of service you need, CloudVO plans do not require more than a 3-month initial commitment and have the flexibility to downgrade or upgrade your service package with ease.

Wrapping it up

  • Use a trusted provider vetted by our team
  • Check customer ratings and reviews
  • Identify the service(s) you need
  • Compare prices displayes on our site
  • Purchase your virtual plan online
  • Use the CloudVO support team to ensure you receive the service you expect

In the end, CloudVO has built an approach that is designed to help you purchase Virtual Office Plans that you can trust and be proud of!

About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide.

5 Flexible Office Space Marketing Strategies Post COVID-19

5 Flexible Office Space Marketing Strategies Post Covid-19 | CloudVO

Covid-19 has shaken our world.  As state and local governments allow businesses to reopen, how should flexible office space operators adjust their marketing game plan to prepare for the new normal?  

Here are five things operators can do right now to market their spaces during this era of Covid.

1. Market your Virtual Office services now more than ever

A strong virtual office offering is so important in today’s climate as people are choosing to work from home (WFH) with a combination of flexible office services.  Show off your broad menu of Virtual Office Plans on your website.  Create bundled plans that include a business address with mail services, live answering services, and access to meeting rooms.  Allow add-ons such as 24/7 access or a digital mailbox.  Digital mail plans are one of the most valuable resources to WFH professionals.  

Virtual office (VO) users are very price sensitive, so do your homework and benchmark your competition and price your plans competitively.  Lower the barriers to entry by making all plans month-to-month and waive any service deposit if users auto-pay monthly via credit card.  

In terms of marketing tactics on your website, here are a few things to tackle:

  • Update copy on your site for virtual office keywords to help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  
  • Refresh images and update alt text and metadata to reflect relevant search queries.
  • Update services, images, and descriptions on local listings (Google My Business, Yelp, Apple Places, and Bing Places.
  • Use the tools Google gives you (i.e. Search Console, Analytics, and Trends ) to refine your keyword strategy.
  • Create content about virtual offices through your blog.  You can then leverage social media to promote those blogs and drive people to your site.

If you have the budget for Google or Bings Ads, set up dynamic search ads. Create ad groups for the services you are offering. Based on the keyword research, set-up ads using a manual CPC (cost-per-click) bid strategy so you can control the daily budget and maximum CPC. Leverage ad extensions to display snippets, site links, and locations to optimize your ads. For more information on PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, check out this training

Along with your own marketing efforts, listing with an aggregator or value- added reseller like CloudVO will help expand your market reach. 

Lastly, and we can’t stress this enough, your Virtual Office Plans should be available for purchase on your website.  People want instant gratification.  If they’re on your site and want to purchase a plan, they want to buy it now!  The inability for a prospect to purchase a virtual office online can be a reason they choose to go with another provider, so get that e-commerce rolling already!

Online Virtual Office Plans at Pacific Workplaces | CloudVO
Online Virtual Office Plans at Pacific Workplaces (sister company of CloudVO).

2. Come up with a new strategy for member engagement in your space and promote it!

Maya Delano, “OG” Community Manager at NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz has implemented new ways to keep people connected during this time of physical distancing.

  • Host your happy hour onsite and online. NextSpace Santa Cruz set-up a “Zoom” area so members who are onsite can interact with our virtual members during happy hour. It’s as easy as opening up your laptop and starting a zoom session. Onsite members can take turns saying a quick hello, and the six-feet distancing floor decals assure this is done in a safe and healthy manner.
  • Provide opportunities for your members to be interviewed. Connect them to local organizations and community groups hosting webinars so they can share their expertise. This creates awesome content for you, promotes your member’s business, and continues the networking value of your membership.
  • Host your own monthly online event. NextSpace brought back its “What’s Next Lecture Series.” This is a monthly 40-minute Zoom event that highlights a member as the speaker. Sometimes experts in a certain industry or specific topic are invited to speak as well. The format is usually 10-20 minutes of presenting and then 20 minutes of Q&A. It’s important to curate topics that are relevant to today’s issues. Be sure to record the event so you can use the content on various social media platforms.
  • Re-imaginine your space. It’s important to communicate, communicate, communicate! Host a weekly Q&A Zoom session that gives your members an update on the space, what’s happening within your community, and discuss any health and safety updates. Every member has their own timing and comfort level as to when they want to return to the space. This give members (and non-members) who are considering a possible return, the opportunity to get their questions and concerns answered. It’s also become a great opportunity for members to share their ideas about the space and get feedback.

