Free e-Guide for CloudVO Partners! How To Build a Healthy Virtual Office Business: A Guide for Workspace Operators

While at the recent Global Workspace Association conference in Washington, D.C., Keith Warner, with Pacific Workplaces (Pac), mentioned in one of the interactive sessions that his Cupertino, California location supported 400 Virtual Office Plans that collectively generated enough revenue to pay the (high) rent for his entire 18,000 square foot flexible office location. This comment attracted a lot of attention and questions from new coworking operators who asked how they could also build a healthy virtual office business. This article is our attempt to answer those questions.

Tell us a bit about yourself before downloading a copy of this e-Guide to keep as a resource.

Step 1: Set up a Mail Service Business

A mail plan is the first step for a client to set up a business identity at your location. This means they can use your coworking location address to receive mail, use it on their web site and other marketing collateral.

The motivations can be multifold. Many people working from home do not want to use a home address as their main business address. Some businesses located remotely may want to show geographical coverage of multiple locations. For example, this may be in response to the requirements of cities and counties to work with contractors that have a local presence.

In this case, the minimum you need to do is to receive their mail and store it in a location they can retrieve. Some operators store mail in a file cabinet and rely on the front desk person for the mail client to retrieve their mail during business hours. Others may use mailboxes, which may or may not be available to clients outside of business hours.

Virtual Office Mail Plan | CloudVO partner Pacific Workplaces San Mateo

What’s good about a new VO mail business is that it happens incrementally – say a couple to a handful of new clients every month, and can be supported without additional resources than those necessary to run the coworking operation.  In fact, with the proper organization, a location can support over 100 VO mail clients without additional staff than is necessary to support most standard coworking operations.

You can also list your mail plan on a web site like CloudVO.com and leverage its marketing capabilities without investing a penny in any digital VO advertising. This is a great way to get started. There is no cost to list, only a 25% discount provided on the plans purchased by CloudVO.

Mail service is your first and easiest step to be in the VO business.

Step 2: Provide Phone Answering Services

While a mail plan is the first necessary step for your clients to establish a local business identity, adding a local phone number and live phone answering to that plan helps them project a much stronger image, particularly when it is a remote company that needs to show it operates in your local market.

Does this mean you need to plan for additional staffing resources answering the phone from the front desk? No. It is not best practice to answer your clients’ incoming phone calls from the front desk. In fact, doing so can lead to poor customer service. For example, if a member comes to you with a question while you are on the phone in an involved conversation, who do you put on hold, the person on the phone or your member in the lobby? Either way, the quality of service provided to one will make the other suffer, as one of the two will have to wait. The best practice is for the front desk person to focus on member management, operations, and perhaps providing tours, not answering calls.

If you don’t have the scale to build your own answering center (and most operators don’t), there is an easier, more cost-effective solution to that quandary: outsource your phone answering to the CloudAnswering services of CloudVO.  It’s easy, does not involve upfront costs, and provides very good margins.

In this case, your VO member is provided a local phone number of any area code they choose, CloudVO does the installation of the number, sets up their voicemail and call patching, configures your member’s email or text notification of messages and even automatic voice-to-text transcription, if they choose.  All of this is done off-site and you are just billed per user (much less than hiring, training and managing your own answering staff).

Step 3: Add Meeting Room Hours

While the opportunity cost of idle meeting rooms can be expensive, the unavailability or difficulty of booking can be equally detrimental.  Members must have the ability to book a meeting room easily online, and preferably have a variety of choices to meet their needs.

The ease and availability of booking will impact (positively or negatively) your ability to sell and retain virtual office members even more than private office and coworking members, but those other member types are also a big consideration in the type and number of meeting rooms one provides.  Any member that can’t get the room they want, when they want it, just a couple of times in a row, will start to look for alternative space (and probably not even mention to you why they are leaving).

A minimum of 2 meeting rooms and 1 day office is recommended, but keep in mind, any vacant private office should be made available as a temporary day office.

It’s important to constantly monitor the usage to determine whether you need to add additional meeting rooms.  Pacific Workplaces has found that once a room is accommodating 100 hours or more of reservations, it starts to feel “full.” In other words, at 100+ hours per month per room, the members will start to have trouble easily booking times they need and you’ll start to get complaints.  If you have 3 meeting rooms and you are consistently booking 350 hours per month, it’s time to start looking for a full-time office you can pull out of inventory and convert to your next meeting room.

Eliminating a full-time office and the consistent revenue associated with it may seem unwise at first, but Pac has found that each meeting room typically provides 125-300% of the revenue that same room would generate if it were left as a private office.  In fact, each added meeting room can easily support an additional 20-25 VO members (at $200-350 each).

While large boardrooms are nice to accommodate meetings of 14-18 people, you’ll probably find over time there aren’t very many meetings of that size, so that huge beautiful room is mostly wasted.  Pac has found most demand to be in the 4-6 seat range, and 30-40% to just be for 1-on-1 meetings. 

But keep in mind, if your plans include a number of HOURS in any room, your members will gladly book the 18 seat boardroom for their 1-on-1 meetings – this is why some shared workspaces have switched to a CREDIT system.  Workspaces using credits, like Pac, include a number of meeting room credits in their plans, and then assign a number of credits per hour to each room. Day offices are always 1 credit per hour, but members are “charged” 2 or 3, sometimes up to 5 credits per hour for the larger rooms.  This new system assigns a proper value to each room and provides incentive for members to book appropriately sized rooms, thus leaving the larger rooms for those that actually need them (and are willing to spend the necessary credits).

Step 4: Market your plans locally and beyond

Include virtual office solutions in all your marketing efforts.  It’s even more important than marketing private offices – you’re going to fill up the offices, but you’ll never run out of VO capacity!

Of utmost importance is the optimization of your website for virtual office and VO related terms.  Some examples include developing even small paragraphs around these terms:

Virtual office, virtual office space, what is a virtual office, what are virtual office services, how virtual office works, how to setup virtual office, virtual office address, business address, virtual mailbox, digital mailbox. For more impact, you can also add the city to these keywords, such as virtual office in [city], [city] virtual office space, [city] business address, etc.

The ability to sell virtual offices on your website is a must.  Have a reputable e-commerce web developer set you up or talk to Yardi KUBE, a shared workspace solution provider and member of the Global Workspace Association. They have a proven online sales module that will work with any website.

Virtual Office Plans and Pricing | CloudVO Partner Pacific Workplaces

Systematically educate all prospects on your virtual office offerings.  Whether they email you asking questions, or stop in for a tour, make sure everyone you communicate with knows what a virtual office plan is and why they might need one (down the road if not today). 

