Cat Johnson

The coworking space tour: insights from industry leaders

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A well-executed tour can be the difference between gaining a new member and losing a prospect.

Cat Johnson, founder of Cat Johnson Co., recently hosted a panel featuring coworking experts who shared their top tips for giving effective tours. Here’s what they had to say.

Make booking a breeze

Dr Tammira LucasDr. Tammira Lucas, founder of The Cube Cowork, believes that the tour experience begins long before a potential member walks through the door. “One of the things we found very effective is ensuring that on our website, it is very accessible to book a tour,” Lucas said. Collecting visitor information upfront is crucial. “In any business, data is key. The more information you have for your potential consumer, the more ways you can market to them.”

Mark Eaton of The Corner Cowork emphasized the importance of using embedded forms, scheduling tools and a CRM to simplify the process. “Make it easy to book and schedule. There are free or simple tools out there,” Eaton said. He also suggested sending a pre-tour email to gather information about the prospect’s interests and current work situation. “We ask beforehand so we know what to expect when they’re coming in,” Eaton noted.

Create a welcoming first impression

When the day of the tour arrives, both Lucas and Eaton stressed the importance of being prepared and proactive. “When they arrive, be ready, greet them by name, and show them where to go,” Eaton advised. Lucas added that this initial interaction should be part of a broader strategy she calls the Disney experience. “Think about what Disney cast members do. Smile, greet everyone, and make sure the space is clean and inviting,” Lucas explained. She even recommended the book, Be Our Guest by the Disney Institute, for more inspiration.

Eaton suggested booking a meeting space to sit down and connect with the prospective member before starting the tour. This allows for a more personal touch and sets the stage for a deeper conversation about their needs.

Highlight the entire space

Mark Eaton (1)Lucas emphasized the importance of understanding the potential client’s needs to tailor the tour accordingly. “While the focus area might be an office space or a meeting room, always make sure to include a tour of the entire space so they understand everything you offer,” Lucas advised.

Eaton agreed, suggesting that you focus on the areas of interest while also providing a comprehensive overview of all the available options. “Focus on their areas of interest, but dive into all products,” he said. This approach not only addresses their immediate needs but also opens the door for potential upsells.

Build connections with the community

Sarah Travers, CEO of Workbar, highlighted the importance of integrating prospects into the community during the tour. “We have ambassadors in our spaces who preach about Workbar as much as employees do. We know who they are and where they sit to interact with them on tours,” Travers said. This strategy helps prospects envision themselves as part of the community and feel more connected to the space.

Travers also suggested inviting prospects to events even if they don’t sign up immediately. “Invite them to one of your events so they can see the community and the added value beyond the desk,” she recommended.

Personalize the experience

Lauren BrewerLauren Brewer from Union Works Coworking shared her approach to making each tour a personalized experience. “I try to take a moment at the front to calm them down. We’re not going to run through this; we’re going to have a conversation,” Brewer said. She emphasized the importance of understanding what the potential member is looking for. “I ask what their business is, where they work now, and how they heard about us. This helps me focus my tour on their needs,” Brewer explained.

Brewer also stages her offices to make them appealing. “If I have an office available, I stage it. If I have two, I make one more feminine and one more masculine to appeal to different tastes,” she said. “I try to keep everything pretty tidy and pretty clean,” Brewer added.

Set expectations and close the deal

Sarah TraversSetting clear expectations from the beginning of the tour is crucial, according to Travers. “When the person comes in, set the expectation that you plan to find the perfect solution for them and close the deal by the end of the tour,” she said. This approach helps guide the conversation and makes the transition to signing up seamless.

Eaton shared that it’s important to ask for the sale and not leave the next steps ambiguous. “What are the next steps? Are you ready to join our community now or next week?” he suggested. Being direct about the process helps prospects understand what to expect and makes them more likely to commit.

Brewer, who prefers a more relaxed sales approach, finds success by not being overly pushy. “I really feel like I use my tour as also an interview for that person to make sure that they’re a good fit,” she said. She also highlights the flexibility of coworking memberships. “I remind them they can start at one level and then bump up to the next. We’re very flexible, and that’s why we’re here,” Brewer explained.

Follow up with thoughtful touches

The post-tour follow-up is just as important as the tour itself. Lucas recommended sending a follow-up email within three to five days if the prospect doesn’t sign up on the spot. This email should include a summary of what was discussed, any relevant pricing information, and next steps. “We also made a phone call to understand why they didn’t choose our space and if there’s anything we can do better,” Lucas said.

Travers added that inviting prospects to events in follow-up communications can help keep them engaged and interested in the community. “If you don’t sign a deal on the spot, call and say, ‘Hey, we’re doing this lunch and learn or this new member launch,’ and invite them,” she suggested.

Brewer prefers to send an email the day of the tour with pictures of the different spaces and a little summary of prices. “I follow up maybe two more times, and then I just kind of let that lead go for several months before I might pick it up again,” Brewer said. She also sends a video of members sharing their positive experiences with the space as a final touchpoint.

Giving an effective tour of a coworking space is a blend of preparation, personalization, and genuine engagement. From making it easy to book a tour to integrating prospects into your community and following up with value, these best practices can help you turn tours into memberships.

Coworking Convos is a monthly virtual event series hosted by Cat Johnson. Each month, a different topic is presented by guests with real experience, who are subject matter experts and walk the walk in the coworking and flex space industry.

Coworks is a sponsor of Coworking Convos, and we have the privilege of sharing these dispatches afterward — spotlighting the juicy tidbits and powerful takeaways shared in the hour-long conversation. 

But by no means does this replace the real value of being there! Check out the next Convo and be in the room when it happens.

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