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3 must-haves for coworking space management software
You own or manage a coworking space. So you might not really be a software person. You’re in the business of space as a service with a healthy dose of hospitality, where you focus on providing a welcoming, functional, and efficient environment where a community of flex workers and companies can flourish.
Nevertheless, software is what powers such communities, and so community managers and space owners find themselves looking at Saas platforms and wondering: what do I need to run my space as best as I can? How can I serve my members and not lose my mind on technology and waste time with tools that I don’t understand?
The temptation to do it yourself can also be strong. Spreadsheets, simple forms, and shared docs might be easy to get up and running with, but in the end, they will cost you more time and effort.
And yes, the software landscape is busy — multiple options abound for just about every kind of coworking, makerspace, flex office, shared lab, or childcare-focused operation. So we identified the three major attributes you should look for when you’re considering various options (Coworks included!).
Choose software that automates tasks to give you back time in your day
The most important part of a coworking operation is, in fact, earning money. But you want to make it as easy for you as it is for your members.
Look for a coworking space management software that provides automated billing for the various memberships you offer as well as one-off invoicing for special events, meeting room and resource rentals.
Speaking of rentals, your software should also let members book meeting rooms and resources quickly and easily, with real time inventory updating. And ideally, it should integrate into your web site for ad hoc, external rentals by nonmembers.
Then, as members arrive, your platform should also be present at the front door. Automated check-ins at your front desk give you an accurate picture of your day-to-day occupancy. And visitors who come for a tour or at the invitation of members can also be tracked, then added to a CRM!
Find software that integrates with other systems and solutions
Your management platform may do a lot of work for you, but you’ll still use other tools to serve your members, manage your operations,.
- Event management tools such as Eventbrite and Meetup help you promote exciting events at your space to people who might not otherwise know about it.
- Google calendar
- Accounting software so you have real time visibility into your monthly membership earnings and expenses. Coworks integrates with Quickbooks.
- Access control solution so members can come and go when they need to, and you control the security of your space. Coworks integrates with Brivo, KISI, and Salt.o
- Easily embeddable forms on your site for tour requests, new members sign ups, outside event rentals, and newsletter signups.
Select software that engages your community
The top differentiator for coworking spaces versus straight-forward office rentals? Community. You cultivate it carefully. Make sure your space management software helps you elevate that aspect of your space.
- Offer a mobile-first member app so members can find each other by name, title, or job description. Networking is one of the leading benefits of being part of a coworking community.
- Send push notifications about events, local news, or space updates. (Here’s an example of an emergency notification!)
- Make information easy to find within your app with a section that includes frequently asked questions, directions to use resources such as printers, coffee makers, or other tools, and neighborhood information such as parking and local lunch spots.
It’s no easy task to choose a space management platform when you first open a coworking space. And sometimes it’s even more challenging to choose a new platform when your doors are already open.
At Coworks, we make it as painless as possible to get started on our platform and to migrate from existing tools. Our Success team works side by side with you to make it as seamless and effective as we can.