3. Virtual Tours

Remember what we said before about instant gratification?  This applies to space tours as well.  You should have high-quality video virtual tours ready to send to new prospects during the sales process.  

Highlight your space and focus on the products and services you offer.  If you are incorporating still images in your tour, make sure they are high resolution.  Use transitions between clips.  The narration parts of the video should match any music you include.  You should also add a closing title card with your location and contact information.  The final video should be no longer than 2 to 3 minutes.  

Pacific Workplaces Roseville Virtual Tour | CloudVO

These virtual tours should be considered an important sales and marketing tool, so take the time to make sure they look good and communicate your unique value proposition to potential members.

Pro tip: Try posting your virtual tour on IGTV.  This is an easy way for potential members looking at your Instagram account to view your space.  You can easily upload your video to IGTV via the web at or use the IG app.

4. Spotlight your Tech

In this time of Covid, people are looking for more than just a desk and wi-fi.  As an operator, you can set yourself apart by marketing the robust technology users can enjoy when they work at your space.

Adding technology services can be costly, but it’s an investment.  Users will expect their flexible office space to offer better tech options than their home office can provide.  Here are some things to highlight on your website, marketing collateral and ad campaigns:

  • High-speed fiber gig internet (or 100 megabits up and down at the minimum).
  • Meeting rooms that are fully-equipped with the latest technology including smart whiteboards and mirror displaying devices (AppleTV, Apple Airplay).
  • Tech that reduces the need for international travel such as Language Boxes for real-time translation between 10 different languages.
  • Real-time meeting room and guest office booking capabilities so members can easily schedule access to the space.
  • Keyless entry into your space.
  • Video conferencing capabilities such as Zoom Rooms.  Enterprise users and large corporations, in particular, will want to leverage high-end video conferencing as a solution to connect with remote workers, customers, and employees.
Zoom Room at Pacific Workplaces Cupertino | CloudVO
Zoom Room at Pacific Workplaces Cupertino

5.  A Transparent Health & Safety Policy

In this current climate, businesses need to spell out their health and safety measures.  Prospects and members need to feel like working at your space is just as safe as working from home (or safer!)

Create a landing page on your website which specifically addresses the health and safety protocols in your space.  Make this page prominent and accessible from anywhere on your site and update it regularly.  People want to know what to expect when they enter your space.  

Make sure your community managers are aware of the page and encourage them to leverage it during the sales process to ensure prospects that health and safety are top of mind.  If you don’t know where to start, here is the Health & Safety Policy of our sister company Pacific Workplaces as a sample.

What are some of your post Covid marketing strategies? Let us know about them, or partner with us and get access to resources that can keep your space successful during these unprecedented times.

About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.

How We Support Work From Home: A Solution for Distributed Workforces

CloudTouchdown Passes for Remote Workers | CloudVO

In shaking our world, COVID-19 has shown that work from home could be very productive in certain circumstances. CloudVO has come up with a solution that maximizes the benefits of remote work while negating many of its drawbacks. We call that solution the “CloudTouchdown Pass.”

Work From Home (WFH) was a necessity during the COVID-19 confinement period, but all indications suggest that it is here to stay for a large component of the workforce. Prior to COVID-19, most large Enterprises were not keen on pursuing aggressive WFH programs because the perceived negatives (e.g. potential disconnect from strong corporate cultures, a home environment not always conducive or appropriate for work, management control) seemed to outweigh the benefits:

  • Employee control over their work-life hours; 
  • Time saved and carbon footprint reduced with the elimination of long, tedious, and stressful commutes;
  • Reduced occupancy costs;
  • Enhanced employee satisfaction.

