Sell for More News is a weekly blog series with interesting information from the world of commercial real estate.
IWG, formerly known as Regus, is a flexible workplace provider spanning over 120 countries. It’s the world’s largest shared-office company, operating under brands like Regus, Spaces and No18.
IWG is now rolling out its first franchise model…a similar model similar to McDonald’s. The goal is to double its locations…and fast.
Period of change
These bold expansion plans come at a time of rapid change in the shared-office industry. “There’s been more change in the last two years than I’ve seen at any time in the last 30 years,” IWG’s CEO recently said.
This period of change comes as one of IWG’s rivals, New York City-based WeWork, deals with a failed initial public offering, an ousted CEO and the layoff of more than 2,000 workers. WeWork was once called one of the world’s most valuable startups.
Yet, IWG believes there’s nothing but more growth ahead. They are probably right. According to JLL’s most recent data, coworking centers amount to less than 5% of the U.S. office stock. By 2030, JLL says that number will skyrocket to 30% of the market.
In the US, IWG has about 1,100 locations which is more than any of its closest competitors…including WeWork…which has about a third of that many locations.
“We expect to double our presence, but it’s just a question of how long it takes to do that. Our objective is to get into every town and every crossroads of a town. It’s a McDonald’s sort of execution. We’re working to increase the speed of doing this through franchising. We’re finding more and more franchise partners so that we can accelerate that growth”, said the CEO.
About half of IWG’s planned growth is tied to franchising locations to property owners, landlords or others with business experience. The remaining half of IWG’s planned growth is tied to opening company-managed locations.
Like a hotel…such as Marriott…with multiple flags catering to different guests, IWG has multiple brands with plans to add more to the mix in coming years.
“We are a great believer in having a multi-brand,” the CEO said. “The people who use offices are not the same, they want different prices and they have different workstyles. In the end, it’s not about us or real estate, it’s about the customer. It’s satisfying the customer with choice, which is what the customer wants.”
Need to scale
IWG expects there to be some consolidation in the year to come. “This is a scaled business,” said the CEO. “It’s very, very difficult to make money if you are sub-scale in this business today. We’ve already begun seeing consolidation in part of Europe and we are working on things in the US.”
As IWG moves forward with plans for growth in the US, they see strong demand from an increasing number of corporate companies wanting to buy their space as a product, rather than something they have to assemble.
Has Wework scared off landlords?
“It’s no different than any other industry,” IWG’s CEO said. “If it’s a good restaurant, it will do well, even in a recession, but, if they are poorly managed, when the tide goes out, they are the ones that will go first.”
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About Beau Beach, MBA CCIM
Beau is a tenacious Commercial Real Estate Broker, author and adoring father of four. His clients appreciate his no-nonsense demeanor and his legendary work ethic.
Beau leads Beachwood which is a commercial real estate broker for sellers in the Nashville, Milwaukee and South Florida markets.
He’s the author of the books The 3 Reasons: Why Most Commercial Properties Don’t Sell and True Wealth: What Every Seller Should Know About 1031 Exchanges.
Beau can be reached at 800-721-3287, click to schedule a call or Beau@BeachwoodSells.com