Flexible leasing is the new norm in real estate

Flexibility, agility, or speed doesn’t typically come to mind when you think about traditional real estate. WeWork is changing that.

In the last decade, we’ve all witnessed major industries give way to customer-centric startups focused on flexibility. 

Uber entered the transportation market and helped patrons answer, “Why can’t we order rides on-demand?”  

Airbnb listened when they heard travelers say, “We want to live like locals, not like tourists.” 

And Netflix quickly caught on that people don’t really want to leave their homes just to grab a movie. 

All three of these companies scaled massive businesses off of a single customer need. By listening to the market’s demands, they came up with a solution that leveraged flexibility, agility, and speed to build a new normal in their industries. 

A new blueprint for better office space

While commercial real estate may not call to mind visions of innovation and quick change, WeWork is reconstructing the traditional office experience by offering flexible office space. And it’s by demand. 

Since 2010, we’ve worked with millions of professionals and thousands of businesses. Along the way, we’ve learned that companies want a variety of workspaces rather than closed doors or cubes. They want room to grow and the opportunity to easily expand. They want flexible, shorter-term arrangements rather than strict, long-term office contracts. 

Because running a business—no matter the size—can be challenging. It’s difficult to predict growth or headcount. It’s hard to know if and when your company will expand. And it’s risky to lock into a traditional 10-year lease when you don’t know what two years ahead looks like.

Flexibility is the future

WeWork isn’t alone in this shift. According to CBRE’s research, flexible space could account for 13% of the total U.S. office supply by 2030. Since 2010, flexible office supply has increased by more than 600% for an average annual growth rate of 26%.

With over 625 locations in 127 cities across 33 countries, WeWork alone accounts for 33% of flexible space and for 61% of the year-over-year supply growth. And with other operators like Spaces and Knotel both adding 1 million square feet in 2018,  we don’t see flexible office space demand or penetration slowing down anytime soon.

In fact, we see this model becoming the new norm. Like Uber and Airbnb have shifted the transportation and hospitality markets, we believe the demand for more flexible, customer-centric options will soon make WeWork’s model ubiquitous across the commercial real estate market. And by offering creative deal structures based on our client’s needs, we’re prepared to handle the demand. 

Interested in learning more? Give us a call at (646) 389-3922 or visit wework.com/brokers to become a WeWork broker partner today.

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