Top 7 Apps for Coworking Space Managers to Choose in 2021
Coworking business is a kind of fun to run. You meet new interesting people every day and help them find their work-life balance. What’s more, flexible workspaces are predicted to have a bright future as the number of remote workers will only grow in the post-pandemic world.
According to Upwork, 41.8% of the American workforce continues to work remotely. Although an estimated 26.7% will still be working from home through 2021, 36.2 million Americans (22% of the workforce) will be working remotely by 2025. This is a staggering 87% increase from the number of remote workers prior to the pandemic! - flexjobs.com
However, managing a shared workspace is not completely free of challenges. You have so many responsibilities... You need to attract new customers, handle conference rooms, meeting rooms, and desk bookings, keep your billing in order, maintain all facilities across locations, and of course, keep community members happy.
Some of those tasks require the personal attention of coworking professionals but most of them can be automated with the help of coworking space apps. You can find a brief list of those helpers below. See what they do, start to apply them, and free managers' time for community-building activities.
We live in the technology world where new revolutionary software products appear every day. It’s not easy to choose a solution that will fit your flexible workspace. Skim through the coworking apps on the list. Your peers, coworking space owners, have already tested them, so the chances are that these carefully handpicked tools will meet your requirements as well.
Let's start at the very beginning. Before a prospective customer becomes a member, you see them as a lead in your CRM or Customer Relationship Management software. The technology helps you manage relationships and interactions with existing and potential customers of your flexible workspace.
HubSpot is one of the favorite CRM solutions chosen by many coworking operators. It helps to get deeper insights into prospects, automate the tasks you are not inspired by, and close more membership deals faster. The CRM has both paid and free plans.
Here are some points to benefit from:
- Review sales pipeline via a clean visual dashboard.
- Get detailed reports on sales activity, productivity, and individual performance.
- Enrich contact records with data from over 20 million businesses automatically.
- Get notifications when a prospect opens your email or visits your coworking website.
- See the context for follow-ups with the right leads at the right time.
- Schedule meetings, use live chat, email templates, click-to-call functionality, and more to connect the prospects easily.
The key essence of any business including flexible workplaces is making money. How many hours a week do your managers spend on collecting payments from members? Whatever this number is, you can reduce it by automating payments.
Here's what you can do with Stripe:
- Use Stripe to accept payments online just the way members got used to paying for all other products and services they consume (credit card).
- You can charge members for private offices, desks, meeting rooms, and all sorts of additional services you offer.
- Create invoices online, auto-send them to members, or charge member credit cards directly.
- You don't need a physical POS terminal for that.
- Stripe also allows creating subscriptions to charge members regularly which saves a lot of time and smoothens the payment process.
Intercom is a trusted solution many coworking businesses use to support their customers. Coworking is all about communication and connection. That’s why it’s so important for community managers to stay in touch with members, resolve their issues quickly and make sure they are happy with the service.
Here are some great ways to use Intercom at flexible workspaces:
- Start proactive conversations with people that land on your online platform. Ask them questions with live chat to help sign up for a membership at your workspace.
- Set up automated campaigns or one-off email, push, and in-app messages based on time or customer behavior to onboard and retain new users, make announcements, drive technology adoption, upsell and cross-sell services.
- Create an integrated knowledge base for members where they can find answers on all frequently asked questions themselves and enable conversations with a team member for those who got stuck with help articles.
Intercom use cases are not limited to the above items. Read How to Increase Conversions & Customers' Happiness with this coworking space app.
Every coworking space operator faces such not-so-fun tasks as invoicing, expanse management, time tracking, and payments. FreshBooks is user-friendly accounting software that can automate those routines for you.
Here are some of the app's benefits you will like:
- Automate tasks like organizing expenses, tracking time and following up with clients.
- Wow clients with sleek estimates and invoices that show off your brand.
- Have a complete picture of the financial status of your coworking business at a glance with double-entry FreshBooks features such as Cost of Goods Sold, General Ledger, Chart of Accounts, Bank Reconciliation, and more.
Your workspace/office space business surely requires promotion through email campaigns and Mailchimp with its integrated capabilities can help a lot here. It brings your audience data, marketing channels, and insights together so you can reach your goals faster, and what’s even more important, you do it from a single platform.