A recent internal employee survey at Facebook reported by the New York Times and many other media on May 21, 2020, suggests that 40% of the workforce would like to either work from home permanently or a significant portion of the time. Mark Zuckerberg said in a video to employees that he would expect half of his employees to work remotely within the next five years and that Facebook “will be the most forward-leaning company on remote work.” Forty-five percent of the employees indicated that they would relocate if they had the option to work remotely.

Facebook Employee Remote Work Survey (May 2020)

Facebook Employee Remote Survey May 2020

James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley, was quoted in the press in late April 2020, “With 90% of our employees working at home, we have had almost no issues.” He later added that he expects many will continue to work remotely after the crisis is over because “we learned it can be done.” Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey told employees in an email on May 21, 2020 that they would be allowed to work from home indefinitely, even after the COVID-19 shutdown. He’s leaving the decision to either work from home or at the office in the hands of his employees.

Facebook, Twitter, Morgan Stanley, and many more large Enterprises are elaborating new work and recruiting strategies away from their cores which are typically located in expensive areas, as far as office space costs but also in terms of housing costs. These strategies respond to the desire of a majority of their current and prospective workforce, but also will reduce cost, improve retention, and diversify their recruiting opportunities.

To support this COVID-induced tectonic change, CloudVO has developed a CloudTouchdown Pass that gives remote workers access to part-time offices and meeting rooms in a professional workplace, in close proximity to their home. When the kitchen table does not do it anymore, they can check in a private office nearby for concentrated work. When they need to meet locally with other members of their team, they can use the pass to access fully equipped meeting rooms, in any of our 800+ carefully selected locations in our network.

We require our locations to have Health & Safety protocols that enforce social distancing, provide extreme sanitation, and follow or exceed CDC guidelines, for suitability with Enterprise clients. They have enterprise-grade internet connection and are fully furnished, with on-premise staff. When COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror, they will also provide an opportunity to commingle with other professionals at business events organized on the premises, and thus provide social and serendipitous opportunities that workers can’t find being home full-time or through their Zoom activities. That’s after a vaccine or strong therapeutics against COVID-19 are available of course. Meanwhile our locations are required to enforce strict social distancing and sanitation guidelines inside of their space, with a goal to make them “as safe or safer than home.”

The CloudTouchdown Passes are for part-time use of the CloudVO network. They provide access to day offices or conference rooms on a subscription basis, which means that their Enterprise sponsor knows exactly how much it will impact their budget.

CloudTouchdown Passes for Work From Home Employees | CloudVO

See more details here

About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.

Webinar Series: Preparing your Flexible Office Space for a New Normal

CloudVO is launching a three-part webinar series on May 14, 21, and 28 to help space operators with re-entry. Each webinar will highlight the new operating recipe needed for flexible office spaces to not just survive the current period, but come out of this crisis stronger. Watch the video from CloudVO CEO Laurent Dhollande who provides a sneak preview on the topics covered.

Webinar #3 of 3

Getting Ready for the New Corporate Demand” on May 28, 2020 at 11:00 AM PST featuring Mark Golan, who held multiple VP of Real Estate positions at some of the largest companies in Silicon Valley, including Cisco, Johnson Controls, and Google, and is a former Chairman of CoreNet Global, and a special appearance by Mark Zuckerberg via a video recording where he explains Facebook’s groundbreaking policy on Remote Work!

This 3rd webinar was originally exclusively for CloudVO Parnters, but since this content could impact the whole industry we decided to open the gates to prospective CloudVO partners too. Join us!

Not a CloudVO Partner yet? List your space for free here.

