A lot is changing around how flex space is found, booked, accessed and leveraged across multiple industries.
I was invited to share some lead-gen insights for flex spaces at a recent Coworking Convo. Below are a neater version of the notes I made to share with the hundred or so workspace operators on the call.
In short, my objective was to share 3 actionable observations with everyone, namely:
- Lead generations position within an operating framework for flex spaces.
- The insights that can be taken away from the last 2 crowdsourced lead-gen surveys.
- The trends I’m seeing around lead-gen via my weekly coworking newsletter.
First up, lead generation & the operational stack.
I truly believe that all the different systems, platforms, partners, and internal processes that go into running and filling a coworking space can be brought together to form what I often refer to as an Ops Stack.
Not to get too far into the weeds, but the framework helps turn the chaos of constantly evolving tech, teams and partners into an organised onion-like chart.
By looking at a business through such a framework, processes can be mapped from Hospitality at it’s core, towards the outer layers (in order of reach) through Sales, Lead-Gen, and then Marketing functions and tools.
What is worth noting here is that whilst lead generation is an important area of business to understand and optimize for all flex workspace operators – it’s even more powerful when it can be connected and amplified across other layers of your Ops Stack.
P.S. I’ll be writing & talking more about the Ops Stack and how to map out your processes in 2023, so do subscribe to my blog below to get notifications about those.
The recent crowdsourced lead-gen survey results.
We’ve run two crowdsourced surveys on lead-generation, one in early 2021 and one last quarter, asking operators to share what percentage of converting leads came from various sources.
Given that the volume of converting leads (and demand in general) was far greater in 2022 than in Q1 21, it was interesting to see that the % of converting leads via aggregators and booking were up 7x, human brokers was up over 5x and other sources (including partnerships, remote workspace apps, and press) was up almost 2x.
You can see the graphs and compare the numbers from 51 locations across 6 countries here.
What I want to highlight here is that whilst 61% of converting leads came through the Marketing & Lead-gen layers, in the most recent survey almost a quarter of their converting leads came from within the Hospitality core in the form of member referrals.
So don’t only look outwards for generating superb leads, every time you delight members, visitors and partners, they could become a hugely profitable driver of new memberships and sales.
The chaos that is "lead-gen for flex space" right now.
I’m seeing a whole bunch of interesting trends via the news and market moves I share in my weekly newsletter.
There’s a lot to unpack here so instead I’m going to share a quick list of things you should keep in mind.
- There are A LOT of existing workspace booking apps.
- There are A LOT of new booking apps launching.
- There are a growing number of booking apps that don’t look or even feel like booking apps.
(Eg HR apps, and remote team apps, hybrid team calendars, etc)
- The demand aggregation market is going to tighten a bunch in the next 18 months, so expect a number of closures, changes in direction, acquisitions and other mergers.
- Tracking what is working is recommended, but don’t forget that the competitive market is forcing lead generators to innovate rapidly – so what worked last month may not work tomorrow, and who directed the most demand next month may not even be on your radar this one.
- Brokers want in. They’re constantly looking for and experimenting with efficient ways to place small teams and even individuals into your spaces.
So to summarize, lead-gen is important for flex workspaces. It can be amplified through well-designed processes across your organization, don’t ignore internal lead-generating opportunities and brace for some big shifts and market-moves in how external partners drive more/better leads towards your workspace.