Sign up with a reputable channel partner such as CloudVO.  CloudVO does the national marketing you probably won’t do, and has relationships with enterprise companies looking for touchdown space in multiple cities.

Step 5: Manage your VO business effectively

At first the incremental resources necessary to support a VO business are very small. Having less than 50 mail plans to support does not necessitate more staff. Remember that most users don’t get mail everyday. Some VO clients almost never get mail, but will use only your local address and perhaps a local phone number on their website.

Only when you get over 75 VO clients will you need to give serious thoughts about optimizing your VO operation. By then, you should be generating more than $10k of incremental revenue per month.

Pacific Workplaces averages around 150 VO plans per location, at an average of $140 per month of revenue per plan. That’s more than $20k of total VO revenue per month. The Cupertino location supports over 400 VO plans, enough to pay for the (very expensive) rent of this 18,000 square foot coworking space!

Pacific Workplaces has made the effort to capture the staff time associated with supporting VO clients for a full month, such as answering emails from VO prospects or clients, walking them through options, on-boarding new members, helping them set up their phone system if the plan included phone services, handling their mail after they move in, helping them book a room occasionally, preparing and sending their invoice, chatting with them on any topic when they come by, as well as allocating time spent on general center maintenance tasks to all members (e.g. kitchen duties), etc. That comprehensive effort captured the time spent by the staff, literally second by second, for a full month and re-allocated it to each category of clients and individual plans.

We then converted that data into dollars, considering the fully loaded payroll cost for the time spent supporting VO clients, factoring the opportunity cost of meeting room usage when the VO plan included free hours of meeting rooms, the cost of answering calls (outsourced to CloudVO), the opportunity cost of a mail room that could be converted into office space, and more.

The results are pretty amazing: on average, it costs less than $7 per plan of staff time to support a Mail Plan! The VO business is Pacific Workplaces most profitable line of business!

These numbers may seem low, but they are real. Our perspective is often biased by the occasional heavy user, or that guy that likes to hang around and chat with the staff while picking up his mail. But you have to remind yourself that this guy is an out layer, and the burden he represents is more than offset by the many silent VO clients you never see, you rarely hear from, and for whom you receive mail very rarely.

How To Build a Healthy Virtual Office Business Staff Resources Data | CloudVO
How To Build a Healthy Virtual Office Business Profitability Data | CloudVO

These slides were part of the Deep Dive on Financial Metrics webinar. For more details, go 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 750 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.



Instagram Stories: an Introduction for Coworking Space Operators

Instagram Stories are temporary posts—photos, graphics or videos—that have a 24 hour lifespan and play in the sequence they were added.

They take some getting used to, but Stories can be a fun, effective way to drive traffic, sales and membership sign-ups in your coworking space.

You can add as many Stories as you like to your Instagram, and use them to target new audiences and generate leads to your coworking space.

You can also add calls to action (CTAs) in Stories, which can be especially useful for workspace promotions or highlighting new posts and content about your space.

CloudVO Tips on Instagram Stories for Coworking Operators

Behind-the-Scenes Content

Stories can be used to capture behind-the-scenes content that doesn’t have to be as high quality as regular Instagram posts. Because Stories disappear after 24 hours, they tend to be more in-the-moment and timely. They can, however, be used very effectively to market upcoming events and promotions.

One of the benefits of Stories is that the most recent ones appear in the top of your followers’ app, directly below the Instagram logo. So, unlike posts in your feed, which may or may not be seen depending on the platform’s algorithm, Stories are always there.

Using Stories to market your workspace takes consistency. Post regularly—even daily—to stay in front of your followers. If you have too many Stories, however followers will just tap through to the next account. We suggest doing 5 or 6, with no more than 10.

Posting frequently ensures that you’ll end up in the top five or six Stories, where you have a better chance of your followers seeing your content than they will in a post.

Link to Your Content

Once you have momentum with your Stories, link people back to your profile and, eventually, to your content, website or landing page.

If you have over 10,000 Instagram followers, viewers can “Swipe Up” to see more information or an outside link. However, if you have fewer than 10,000 followers, best practice is to link viewers back to your Instagram profile where they can click a link in your bio.

CloudVO Blog Instagram Stories for Coworking Space Operators Link to your content

You can share other Instagram Stories onto your Story, if the other account is public. Tagging other Instagram accounts in your Stories is ideal for collaborations as you can easily share each other’s Stories, posts and information.

Stories include fun additions, such as the ability to ask questions, conduct polls, and add text and stickers to edit images on-the-go. Hashtags in Stories allow you to extend your reach and make your Story discoverable to anyone following specific hashtags, including #coworking #coworkingspace #coworkinglife and over one hundred more.

Highlights

While Instagram Stories only have a 24 hour life, you can add any Story to your Instagram Highlights, which are the circles between your Stories and your feed.

Highlights are curated collections of Instagram Stories that your followers can tap into and watch any time they like. They live permanently on your profile and are a fun way to group your best Stories thematically.

CloudVO Blog Instagram Stories for Coworking Operators Highlights

To create a cohesive brand experience, create thumbnail images or graphics for your Highlights.

Instagram Stories Tools

Stories have built-in tools, including GIFs and stickers, and there are plenty of apps to help you level-up your Instagram Stories game. Here are some of our favorites:

Livestream: You can stream video to your audience as part of your Stories. If you do livestreams consistently, consider posting them to your Instagram TV (IGTV). (IGTV best practices will be shared in a future post).

Boomerang: Boomerang is a fun, built-in tool that creates mini-videos that loop back and forth.

Superzoom: Superzoom is what it sounds like—a tool that lets you zoom in on an image. It also includes numerous effects so you can let your creativity play.

Rewind: Rewind is a tool that rewinds video footage to provide a special effect.

Unfold: This tool provides templates for Instagram Stories

Inshot: Inshot is a video editor and photo editor created for Stories

Canva: Canva is an easy to use image editing tool, with templates and graphics for Stories.