CloudVO 3-part Webinar Series Register Now

Past Webinars

Webinar #1 – May 14, 2020 : Basic Ingredients Needed to Create a Resilient Virtual Office Business (completed). Topics discussed:

  1. The process of establishing a virtual mail business that has seen increased demand during COVID-19
  2. How to incorporate ingredients like live phone answering and meeting rooms to your VO offering
  3. How operators can step-up their VO game with high-margin add-on services

Webinar #2 – May 21, 2020: New Recipes in the New Normal (completed). Topics discussed:

  1. The four lines of business that should be present in all flexible office spaces
  2. New protocols in your workplace, including space design adjustments
  3. Landlord management
  4. Marketing strategies

About CloudVO

CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, full-time office, coworking, and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO supports work-from-home workers, mobile workers, and distributed workforces by operating the CloudTouchdown network that grants access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.

How CloudVO Helps you Establish & Promote a Virtual Mail Business Today

Virtual Mail has proven to be a robust business over the last 15 years, both in good times and in recessionary times.  For this reason, every coworking operator should develop their own Virtual Office (VO) service offering. CloudVO can help in several ways:

What we can do today

During the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen high demand for Mail Services, particularly Digital Mail that enables clients to skip going to the office. We anticipate many members will keep this service as they go back to “normal”.  CloudVO can help you structure a mail service offering and promote it online now.

Mail Services

Basic Mail Services are often provided to full time members, as part of the coworking or private office membership.  VO clients should be charged a specific fee for the basic mail service.  Add-on services, such as mail forwarding or digital mail plans, should be charged to both full time members and VO clients. Table 1 shows a description of various mail services easy to set up and suggested retail prices.  

Virtual Mail Services Suggested Prices | CloudVO

These services are easy to set up and may not require additional staff resources until the operator reaches 150 VO plans or so.  Keep in mind that each incremental plan will require a minimum amount of resources and it may take 18 months or more to get to 100 plans. Also keep in mind that, much like in a gym membership, a few VO clients may be heavy users, but most receive little or no mail on a weekly basis. 

The suggested prices in Table 1 reflect the expected costs associated with staff processing the mail, handling the VO clients, the cost of other resources that may be needed, and a profit margin in the 70% range. These prices have been adopted by many of our partners, and we would like to strongly encourage you to do the same. Consistency and standardization helps reduce customer confusion. But you are free to set up your own charges for this service. Update your price list here.

We recommend that you actively market these mail services in your local market. Listing with a value added reseller like will help expand your market reach. It’s free. CloudVO only keeps 25% of the subscription revenue generated by the VO client, takes care of billing and collection, advertises across the United States, and pays its partners by the 5th of each calendar month. Any incidental or variable items can be charged directly by the operator to the client without any revenue sharing with CloudVO.

The Digital Mail application will typically automate the interaction with the member after taking a picture of the mail from a smartphone. The software recognizes what each piece of mail is for and automatically notifies the member who then instructs the operator to implement the desired action, including forwarding, retaining it at the coworking place for pick-up, scanning and emailing, or shredding.

Vitual Mail and Digital Mail Services | CloudVO

Cost of the digital mail platform to the operator can be $4 to $6 per user per month, depending on volume, or quite a bit less with the CloudVO partner discount. Ask 

Any incidental or variable items (non-recurring charges, such as copies or postage), can be charged directly by the operator to the client without any revenue sharing with CloudVO.

Partner with us and get a wealth of resources just like this specifically for shared workspace operators. Listing is free. Go to to join the crew!

Other Resources

Virtual Offices & CMRA US Postal Service Rules
How to Add Meeting Room Hours to your VO Offering
How to build a healthy VO Business

About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.

How to Add Phone Answering to your Virtual Office Offerings

The easiest Virtual Office (VO) service to add to a mail service or virtual mail offering is live phone answering. This can be done on an outsourced basis with CloudAnswering, a CloudVO service, such that the operator does not need to staff a phone answering attendant.

How to add Phone Answering to Virtual Office Plans | CloudVO

Who needs live phone answering?

Whereas many professionals are happy to answer calls directly on their cell phone, some look at live answering as a critical service that increases their productivity. This is true for many attorneys, sales professionals, consultants, financial service people, and many more. 

