Coworking Business Tips

Onboarding coworking members: art and automation for a warm welcome

“I’m ready to join!”

Isn’t that the best? Getting a new member is an exciting time for every coworking space. It's a testament to the appeal of your community, the facilities you provide, and the hard work you've put into creating a welcoming and conducive environment. 

But after signing them up, how do you help these new members feel right at home and effectively integrate them into your community? The answer lies in your approach to onboarding. 

Why does onboarding coworking members matter?

A successful onboarding process can lead to higher member retention rates, an improved sense of community, and increased satisfaction levels. It reduces churn. It helps new members understand the culture of your space, and it creates a strong foundation for your relationship with them. 

Think about it this way: your coworking space is like a giant puzzle. Each member is a piece that helps complete the picture. The better a piece fits, the more seamless and beautiful the overall image. That's why investing time and effort into onboarding coworking is worth it; it ensures that each new member "piece" fits perfectly into your coworking puzzle.

Onboarding starts with an amazing tour

One of the first steps in the onboarding process is giving prospective members a tour of your coworking space. The tour isn't just about showing the physical space; it's about introducing them to your community. 

Here are a few ways to make your tour truly memorable:

Make it easy to schedule a tour. Space management software like Coworks lets you put a link right on your web site for interested people to schedule a time to come in. You might even have foot traffic, which means software like Coworks lets you put a tablet by your entryway so someone signs up for a tour right then and there. And that same software can check in your visitor when they arrive, alerting you wherever you are in the building — because what community manager has time to sit by the door?

Start with a story. Talk about how the space came to be and the community that's grown around it. Talk about the design choices of the furniture, or the cool artist behind that mural. Put a name to the owners of the space, if you can, and mention their connection to the sports marketing industry or the restaurant business. Talk about how the building used to be a furniture store or a bakery. This helps prospective members feel like they're becoming part of something bigger than just a workspace.

Point out what makes you different. Do you have quiet rooms? Is there a killer coffee bar? An instagram-worthy zoom background? A vibrant event space? Make sure to show them all. If you have a member wall, make that a destination. If there is a printed calendar with cool events, show that off.

Have a ‘ringer’ ready to say hi. If it’s not too intrusive, have a star community member ready to engage. This person should be something of an ambassador, a veteran member who loves to meet new folks. Keep it quick, though. Just enough that when the new member comes into work, they have at least one person they can say hi to.

Listen closely and tailor your tour. Keep the tour conversational and take the time to understand their needs. Are they particularly excited about the meeting rooms? Do they mention their dog or the fact they bike to work? Do they need a second monitor or prefer a standing desk? Tailor your tour to highlight aspects of your coworking space that meet these needs.

Automation and onboarding

new coworking membersWhile taking a prospective member on a tour is highly personalized and human, there are aspects within the process of onboarding coworking members that can fall under the ‘set it and forget it’ category. Automation can be a game-changer for busy community managers. It saves you time and reduces the chance of errors, but still allows for a more personalized experience for the new member.

So which aspects of onboarding coworking members should you automate?

Member information capture. No one likes filling out paperwork, much less having to do it multiple times. Use an automated system to collect the person’s information. For example, with Coworks, you can turn your tour into a lead within the lightweight CRM. Then when the prospect becomes a member, you simply upgrade them to a member. No need to re-enter data. 

Systematize and deliver orientation material. Create a sequence of onboarding emails that include all the pertinent information members need. Many community managers support spreading the information out over several emails. The benefits are significant: one email with everything can feel overwhelming. Plus, if that one email is missed, everything is missed. Also, the more your new member engages with your onboarding emails, the better the odds they will continue to engage with communications you send.

➡️ Coworks put together a guide to onboarding emails for coworking members that you can download and customize.

Ask for feedback. You do not want to wait until something goes wrong to hear about it from your members. Make it a regular action, whether via email or through your space management software. Coworks lets you send push notifications to members, or include a resource in the mobile member app to capture and process feedback. 

Integrate with other systems. You’ll need to get your new members set up with access to your space, into your directory, get billing configured, and more. Software like Coworks works with multiple other tools, and those integrations can be automated with Zapier and other web hook technologies so that you don’t miss a step in your onboarding process.

The balance of operations and hospitality 

As a community manager, you're not just running a coworking space; you're cultivating a community. It's like being a concierge in a hotel — always there to assist, answer questions, and ensure everything runs smoothly. 

Your coworking management software should be your biggest asset in onboarding coworking members.  Coworks is dedicated coworking space management software, and offers features designed to simplify the onboarding process and enhance the member experience.

  1. Automated billing: make it easy for yourself as a community manager and your members to set up and take care of membership, without chasing invoices or checks.

  2. Centralized member information: Coworks allows you to gather, store, and manage all member information in one place, organized by teams if applicable. This can simplify the process of onboarding, ensuring you have all relevant details at your fingertips. 

  3. Easy room booking: The Coworks member app makes it simple for members to schedule conference rooms or grab quick time in a nearly phone booth.

  4. Access control integration: If you use one of the leading door access systems, Coworks has integrations that allow members to check in once, give temporary access to day pass users, and deliver on usage and traffic data.

  5. Enhanced communication: Coworks offers a platform for communication to community members with push notifications or newsletters.

  6. Event management: With Coworks, you can organize and manage events, which can be a vital part of onboarding. For instance, a monthly new member welcome event helps everyone feel even more connected to the community.

  7. Manage resources and tools: Community managers spend much of their time answering the same questions. With the Resources section on Coworks, you can post the FAQs and processes that members need. New members in particular might feel shy about asking for help or to find certain items. Creating a self service resources section in your mobile member app automates that process. 

Onboarding members to your community is probably one of the highlights of the job. With the right approach to tours, automation, and hospitality, you can ensure your new members feel welcomed, satisfied, and truly at home in your coworking community. 

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