Pro Tips for Creating Instagram Stories

  • Add text to your photos
  • Play with size and color
  • Tag people in your Stories using an @ mention
  • Draw on your photos using different pen styles
  • Use stickers. You can access them by swiping up
  • Add your location
  • Use relevant hashtags
  • Create polls
  • Ask questions
  • Swipe right or left to apply different filters to your Story
  • Add additional images to your story. Pick the image you want to use, pinch it to make smaller, copy the image then paste it into your story.
  • Check performance by swiping up while viewing your story. You’ll see how many people have viewed it. You’ll also see the results if anyone took the poll or answered the question
  • Add music to your Stories. You can find this option in the sticker pop-up
  • Post anytime of day, whenever something interesting is happening
  • Use the built-in emoji slider tool to get feedback from followers
  • Use the built-in countdown timer to promote an upcoming event or launch

Be Strategic

As with all your marketing, be strategic about how you use Instagram Stories. Plan it out and create a schedule that’s realistic and focused. If you post a lot of Stories all at once, your followers will expect that trend to continue.

That said, Stories are a somewhat informal way to share your brand, company, community and values. If you’re creating Stories in real time to share with your followers, don’t think about it too much, just share.

CloudVO Blog Instagram Stories for Coworking Space Operators Share Special Events

A Landing Page for your Brand

Instagram is like a landing page for your brand and Stories can be an important part of developing and sharing your brand identity and creating a cohesive experience for your followers.

Instagram Stories has its own culture and norms. Spend time researching how other brands and workspaces use Stories and start experimenting with your own Stories. It’s a powerful tool for expanding your reach and showcasing your community and brand.

CloudVO Blog Instagram Stories for Coworking Space Operators Showcase your brand

On May 29, CloudVO Marketing Director Karina Patel is co-hosting, along with Coworking Content founder Cat Johnson, a virtual training on using Instagram to market your coworking space. Register here: Instagram Marketing: an Introduction for Coworking Spaces


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 grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.


6 Telltale Signs It’s Time to Update Your Coworking Space Website

As the workspace industry continues its remarkable growth, potential members have an increasing number of spaces to choose from. So it’s essential that your website catch—and keep—the attention of people browsing for coworking space, meeting rooms, a virtual office, mail services, event space etc.

CloudVO Blog 6 signs you need to update your coworking website

If potential members encounter a website that is slow, sluggish, non-intuitive, confusing to navigate or lacking essential functionality, they will leave and move on to another one.

It’s easy to set-it-and-forget-it when it comes to your workspace website, but it’s important to revisit and update it regularly to turn casual web searchers into leads, customers and members. Here are six telltale signs that it’s time to update your workspace website.

1. Pages Load Slowly

You have a few seconds to catch peoples’ attention with your website. Searchers have lots of options and will take any excuse to click away from your site.

If your pages take more than three seconds to load then your website speed is an issue. As CloudVO Marketing Manager Kim Seipel explains, “Users expect fast loading times when it comes to websites. If your pages take too long to load, it creates a poor user experience and a bad first impression for your brand.”

Seipel adds, “Most users will simply give up, move on to the next site, and probably never come back.”

In July of 2018, Google’s algorithm changed so that slow-loading mobile sites would suffer the consequences. It was a call for action for quite some time before last year, however, Google officially decided to use loading speed as a metric for mobile search result rankings last summer.

2. Your Site Isn’t Mobile Friendly

It’s no longer acceptable to have a website that renders well on a desktop or laptop, but falls apart (or becomes a user nightmare) on mobile. Many people use mobile devices to research, shop and purchase workspace offerings, so your website has to serve them.

CloudVO Blog 6 signs you need to update your coworking website and make mobile friendly

Make sure your site is mobile responsive, meaning that it will detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.

“A mobile responsive site will look just as good on a smartphone as it does on a desktop,” says Seipel. “People need to be able to use their fingers to scroll, move from page to page, and easily access buttons, links and calls-to-action from their mobile device. Google also now indexes the mobile version of any website and uses those metrics to rank your site, so it’s a must.”

Google suggests the following steps:

1. Visit Google’s guide to mobile-friendly sites. This page offers several ways to make your site more mobile-friendly, such as using software or a third-party developer.

2. Take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how optimized your website is for mobile viewing. You can test a single page on your site or several landing pages and see exactly how Googlebot views the pages when determining search results.

3. Use Webmaster Tools to generate a Mobile Usability Report, which helps identify any issues with your website when viewed on a mobile device.

3. Your Website Lacks Visual Appeal

Website first impressions should be high priority. Visitors to your website are making snap judgements about your space and brand from what they see on your site.

Photos and images of your space and community should be high-resolution and reflect your workspace brand. Include a variety of images and be sure to include people in them. Visitors to your website want to see the space in use to see if it’s the right place for them.

Use images to break up large amounts of website copy, and make sure your text is easy to read and your site navigation intuitive. Site visitors should easily be able to identify all the services you offer without too many clicks. For instance, if you offer coworking memberships, virtual office plans, meeting rooms, and private office space, have separate areas on your home page for each service, with buttons that allow the user to quickly access the information they’re looking for.

CloudVO Blog How Coworking Spaces Can Redefine Marketing Strategy Partner YourOffice

4. Your Website is Not Optimized for SEO

If you’re not thinking about SEO in your website copy, start today. Google (and other search engines) can be powerful traffic drivers and vehicles to amplify your brand messaging.

SEO includes on-page target keyword usage and optimization, metadata, page names, URLs, content headlines, alt tags, internal and external links, H1-H6 tags, your calls to action, and a focused and distinct messages on each landing page.

This is all done in an effort to help search engines understand what your site is about and what services you offer so they can serve up the most relevant results to user queries. Create clear, focused, compelling, helpful content and website copy, and you’ll be well on your way to an optimized site.

SEO tools can be helpful in determining target keyword phrases and developing your SEO strategy. However, having a clear understanding of your target market and their challenges and goals is equally important. As CloudVO Marketing Director Karina Patel explains:

“There are many extensions you can integrate into your website that will audit the on-page SEO items before you publish the pages. For example, Yoast SEO is fantastic. It’s a WordPress plugin that makes it very easy to complete all of the on-page SEO components that Google loves. SEMrush is another great tool. With any tool or plugin, you take the recommendations with a grain of salt.”

5. No Clear Next Step for Site Visitors

Once someone is on your website looking at your offerings and services, it’s essential that you provide a way for them to take the next step. For instance, can site visitors book a tour of your space through your website? This call to action is a powerful, yet low-commitment, way to get people into your space.

“We highly recommend you offer this functionality,” says Seipel. “There are a ton of scheduling software platforms, such as Calendly, which let visitors schedule tours of your space without having to send an email or call. With Calendly, you can pre-set blocks of availability so when a user books a tour, they can easily see open time slots available and schedule straightaway.”