Live phone answering is a way to establish a local business presence that is stronger than just using the business address and mail services at the flexible office space. It allows for:

  • Never losing a call during business hours
  • An attorney or a customer support person to have a few critical seconds to recollect a case when the call is announced and before it is transferred.
  • The use of a local phone number to reinforce the local presence on top of the business address

Setting up a client on phone answering is easy

Once the client is identified, let know and we will take care of everything on your behalf directly with the client. The table below shows our recommended retail price to the client, and the operator wholesale cost. The margins kept by the operator is in the 75% to 80% range.

Live Phone Answering Suggested Pricing | CloudVO

Standard services is a bare-bones answering service for the cost-conscious customer. Our attendants, located in our two answering centers in Sacramento, CA, and in Reno, NV, will answer the calls using the customized greeting requested by the client. For example, “Hello, you have reached the Law Offices of Jason Smith, this is Sally, how may I help you?” If the caller wants to talk to Jason Smith, the attendant will make a blind transfer to voicemail or to a specific number, as requested by the client, without announcing the call.

With Executive Services, the attendant will screen and announce the call to the VO client and transfer the call, or not, according to the client’s instruction.

Check our website for more details on outsourced phone answering services with CloudVO. This service can be offered to VO clients but also to your full time members.

Get regular access to a wealth of resources for workspace operators when you partner with CloudVO. List your space for free!

Other Resources

How to Establish a Virtual Mail business 
How to Add Meeting Room Hours to your VO Offering
How to build a healthy VO Business

How to Add Meeting Room Hours to your Virtual Office Offering

Adding a set of monthly hours under a subscription plan to your Virtual Office (VO) Solutions is a good idea. You can market such a plan locally without CloudVO’s help. Under a subscription program hours not utilized cannot be carried forward to the following month. This enables you to price your bundles attractively in your local market.

Adding Meeting Room Hours to Virtual Office Plans | CloudVO

A common meeting room package is a bundle of 16 hours/month. The table below suggests three levels of pricing, depending on the location and prestige of the building and space. It also shows an average usage of 3.9 hours consumed per month under a 16-hour/month plan, based on data tracking the usage of hours from thousands of VO plans as experienced by CloudVO and its sister company, Pacific Workplaces.  This average has been steady across time and across regions.

The table below shows suggested prices in different markets and average usage of each plan.

Meeting Rooms Retail Pricing Suggestions for Coworking Operators | CloudVO

Why is the average usage so low? Think of it like a gym membership. Very few plan holders actually use the full allotment of meeting room hours.  In fact, more than 50% use zero hours in any one month. Heavy users who go over their allotment for the month will be charged the full hourly price on the overage. In balance, the light users more than make-up for the heavy users.

You may also ask why a 16-hour package? Because US Postal CMRA rules require that a PMB number be part of the client address, unless the client uses an office available on the premises for at least 16 hours per month. Nowadays, users are less sensitive to using a PMB number on their address, but the 16-hour package has survived as a standard with many flexible office operators, with the added benefit of not having to add a PMB number to the address; which may not match the image your member wants to project of their business.

Can the hours be redeemed in any of your location meeting rooms? That is up to you. Some operators will exclude an expensive large boardroom with a view, or a training room, from such a meeting room plan. 

In CloudVO’s case, we market bundles of 20 or 50 credits via our CloudTouchdown Passes to our clients. A credit is typically one hour of a day office. Larger meeting rooms will command more credits per hour. Most of the CloudTouchdown passes we sell let them access any location in the network, or sometimes multiple locations in a particular region. Should they actually book a room via at your location, we pay you the discounted price you listed on the partner portal on the basis of actual hourly usage. That way, you don’t have to worry whether our clients are light or heavy users of your conference rooms. If they use 6 hours of your conference room under a CloudTouchdown plan, we will pay you the wholesale hourly price you indicated in the partner portal for the 6 hours.

Adding Meeting Room Hours to Virtual Office Plans CloudTouchdown Passes

Join our global network of nearly 1,000 space operators and gain access to data-driven resources specific to the flexible office space industry. Listing is free. Go to to join.