Here is what Mailchimp can do for your workspace promotion:
- Send automated welcome emails and onboarding sequences to new members.
- Personalize emails with unique addressee details (full name, company, role.)
- Simplify email marketing. Email monthly newsletters to all members/customers at once.
- Segment members and send only relevant targeted messages.
- Trigger messages based on real-time user behavior, i.e.: remind company managers to pay by invoice, track sales and campaign performance in simple visual reports, run A/B tests, and customer satisfaction surveys.
We talk about automation and efficiency so much these days. Automation is really important for coworking spaces as location managers have lots of responsibilities. You can use Zapier automation tool to connect applications and services you are using and do more with fewer efforts by automating tedious repeated tasks.
Here are some ways to benefit from Zapier:
- Decide which apps you would like to connect (Hubspot, Slack, Google Sheets, etc.)
- Then automatically notify the team about new leads.
- Sync new leads with CRM or spreadsheet.
- Send new leads personal message.
- Share content across social media, and so on.
You can create as many Zaps as you wish/need. Read more about Common Use Cases for Workspace Automation.
Data analysis is very important for coworking business success. By analyzing strategic data with Data Studio from Google, you will be able to make predictions on business trends, workspace profitability, and customer behavior. This awareness will drive informed strategic decisions.
Here are some key ways you can use the tool to your benefit:
- Get a fully custom analytics dashboard with your coworking space performance metrics (booking, membership, benefit applications, services applications, and other information collected by your apps.)
- Track metrics to measure indicators essential for your business: monthly new members, space utilization and occupancy, total revenue from all payments, and more.
- Analyze fully interactive and highly visual charts and tables, easily sort tables, filter by date, company, booking resource, share reports and dashboards with team members.
- Schedule regular email reports to get data delivered to your inbox.
- Download all your data in Microsoft Excel, CSV, or export to Google Sheets.
Side note: Tools like Google Data Studio require certain skills level to set up, configure and start to use. If you can't boast deep expertise in data analysis, it's better to choose something tailored for the industry. For instance, Analytics from andcards comes inside the main coworking space software, includes only essential easy-to-read reports, and is ready to use straight away.
Managing a coworking space involves dozens of challenges. You need to run members catalog, assign membership plans, bill customers on time, promote and sell your products and services… At the same time, you need to build community and keep everyone happy as this is the only way to retain your members.
A friendly piece of advice here is—don’t try to manage everything manually. Implement coworking space software platform such as andcards from day one. It will not only free you from numerous administrative tasks but put all perks of your flexible workspace in the palm of a member’s hand helping them get maximum value from membership.
Here what andcards can do for you:
- Organize individual members and company accounts in a Digital Community catalog.
- Streamline meeting room and desk bookings.
- Enable convenient one-click billing and payments for tenants.
- Make selected coworking space products and services available to external customers.
- Put Services, Benefits, and Events in front of members and let them buy/apply for them in-app.
- Communicate with the community via an exclusive branded channel.
- Operate multiple locations smoothly.
- Grant touchless access to doors.
- Manage visitors and speed up guests registration at the reception desk.
- Get key metrics on booking, payment, billing, member, and other data to recognize trends and make informed decisions, and more.
These were some of the best apps covering many basic needs of coworking space managers. However, if you are aiming to evolve your flexible workspace into a futuristic high-tech hub, you will probably want to adopt more technological wonders like a visitor management system to automate your reception area, an access control system to make your workspace available 24/7, an event management app to build your community, and so on.
You may use an unlimited number of apps and technologies but you should always remember that in the high-tech world integration is the key to efficiency.
All the above apps save managers from extra work and improve members' experience. But is jungling them the best way to manage a flexible workspace? No way. Software is aimed to simplify your life and not to overcomplicate it. Now, when you have a few essential apps in place, it's time to think about how to unite them in a single platform.
Hint: You can easily connect and unite all the professional tools you are using with the help of coworking space management software, and leverage your productivity up to the sky.
Not sure how to choose the best platform to manage your coworking space? Make sure to check out our tips.