CloudVO Blog Platforms and Tools Calendly for booking workspace tours

Giving people an easy way to book tours saves time for space operators, improves the customer experience, and allows you to capture user information. As Seipel says, “Your website visitor just became a qualified lead since they booked a tour online.”

6. Your Website Lacks E-commerce Capabilities

If your current workspace website does not allow users to purchase coworking memberships, meeting room time or virtual office plans, then it’s time to upgrade. Online shopping is growing at a tremendous pace and people want instant gratification. If someone shopping for your services sees something they like or need, they want to be able to purchase it immediately. An effective website gives them an easy way to do so.

“If your website is effective at educating users on the different types of memberships you offer, they should be able to buy what they need and checkout,” says Seipel. E-commerce allows you to sell coworking memberships to a global audience 24x7x365.”

Using Day Passes to Generate Leads Pacific Workplaces Coworking Membership Plans
Coworking Memberships for CloudVO Partner, Pacific Workplaces

Seipel adds that cross-selling or upselling is automated as you can provide suggestions or recommended add-ons for the buyer to consider once they are in the shopping cart.  You can also leverage your e-commerce to gather data on your overall sales effectiveness, which then can be used to personalize future promotions or other service offerings.”

A bonus to automating your e-commerce is that you save your community managers and other coworking staff members time.

“They can spend less time manually processing coworking or virtual office membership purchases,” says Seipel, “and focus on the important things like community building and member programming.”

Enjoy more free resources specifically for workspace operators when you partner with us. Listing is free and you automatically become a part of a larger network of 700 shared workspaces around the globe. Go to   www.CloudVO.com   to learn more.


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 grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.


Meeting Room White Paper 2019

Meeting Room White Paper 2019 Hourly Prices Per Room Size All Operators in United States

Tell us a bit about yourself before downloading the white paper.

We are excited to announce our 2019 Meeting Room White Paper. This survey analyzes Day Office and Meeting Room pricing, utilization rates, and revenue, and serves as an update to the comprehensive meeting room price review first published by CloudVO in 2015. It is a high-level summary of considerable data and analyses collected and performed in Q1 2019.

We collected hourly prices from 20,710 day offices and meeting rooms in 3,378 locations across the United States, available for booking online directly from the providers’ own websites or via resellers like CloudVO, Liquidspace and Davinci. We mined the data to draw comparisons across regions and providers, between resellers and original providers, and of course a comparison between CloudVO partners and Regus in each region.

A more comprehensive analysis is made available for free to CloudVO partners to enable them to drill down on their region of operation and use this collection of data to set up more effective meeting room strategies.

In this public version we are sharing data aggregated on a US-wide basis that highlight different strategies across providers and should raise many good questions in the operator’s mind. We also share meeting room utilization metrics from our sister company Pacific Workplaces.

The meeting room business is a substantial source of revenue for shared office space operators, with expected revenue significantly higher than alternative uses, such as full-time offices or coworking space. This analysis gives a sense of the potential for revenue per type of room and per square foot. It also shares statistics on observed retail hourly prices for various room sizes.

The survey does not include data from hotels or conference centers that have a different value proposition and typically charge higher rates.

We believe this survey paints an accurate picture of the meeting room business provided by the Shared Office Space industry in the U.S.

Get access to invaluable resources like this when you list your workspace location for free and partner with us. Join our network of close to 700 locations around the world. Visit us at www.CloudVO.com  


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 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 close to 700 locations worldwide for mobile workers and distributed workforces under a subscription model or on a pay-per-use basis.

8 Types of Content to Post on Instagram: a Guide for Coworking Space Operators

Instagram is hot right now. A reported one billion people use the platform every month, with 38% of people using it several times per day.

As a coworking space operator, you’d be wise to leverage the popularity and reach of Instagram. But coming up with original content to share, day after day, week after week, isn’t always easy. If you’re overly promotional, Instagram users tune you out, but if you’re not promotional enough, you may not get the marketing impact you desire.

The CloudVO marketing team rounded up our favorite types of content to post on Instagram, specifically with coworking space operators in mind. Here are our top eight.

CloudVO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on IG

  1. Highlight Community Members (and Their Brands)
    When you highlight your members, their companies, their projects and their brands, you support them in growing their business. You also establish your space as a place and resource for other business owners and can showcase your brand values and vision.

A couple of things to keep in mind when highlighting members:

  • How long have they been a member?
  • What are some fun facts about them and/or their brand?

Quick win:
Create a member profile email template—say five questions—that you can easily send out to members. This is the basis of your content. Ask them to stop by the front reception or connect with the community manager so a team member can take a photo of them using the space. This way, you can control the colors and composition of the photo, as opposed to them sending in a headshot. Then schedule the content into your calendar. It’s an easy way to create content without having to do much work.

Suggested hashtag: #featurefridays

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Member Highlight

 

  1. Spotlight Team Members
    Team members are an integral part of your workspace. They quietly do a lot behind the scenes and, without them, things in your space would quickly fall apart. Put a face to your community and brand by spotlighting the people running your workspace. This way, your external community knows who to contact when they have questions about space rental, membership, events, etc., and you let your new and existing community members know who runs the space and who to turn to with questions.

Suggested hashtag: #teamtuesdays.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Team Members

  1. External Events in Your Local Community
    One of the smartest things a coworking space operator can do is to connect with—and support—other organizations and businesses in your community, especially those that are aligned with your space, community and target market.

By promoting, sharing and mentioning events and news from your extended community, you show members, potential members and neighbors that your space is not just for members—that it’s a resource for the local community.

Create Instagram posts about events that benefit the entire community. Include the topics, speakers, panelists, venue, etc and tag them all. Tagging local partners and businesses is key to boosting engagement and reach.

  1. Showcase Guests and Members Utilizing the Space
    Do you feel like you have nothing to post on Instagram?  You have the best content right in front of you: your members working in your space.

Time and time again, we find that simple posts of members working or collaborating in a coworking space gets, not only a high amount of likes, but great engagement. People want to see themselves working in your space, so Instagram posts that reflect your members working and your community in action are great go-tos.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Members Working and Member Community

  1. Awesome Reviews
    Customer reviews are an important piece of marketing your coworking space, so leverage your great reviews into Instagram content.

Third-party review sites like Trustpilot make things easy with built-in Image Generator tools that allow you to pick quotes from specific reviews and choose a background image. The Image Generator will also size your graphic for the specific social media platform you intend to use. Once you have the quote and preferred graphic, you can simply download and share.

Reviews serve as testimonials that strengthen members’ bond with your space and community, and demonstrate social proof to people who may be interested in learning more about becoming a member. People put a lot of weight on reviews. One great review can drive far more attention, interest and word-of-mouth marketing than you talking about the benefits and features of your space.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Awesome Reviews

  1. Share Space Refreshes
    Keeping your coworking space interesting, useful and visually fresh shows that you take pride in it and are constantly maintaining it.

Sharing space refreshes on Instagram gives people an insider’s look at what it’s like in your space. Whether it’s something small like a new coffee maker, or something large, like a space remodel, keep people in-the-loop about changes, improvements and enhancements in the space.

Members appreciate when the space is well-kept, and they are inclined to take more photos within the space and post. Encourage user generated content and people sharing that they are working from your space by liking, engaging, commenting and sharing their posts. And remember, anytime you update or add something cool or new to your space, share it.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Space Refresh

  1. Promote Blog Posts
    Each time you publish a new blog post you should promote it on Instagram (as well as the other social platforms). Social media is a great way to drive people to your blog content. If you have a featured image you use for a specific blog article, just take that same image and post to Instagram with a caption that draws people to want to read your blog.

ProTip: Make sure the link to your latest article is in your bio. The less work people have to do to get to your post (or website), the more likely they are to actually click through to it.

  1. Show Decor and Workspace Set-up
    Each coworking community has members who “nest” or take the time to make their workspace their own. Capture some of these fun and interesting workspace areas and share them.

Whether it involves someone working amongst plants, flowers, artwork, or gizmos and gadgets, snap a photo of someone’s work set-up for the day and share it around. These types of posts are very humanizing and relatable—they let people see what it’s like to work a day in your space.

Cloud VO Blog 8 Types of Content to post on Instagram Workspace Setup

Bonus: Popular Instagram Daily Hashtags
Find ways to incorporate Instagram daily hashtags into your post. Remember to also keep an eye out for hashtags around holidays, theme months or seasons, news, events and more. Here are some of the most popular daily hashtags on Instagram:

MONDAY
#mondaymotivation

TUESDAY
#teamtuesday

WEDNESDAY
#wednesdaywisdom

THURSDAY
#throwbackthursday
#tbt

FRIDAY
#flashbackfriday
#fbf
#featurefriday

Cat Johnson is a content strategist and storyteller for the coworking movement.

Want more resources geared specifically for workspace operators?  Join 700 shared workspaces around the world and partner with us. Go to   www.CloudVO.com    to list your location 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 grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

How Coworking Operators can Create A Positive Work-Culture for their Employees

There’s  interesting data  about how coworking makes members happier, more social, and more successful.

But what about the people who run coworking spaces?

Their jobs are fast-paced and require a skill set that ranges from being tech savvy, responsive and organized, to having high emotional intelligence. Space operators and community managers have to handle a lot on a day-to-day basis, and they have to do it while running a space, making sure members have what they need, and staying calm.

It’s not an easy job.

As workspace owners and operators, it’s important to create a positive work culture for the people running your space and business. Coworking is an exciting field to work in, but it has small profit margins and requires flexibility, both personal and professional.

As Tracy Wilson, managing partner at Pacific Workplaces  explains, “Our business is not a high paying business. No one will get rich, and there aren’t a lot of layers when it comes to climbing a career ladder.”

For Wilson and the Pacific Workplaces team, creating a positive culture is vital to attracting and retaining talented, engaged people.

“The culture does matter,” Wilson says. “It’s worth something, and that’s one of the things we can provide.”

positive work environment and support

She offers the following tips on creating a positive culture for workspace teams of all sizes.

Be of Service to Your Team

Perhaps the most important thing for a workspace owner or operator is to be of service to your team. It goes hand-in-hand with running a sustainable business. This is something that is woven into the cultural fabric of Pacific Workplace and CloudVO.

“Our management and employment style is to be of service to our employees,” says Wilson. “We’re here to hopefully make their day-to-day job as happy as it can be, within the context of work. When issues come up, we do everything we can to accommodate and to help them. We are here to help them do a better job.”

Train People to Go On to Bigger and Better

Challenge people to bring their best to work, both intellectually and emotionally. And give them your best so they can go on to bigger and better things.

team decisions at a meeting

“I believe the best thing is to give people whatever skills we can give them while tuning into their passions, and helping them build a repertoire to leave us,” says Wilson. “We like it when people stay, but it’s always a little bit happy when they go, because they always go onto something bigger, and, hopefully, better.”

She adds, “We do have people leave and come back though.”

Establish Caring as a Company Value

One of the sayings at Pacific Workplaces is, “We care.” The leadership team sets a tone that the company cares for its clients, its investors, its vendors but, as Wilson says, “Mostly we care for each other.”

She stresses that the ownership group is “very tight around this topic” saying that it’s probably the only thing they’ve never had a disagreement about. Whatever is going on in the company and in individual spaces, a sense of caring and mitigating frustrations and challenges is always top-of-mind for the team.

Be Accessible

At Pacific Workplaces and CloudVO, any employee is free to go to the top with questions, challenges or concerns.

Wilson explains that the top “isn’t very high in our small company,” but says if anybody in the company wants to talk to her or COO Scott Chambers, or managing partner Keith Warner, or CEO Laurent Dhollande, it’s just a matter of sending an email.

Team Gatherings

It’s important for members of a team to meet in real life and get to know each other—even when that team is distributed across cities or regions. Plan regular in-person gatherings that go beyond business meetings.

pac day 2018 - east bay team

Create fun opportunities for your team to connect, get some work done, and celebrate together.

“It’s important,” says Wilson, “to give people the one-on-one experience of getting to know one another.”

Be Human

When someone makes a mistake, acknowledge the humanness of imperfection, whenever possible, and find the best solution. This approach to problem-solving is contagious and can be found throughout a workspace once the tone is established.

Empower Community Managers to Empower their Members

Find ways where members can help themselves and take a load off of your team. For instance, empower members to install their own print drivers and to make coffee when they take the last of it.

As Wilson explains, “We’re here to help, but we don’t need to do everything. Having the technology and norms to take some things off their to-do list is important.”

Give All Employees Ownership of the Space

Support team members in the day-to-day running of the workspace. If something needs to be done, find ways for people to help, regardless of what their role in the company is.

“There is no job that an owner is too big to do,” says Wilson. “If you walk into a center and there’s a copier jam, and it requires being on the floor finding the problem, that’s what’s required. Or there’s no coffee, or the sink is full, you deal with it. It’s everybody’s job to help with whatever needs to be done.”

She adds that, “It’s all hand on deck, so these jobs don’t always fall on one person.”

Get to Know Your Team (and Their Goals)

Take the time to get to know your team members. This includes having a Q2 QMM Photo Strip at NSBEclear understanding of their career goals. For instance, if a team member plans to be a CPA when they finish school, find finance-related jobs for them to do.

As Wilson advises, “Help them start building a repertoire of skills they’ll use later on.”

For instance, Pacific Workplaces has one staffer who wants to be a corporate health and wellness professional, so Wilson gave her a regular column in the company newsletter called “Health Corner.”

“By the time she goes into job interviews,” says Wilson, “she can show them this column as an example of what she did in her last job.”

It’s not always possible to align people’s passions and work goals with their job duties, but be creative about finding ways to engage peoples whole selves. One Pacific Workplaces team member is a horse lover. She and Wilson are looking for ways to potentially align these seemingly disparate interests.

“I asked her to help me identify how to bring her passion into the office,” says Wilson. “Maybe we do a fundraiser. We make a concerted effort. It doesn’t always work. If it really is just horses, I might not be able to, but I’d like to try.”

The Benefit of a Positive Work Culture on the Bottom Line

In addition to providing an enjoyable workspace experience, positive work culture is also good for business.

“We’re in a tight job market,” says Wilson. “For all the workspace operators, their employees have a lot of other options right now. There is certainly a practical reason for being the employer of choice. And, even in not-so-tight job markets, being the employer of choice in our industry gives you all sorts of advantages.”

Wilson says that a positive work culture should “always be what you strive for, for practical business reasons.” In addition to that, she adds that “there’s more joy when you’re surrounded by people who are happy, and you can contribute to their happiness. That’s a reason in and of itself to keep coming to work and keep doing what you’re doing.”

She adds, “If you’re somebody who is motivated by a large paycheck, then you’re probably not for us. But, if a pleasant place to work, with a lot of unique people and a lot of different things to do, and no day being the same, and having part of your job being chatting and getting to know people is your thing, then we’re for you.”

by Cat Johnson, storyteller and content strategist for the coworking movement.


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 grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

 

How to Reinvent Your Marketing Strategy: 9 Tips for Coworking Space Operators

When was the last time you revisited your marketing strategy? Or your website, for that matter?

We get it. As coworking space operators, you have a lot on your plate. But if your marketing is not working, you’re leaving leads, members and money on the table.

The CloudVO marketing team sees first-hand how partner spaces present and market themselves online. Some have a streamlined strategy and others, not so much. The good news is that you can always improve, and doing so doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking.

CloudVO Blog Reinvent Your Coworking Space Marketing Strategy

I spoke with Karina Patel, Director of Marketing at CloudVO, about simple things coworking space operators can do to improve their digital presence and marketing.

I also spoke with David Middleton, Vice President at YourOffice, who turned to the CloudVO team when the company needed to update their marketing approach.

As Middleton explains, they weren’t getting the results they wanted from commercial real estate brokers and their “overall strategy was to increase conversions from inbound channels.” As he puts it, Patel “brought us into the new world and made sure we’re where we need to be.”

This meant strengthening SEO across their seven workspace locations, getting up-to-speed with social media trends, investing in pay-per-click marketing, focusing on content creation and revisiting their website copy.

Here are nine marketing tips for workspace operators, taken from our conversations.

1. Audit Your Website

Is your website up-to-date? Does your copy reflect keyword phrases you’re currently targeting? Is your site mobile responsive? These are all common issues with websites in the workspace world and beyond.

Be open to changes as Middleton of YourOffice was and take an honest look at your site, including images, videos, copy and layout. You may be using phrasing that’s outdated and missing opportunities to boost your SEO. Consider enlisting a few people to help with this (including a member), as their perspective and observations may be different from yours.

CloudVO Blog How Coworking Spaces Can Redefine Marketing Strategy Partner YourOffice

 

2. Make Check-out Easy

When someone visits your site, it’s because they need something. How easy is it for them to get the information they need and take the next step, whether that’s purchasing a membership, a meeting room rental, a virtual office or digital mail services?

As Patel explains, you want to provide instant gratification for the user.

“If a lead comes to the website, what is it they’re looking for,” she says. “How many clicks does it take them to get to it?”

Here are questions to ask yourself about the user experience on your site:

● Can people checkout on your website? If so, what is that process? Do they have to fill out a long form or is it easy?
● How easy is it for someone to navigate to what they need?
● How many clicks does it take to go from information to checkout?
● Do you have a call to action on each page to invite users to take the next step?
● Is your e-commerce integrated with your website?
● How easy is it for a casual browser to get a day pass, virtual mail membership or book a meeting room?

CloudVO Blog Reinvent Your Coworking Space Marketing Strategy Online Meeting Room Bookings

ProTip: Utilize analytics to glean valuable information. The CloudVO team found in their own analytics that a lot of people were reserving meeting rooms, coworking daypasses and virtual office services in the evening, after business hours. If reservations required filling out a form and waiting until the next day for a response, people would be more likely to keep browsing. It’s important to give people a way to book and pay immediately.

3. Refresh Your Images

An easy way to keep your website fresh and relevant is to update your photos regularly.

“You can immediately freshen up your website by updating the pictures,” says Patel. “Especially if you’ve renovated, added new furniture or painted. If the first thing I see is an office space with fluorescent lighting and bulky wood furniture, it looks like an office from the 90’s or 80’s. That’s the first thing an end-user would be turned off by.”

If you have photos of people using your conference room, those should be on your website. If you have photos of people working in an open coworking area, those should be on your home page.

CloudVO Blog 6 Tips on Integrating Virtual Offices into Coworking Spaces Meeting Rooms

CloudVO Blog Coworking and World Mental Health Day Expand Social Networks

“Take photos all the time and replace the ones on your site regularly,” Patel advises, adding that event photos can be particularly valuable in differentiating your space from those around you. But even if you don’t host events, photos are key to user engagement.

“If your space isn’t an event space, and you may not be exposing it to people who aren’t community members, you have to compete a little bit more,” she says. “An easy way to do that is with photos.”

4. Get Access to Your Website

It’s nice to have a web developer you can call when you need to make a change to your website. But, if you’re completely dependent on them to make changes, you may be less likely to actually make changes to photos and copy.

Many websites are built on WordPress, Squarespace or other platforms that have a built-in content management systems (CMS). These give you easy access to make changes. And, bonus, they’re designed to host content, so you’ll have a good foundation for your content marketing.

“You don’t want to have to rely on a developer to update your images or copy, because how often will you really do that?”, says Patel.

5. Step Up Your Social Media

Social media platforms are marketing powerhouses—especially Facebook and Instagram. Take a close look at your social media strategy and find ways to strengthen and improve it, including posting more consistently.

“When I look at a company’s social media, I’m not looking at the number of followers,” says Patel. “I’m looking at their consistency. How often are you posting?”

Patel advises the following to improve your social media strategy, consistency and quality:

● Clarify your products and services: What do you offer people?
● Clarify your message: What are you trying to tell people?
● When people are using your space, take photos
● When you have an event, take photos
● Highlight your team members
● Highlight your community members
● Feature things going on in your community
● Feature local tech events
● Feature local organizations aligned with your space
● Feature guests who visit or work in your space
● Share posts about how people use your space
● Share motivational posts
● To avoid social media overwhelm, take one day a week to create and schedule your social media content
● Actively engage in social media, including in groups. This is a great way to teach people about your brand.
● You don’t have to post every day

“It doesn’t always have to be a picture of your conference room,” Patel says. “Only one in every few posts should be promotional. People want to understand you. Especially with Instagram, you’re telling a story of your brand, the people in your space and your community.”

She adds, “What’s unique about your space? That’s what people want to see.”

Cloud Blog Reinvent Your Marketing Strategy Social Media Branding

Middleton points out that it’s important to have someone on your team who is dedicated to social media. This is the approach they took for YourOffice.

“If you don’t have someone on your team who can do that, then align yourself with the resources that can provide that service,” he says. “They are out there.”

6. Utilize Google My Business

When auditing your coworking website, one of the first things to look at is your presence on Google. This includes organic SEO as well as Google My Business. To get started with Google My Business, claim your business, add images, add your services and hours. Google makes it quick and easy so there’s no reason not to claim your business today.

7. SEO

To determine where your workspace brand ranks in Google, do a search for coworking (or whatever services you’re targeting) in your area. If your space isn’t listed on the first page, you need to dedicate some time to SEO.

SEO is a big topic, but it includes getting your website architecture and copy right, including your target keyword phrases on pages, and creating content that supports your marketing efforts, and drives traffic and inbound links to your site.

There are plenty of great SEO tools, including SEMRush and Moz, but, as Patel advises, “Take what they give you with a grain of salt. Don’t get too into the weeds with SEO. Just focus on your keywords and strengthening website copy and content.”

For Middleton, that meant revisiting the phrasing they were using. For instance, they ranked high for terms such as “executive office space,” but few people were searching for that phrase.

“It might make us feel good that we were in the top five,” he says, “but that’s not what people were looking for.”

To remedy the situation, they implemented “coworking,” and “shared office” into their copy and created a content marketing strategy with those keywords in them.

8. Think Local

For Middleton, an important shift was to start thinking about inbound marketing for each of their seven locations across the Southeast, Denver and Philadelphia. The team is increasingly focused on marketing each space with local keyword phrases and content, rather than the company as a whole.

“We’re going to end up having more localized sites that will link back into the main YourOffice site,” says Middleton.

9. Get Started

To do a refresh of your marketing, determine where you need to make improvements, whether with your website, e-commerce, social media or SEO. Then lay out the next steps you need to take.

Cloud Blog Reinvent Your Marketing Strategy action plan

“Make an assessment,” says Patel, “based on what your strengths are, and what your weaknesses are. Where do you need help? Determine that and spend some time working on it.”

Want more resources like this? Join our global network of 700 locations.   Visit us at   www.CloudVO.com    to list your location 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 grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

The Importance of Customer Reviews to Market Your Coworking Space

If you’re not focused on getting customer reviews for your coworking space, you’re missing out on a golden marketing opportunity. Reviews for your workspace can be found on Yelp, Google, Facebook and more. Potential members pay attention to these reviews and you should, as well. Forbes reports that online reviews are the best thing that ever happened to small businesses, explaining that “97% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses and three in four people who use their smartphones to search for something nearby end up visiting a local business within a day.”
The Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces
When people search online for a coworking space in your town, reviews can attract them to you if they’re positive, or keep them scrolling if they’re negative or if you don’t have any.

Customer Reviews and Social Proof

We rely heavily on social proof, including customer reviews, when making decisions about where to shop, eat, visit and work. We tend to search for these things when we actually need the product—meaning that people searching online for a local coworking space are likely to need a space right now. “When a consumer uses a review platform like Yelp or Google My Business, the decision and urgency to buy are exactly what prompted the person’s search,” the Forbes article points out. “If traditional advertising is a megaphone that enables businesses to shout and see who’s listening, review sites are tractor beams that pull consumers toward local businesses precisely when they’re actively looking to spend money. That’s an invaluable opportunity for small businesses with tight — or non-existent — marketing budgets.”
Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces NextSpace San Jose Yelp Reviews

The Importance of Reviews for a Coworking Space

Karina Patel, Director of Marketing at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces explains that customer reviews are important for workspace operators because they:
  • Help provide a baseline for prospective members because customers rely on reviews from peers more than they trust the taglines of a brand.
  • Boost local listings for SEO. The more reviews, the more likely your local listing appears in search results, including, Yelp and Google. These local listings are integrated into organic search, paid ads, and map views.
  • Search engines see that you are an active brand when you receive a steady stream of reviews.
Customer reviews can also help strengthen your brand and, as Patel points out, “Brand reputation is everything.” Here are four ways customer reviews can help with your branding and marketing, from Patel and Kim Seipel, Marketing Manager at CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces:
  1. Reviews establish brand authority and trust. Reading what others have to say about your space and services will move prospects further down the sales funnel.
  2. Having a healthy mixture of ratings allows customers to trust that you aren’t soliciting reviews or incentivizing for 5-star reviews. If a brand only has 5-star reviews, customers are less likely to trust that brand.
  3. With coworking spaces becoming increasingly popular, prospects have more options to choose from. A solid establishment of reviews can differentiate your space from another.
  4. Customers trust online reviews as much as they value personal recommendations. They look to reviews in helping them make their final purchasing decision.
Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces CloudVO Trustpilot Review

Using Third-Party Review Products

The CloudVO team recently started testing Trust Pilot, a reputation service that enables companies to automate the review collection process for online purchases. Trust Pilot users can add rich snippet widgets to webpages, which optimize those pages in an organic search by displaying a Google Seller Rating (GSR). Google gathers ratings about your business from licensed review sites, including Trust Pilot. Strong seller ratings not only speaks to the validity of your business, but also helps the performance of your Google Ad Campaigns. As Seipel explains, “There are 32 Google licensed third-party review sites, and after research we decided Trust Pilot would serve our particular needs best. Pricing and features vary between all the review sites, so it’s best to compare several and choose the platform which is aligned with your business goals.” Benefits of using a third-party review platform for a coworking space include:
  • Automating the collection process saves time
  • Space operators don’t need to remember to follow up with all new purchases and incoming members on a daily basis
  • Space operators can trigger invites for new purchases by sending people a customized invite several days after a purchase, with at least one reminder if they haven’t submitted a review. “The invite template is easy,” says Patel. “You just select the star rating and add a comment if you wish.”
Importance of Customer Reviews for Coworking Spaces CloudVO Trustpilot invite
Soliciting Customer Reviews for Your Coworking Space When soliciting reviews, make it easy for customers. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:
  • Be consistent with how you ask, and when you ask, for reviews. Creating a process will also allow you to keep track of members you have asked per time frame (month or quarter)
  • Do not set a precedent with incentives for reviews. Members will expect a reward for submitting a review.
  • Use templates for your community managers to send out with customized information, links, do’s and don’ts.
  • Handle negative reviews with patience and understanding. Responding to a negative review is a potential opportunity to mend a relationship, demonstrate your brand values, and express your calm, cool handling of an uncomfortable situation. You can use a template for this, as well, but be sure to personalize your response to address—and fix when possible—the complaints of your unhappy customer.

Turning Casual Searches into Marketing Leads

Customer reviews can (and should) be part of the strategy for marketing your coworking space. Reviews help showcase your space and community, they provide social proof to people looking for a workspace, they provide a glimpse into your brand values, and they’re a powerful tool for turning casual web searchers into marketing leads. How do you use customer reviews to market your workspace? Contact us and let us know. We’d love to hear from you. by Cat Johnson, storyteller and content strategist for the coworking movement.

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  CloudMeetingRooms.com  and  CloudVirtualOffice.com  e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Crush Workspace Tours with These Five Tips

When giving a tour of your space, keep in mind that it takes as little as seven seconds to make a good first impression.  Maya Delano, Community Manager of NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz has compiled a “NextSpace-tastic Tour” video where she breaks down the art of touring a workspace prospect into five important steps. Read along and watch the video to see the “must-do’s” when giving a workspace tour that have been successful in curating a cohesive and involved community at NextSpace.

Get the digits

Introduce yourself with a handshake, exchange names, and have them sign into the iPad (this is very important). Having them sign into the iPad allows you to gather some information about them that you may use to follow up with them after the tour, and helps keep track of who toured and when.
CloudVO Blog Five Workspace Tour Best Practices Capture Contact Information

Engage your prospect

People usually like talking about themselves.  Get the conversation rolling by asking your potential new member about what they do: What brought them here, what projects they are working on, etc. You can do this right at the beginning or spread your questions throughout the tour (it shows that we’re genuinely interested in our members’ work, and gives us a good feel if they are a positive fit for the community). This is important, because as much as you want to fill up your coworking space with hard-working and involved community members, not everyone will be a good fit, and that’s OK.

Your unique elevator pitch

Give them a well-rounded elevator pitch about what makes your space unique. We’re talking who we are, what we do, why we do it, and why they want it! Keep it simple, but have a little fun with it too, because this industry is fun! Nothing brings folks to snores quicker than a lame and over-the-top “salesy” elevator pitch. Be sure to put a strong emphasis on our commitment to combining space and community.
Coworking Day Passes to Generate Leads NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz First Friday Special Day Pass
CloudVO Partner NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Meeting Rooms and Workshop Events

Know your tour footpath

Map out the exact path you want to take for the physical tour of the space beforehand.  The order in which you show particular areas of your space should be intentional.  Space tours should have a nice flow that naturally highlight the uniqueness of your shared workspace environment.  Since all coworking spaces are not created equal, you’ll need to come up with the footpath that works for you while making sure to hit the following points:
  •   Membership levels you offer and all of their perks (Open Coworking, Dedicated Desks, Private Office, and Virtual Office plans)
  •     Show off all your meeting rooms
  •     Phone Booths
  •     Kitchen (showcase coffee, tea, appliances, cleaning policy, etc).
  •     Touch on mailbox services
  •     Printing, scanning and faxing
  •     Events board (give some examples of networking events held in the space, including happy hour and member lunch)
  •     Member wall (explain the importance of having one in every space i.e. for networking, a sense of community, engagement in the space, etc.)
CloudVO Blog Five Workspace Tour Best Practices NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Member Wall
NextSpace Coworking Santa Cruz Events Board
Always remember to periodically break for questions, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm them with too much information. Although your space may not offer all of these exact amenities, it’s imperative to showcase the amenities you do have. You want prospective members to feel empowered and visualize themselves in the space and utilizing the amenities.

Offer a test drive

The final step is to let them know they can contact you with any questions and thank them for coming. Be sure to give them a rate sheet and one of your business cards, and, after using your trusty ‘superhero senses’ to determine whether they’re a good fit, offer them a free Day Pass to come and try out the space for themselves. Offering them a Day Pass is ideal because it will allow them to feel welcomed into your space and help them to determine if the space will work for them. Lastly, kindly show them to the door, shake their hand(s) and release them back into the world. We offer resources for shared workspaces operators. Get more invaluable information like this when you join our global network of 700 locations.   Visit us at   www.CloudVO.com    to list your location 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   CloudMeetingRooms.com     and   CloudVirtualOffice.com    e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Checklist for Terminating A Member (from your coworking space)

You just received notice from a member that although they loved being part of your awesome shared workspace community, it’s time to move-on.  After consoling yourself from that “break-up” feeling, you make note of all that has to be done from an operations perspective to terminate the member from your space.

Whether its remembering to stop recurring monthly invoices in your billing system, or ensuring their electronic key card access is de-activated once they move-out, there are several actions that need to be completed to ensure a smooth termination process.

Termination Checklist for Workspace Operators CloudVO Resource Library

Our Termination Checklist details what typically needs to be done to streamline this process and get you focused on what you really want to be doing – onboarding new members and connecting with existing members in your space.  

Workspace operators can download our high-level Termination Checklist below and customize to fit your specific processes and procedures.

Want access to resources specific to shared workspaces operators?  Join our network of 700 locations around the world. Visit us at  www.CloudVO.com    to list your location 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   CloudMeetingRooms.com     and   CloudVirtualOffice.com    e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.