Here’s a sample of other resources you can get your hands on!
How to Establish a Virtual Mail business 
How to Add Phone Answering to your VO Offering
Meeting Room White Paper
How Many Meeting Rooms Should an Operator have?
How to build a healthy VO Business

Virtual Offices & US Postal Service Rules (CMRA) and How to Vet New VO Clients

Virtual Offices US Postal Service Rules (CMRA) | CloudVO

As a flexible office space operator, In order to accept mail for your clients, operators are required to register with the USPS using a Commercial Mail Receiving Agent (CMRA) application, or a USPS Form 1583-A.  Generally, the operator or the location’s community manager will complete the application, which does require proof of identity.

CMRA rules were put in place by the USPS in the early 2000’s

They require a completed and notarized USPS form 1583 to be submitted for every business address user that does not have office use, or access to the space for 16 hours or more, per month.  Technically, only a portion of your business address clients or business and telephone answering clients are required to complete the form, however, many operators utilize the form for a larger portion of their virtual office (VO) clientele, often for the purposes of confirming the identity of clients that they may not have the opportunity to know as well as others.

The CMRA form can be a bit complicated for some folks, so it is a good idea for Operators to have a ‘Sample Form’ handy to offer to new Clients.  The form can be fully completed in one of two ways: 

1) The Client personally presents him/herself to the office with 2 proper forms of identification, as listed on the CMRA regulations, and have the Operator’s staff review and satisfy themselves of proper documentation, and then sign off as the Agent; or: 

2) The forms need to be completed and duly notarized.  

1583 CMRA Postal Form Sample | CloudVO

Best practices in our industry is to utilize the services of an online notary company such as, and to cover the cost of the notary service as part of your set-up fees.  Online notary services are familiar with CMRA policies and identification requirements, and can handle both domestic and international clients.

While post office branch managers have differing knowledge and operational expectations of the CMRA requirements, operators should expect that they may be asked to file quarterly reports as to the names and status of their clients that are mandated to complete the forms.  You’ll want to confirm with your local Postal manager for expectation.  You may also be expected to list PMB numbers for these clients and identify said numbers to your local USPS branch.

1583 CMRA Postal Form Notarization | CloudVO | Notarycam

Operators should be aware of the specifics of CMRA requirements

For one thing, clients are not allowed to submit forwarding address forms when they are no longer members.  Think about it from the USPS perspective, if 100 clients are using your business address and then one moves to another location, this could wreak havoc on the processing of mail properly for your location, and can lead to mis-forwarding of other client’s mail.  You’ll want to make it very clear to new members that they will not be allowed to simply forward their mail upon their departure.  Per CMRA rules, operators are therefore required to forward mail – by repackaging and re-posting – to departed members for up to 6 months.  The USPS makes no rule for this to be achieved without compensation, so you’ll want to plan for transitional service fees to cover this time period.  Clients that do not pay will have their mail ‘Returned to Sender’.

Fraud Prevention

While the CMRA process may sound a bit daunting, those of us in the Flexible Office Space industry are appreciative of the USPS for creating ground rules for setting up virtual office clients.  It is incumbent upon all of us in this industry to utilize these guidelines, if for no other reason, than as a stop gap against fraudulent use of our addresses by unscrupulous individuals looking to hide behind false identities.  CloudVO appreciates this requirement and takes it VERY seriously. We’d rather lose a client that wishes not to engage in the process rather than risk some ‘bad apples’ in our client ranks.

Best of all, CloudVO takes care of the cumbersome part of the process; when presenting a VO client to our partners, the client has been fully vetted by CloudVO following the CMRA guidelines.

Other Resources

How to Establish a Virtual Mail business
How to Build a Healthy VO Business

Want more resources like this? Partner with us and gain access to more goodies and data nuggets specific to flex office space operators. Listing is free. Go to to join.

About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.

CloudVO City Guide: New York City – Midtown

CloudVO Global Network in Midtown New York City

In today’s CloudVO City Guide Series, we are highlighting a few of our shared workspace partner locations in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Representing the central portion of the city, here you will find some of New York City’s most iconic buildings and landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square. Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the world, and therefore ranks among the most expensive real estate markets. New York Virtual Office plans allow you to gain a prestigious business address without enduring the cost of Manhattan real estate. Whether you’re in the city for a business meeting or needing a professional Manhattan business address, CloudVO partners have an array of workplace solutions to assist your business. All CloudVO partner locations featured below offer fully-equipped meeting rooms and private day offices with high-speed internet, a friendly administrative team to greet your guests and receive mail and packages, and a community lounge serving coffee, tea, and water.

Corporate Office Suites Meeting Rooms & Virtual Office Space in New York City

CloudVO partner, Corporate Office Suites, has meeting rooms and private offices ready for mobile workers.  This esteemed address houses a shared office space with fantastic amenities including cutting edge technology and a team of helpful receptionists, and is located in one of the most prime locations in Midtown. Here, you are in close proximity to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center and more. It is easily accessible from all major transportation hubs like Penn Station, Grand Central, and has convenient access to subway stations. A New York Virtual Office plan from this location gains you a prestigious business address, a virtual mailbox, and phone answering services, all starting at $100 per month.

Large Conference Room at Rockefeller Plaza New York City

Another CloudVO partner, Rockefeller Group Business Centers, offers meeting rooms and private offices at Rockefeller Plaza. This world-renowned address alone will speak volumes about your company’s status at this newly renovated shared workspace. This building offers an impressive presentation with all the amenities you’d expect at a high-end professional New York City office space. It is located in the heart of Rockefeller Center where you will find some of the most infamous hotels, restaurants, shops, and transportation. Virtual Office plans are also offered at this location starting at just $75 per month.

Virtual Office Space and Meeting Rooms at Park Avenue New York City

Our next CloudVO partner, Carr Workplaces, provides a shared office space at Park Avenue, a truly iconic location that would gain your business an address recognizable around the world. Found between East 43rd and East 45th in Midtown, this workspace offers multiple day offices, meeting rooms, a boardroom, and a training room, all with beautiful views of Park Avenue and Lower Manhattan. Adjacent to Grand Central and surrounded by shops and restaurants, this business address would be ideal for anyone seeking a New York Virtual Office, starting at $79 per month.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
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There are several recommended places to dine in the area. A nice choice for the start of your day would be Blank Slate Coffee & Kitchen. This is a local favorite with a menu full of great options, including healthy selections; and their coffee is a big hit as well – avocado toast and coffee to go please. The National Bar & Dining Rooms is noted to be the best place in Midtown for a business lunch/dinner, as the menu is sophisticated with modern cuisine. This restaurant is the establishment of famed Food Network Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and is also open weekly for breakfast and offers brunch on the weekends. For an upscale business dinner, try Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. This is a 3-story restaurant with amazing ambiance and breathtaking views of 6th Avenue and Rockefeller Center. It is well-known among the corporate world and has an energetic vibe for success.

The Grand Hyatt New York
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If you’re planning to stay in the city, there are a few highly recommended options for hotels. The Hilton Garden Inn New York/Times Square Central is a contemporary hotel that is in the middle of Times Square and has easy access to an array of shops and restaurants for you during your relaxing hours. The Wyndham Midtown 45 at New York City is a modern hotel with a rooftop terrace that offers great city views, plus a gym and free Wi-Fi. The Grand Hyatt New York is a more sophisticated hotel offering an upscale restaurant with an open kitchen and sleek cocktail lounge.

Virtual Office plans are available at all of the aforementioned partner locations and offer standard mail services and use of business address, with options to add live phone answering services. Some may also offer additional amenities such as mail forwarding, discounted access to meeting rooms, and directory listing in the lobby. If you’re looking strictly for a Virtual Office plan with no other amenities and want something affordable while still gaining a prestigious business address; CloudVO partner, BSSI, offers Virtual Office plans starting at just $40 per month.

Whether you are searching for a prestigious business address, sophisticated meeting room, or local phone services in Midtown, NYC, CloudVO partners have the perfect space for you. All of these locations are in the middle of the hustle and bustle of one of the most famous cities in the world. Midtown is a prime place to work in a shared workspace or host business meetings without the high overhead costs in other settings – and all designed to make your business a success.

About CloudVO

CloudVO  is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide.

Pros and Cons of using Channel Partners for Coworking

Pros and Cons Of Using Channel Partners Blog Featured Image

Should you use channel partners to drive membership to your coworking space?

The short answer is: maybe.

The longer answer is that it depends on what your needs are, what your goals are, your local market and how much value the channel partner can bring to your workspace.

Pros and Cons Of Using Channel Partners Blog NextSpace Berkeley Coworking Space

What is a Channel Partner for a Coworking Space?

Channels are service providers with online capabilities to resell your workspace memberships. Some channel providers are marketplaces, where your space or services are sold to end-users online. The marketplace provider takes care of the transaction and pays you an agreed upon discounted price. An example of a comprehensive marketplace is Liquidspace, with a mission to list all kinds of workspaces.

“Value added resellers,” also invoice the end-users and pay you an agreed upon wholesale rate but augment your local service with a service of their own, such as corporate account services, concierge services, touchdown access to a nationwide or international network, or phone answering services. They tend to be more discriminatory than generic marketplaces, to give their end-users a pre-selection of workspaces and services with a consistent experience. Example of value-added resellers include CloudVO and DaVinci.

Other channels are merely marketing channels to whom you pay a referral fee. Examples of these marketing channels include Croissant, Deskpass, Deskshare, PivotDesk and many other startups trying to make it in the workspace industry.

Here are the pros and cons of working with channel partners for your coworking space, as well as insights into which ones you should choose in your market and for your particular workspace.

Pros of Using Channel Partners for Your Coworking Space

1.  Online marketing: Channel partners can provide value due to their focus on online marketing. By working with channel partners, you reap the benefits of their online reach and marketing efforts.

2.   Expand market reach: Using channels expands your market reach, and often funnels people from outside of the area better than a local space operator may be able to do.

3.   Establish a local presence: If a particular channel is going to be active in your area, you might as well list with them. Otherwise, they will drive leads to your competition.

4.   Effective lead generation: Day passes are often well marketed by channel partners and can work as great lead generators for membership in your coworking space.


Cons of Using Channel Partners for Your Coworking Space

1.  You pay a commission: Web brokerage firms and other simple lead generation channels typically receive a 10% commission on a full time membership. This is not expensive, really, so it’s a minor con. Note: If the commission of the channel partner is less than 10%, don’t even bother with it as it might be a waste of time. No channel can make money on a commission less than 10%.

2.  You give a discount: Marketplaces and Value Added Resellers will take care of collection and often embed your space offering in a much broader service offering. For that, they typically request a discounted price (wholesale price) of 25% to 35% off your published retail price. It is definitely worth it if they bring you business you would have been unlikely to access otherwise, and you should set your published retail price in such manner that can accommodate that discount.

3.  Day pass use doesn’t generate much initial revenue: Some channel partners will keep 50% or more of a day pass revenue. Don’t worry about this. The value of using channel partners for day passes is lead generation.

4.  You may be the one bringing value: Your location is a very valuable asset. Listing with a non-established channel startup will bring them more value (in terms of expanding their network) than it will bring you. You may find that it brings you no, or very few, leads. Given the myriad of startups in the channel business, limit your listings to a few well-recognized names.

5.  You may drive up cost per click marketing: Listing with a channel partner may encourage them to advertise in your local market. That, in turn, may raise the cost per click and create competition to your own search engine marketing (SEM) efforts. Focus more on channels that are more likely to bring people from outside of your area, unless you don’t intend to have a pay-per-click presence on Google.

Pros and Cons Of Using Channel Partners Blog may increase your pay per click

There are pros and cons to working with channel partners for your coworking space. They can be a source for valuable leads, and the cons are relatively few. Just choose your channel partners wisely and make sure they’re bringing value to your workspace and not the other way around.

Not a CloudVO partner yet? We would love to add you to our growing network of 1,000 locations around the globe. List for free.

About CloudVO

CloudVO  is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide.